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Start Taking Care Of You

It can be tough to do everyday things when dealing with mental health. Just getting out of bed can be a struggle. It is essential to set a schedule for your day. Start getting up every day at the same time. Make your bed before doing anything. Making your bed will give you a…

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Perceived threat, PTSD and the vagus nerve

The new study, published by researchers at UC San Diego in the journal, Brain Stimulation, has investigated the effect that the nervous system might have on mechanisms of PTSD and trauma in the brain by practicing ‘non-invasive stimulation’ of the vagus nerve in participants who then had a series of brain scans via fMRI.…

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MENTAL WELLNESS

What Is Mental Wellness?

Five Key Things to Know About Mental Wellness

1. Mental wellness is more than just the absence of mental illness.

The complex relationship between mental illness and mental wellness is best understood by envisioning them sitting on two separate continuums (see figure below). The horizontal axis measures mental illness from high to low, while the vertical axis measures mental wellness from languishing to flourishing. About 85% of the world’s population does not have a diagnosed mental illness, but these people are not all “mentally well” or thriving because of pervasive stress, worry, loneliness and other challenges. On the other hand, those who have a diagnosed mental disorder can still have moderate or positive mental wellness (e.g., having good relationships, feeling happy, or functioning well at a job). Practices that increase our mental wellness are increasingly recognized as protective factors for our mental health, as well as helping reduce the severity and symptoms of mental illness (alongside conventional treatment regimens).

2. Mental wellness is an active process of moving from languishing to resilience to flourishing.

On one level, mental wellness is about prevention; coping with life’s adversity; and being resilient when we face stress, worry, loneliness, anger and sadness. On another level, mental wellness moves us toward a deeper, richer and more meaningful human experience, which is often described as flourishing. What it means to flourish is subjective and personal, and it is shaped by individual values, culture, religion and beliefs. For one person, it can mean functioning at the top of their game and achieving their life goals, while for another, it might mean self-transcendence.

3. Mental wellness helps to shift the perspective away from stigma to shared humanity.

Even though the mental health field has done a lot of work to mitigate the stigma surrounding mental illness, a sense of shame, denial and secrecy continues to afflict people in communities and cultures around the world. Mental wellness can help shift our focus toward a more positive and empowering approach (how we can feel, think, connect and function better), rather than just avoiding or coping with illness. It emphasizes our capacity to build resilience; to reduce suffering; to find inner peace and joy; and to seek meaning, purpose and connection—a universal longing shared by all people.

4. Mental wellness grows out of a grassroots, consumer-driven movement.

People desperately need non-clinical, non-pathologizing strategies to cope with everyday mental and emotional challenges like stress, burnout, loneliness and sadness. Evidence shows that improving our mental wellness can even reduce our risk of developing mental illness, but not enough attention is paid globally to mental illness prevention and mental wellness promotion. Consumers, practitioners and businesses have led the charge in seeking self-directed, alternative solutions outside of the established fields of medicine, psychiatry and psychology. They are bringing centuries-old natural and holistic mental wellness modalities into the mainstream, pushing science into areas where it has not gone before to consider the efficacy of ancient practices and emerging solutions.

5. Mental wellness is multi-dimensional, holistic and personal.

Mental wellness recognizes the integrated and holistic nature of our health and wellbeing. The state of our mind affects our body and vice versa. Sometimes, when our circumstances change, we need to adopt new practices or strategies to handle stress, improve resilience, and deal with adversity. In this study, we segment the key strategies for mental wellness into four main pathways: activity and creativity, growth and nourishment, rest and rejuvenation, and connection and meaning. Each of these has mind-body and internal-external dimensions (see figure below). Together, they represent a menu of options for pursuing mental wellness; there is no set path, and people can choose the strategies and activities that are the most important or effective for them.

The Mental Wellness Economy

GWI defines the mental wellness economy as consumer spending on activities, products and services whose primary aim is to help us along the mental wellness pathways of growth and nourishment and rest and rejuvenation. It encompasses four subsectors:

  • Self-improvement
  • Brain-boosting nutraceutical and botanicals
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Senses, spaces and sleep

GWI estimates that the global mental wellness industry was worth $120.8 billion in 2019 (see figure below). This estimate represents consumer expenditures on the four subsectors that we have defined as part of the mental wellness industry; it focuses on proactive, wellness-focused, consumer- and private sector-driven activities (that is, things outside of the psychiatry, psychology and clinical/medical spheres). These figures are broad, global estimates that we aggregated based on a wide range of secondary data sources.

