In Case You Missed It: Mental Health Series

Welcome to our new blog series, In Case You Missed It: Mental Health. In this series we bring you a collection of current media highlights about Mental Health.

Welcome to our new blog series, In Case You Missed It: Mental Health.

In this series, we bring you a collection of current media highlights about Mental Health.

In case you missed it last week, here are some articles.

ICYMI:  How routine anxiety screenings can help American’s mental health

For the first time ever, all adults in America are recommended to get routine anxiety screenings as regular part of doctor’s visits, regardless of symptoms. The potentially life-changing guidance can help people who have gone years without getting mental health treatment. NBC’s Sam Brock reports in this week’s Sunday Focus.

TPR:  Uvalde prompted Texas to start taking mental health in schools more seriously. Is it enough?

In this special report, host Bonnie Petrie explores the depth of the mental health crisis in schools, including obstacles in the way of access to care and possible solutions being tested right now in the wake of Uvalde.

Bloomberg:  Mental Health Crisis Leads Hospitals to Create a New Type of ER

Recliners and games in “Empath units” are helping move patients with psychiatric ailments out of emergency rooms – a new idea: mental health crisis units designed to treat people quickly in a more serene setting, so they can stabilize patients and send them home. “There’s no other emergency in the ER where the default treatment is to find them a bed,” says Scott Zeller, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California in Riverside. Zeller developed the model, called EmPATH (Emergency Psychiatric Assessment, Treatment, and Healing).

How to fight stigma about mental health?

·         Talk openly about mental health.

·         Be conscious of language.

·         Encourage equality between mental health and physical health.

·         Show compassion for those with mental health challenges.

·         Choose empowerment over shame.

·         Be honest about treatment.

·         Don’t hold on to self-stigma.

·         Educate yourself and others.

5 Ways Trainers and Athletes Deal With Mental Health Challenges in Their Daily Lives

·         Reset First Thing in the Morning

·         Stay Aware of the Effects of Training

·         Ask Yourself the Right Questions

·         Take Off Your Fitness Tracker and Go Outside

·         Mix Up Your Wellbeing Strategies

School-based program reverses bias against mental illness in Black and Latino Teens

The study led by Melissa Dupont-Reyes, PhD, assistant professor of sociomedical sciences and epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, appears in the journal Stigma and Health.  “We now have strong evidence that anti-stigma interventions reduce mental illness stigma and how they reduce disparities in biases. This knowledge will help us shape future anti-stigma interventions for diverse populations,” says Dupont-Reyes.

How parents can get a free drug to reverse the effects of a fentanyl overdose.

Bexar County had 125 opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2020.

Changing economic tide raises mental health concerns for families in SA

The changing economic tide has brought different groups of people and families to seek help, which can sometimes take a toll on people. “I think you’re seeing the stress, the multigenerational stress from the parents not being able to afford rent from children, being out of school for years, from the instability for families, sleeping on different couches, bouncing from hotels to hotels,” said Haven for Hope staff Vice President of Transformational Services David Huete.

How Your Muscles Affect Your Mental Health

Muscle tissue communicates directly with the brain and other organs through chemicals called myokines. Through these chemical interactions between muscles and the mind, exercise improves cognitive function and mental health. The brain is designed for movement. This is why inactivity breeds depression and cognitive decline while exercising fuels well-being.

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Health

For a healthier tomorrow, start making small changes in your habits and routines today.

  1. Reach for Water
  2. Grab a Book Instead of Your Phone
  3. Go to Bed
  4. Enjoy Your Coffee Outside
  5. Consider a Standup Desk
  6. Make a Walking Date
  7. Hang Up and Connect
  8. Spend More Time with People
  9. Set Realistic Workout Goals

FORBES: 3 Initiatives Underway To Transform America’s Mental Healthcare System

· Evolving the Perception of Mental Illness as a Chronic Disease

· A Focus on Funding Innovation

· A Modern Take on Patient Centricity

National Alliance for Mental Illness stretched to limits in Bexar County

Statistics show that one in five people struggle with mental health in our county.

TPR The Source – Youth mental health services expand in San Antonio and statewide

  • What are the plans from the local government to help those in need of mental health services? How will the program continue to be financed after ARPA funds run out?
  • What should representatives focus on in the next legislative session to help improve youth mental health care?
  • What gaps exist in Texas legislation when it comes to youth access to mental health services?
  • What signs should we look for in children to assess their mental health?
  • What should parents be aware of?
  • How can a parent or child in need of services find access?

AXIOS: Mental Health Spending Rises

Average annual spending on mental health services by individuals enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans covered reached $2,380 per enrollee in 2020, up 20% since 2013, according to a report from the Employer Benefit Research Institute.

Reading between the lines:

  • While spending on mental health rose on average of 3% a year, the increase wasn’t evenly distributed.
  • For example, spending on outpatient mental health services jumped by 37% in that time between 2013 and 2020 while spending on prescription drugs dropped by 15%.
  • Overall spending on mental health care services as a percentage of total spending increased from 6.8% in 2013 to 8.2% in 2020.

