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BioBlog: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

By Katie Mannix,
BioMed Program Manager

A December 2021 Healthy Minds Poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association suggests many Americans today are prioritizing their mental health and recognizing the intrinsic connection between physical and mental health. While this and other findings from the poll are grounds for optimism, the results also suggest that certain segments of the population – namely adults who identify ethnically as Black or Other (not White or Hispanic), mothers, the unemployed, and young adults (ages 18-34) – are among those disproportionately reporting “fair” or “poor” mental health.

Similarly, a recent study undertaken by McKinsey & Company reveals that society’s young people are reporting higher-than-ever levels of anxiety, depression, and distress – a trend exacerbated by stigma, unmet social needs, and disengagement from seeking health care.

Biological Medicine adds depth to the conversation of mental health by removing this aspect of wellness from its silo and placing it in concert with all other aspects of our health and well-being. Recent BioBites have explored, for instance, the mind-body connection and its correlation with stress and anxiety as well as the importance of mental wellness to health and healing. And on July 5 at 12pm ET, we will take a look at the critical role hormones play with respect to mental health with Dr. Jeoff Drobot of the American Center of Biological Medicine and Lauren Slater, APRN of the BioMed Center New England. BioMed reminds us that mental health is shaped by the full range of our lived experiences and biological functions.

To learn more about how you can cultivate improved mental health for yourself or through your relationships with others, explore the resources and ideas below:

  • Develop your mindfulness & meditation muscles. Learning to be mindful of ourselves and others is an important aspect of mental health. Check out this BioBlog article to learn basic steps for developing mindfulness in practice and supporting mindfulness in teens, specifically. To explore the significant relationship between meditation and overall health, read this article by renowned educator and author Susan Piver.
  • Help the young people in your life develop tools to cope with stress & anxiety. Lisa Damour, PhD, specializes on the subject of mental health in young people. Visit her site for an abundance of resources or consider one of her book recommendations to learn more.
  • Get back to basics. Biological Medicine emphasizes the basics – sunshine, having healthy fun, getting adequate rest, hydrating, and eating wholesome foods – as foundational to the experience of good health. What is one thing you can prioritize right now to help you feel better in your skin?
  • Become an advocate. Share this information and help others find the tools and resources they need.

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