This Week in Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of September 6th.

Written by Esther Fernandez

This Week in Mental Health

01 Biden administration awards grants to help with student mental health.

02 Research looks at how peers may alleviate loneliness among older adults, how cognitive reappraisal therapy helps pandemic stress, how half of adults with ADHD struggle with substance use, and more.

03 Steve Buscemi, Camila Cabello, and Zendaya start conversations around mental health.

TW// Mentions of suicide

Conversations about mental health have grown exponentially over the last decade, with more and more people committing to personal and collective wellness. While we have a ways to go before mental health awareness, education and treatment are accessible to all, each day brings new and positive strides within the field. 

Our This Week In Mental Health series covers the latest happenings in research, treatment, human interest stories, and more. Stay updated on new developments so you’re better equipped to navigate the world, and most importantly, your own recovery.

Here’s what’s happening the week of September 6th.


Biden Admin Awards Over $13M In Grants To Bolster Students' Health Care Access 

As a part of the latest grant awarded from the Biden administration, $13.4 million will be used for expanding mental health care for students. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will focus on funding schools and youth organizations. Programs will help train community leaders to recognize mental health symptoms.

Learn more here.

Helping Your Student With Back-to-School Mental Health


For Struggling Older Adults, Support from Paid Peers May Alleviate Loneliness, Depression

Connecting older adults with visitors reduces loneliness and depression. Researchers from UC San Francisco paired visitors with 74 older adults — many who have struggled with loneliness, homelessness, and mental health. The visitors were trained, and matched with adults based on compatibility. After the two year program, rates of depression dropped from 38 percent to 13 percent. An author of the study emphasized the importance of looking at patients' complex needs rather than solely relying on medication.

Learn more here.

Cognitive Reappraisal Therapy Helps Pandemic Stress 

Cognitive reappraisal — reducing negative feelings by reframing a situation — has been proven to help people cope with the pandemic. Researchers from 87 countries studied data of over 27,000 people from May 2020 to October 2020, and found that teaching reappraisals can help with reducing negative emotions like anxiety. These findings could lead to single-session interventions, helping improve mental health among people who can’t access long term treatment.

Learn more here. 

Black Children Are Twice As Likely To Die By Suicide, Nationwide Children's Study Finds

A new study shows that Black children are twice as likely to die by suicide compared to White children. Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital studied Black youth in the Ohio area after suicides increased within recent years. It was found that Black girls often died by suicide after a conflict with a boyfriend or girlfriend, and Black boys often died by suicide after experiencing a legal problem. While Black boys have less access to mental health treatment, suicide is increasing twice as quickly for Black girls. 

Learn more here.

MDMA-Assisted Couples Therapy May Help Maximize Recovery Among Patients With PTSD

Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy paired with MDMA-assisted sessions could help with PTSD. Researchers had six people with PTSD participate in a 7 week CBCT program with their partners. Two of the fifteen sessions included MDMA assisted therapy. Participants reported less aggression and more empathy, while their partners reported performing less accommodations for their partners’ PTSD symptoms. Couples also reported better intimacy, relational support, and conflict resolution.

Learn more here.

Half of Adults With ADHD Have Substance Use Disorder

A new study shows that half of adults with ADHD experience substance use disorder. About one in six used illicit drugs, and one in three used alcohol. Researchers looked at survey data from over 6,800 participants, with 270 having ADHD. For those with depression and anxiety comorbidities, substance use disorder was less likely. 

Learn more here.

Disparities In Opioid Overdose Deaths Continue To Worsen For Black People, Study Suggests 

From 2018 to 2019, opioid overdose rates for non-Hispanic Black people increased 38 percent across four states. In comparison, other racial groups had steady or declining rates. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health studied data of over 8 million people in New York, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Ohio. 

Learn more here.


Steve Buscemi Opens Up About PTSD After Volunteering On 9/11

In honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Steve Bucsemi shared his experience of being a first responder and dealing with PTSD. As a volunteer firefighter, Buscemi spent five days at ground zero helping with recovery efforts. After volunteering, he struggled with day-to-day life, and was depressed and anxious. With the upcoming anniversary potentially being a trigger for many people, he talks about the work he’s been doing with Friends of Firefighters, a non-profit that helps support firefighters with mental health resources.

Learn more here.

Friends of Firefighters

Camila Cabello Talks Anxiety

Camila Cabello talked about her experience with anxiety, and how the pandemic exacerbated her symptoms. While she delayed seeking treatment up until the pandemic, she now recognizes the importance of reaching out for help and avoiding burnout. After working at an intense pace since the age of 15, this past year, she was able to take a break, find a new therapist, and make progress in her mental health.

Learn more here. 

The World According To Zendaya

In a recent interview, Zendaya talked about how she goes to therapy, and encouraged people to access help if they’re financially able. She explains how the pandemic created new mental health challenges that she was unfamiliar with. She also mentions the importance of seeing someone who can help you that isn’t biased. 

Learn more here.

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