APA Blog

Category : Patients and Families

Mental Health Education for Youth:  Focus on Mental Wellness

Despite frequent media coverage, public understanding of health and mental health issues is still lacking, according to recent study in the Journal of Mental Health. Overall, they concluded that people are “equally and relatively poorly informed” about relatively common mental and physical health conditions. A new study finds that education efforts for teens that specifically focus on mental health and well-being, rather than mental illness, can help.

Sense of Smell, Memories and Emotions

Many people have had the experience of a familiar smell bringing up a memory or a feeling. That is just one of several ways our sense of smell is associated with mental health and emotions. Memories associated with a specific odor may be particularly strong. In writing about the relation of these odor-evoked memories to our mental health, psychologist Rachel Herz, Ph.D., concludes that “from numerous perspectives it is evident that the autobiographical memories and emotional associations that are triggered by odors are essential to our psychological and physiological health.”

Is Internet Use Changing Our Brains?

It’s easy to see how much the internet has changed our lives. Most adults go online daily and more than one in four are online “almost constantly,” according to a recent Pew Research Center report. But is our extensive online activity affecting our brains? That is the question looked at in a recent study published in World Psychiatry. 

Researchers Explore New Technologies to Help People with Autism

 Researchers are exploring new ways to use technology to help children and adults with autism. For example, the University of California’s MIND Institute has a targeted program, Autism, Community and Technology, that is working to help make autism services and treatments more accessible and affordable for families in need through technology.

Lifestyle Psychiatry

We are often reminded that exercise, good nutrition and enough sleep are good for your physical and mental health.  Those are among the lifestyle aspects that are part of an approach to psychiatry called lifestyle psychiatry. Lifestyle psychiatry focuses on addressing psychiatric disorders through an integrated, holistic approach to health, which  includes recommendations for exercise, diet, sleep and mindfulness practice for helping people manage their psychiatric disorders.