This Week In Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of November 15th.

Written by Esther Fernandez

This Week In Mental Health

01 Research looks at how the justice system is failing people with mental illness, how depression increases the risk for heart disease, how helpline calls increased during the pandemic, and more.

02 A.J. Brown, Nike, Tinashe, Kevin Love, and Selena Gomez begin conversations and initiatives about 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 November 15th.


Every Part Of Justice System Fails Mentally Ill People

A new report shows that the UK criminal justice system has failed by sending many people with mental illness to prison. Researchers looked at over 300 cases, and found that people who struggle with mental health are not properly supported when dealing with the justice system, such as being arrested. Examples of improper support include lack of mental health services, difficulty in sharing mental health information between agencies, and “Unacceptable delays in psychiatric reports for court and in transferring extremely unwell prisoners into secure mental health hospital beds for treatment.” Many prisoners were sent to jails rather than hospitals, such as women who struggled with suicidality.

Learn more here.

Entire Criminal Justice System 'Failing' Mentally Ill People, Inspectors Find

Study Shows Higher Heart Disease Risk During Pandemic Due To Depression, Anxiety

A presentation from the American Heart Association's 2021 Scientific Session showed that people with anxiety and depression symptoms are at an increased risk for heart disease. Researchers looked at over 4,000 patients, separating between those with depression and those without. Those with depression were found to have an increased risk for anxiety, and are more likely to visit the hospital for anxiety and chest pain. 

Learn more here.

Millions Of Helpline Calls Reveal How Covid Affected Mental Health

Helplines received an increase in calls during the beginning of the pandemic according to a new study that looked at 8 million calls from 19 countries. Within the first six weeks, calls increased 35 percent, however, most calls were about loneliness or the pandemic. For some countries, like France and Germany, calls about suicidality increased with stricter lockdowns. Overall, there was no surge in calls related to suicide, substance use disorder, or abuse.

Learn more here.

More Than 20 School Districts Nationwide Extend Thanksgiving Break For Teacher And Student Mental Health Days

Over 20 school districts from six states are adding wellness days to Thanksgiving break. Students and teachers will be allowed a few more days of break for their mental health after districts were seeing how stressed people are following the pandemic. Most schools are allowing for a full-week break rather than a few days, with one school from Florida taking that time from unused hurricane days. Another school in Detroit is allowing for remote learning once a week to also help with mental health.

Learn more here.


A.J. Brown Opens Up About Battle With Depression In Video 

Football player A.J. Brown shared about his depression for the first time on Instagram. He says that a year ago, he was considering suicide and is nervous to admit he was struggling. While he used to be skeptical about conditions like depression being legitimate, he now encourages people to take mental health seriously and take care of themselves. He explains how hopeless he used to feel, and that he has decided to share his story to inspire others who are in the same situation.

Learn more here.

Mental Health is Real, Just Like Physical Health

Nike Program Shifts Focus From Achievement to Mental Health

Nike has created a new platform, Mind Sets, that promotes mental wellness. The platform will include content centered around mental health, such as a podcast about burnout. Their running app will award people with badges for mental wellness, and their training app will have workouts about holistic wellness. Nike says that the platform is “... an uplifting program that focuses on how you feel, not what you achieve.” 

Learn more here.

Tinashe Talks Mental Health In The Music Industry

Tinashe was on Becky G’s new show, Face to Face with Becky G, to talk about managing mental health as a singer. She says that being in the public eye can be difficult, because people often minimize her mental health struggles. As a woman of color, it’s especially difficult to navigate the industry, and she is learning to put herself first.

Learn more here.

NBA Star Kevin Love On Finding Success While Struggling With Mental Health

Basketball player Kevin Love talked with CNBC about being diagnosed with COVID-19, going to therapy, and his depression and anxiety. Love has been open about his mental health in the past, writing an article in 2018 that helped to start conversations among athletes. He says that what helps him the most is therapy, journaling, gratitude, meditation, and exercise. Through his Kevin Love Fund, he helps with mental health education, research, grant making, and advocacy.

Learn more here.

Selena Gomez Launches Mental Health Platform, Wondermind 

Selena Gomez, Mandy Teefey, and Daniella Pierson announced their new mental health company Wondermind. Set to launch in February 2022, the company says it will destigmatize and democratize mental health. The website will include daily mental health content and a podcast with therapists and celebrity advocates. The three founders are planning to become a production company in the future.

Learn more here.

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