For more information:

  • GWI’s 2020 report Defining the Mental Wellness Economyis the first comprehensive study of mental wellness as an emerging global industry. The report offers a definition of mental wellness, clarifies concepts and outlines pathways, defines mental wellness as an industry for the first time and delineates its segments, estimates the size of the global wellness economy, and examines subsector trends and developments.
  • GWI’s 2020 white paper Resetting the World With Wellness: Mental Resilience in a Time a Stress and Trauma looks at how the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the world’s mental wellbeing and how this acute stress could have a lifelong impact.
Global Wellness Institute

11 Tips for Mental Health & Well-being

Young adult running outside

Sue Rosenthal

The 11 tips below are general suggestions for wellness. If you need more help, reach out. It is a normal and courageous thing to do.

  1. Be Nice to Yourself: When you are feeling down, it is easy to be hard on yourself. While you might not be of the mind to congratulate or compliment yourself, try being compassionate. And here is a little bonus hint: If you really are struggling to be nice to yourself, do something nice for someone else. Then, compliment yourself on doing it! 
  2. Exercise: Even taking a short walk or climbing a flight of stairs can reduce stress and increase alertness. A regular exercise routine can boost one’s mood, increase concentration, and even help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.  
  3. Eat Healthy:  Vegetables and fruits? Absolutely! Nutritious foods. Sure. Don’t drink 10 cups of anything in a day, unless it’s water. But healthy eating also means having a healthy attitude toward food. Enjoy meals with friends, try new foods and try not to obsess over food. If you do find that your relationship to food is affecting your mental or physical health, get the facts on eating disorders and take the important step of finding help
  4. Sleep Well:  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends between 8–10 hours of sleep per night for teenagers and over 7 hours for those ages 20 and up. But sleeping well also refers to when you sleep and the quality of that sleep. Sleep health expert, Dr. Eleanor McGlinchey recommends that you wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends and holidays. This simple trick will help you fight that feeling of jet lag on Monday morning (also known as “social jet lag”) and ensure that you are functioning and feeling your best. 
  5. Put the Screens to Sleep Before You Go to Bed:  Studies have shown that looking at screens before bedtime can affect how quickly you fall asleep and the quality of that sleep. Blue light from your smartphone affects the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. Reading, texting, posting, etc. keep your mind active when it should be winding down instead. Oh, and then there are those texts in the middle of the night….
  6. Breathe Deep: Just try it. Take in a nice slow breath. Start from your belly; expand through your ribs, chest, and lungs. Breathe out just as slowly. Counting can help (“1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …”) Repeat.  
  7. Connect With Others:  Friends, family, pets…even a casual friendly hello to a stranger can boost positive feelings, help ward off depression and anxiety, and make you feel that you are connected to others. Focus on the quality of your friendships and relationships, not the quantity. If someone helps you feel supported, happy, useful, liked or loved, or any other positive feelings, keep the connection going.    
  8. Write Down Ways to Relax:  Relaxing is one of those things that’s easy to say and harder to do. Unwinding and staying calm can take practice. Write down a list of ideas for positive ways that you can de-stress. Try them out, one step at a time. When something works, try it again. Just remember that you’re going for wellness. Those short-term fixes (we’re talking pills, alcohol, and other forms of substance abuse) aren’t going to help in the long-run. So cross them off the list. Add a mental image or a photo of a beautiful place that you’ll visit someday.  
  9. Find Support (and Be Supportive): If you or someone you know is struggling, find support. This might be a friend or a family member. Or it could be reaching out to a counselor, a primary care doctor, or a mental health professional. If the person you find isn’t giving you the kind of support you need, look for another support option that is better for you and your needs. Likewise, if a friend, family member, or someone you know is feeling down, ask yourself if there is something you can do to be nice or supportive. 
  10. Take Small Steps: If you try to do everything at once, you will probably get nowhere. Set goals, and then draw that dotted line from point A to B to C. Stop and rest along the way. You will thank yourself for it. 
  11. Be Nice to Yourself: Yes, we already said that. But it is worth repeating. 

