A new digital mental health intervention, Step-by-Step, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) at the Ministry of Public Health Lebanon and other partners, was effective in reducing depression among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine. [Read more…] about Digital mental health intervention by the World Health Organization (WHO) found to lower anxiety and depression, with improvements maintained at 3‑month follow-up
Living through the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on people’s mental health and well-being. Restricted movement, loss, and isolation have led to increases in depression, anxiety disorders, stress, sleep disorders, and more. The effects have been even harsher for teens.
How can we help protect our well-being during this particularly difficult time? Though a public health response is definitely called for, one way we might try to help ourselves this year is spending more time immersed in nature. In the last decade or so, research on the health benefits of nature experiences has exploded, confirming what many people know intuitively—that green spaces are good for mental well-being, whether you’re walking outdoors, looking at beautiful views, or even just seeing videos of nature. [Read more…] about From forest bathing to urban parks: How nature helps protect our well-being during a pandemic
Welcome to a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, sharing important brain/ mental health news plus a few fun optical illusions to tease and appreciate our unique human minds.
“We are a pharmacist and physician team who investigate the benefits and harms associated with substances of abuse like bath salts, phenibut, cannabis and synthetic marijuana. Through this work we have become intrigued about the therapeutic potential for some psychedelic drugs in the treatment of myriad psychiatric disorders, from PTSD to major depression … It is important to state that using ecstasy or molly products from the street would not help PTSD symptoms because the MDMA needs be used along with carefully crafted psychotherapy in a safe, controlled environment. Ecstasy or molly products purchased illicitly never specify the exact amount of MDMA they contain, so it is impossible to dose it properly for PTSD. Taking too much MDMA or exercising while taking MDMA can cause heart attacks, strokes, seizures and arrhythmias and can damage muscles and kidneys.”
“Your well-being can change: One common notion within psychology before the positive psychology movement was that individuals had a set happiness point, and that this point did not change drastically. So why bother trying to improve it, right? Diener helped to change that narrative by finding that certain significant events did in fact change well-being permanently. This suggests that interventions can have a lasting impact, and has paved the way for positive psychologists to focus on applying their research to improve the human condition.”
“ … differences in cognitive decline have been often observed in association with education or other related to quality of life. From our analysis it emerges that the type of work activity also contributes to the differences in normal and pathological cognitive aging”
“Understanding the mechanisms behind brain folding and connectivity will provide researchers with the knowledge foundation to uncover their role in developmental brain disorders. In the long term, clarifying the connection between brain structure and function may lead to early diagnostic tools for brain diseases … researchers like us have our work cut out for us as we continue trying to decipher the mystery of the most complex known structure in the universe.”
The Times They Are a‑Changin’ …
“eMindful and Ginger join Solera’s curated Mental and Behavioral Health Network, which already included leading meditation, mindfulness, and mental training app, Headspace. Solera continues to expand its suite of whole-person health solutions to support health journeys across acuity levels and clinical personas.”
And here are two older posts which have remained among our Most Read in 2021:
“Despite television, cell phones, and Twitter, traditional reading is still an important skill. Whether it is school textbooks, magazines, or regular books, people still read, though not as much as they used to. One reason that many people don’t read much is that they don’t read well. For them, it is slow, hard work and they don’t remember as much as they should … I summarize below what I think it takes to read with good speed and comprehension.”
One way to learn more about our visual system is to look at how we can trick it … give these ten illusions a try!
Wishing you and yours a Healthy & Prosperous 2022,
The SharpBrains Team
Many of us suffered terrible losses in 2021. In the field of positive psychology, we lost two of our most influential scholars: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Ed Diener. In their honor, I’d like to remember and appreciate the contributions they made to the understanding of human flourishing. [Read more…] about Ten insights on human well-being and potential from two giants we sadly lost in 2021: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Ed Diener
Like most people, I’ve been doing a lot of texting with friends and family lately. COVID-19 (and the physical separation it necessitates) has made socializing in person very limited, which means I’ve had to work harder than ever to keep my relationships strong and healthy.
But a new study suggests that if that’s my aim, texting may not be enough. [Read more…] about To call, or to text, that is the (mental well-being) question
Students and educators have started a new school year in the midst of a pandemic, an economic crisis, a reckoning with racial injustice, and a divisive political climate. Everyone’s mental health is at risk, and schools are searching for ways to support young people’s well-being in addition to their academic learning. [Read more…] about Study: A combined teaching + app gratitude program helps adolescents address anxiety and improve mental health