I’m a psychiatrist and this is my mental health toolkit for myself
More people are seeking mental health treatment than ever before. The CDC reports more than 21 percent of people are seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker. But what keeps our mental health professionals sane? And what can we learn from them?
Suicide rates reach record high; one local woman is trying to help with murals across Jacksonville
Suicide deaths reached a record high in the U.S. last year. Data from the CDC shows at least 49,449 lives were lost due to intentional self-harm in 2022.One local woman is working to raise awareness for mental health with murals all across Jacksonville that direct people to get help. The latest mural is in San Marco Square and is one of eleven in the city.
How a Jacksonville mental health program is keeping people arrested dozens of times out of jail & hospitals
It’s all about breaking the cycle and keeping people out of jail and cutting down on homelessness in Jacksonville — and saving taxpayers money at the same time. And a team of mental health and legal professionals believe they’re on the right track with a program that identifies and treats repeat offenders with severe mental illness and substance abuse problems.
Psychologist recommends parents address their feelings after latest deadly school shooting
The fear of gun violence in schools can leave students and parents with crippling anxiety. Three victims of Monday’s mass shooting at Michigan State University were laid to rest Saturday, leaving the school with a haunting fear moving forward, especially since it was the school’s first shooting.
Local acupuncturist shares nontraditional approach to healing, wellness
Some health professionals believe it takes more than just a family doctor to live abundantly. Chinese medicine practitioners believe there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the body connected by pathways or meridians and that disruption of the energy flow can cause disease.
CDC survey on youth mental health should be a wake-up call to parents, school administrators, expert says
Almost 60% of U.S. high school girls reported feelings of persistent sadness or hopelessness in 2021, representing a 60% increase in these emotions among girls over the past 10 years, according to a newly-released survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Increase in children going to emergency rooms with need for mental health services
There has been a steady increase in the number of children who are seen in emergency rooms for behavior health services, according to a study from the journal Pediatrics, and the increase started even before the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought record high demand for psychological services for children.
In wake of mass shootings, psychologist breaks down how social media fosters aggression
We know the gunman who murdered 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school made chilling posts on social media. There are a lot of people blasting social media for glorifying violence and adding to the threat our children face.
Teen Suicide: Melanie Lawson shares a personal story because we need to start talking
We are in the middle of a mental health crisis. News4JAX is devoting this space to take a deeper look at the stigma that still exists around suicide, ways to talk with your kids about it, and resources all families can tap into if they need help.
Normalizing mental health: ‘I know there’s this whole, ‘Well, pick yourself up by your bootstraps’ mentality, but it’s very old school’
The smile on full display from Simone Biles said it all: The U.S. superstar stuck the landing on her balance beam routine, her face lit up, and all at once, she embodied pure joy, a seventh Olympic medal, and likely some relief, having the weight of the world off her back, at least for a few minutes.
Normalizing mental health: ‘If Simone Biles got coronavirus, this would be a completely different talk’
Therapy gave Danielle Gomez the tools she needed to navigate a particularly hard chapter in her life, after both of her parents were diagnosed with cancer within six months of one another; she suffered a miscarriage; and then got pregnant again.
Strug pushed through, Simone stood firm -- why is there any debate as to which is more heroic?
Even if you haven’t been watching the Olympic Games like a hawk, you’ve likely heard the biggest news of the week: Gymnast Simone Biles, who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time, withdrew from the women’s team contest after her first rotation on the vault Tuesday, and then pulled out from the individual all-around competition the following day.
‘I was in such good health.’ From the top of her game to a paralyzing stroke -- how this journalist made the comeback of a lifetime.
Kristen Aguirre, by all accounts, did everything right: She wanted to deliver the news, and work as a storyteller, especially for underserved communities -- and after college, she landed TV jobs in Quincy, Illinois; Flint, Michigan; and then Denver, working as a reporter and anchor. It seemed like nothing could stop her. Until she was blindsided by a ischemic stroke that hit the motor strip of her brain.
