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Mental Health in the News: January 12, 2023

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Mental Health in the News

Young Adults Say Their New Year’s Resolution Is to Improve Their Mental Health

The new year is a time when many people reflect on the past year and set goals for the year to come. A new Forbes Health/OnePoll survey found that out of 1,005 US adults polled, 45% said that they want to improve their mental health, compared to 39% their overall fitness, 37% who want to lose weight, and 33% who want to improve their diet. Younger participants wanted to increase mental health even more, with 50% of those aged 18-25 and 49% of those aged 26-41 naming it their number-one resolution. These numbers reflect a growing trend in Americans who are now prioritizing their mental health as much or more than their physical health. 

Higher Rates Of Anxiety and Depression

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a sharp increase in rates of anxiety and depression, especially among young people. The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Children’s Hospital Association collectively announced a National State of Emergency in Child and Adolescent Mental Health in October 2021. One year later, the U.S. Preventative Task Force recommended that children and adolescents up to 18 years old be screened for anxiety and depression

There Is Hope

Young people are increasingly more interested in learning about mental health and connecting with peers via social media to find a supportive community. There are a variety of in-person treatment resources as well as teletherapy or other online options. 

How to Prioritize Your Mental Health This Year

Clinical psychologist Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, Psy.D., says that the best way to improve your mental health this year is to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself and be flexible. Focus on values rather than achieving a specific goal. 

“Honor commitments that feel right to you and achievable,” adds Dr. Rufus Tony Spann, a certified school psychologist. “Goals should be personable and meaningful, and it’s the process of completing the goals which bring enlightenment.”

To read the original news article, click here.

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Tips From Oakland Community Health Network To Improve
Your Mental Health

Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) in Michigan serves around 27,000 people living in Oakland county. The patients, many of whom have Medicaid insurance, include those suffering from mental health disorders, substance use disorder, and intellectual or developmental disabilities. OCHN’s mission is to provide their patients with access to support services that will improve the overall quality of their health and lives. 

This New Year, OCHN is encouraging the Oakland community to prioritize mental health.

Here are some tips from OCHN on how to improve your emotional and mental well-being in 2023. 

  • Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself with gentleness and kindness. Being self-critical can take away your happiness and increase your stress. Take time for yourself by doing something you enjoy, like a hobby or personal project.
  • Focus on your physical health. Your mental and physical health are deeply connected. Eating healthy, getting plenty of rest, and exercising can lead to huge improvements in your emotional wellness.  
  • Find coping skills for dealing with stress. Stress is a part of life. Finding healthy ways to deal with your stress can help you manage our feelings effectively. Try taking a walk, laughing with friends, or writing in a journal. 
  • Change your daily routines. Having a stable routine is important, but sometimes you need to switch things up to avoid boredom. Small changes, like taking a new route on your daily walks, are often enough to rejuvenate the mind.
  • Reach out for help. It is important to know when to ask for help. Some behaviors to watch out for include self-isolating, severe mood swings, or an inability to complete daily tasks.  

To read the original news article, click here.

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Make Getting a Better Night’s Sleep Your New Year’s Resolution

With the new year almost here, people are making resolutions to improve their health. While some might be thinking of getting into shape or eating healthier, cardiologists and sleep experts at Northwestern Medicine are hoping that people will add getting a better night’s sleep to their lists.

How Sleep Impacts Our Health

According to Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, a Northwestern cardiologist and former president of the American Heart Association (AHA), sleep can impact things like our weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. There is also new research linking improved sleep to better cardiovascular health and stroke prediction. 

Jennifer Mundt, an assistant professor of neurology in sleep medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, says getting a good night’s rest is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health. Good sleep makes you feel not just physically better, but reduces the chance of developing mental health issues like depression

Catching Up On Weekends Doesn’t Work

According to Mundt, many of us are not getting enough sleep. While the common theory is that eight hours is ideal for everyone, it really depends on the individual. Many adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep, while children and teenagers need more.

Rather than catching up on sleep on the weekends, the research says, be consistent throughout the week. It is better to sleep a few more minutes each day than several hours on Sunday morning. 

If you are finding it hard to make time for sleep, Mundt suggests looking at it as an investment.

“The time you put into sleep will give you better energy and alertness the next day,” she said. “You’ll feel better with a full night of sleep, and in the long term you’re reducing your chances of a host of health problems.”

To read the original news article, click here.

Dr. Woo has been seeing patients in private practice since 2002, always with the goals of combining evidence-based medicine with psychodynamic psychotherapy and collaborating with other mental health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for his patients. He has been certified to administer TMS at his practice since 2017. His greatest clinical interests include helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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