Helping Children Through Play
Play is natural and fun for children and an important part of learning and development. Play therapy is a therapy used by licensed mental health professionals to help children to better express their thoughts and emotions and to address a variety of problems. When children are unable to put into words their feelings or concerns, play can help them express themselves and learn ways to cope.
School-Based Program Brings Mental Health Services to Children in Rural Areas
A program in West Virginia is using an innovative approach to bring much needed mental health services to children in rural communities. In 2016, the West Virginia Children’s Access Network began providing mental health services in rural schools via telepsychiatry.
Air Pollution and Mental Health
Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health: the link between air pollution and health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are well established. Outdoor air pollution in cities and rural areas is estimated to cause more than 4 million premature deaths a year worldwide, primarily due to heart disease, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute lower respiratory infections. Recent research is also making a connection between air pollution and mental health conditions. A 2017 study from researchers at the University of Washington, for example, found that people who live in areas with high levels of air pollution report higher levels of psychological distress.
Raising Awareness about Music and Wellness Connections
Music is often associated with mood—making us feel sad, lifting our mood, boosting our energy, or helping us relax. Music can also be therapeutic. It can help ease chronic pain, reduce anxiety and stress, help people with autism or help calm the agitation in people with Alzheimer’s.The Sound Health program is working to explore and better understand the music and wellness connection and to bring that understanding to the public. Sound Health is a partnership launched in 2016 between the Kennedy Center and National Institutes of Health.
What Happens When You Quit, or at Least Really Cut Back, Your Social Media Use?
For many people, checking social media regularly and spending a lot of time on it is a part of everyday life. But what is the impact on your well-being if you just quit for a while, or at least significantly cut back? You’ll probably be at least a little bit better off, according to a couple of recent studies. Substantial research over the past few years has linked social media use with reduced well-being, sleep problems and increased loneliness, depression and mental distress.