Why opening day may boost your mood
Despite the pandemic, baseball fans across the country are gearing up for opening day. According to Scott Bea, a psychologist with Cleveland Clinic, the first crack of the bat, along with the start of spring, can really lift our moods. That the weather’s going to get better and maybe my team will make it to the World Series,” Dr. Bea said. He added, people who struggle with seasonal depression typically don’t start to feel better until the weather actually gets warmer and the sun is out longer. But for those of us who may just have the winter ‘blahs’ – the first signs of spring can provide a boost.
Mental health on the COVID frontlines: Our next crisis?
The following article touches on mental health as it pertains to those who have worked on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the real emotional stories we cover play out in the documentary above. Health care turned upside-downIn March 2020, the world was flipped upside-down, and because of that, there have been and continue to be many who have experienced difficult moments, some of which have led to real mental health crises. As a society, we’re constantly putting an emphasis on physical health, which is important, but somewhere along the way, it seems as though mental health was forgotten. This certainly wasn’t someone who suffered from mental health conditions or depression for years. Watch our entire special, What Lies Beneath: Managing Mental Health, above.
Demi Lovato’s shocking new docuseries sheds light on mental health struggles
In 2018, singer Demi Lovato almost lost her life to a drug overdose, and now, she’s stepped forward to tell the world her story. Lovato’s new docuseries “Dancing With the Devil,” which you can watch on YouTube, explores the events that led up to her near fatal overdose. The docuseries not only covers Lovato’s prior mental health issues, but how she now processes her daily struggles. AdMany of us have known someone who has had difficulty with mental health, or perhaps someone who struggles with addiction. The first two episodes of “Dancing with the Devil” are available to watch on YouTube, and you can expect to see two more episodes coming out.
Symptoms of mental distress parents should watch for
At Wolfson Children’s Hospital, there has been a 300% increase in behavioral health admissions since the pandemic began in early 2020. These measures can also make it harder for kids already dealing with mental health hurdles to stay on track. All calls are answered by trained mental health experts, and conversations are free and confidential. (If the situation is life-threatening, call 911 or take your child to the nearest Wolfson Children’s Emergency Center immediately.) Wolfson Children’s Hospital offers a wide range of behavioral health services, including the 24/7 Kids & Teens Helpline, for children of all ages.
Mental health playlists: Medicine with no side effects
This past year has many Americans focusing more on their mental health than ever before. Research has shown that music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood and mental alertness. Spotify even reported that in 2020 alone, listening time in their mental health categories increased by 50 percent. Here are the secrets on how to curate your own mental health playlist. And you don’t always have to listen to spa music to relax or rock and roll to hype you up.
Preliminary data suggests decrease in suicide deaths in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Preliminary data from the Florida Department of Heath shows suicides were down in 2020 compared to previous years. But mental health experts warn that while the data paints an optimistic picture, addressing pandemic-related mental health issues remains a major concern. Since early on in the pandemic, state officials have expressed concern about how lockdowns, record-high unemployment and isolation would impact Floridians’ mental health. According to provisional figures released by the Department of Health, suicide deaths appear to have dropped last year. So we’re just looking to make a final confirmation on how the data is related.”While the provisional data suggests suicides were down last year, people are reporting more mental health issues in general.
Youth mental health emergencies up 300% amid pandemic, Baptist Health says
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of children in Northeast Florida, according to behavioral health staff at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Dr. Terrie Andrews, system administrator for Baptist Behavioral Health and Wolfson Children’s Behavioral Health, says her department has seen a 300% increase in the amount of behavioral health emergency admissions, a 40% increase in calls to the office and a 20% increase in new outpatients. In response to the massive spike, Wolfson Children’s Hospital opened a 24/7 helpline for kids and teens. “It’s a confidential helpline that is staffed around-the-clock by trained mental health experts,” hospital spokesperson Alexis Kirkland said. So, it’s a worthwhile investment.”Brown-Woofter said a strong system of mental health care has a ripple effect across a society affecting even the economy, which has also suffered under COVID-19.