Simple Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Without Therapy

When therapy is out of your reach, try these helpful tips to enhance your mental well-being.

  • Use mental health apps to track daily progress
  • Implement cognitive behavioral therapy strategies on your own
  • Stay connected to others
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation

Your Mental Health May Impact Your Long COVID Risk, a New Study Suggests

Feelings of stress, depression, and even loneliness go beyond the brain.

Faced with explosive demand and few safeguards, creators of mental health content are defining their own ethics

The growing popularity of the subject means that creators of mental health content are filling a health-care gap. But social media apps are not designed to prioritize accurate, helpful information, critics say, just whatever content draws the biggest reaction. Young people could see their deepest struggles become fodder for advertisers and self-promoters. With no road map even for licensed professionals, mental health creators are defining their own ethics.

How leaders can manage the disconnect between mental health and getting work done

Cofounders of telehealth company, Options MD, detail how to close the gap between employees and managers when dealing with mental health at work.

Obsessively Checking News Linked to Anxiety, Stress, Ill Health, Study Finds

“This is not surprising given that news stories are intentionally selected and presented in a manner that highlights the presence of conflict and drama as a means to capture and hold the audience’s attention,” they write in the journal Health Communication. “Like entertainment content, the news typically uses a storytelling format that features a plot revolving around heroes, victims, and villains, which can lead individuals to become transported into these narrative worlds.”

NEISD, NISD counselors work to address youth mental health care

  • NISD Counseling Director Mary Libby said the district employs 311 counselors, who in recent years have served as many as 100,000 students. Libby said NISD counselors visit every classroom at all levels, which familiarizes students with counselors. NISD is now welcoming a new Communities In Schools program that allows a counselor to work with a parent or guardian to refer an at-risk student, if needed, Libby said.
  • NEISD Guidance Director Rose Garcia said the district employs nearly 200 counselors who serve nearly 60,000 students. Garcia said she and the district’s counselors are seeing more students wrestling with more problems than those faced by youths in previous generations.

Texas’ 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline centers experience almost 10,000 calls in the first month

The five Texas Lifeline centers answered 9,016 calls in July, which is 4,100 more calls compared to July of 2021. 988 callers may be referred to local mental health authorities for additional assistance. The Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio has received a little more than a hundred referrals since 988 was launched. “Really our mission is to make peoples’ lives better,” said Allison Greer Francis, vice president of governmental relations. The organization provides mental health and substance abuse treatment for people from all backgrounds, including programs designed for children and veterans. The Center for Health Care Services also provides a state-mandated 24/7 crisis and substance abuse phone line.

All Mental Health Roads Lead To A Common Destination: Be Your Authentic Self

Here are three signs you may need to rekindle the relationship you have with the ‘real you.’

The Hill: Half of Texas school districts don’t offer mental health services: report

Mental health services are not offered in close to half of Texas’s school districts, according to a CBS News report. The network analyzed data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and found that of the state’s 1,247 public school districts, 593 of them did not have a school psychologist on staff or provide a telehealth option.

Forbes:  This Gentle Character Strength Packs A Mental Health Punch

Here are three reasons why humility may be your most underrated superpower.

Podcast:  A Top Mental Health Expert on Where America Went Wrong (H/T BM)

There’s a paradox that sits at the center of our mental health conversation in America.  On the one hand, our treatment for mental illness have gotten better and better in recent decades.  But at the same time, mental health outcomes have moved in exactly the wrong direction.  In this conversation, we discuss why our current medical system is so inadequate at helping people with mental illnesses of all stripes, the story of how the U.S. government systematically divested from mental health care in the 1980s, and the fragmented system of care that those decisions created. 


The Storm (episode 1), the first two-hour episode of Hiding in Plain Sight, focuses on more than twenty young people who provide an intimate look at what it’s like to experience the symptoms of mental illness, from depression to addiction to suicide ideation. The film includes insights from families, providers, and advocates and explores the impact of childhood trauma, stigma, and social media.

As students return to the classroom, some may feel emotionally on edge.

Mental health expert gives some ways to stay on top of mental health.  Another important factor in having these conversations is make sure to keep your questions open ended. For example: What are some of your feelings about going back to school? Or are you feeling nervous about going back to school, if so what is making you feel that way? 

WP:  Why tween girls especially are struggling so much?

Mental health issues are on the rise, but teenage girls seem to have more problems than others.

Preparing kids’ mental health to head back to school.

Going back to school can create extra challenges for parents and students alike. In Wear The Gown, we talk to experts about limiting anxiety as families get ready to transition back to the classroom. They say talking about what kids are anxious about before that first day is so important.

Ed Dept prioritizes school mental health staff expansion in funding distribution.

