Monday, May 07, 2018

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month, which began in May1949, is highlighting the connection between mental and physical health as this year's theme. 

When we consider well-being, we must look at not just physical health, but emotional health as well. Research shows how a healthy lifestyle may help prevent onset of or worsening of mental health conditions, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic problems. It can also help people recover from many mental illness disorders. Eating healthy foods, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in making you both physically and mentally well.

Last year, Mental Health Month materials were seen and used by more than 230 million people, with more than 10,000 entities downloading Mental Health America’s Mental Health Month toolkit

To join the conversation on social media, use the hashtags #4Mind4Body and #MHAM2018 

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

May is Maternal Mental Health Month

The first World Maternal Health Day was launched in 2016, and is commemorated on the first Wednesday of May every year.

This year's theme on May 2nd is “Listen to Mothers.”

Together with organizations from around the world  including Australia, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UK, and the US – Maternal Mental Health will be given a worldwide stage to raise awareness about the mental well being of mothers. 

You can learn more about the your local, in-country events, global initiatives and social media drives by checking out the World Maternal Mental Health Day website, the WMMHD Facebook page, and connecting on social media with hashtags: #maternalMHmatters #Listen2Mothers.

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Best Depression Blogs 2018

Healthline has scoured the blogosphere for the best blogs that address issues regarding depression.

They have carefully selected blogs that actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information. 

Remember, depression is a serious, but treatable disorder. There is hope. And there is healing.

Thank you, Healthline, for including me in the list of the Best Depression Blogs for 2018.

Monday, April 02, 2018

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, with the goal of bringing the world’s attention to autism. 

World Autism Awareness Day helps celebrate the unique talents of children and adults with autism, and helps bring light to relevant issues children and adults with autism experience. 

This year's theme is about empowering women and girls with autismIn a world where gender imbalances are pervasive, women and girls with disabilities experience gender-base violence, abuse and socio-economic marginalization at disproportionately higher rates. World Autism Awareness Day is our opportunity to enable them with a humanity that is often lost in today’s modern world.

Link here to find autism resources where you live. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. 

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. Essentially, this type of brain injury is one that has occurred after birth. The injury results in a change to the brain's neuronal activity, which affects the physical integrity, metabolic activity, or functional ability of nerve cells in the brain. 
There are two types of acquired brain injury: traumatic and non-traumatic.
1) A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force. 
2) A non-traumatic brain injury (NTBI) is an alteration in brain function or pathology caused by an internal force.
The #ChangeYourMind public awareness campaign provides a platform for educating the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families. Individuals who join us to help raise awareness with the #ChangeYourMind campaign are essential to:
  • De-stigmatizing brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community
  • Empowering those who have survived brain injury and their caregivers
  • Promoting the many types of support that are available to people living with brain injury

Link here to find a BIA in your state for further resources.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

13 Films that Accurately Portray Mental Illness

In honor of the 2018 Oscars, here a list of movies that feature mental illness - and really get the illness, stigma and experience spot-on.  Many of these movies have won Oscars, while others should have, but didn't. 

As we roll out the red carpet and honor this year's best films, keep in mind that there's no shame in having a mental illness.
1. Ordinary People (Depression, PTSD, Suicide)
This is my absolute favorite movie of all time because it portrays the human experience of loss so well and it also features psychotherapy in a realistic way.  This was Robert Redford's directorial debut, which also starred. Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton, who wow in their performances.

2. A Beautiful Mind (Schizophrenia)
The true story of Nobel Prize Winner John Nash is told in this award winning film. Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly star. Directed by Ron Howard.

3. The Soloist (Schizophrenia)
This is the true story of Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a former Julliard Student, who falls into the depths of schizophrenia. When reporter, Steve Lopez, befriends him, both of their worlds change. The ethical issues of treatment of mental illness are realistically portrayed. Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx offer great performances.

4. Canvas (Schizophrenia)
A young boy moves through the his mother's psychotic episode with the help of his father and friends. Joe Pantoliano, Marcia Gay Harden and Devon Gearhart are inspiring to watch.

5. Bird (Substance Abuse/Eating Disorder)
The true story of Charlie "Bird" Parker, Jazz legend, and his struggles with mental illness. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Forest Whitaker. Fantastic soundtrack.

6. Rain Man (Autism)
Dustin Hoffman delivers an award winning performance as a man with Autism and Tom Cruise as the brother who doesn't understand him.

7. Fearless (PTSD)
Jeff Bridges is unforgettable in his performance as a survivor of a plane crash as is Rosie Perez in this emotional tale of trauma, loss and recovery.

8. Lars And The Real Girl (Social Anxiety Disorder)
This film knocked me out with its poignant storytelling of a young man living in a rural Minnesota community. Ryan Gosling and Emily Mortimer star.

9. A Lion In Winter (Personality Disorders)
Various personality disorders as well as maladaptive defense mechanisms often seen in family dysfunction are presented in vivid language and breathtaking performances. Peter O'Toole, Katherine Hepburn and a young Anthony Hopkins dazzle in this award winning film. It's an oldie, but a goodie - and based on the life of King Henry II.

10. The Night Listener (Factitious Disorder)
Robin Williams and Toni Collette tell this true-based story from the experiences of author Armistead Maupin, and his connection to a mysterious young boy.

11. Bug (Shared Psychosis)
Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon meet and discover a shared experience. This film begins slowly and soon reveals itself - and as the horror unfolds, it infects you as a viewer as well.

12. Clean, Shaven (Schizophrenia)
I don't think I have ever experienced a film that so vividly takes you into the the life, mind and world of a person who lives with Schizophrenia. Actor, Peter Greene, and writer/director Lodge Kerrigan, create a film that is both meaningful and moving to watch.

13. Silver Linings Playbook (Bipolar Disorder)
Bradley Cooper brings a soulful and tormented performance about a man who has to come to terms with his Bipolar Disorder and the effect it has on his friends and family. There are laughs and tears, and real-life moments about how mental illness touches everyone.