JSO pilot program aims to address mental illness
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and mental health experts are joining forces to help people with mental health issues. “The team is mostly proactive, seeking out individuals in need in our community and attempting to connect them with services,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The Sheriff’s Office receives funding for its program from LSF Health Systems, whose chief executive says it’s a program worth funding. Mike Schentrup with the Gainesville Police Department, which has had a co-responder program for two years now, said there are risks involved for officers and co-responders. “That mental health professional, they train on, ‘When do I just stay in the car?’” Schentrup said.”We know and we’re taught deescalation, and we’re taught that time is on our side.
Diagnosing depression through the gut?
But your gut instinct may be the key to diagnosing and treating depression. Stevens found those living with depression have different gut bacteria than those with a healthy mental status. When a person has too much of the bad gut bacteria that can cause whole-body inflammation, including brain inflammation, that can be linked to depression. But the gut bacteria can also lead to a treatment for depression. In fact, people with high blood pressure and depression have completely different gut bacteria than people with only depression or only high blood pressure.
Pandemic placing strain on Floridians’ mental health
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida is facing a mental health storm as a result of the pandemic. The state’s Children and Youth Cabinet was told Wednesday the pandemic has also changed how people are receiving mental health treatment. We attribute it to on going engagement via tele-health,” Joiner said. First Lady Casey DeSantis, who chairs the Cabinet, has championed children’s mental health following Hurricane Michael. 1 question she gets from parents is how to identify mental health issues.
Pandemic revealing gaps in Florida’s mental health resources
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s child abuse hotlines saw a sharp drop off in calls while schools were closed due to the pandemic, but mental health calls increased. Florida’s First Lady and mental health experts from around the state are looking at ways to address the mental health problem, especially in areas with poor access to services. The Legislature included $100 million for school mental health in this year’s budget. Mental health experts said similar or even increased funding may be necessary for the coming year to respond to the long-term impacts of the pandemic. If you are struggling, please call the suicide hotline at 800-273-8255 or dial 211 to be connected with a local mental health care provider.
Children and pandemic stress: How to help your kids cope
Children returning to school are dealing with more stress than usual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some kids have physical complaints like stomachaches or headaches, but they only come when it is time for school. There are ways to help your child cope with stress. And once they’re calm, it’s a good time to teach coping skills -- a way to manage stress. Getting enough sleep, eating right, staying hydrated and keeping active can also help ease stress.
Poll: Pandemic takes toll on mental health of young adults
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a harsh toll on the mental health of young Americans, according to a new poll that finds adults under 35 especially likely to report negative feelings or experience physical or emotional symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)PHOENIX – The coronavirus pandemic has taken a harsh toll on the mental health of young Americans, according to a new poll that finds adults under 35 especially likely to report negative feelings or experience physical or emotional symptoms associated with stress and anxiety. Twenty-five percent of young adults rate their mental health as fair or poor, compared with 13% of older adults, while 56% of older adults say their mental health is excellent or very good, compared with just 39% of young adults. The survey found that frequently watching, reading or talking about the virus is consistently linked with higher rates of negative mental health symptoms. And 55% of 18 to 34 year olds say they have felt difficulties piling up too high to overcome, compared with 33% of older adults.
Doctor encourages parents to talk with children about mental health
During the coronavirus pandemic, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says, its important to protect our mental health and help those who may be struggling. Dr. Allison Ventura, with UF Health Jacksonville, is encouraging parents not to be afraid to talk with their children about mental health and start a dialogue with them about how theyre doing. Oftentimes our first gut reaction is to want to fix, to solve and to get into that take action mode, Ventura said. But, as parents, really just sitting back and listening and understanding whats going on with your child and just letting them talk can really be the first step to having a good intervention and connection with your child to make sure were putting them in the right direction for help.Ventura also encourages parents to follow their instinct. I think parents are very intuitive and have really good gut instinct about when changes have happened with their children, so I think listening to your gut as a parent and saying, This is a change Im concerned about? Ventura said.