The U.S. Department of Education published its priorities for grant distribution in the federal register Tuesday to increase student access to mental health services in schools. Together, the grant requirements would encourage states and districts to expand school-based mental health services by increasing, diversifying, recruiting and retaining school mental health staff.

A.      One of the two grant proposals, the School-Based Mental Health Services Grant Program, will prioritize funding for states and districts that plan to recruit and retain mental health service providers, as well as states that respecialize existing social workers, counselors, psychologists or other mental health professionals to serve in schools through training.

B.      The second proposal, the Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program, would prioritize projects that partner high-need districts with higher education institutions to train school-based mental health services professionals. It also prioritizes projects that would increase professionals from diverse backgrounds.

Forbes:  Two Signs That Your Diet May Be Mentally Unhealthy

When we talk about the overall health of our psyche, food is not the first thing that comes up in conversation. Pop culture and social media frame things like childhood trauma, toxic relationships, and problematic personalities as the face of mental illness. As such, more common reasons like consistently poor diet and lifestyle choices often go unnoticed.  Yes, you read that right. Food, hunger, and diet play a much larger role when it comes to our mental health than we might think. Here are two research-backed examples of how our food habits impact our mental health.

Can You Inherit a Mental Illness?

While there are certainly links between genetics and mental illness, there’s still a lot we don’t know. Experts today believe there likely is a genetic component to most mental illnesses, even as research continues to uncover more information. But remember that just because a mental illness runs in your family, it doesn’t mean you will inherit it.

CNBC:  3 things you can do before work to improve your mental health and increase productivity

You shouldn’t roll out of bed and immediately head to work if you can help it.  Adding self-care practices before commuting to your office, or starting work from your desk at home, can be a great way to check in with yourself, experts say.

WP: How ‘ghosting’ is linked to mental health

Ghosting happens when someone cuts off all online communication with someone else without an explanation. Instead, like a ghost, they just vanish. The phenomenon is common on social media and dating sites, but with the isolation brought on by the pandemic — forcing more people together online — it happens now more than ever.

BIPOC Mental Health Month

This July marks the 14th annual observance of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) Mental Health Month, previously known as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month.

What is the link between trauma and schizophrenia?

Trauma, particularly in childhood, may increase the risk of psychotic symptoms and the development of schizophrenia.

Groups Unite To Oppose Landmark California Mental Health Legislation

Senate Bill (SB) 1338, also known as the CARE Court Program, is attracting growing resistance as it makes its way through the legislative process. Some legal advocacy and civil rights groups say the law would negatively African Americans and other minorities.

KHN:  Gun Safety ‘Wrapped in a Mental Health Bill’:
A Look at Health Provisions in the New Law

The gun safety law forged through tense bipartisan talks in the Senate last month has been heralded as the first federal legislation in 30 years to combat rising gun violence. But what often falls below the radar is the new law’s focus on improving mental health services.

UT Regents approve mental health funding

The University of Texas System Board of Regents reaffirmed its long-standing commitment to prioritize student mental health and safety today in a special called meeting, approving the allocation of $16.5 million over the next five years to expand and enhance student mental health, student safety and alcohol education resources at all 13 UT academic and health institutions.

Lack of adequate mental health care places a heavy burden on young people

The U.S. surgeon general issued a rare public advisory in December, warning of a “devastating” mental health crisis among American teens. Symptoms of depression and anxiety for children and adolescents have doubled during the COVID pandemic. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports on why accessing mental health treatment is so difficult for so many.  

5 Signs a Child Might Be Struggling With Their Mental Health

How can you tell when a child is simply having a tough day or dealing with something more serious? Keep an eye out for these five common warning signs.

1. They are withdrawn or socially isolated.

2. You notice changes in their appearance.

3. They have lost interest in hobbies or things they previously enjoyed.

4.You notice changes in mood: elated, euphoric, impulsive or risky behavior

5. They are disorganized, forgetful and have poor concentration

Biden launches plan to protect transgender youths’ health care

An executive order will call on HHS to clarify that federally funded programs cannot offer conversion therapy.

Top Texas House Republican floats mental health-focused response to Uvalde

With a special session of the Legislature unlikely to be called soon, the Republican leader of the Texas House is proposing several school safety priorities that he believes can be achieved before classes resume in August.  House Speaker Dade Phelan’s list focused primarily on the Republican priority of addressing mental health issues — but included nothing about access to firearms — in the wake of the May 24 shooting that left 21 dead in two Uvalde fourth grade classrooms.

When to Be Concerned About Your Teen’s Mental Health

Increasing rates of psychological problems have been in the news throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and children and adolescents are becoming a greater focus for mental health professionals as the virus starts to subside.

Amid push to screen kids 8+ for anxiety, key mental health resources are stretched thin.

According to the CDC, more than 9% of American children were diagnosed with anxiety in the years leading up to the pandemic and experts believe that number has soared even higher in recent year

Where bipartisan efforts on mental health legislation stand after Texas shooting.

Two influential Senate panels set goals to introduce legislation this summer.

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