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This Week In Mental Health

The latest on research and advocacy for the week of January 3rd.

Escrito por Esther Fernandez

This Week In Mental Health

01 California looks at adding more school counselors, and banning youth from buying diet supplements.

02 Research looks at the effect of exercise on anxiety, how opioids put people at risk for depression, and the positive effects of having mental health experts respond to emergency calls.

03 Olympian Elise Christie, and singers Sara Bareilles and Ellie Goulding, open up about their mental health.

TW// Mentions of suicidality, self harm, and eating disorders

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 January 3rd, 2022.

Legislation

California Looks To Add 10,000 Mental Health Clinicians To Public Schools 

Mental health advocates in California are looking to add 10,000 mental health clinicians to schools in California. State superintendent Tony Thurmond proposed the plan, which is estimated to cost $250 million. Clinicians explain that having counselors in school will make it more accessible for students to reach out for help, especially when dealing with the effects of the pandemic and a statewide shortage of counselors.

Learn more here.

California Looks To Add 10,000 Mental Health Clinicians To Public Schools

Diet Pills Are Incredibly Dangerous For Teens. California Needs To Regulate Them Like Cigarettes  

California state lawmakers introduced legislation that bans minors from buying weight loss and diet supplements. Additionally, it requires supplements to be sold behind the counter with posted warnings. While the bill passed through committees last year, further voting was postponed until 2022. If passed, California will be the first state with a bill of this kind, with other states like New York considering doing the same in order to reduce eating disorders among youth.

Learn more here.

South Carolina Hires First Mental Health Agents To Work With Offenders 

The state department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in South Carolina will now have help from mental health specialists. The agents will be working in six counties, helping provide evidence-based mental health management to offenders. The program includes helping offenders have a healthy lifestyle, protection of community safety, and encouraging offenders “to live a prosocial life free of involvement with the justice system.”

Learn more here.

Research

Exercise Can Ease Anxiety Symptoms, Study Finds 

A new study shows that working out three times a week can help improve symptoms for those with anxiety disorders. Researchers looked at over 200 adults who had anxiety, and randomly divided them into three groups: low-intensity workout, high-intensity workout, and a control group. For those in the exercise groups, they had significant anxiety reduction. The maximum benefit for reducing anxiety was at least 45-60 minute cardio and strength workouts three times a week, and more exercising led to more improvement.

Learn more here.

Frequency Of Use Increases Risk For Depression Among Long-Term Prescription Opioid Users 

Using prescription opioids daily puts people more at risk for depression. Researchers looked at over 5,000 patients, and found that compared to those who take opioids occasionally, those who take them daily have a 40 percent increased risk of developing depression. Researchers recommend that opioid users try to avoid use when they have “low-pain days."

Learn more here.

Behavioral Health Expert On Front Lines Of Police Calls? Study Targets Co-Response Teams 

A study looked at how police officers and community members felt about The Crisis Outreach and Engagement (CORE) program in Colorado. The program has been running for five years, and officials say it has reduced suicides by 50 percent. The program includes sending a mental health expert, a police officer, and paramedic to answer emergency mental health calls. Many community members who were helped by the CORE team said they felt like the program was invested in individuals' well being.

Learn more here.

Advocacy

'I Don't Want To Be In That Dark Place Again': Elise Christie On Depression, Skating And Her New Life 

Olympian Elise Christie talked about her experience with depression, self harm, and retiring from sports. Christie competed in three Olympics as a speed skater, but her mental health, and physical injuries, led her to retire last month. She describes how in 2021, she attempted suicide, was involved in a car accident, lost her grandfather, and had been working at Pizza Hut in order to get by. Her autobiography, which was released a few months ago, details the challenges she faced during 2018, including disqualification at the Olympics and struggling with self harm. Though she’s disappointed over no longer competing, she has found a new purpose in becoming a mental health advocate. 

Learn more here.

Elise Christie | My #UpAgain Story

Sara Bareilles Opens Up About 'Low Year' For Her Mental Health: 'I Needed More Help'

Singer Sara Bareilles opened up about the mental health struggles she faced in 2021. On social media, she shared about how medication has helped her, and that she now feels relieved and more like herself after a very low year. She also said that she meditated every day, and that it has been “a life changing practice.”

Learn more here.

Ellie Goulding Opens Up About Her Struggle With Anxiety In 2021 

Singer Ellie Goulding shared on social media about her anxiety. She says that this past year was the hardest year of her life, and that she constantly felt panicked. Throughout the year, she’s avoided answering questions about how she’s been, but now she wants to open up about her struggles to show others they’re not alone.

Learn more here.

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