World Mental Health Day: Lack of paid sick leave can exacerbate workers’ mental health problem, finds study

Millions of people working in private sector in the United States do not enjoy any paid sick leave. It is evident from the fact that only seven American states have paid sick-leave norms, while 15 others have passed laws forestalling any attempt of localities to allow provision of sick leave. The situation paints a grim picture and according to experts this trend can affect the mental health of an employee. To add to this, a recent study examined the association between mental distress and paid sick leave among American workers aged 18-64 years. Read more

National Depression Screening Day: UCLA organizes mental health screening for its freshmen

Getting through college entrance tests or facing university exams may be arduous, and in some cases, provoke anxiousness. While anxiety symptoms are common as a result of continuing stress levels, care must be taken that the affected do not slip into unwarranted depression. Parents of Emily Thornton (name changed) barely recognized her after she returned home post her sophomore year at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Emily’s obsession with study and challenging university life took a heavy toll on her mental as well as physical health. Read more

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Young adults and the mentally ill prone to committing suicide, finds study

The “National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month” is being observed across the country. A study published online in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in September 2017, stresses on the imminent need to ramp up efforts in alleviating suicidal tendencies in vulnerable communities. In the study titled “National Trends in Suicide Attempts Among Adults in the United States,” researchers have suggested the need to observe the prevailing suicide trends among young adults. Read more

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Family members’ support can help ward off suicide risk

The United States has been witnessing a significant increase in suicide rates in recent years. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), more than 44,000 people die by suicide every year, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the country. It may not be possible to enlist all the factors that increase vulnerability in some people to suicidal ideation, but experts maintain family can play an important role in preventing people from taking such an extreme step.
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World Heart Day: Taking mental health matters in stride ensures a healthy beating heart

Heart diseases are common. More prevalent is the myth that the root of all heart problems is physiological. The truth is that habits such as drinking, smoking, eating fatty foods as well as lack of adequate exercise raises the risk of elevated blood pressure and consequently heart attacks. However, experts now stress that psychological problems like depression can also increase the risk of heart attacks.
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National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month: Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern in US

Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 12.4 million children and teenagers aged 2 to 19 years suffer from obesity during any given year. The CDC data reports that during 2011-14 the prevalence of obesity among children aged 12-19 years was at nearly 20.5 percent, while 17.5 percent kids in the age group 6-11 years are obese. Read more

Bake Off star Nadiya Hussain reveals her struggle with panic disorder

Past research has still not been able to clearly identify a concrete reason for panic attacks. Experts say that frequent episodes of panic attacks can result in the development of a panic disorder, if left untreated. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), panic disorder affects roughly 2.7 percent of the American population. The ADAA also reports that women are two times more likely to be affected by a panic disorder than men. Read more

Expressive writing can prepare anxious people for next stressful task, finds study

“Put one word after another. Find the right word; put it down.” The famous quote by English author Neil Gaiman puts forth succinctly the way writers work. People pick up the pen for various reasons, ranging from wanting to share great stories to writing novels based on own or others’ experiences. It takes a lot to express oneself creatively including perseverance. Now, a study titled “The effect of expressive writing on the error-related negativity among individuals with chronic worry,” suggests that simply expressing one’s feelings by writing them down can help reduce the level of stress associated with an upcoming task. Read more