5 Mental Health Articles for Providers – May

Nature and Your Mental Health

The relationship between being outdoors and its’ impact on mood is well researched, but this study takes the literature further. Conducted at The University of Michigan, this study places parameters on the type and the amount of time we need outdoors in order to maximize its’ benefits for our mental health. Instead of just suggesting to your clients to spend more time outdoors, it provides more precise information on prescribing ‘nature pills’. Results showed that just 20-30 minutes of time in nature can decrease stress hormones, cortisol, by over 20% an hour! Pretty remarkable, the only caveat is this time outdoors must be stress free.

The Food-Mood Connection

Research shows that the food-mood connection can be quite powerful. “Most Americans are overfed in calories yet starved of the vital array of micronutrients that our brains need…” Nutritional psychiatry, a relatively new field, examines the impact food has on mental health. This article features Dr. Drew Ramsey, a nutritional psychiatrist and professor at Columbia University, that show the mental health benefits of maintaining a nutrient rich diet. More oysters please.

Mental Health & Student Retention

Without treatment 30% of students with depression will drop out of college, 6% of which can be prevented with treatment. The Healthy Minds Network at the University of Michigan and Boston University wrote this article showing the economic benefits for a university to invest in mental health programming for their students. The article includes tools for how campus leaders can advocate for more funding, case studies on three higher education institutions, and recommendations for action.

Shortage of Mental Health Providers

This article in U.S. News & World Report describes the alarming statistic of how the U.S. may fall short by 250,000 mental health care providers of the projected demand for services by 2025. This shortage of providers is in part due to lower levels of stigma and increased rates of treatment seeking. Accordingly, the author discusses the importance of increasing the number of providers who specialize in psychiatry, developing new models of care such as tele-health platforms, and increasing funding for community mental health services.

Student Athletes & Mental Health

Do you currently work with college students who are also athletes at their higher education institution? If so, you’ll want to read this piece by Daniel Autry. The article discusses how students athletes have unique challenges and often find it difficult to manage their time between athletics with school work. 98% of these students do not go on to become professional athletes, yet they have less time to devote to their studies, so they face added pressure to succeed academically. The competitive natures of these student athletes, in addition to other scheduling pressures can leave them more susceptible to mental illnesses such as eating disorders, anxiety, depression.

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