https://childadolescentpsych.cumc.columbia.edu/articles/11-tips-mental-health-well-being

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IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS STRUGGLING WITH DEPRESSION, SUICIDE, ADDICTION, OR OTHER MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. PLEASE REACH OUT. ASK FOR HELP. CALL A HELPLINE. ATTEND A SUPPORT GROUP. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR, THERAPIST, COUNSELOR, FRIEND, OR FAMILY MEMBER. NATIONAL HOPELINE NETWORK, SUICIDE & CRISIS HelpLINE  1-800-442-HOPE(4673)

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Daily Reflections

GRATEFUL FOR WHAT I HAVE

During this process of learning more about humility, the most profound result of all was the change in our attitude toward God.

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 75

Today my prayers consist mostly of saying thank you to my Higher Power for my sobriety and for the wonder of God’s abundance, but I need to ask also for help and the power to carry out His will for me. I no longer need God each minute to rescue me from the situations I get myself into by not doing His will. Now my gratitude seems to be directly linked to humility. As long as I have the humility to be grateful for what I have, God continues to provide for me.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright law © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.


Just for Today

The gift of desperation

“Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until, in desperation, we
sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.”
Basic Text, p.13


When we think of being desperate, we envision an undesirable state: a poor,
bedraggled soul frantically clawing at something sorely needed, a desperate look in
the eyes. We think of hunted animals, hungry children, and of ourselves before we
found NA.

Yet it was the desperation we felt before coming to NA that compelled us to accept
the First Step. We were fresh out of ideas, and so became open to new ones. Our
insanity had finally risen higher than our wall of denial, forcing us to get honest
about our disease. Our best efforts at control had only worn us out; hence, we
became willing to surrender. We had received the gift of desperation and, as a result,
were able to accept the spiritual principles that make it possible for us to recover.

Desperation is what finally drives many of us to ask for help. Once we’ve reached
this state, we can turn around and start anew. Just as the desperate, hunted animal
seeks a safe haven, so do we: in Narcotics Anonymous.

Just for today: The gift of desperation has helped me become honest, open-minded,
and willing. I am grateful for this gift because it has made my recovery possible.

Copyright (c) 2007-2021, NA World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Stop the Stigma: Why it’s important to talk about Mental Health | Heather Sarkis | TEDxGainesville
Dissociation: why it happens and what we can do about it

What is Your Therapist Really Thinking?
Narcissist, Psychopath, or Sociopath: How to Spot the Differences | Dr Ramani x MedCircle
Better Help Online Counselling
Making professional counseling accessible, affordable, convenient – so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere. Counseling is available for individuals, couples and teens.
11 of Us
This Edmonton based website walks you through the common signs that someone might be contemplating suicide and gives practical guidance and specific verbiage to have the important conversation with someone you suspect may be considering ending their life.

How to Support Someone
Who is Struggling
BeThere.org teaches people how to recognize when someone might be struggling with their mental health and gives practical steps to help support them.
We will work with you to create a customized treatment plan, including tools and behavioral change modifications to help you cope with and overcome your mood disorder. Our team is dedicated to helping patients learn to manage their illness so they can go on to live full, rewarding lives.
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professional

When taken with an antidepressant,* REXULTI was proven to reduce depression symptoms an extra 62% compared to the antidepressant alone—which may help you feel better without feeling like you have to start over.
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Praesum Healthcare is a management services organization (MSO), created to provide management and administrative services to medical organizations in the drug and alcohol addiction and recovery field. Founded in 2003, Praesum Healthcare is a management services organization (MSO), created to provide management and administrative services to medical organizations in the drug and alcohol addiction and recovery field. Praesum Healthcare provides administrative services for healthcare providers spanning key geographical locations throughout the country. Praesum has serviced over 49,000 patients in various stages of health care services.
https://www.emeraldjennyfoundation.org/For assistance finding what you need, call Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration at
1-800-662-HELP.
Family Resource Center
Our locations are currently serving clients both in-person and virtually. If you are attending an appointment, please review our safety guidelines before your visit our offices. Thank you for following our safety guidelines to help keep our community safe and healthy.

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