- By Katherine Catalano, Elizabeth Haase, M.D.
For most Americans, the face of climate change is extreme weather and natural disasters. More than 40% of Americans live in a county impacted by a major natural disaster in the last year. In the last seven years, natural disasters cost the United States more than a trillion dollars in damage and more than 5,000 lives were lost.
Social media has tremendous reach and influence. When people post on social media about suicide, that influence can be helpful or hurtful. Conversations about suicide on social media can promote misperceptions and stigma and potentially influence others to attempt suicide
In March, The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is focusing on promoting celebrating the mental health impact of our cats, dogs and other furry (and not furry) friends with #Paws4MentalHealth. During the month we are encouraging everyone to take a break, get up, stretch, and share a pic of their pet and how they positively impact their mental health
Loneliness is a significant and growing problem with substantial physical health and mental health impacts. Research has found that loneliness and social isolation may be as bad for your health as obesity or smoking 15 cigarettes a day and significantly impacts mental health. (1) The restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic increased the problem and increased public awareness of the issue.
Social wellness, a measure of connectedness with family, friends and community, is key in influencing happiness and positive mental health.(1,2) Research has shown social connection to be a protective factor against a host of mental health disorders, from depression to anxiety.(2) The quality and quantity of our social relationships can also impact our physical health.(3)