Mental Health in the News

  • Scientific Meeting » NIMH Livestream Event on Borderline Personality Disorder
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on May 21, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In recognition of National Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, NIMH is hosting a livestream event featuring experts on May 21, 2021.

  • Scientific Meeting » The NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Genetic Clues to Autism Heterogeneity
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on May 13, 2021 at 4:00 am

    On May 13, 2021, Elise Robinson, Sc.D., will discuss genetic clues to autism heterogeneity during the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series.

  • International study links brain thinning to psychosis
    on May 5, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Subtle differences in the shape of the brain that are present in adolescence are associated with the development of psychosis, according to an international team. The 'sobering' results were made using the largest study to date of brain scans in adolescents at risk for psychosis.

  • New neuroimaging technique studies brain stimulation for depression
    on May 4, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Despite increased use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in psychiatry, the rates at which patients respond to the therapy and experience remission of often-disabling symptoms have been modest at best. Now, a team of psychiatrists and biomedical engineers applied an emerging functional neuroimaging technology, known as diffuse optical tomography (DOT), to better understand how rTMS works so they can begin to improve the brain stimulation procedure's effectiveness in treating depression.

  • Little to no increase in association between adolescents' mental health problems and digital tech
    on May 4, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    A new study suggests that over the past 30 years, there has been little to no increase in the association between adolescents' technology engagement and mental health problems. The study also urges more transparent collaborations between academia and industry.

  • Need to vent? Turn to real-life support, not social media
    on May 3, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    Research compares effectiveness of seeking social support in real-life versus over social media.

  • A third of kids develop a mental health problem after concussion
    on April 29, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    A third of children and adolescents develop a mental health problem after a concussion, which could persist for several years post-injury, according to a new literature review.

  • Mayor de Blasio And First Lady McCray Announce Mental Health For All From Harlem To Hollis
    on April 29, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray today announced Mental Health for All, a new comprehensive plan to deliver universal access to mental health support to all New Yorkers. The plan builds on the work of ThriveNYC and other City agencies and lays out a path to ensure that mental health is a permanent part of City government’s response. The Mayor’s Office of Community Mental Health will ensure that this commitment remains a lasting part of City government. “The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) applauds the creation of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Mental Health Innovation,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr, NAMI CEO. “The City is making mental health issues a priority, which shows a lasting commitment to provide mental health for all. The time is now for leaders at all levels — community, state and federal government — to follow the precedent set by New York City to ensure that mental health is front and center in COVID-19 recovery efforts to make it easier for people to find the help they need so no one feels alone in their struggle.”

  • Researchers identify a psychedelic-like drug without the hallucinogenic side effects
    on April 28, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    Psychedelic drugs have shown promise for treating neuropsychiatric disorders like depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. However, due to their hallucinatory side effects, some researchers are trying to identify drugs that could offer the benefits of psychedelics without causing hallucinations. Researchers now report they have identified one such drug through the development of a genetically encoded fluorescent sensor -- called psychLight -- that can screen for hallucinogenic potential.

  • Childhood air pollution exposure linked to poor mental health at age 18
    on April 28, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Childhood exposure to air pollution, such as nitrogen oxides and fine particulate matter, is a risk factor for mental illness at age 18. It is less of a factor than family history, but equal to lead, according to a new study. The finding comes from a cohort of 2,000 twins born in England and Wales in 1994-1995 and followed to young adulthood.

  • Video » What are the risks and benefits of participating in clinical research?
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on April 28, 2021 at 4:00 am

    This video will tell you about the risks and benefits of participating in clinical research.

  • What To Expect When The Virus Is Gone But COVID Trauma Goes On
    on April 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Look, we’re all going to be messed up for a while from COVID. Some of us a lot, some of us a little. But it’s trauma. It’s an event more powerful than the brain can handle and that means mental health repercussions down the road. So let’s talk about what might happen. Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, provides insight into how trauma works.

  • How to Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder
    on April 27, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Bipolar disorder affects about 6 million American adults, and it usually shows up in the late teens or early 20s. Medications, including the mood stabilizer lithium, can even out the highs and lows. Antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, and antidepressants may also be prescribed; cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms. Having a support system is extremely important, too. When you’re scheduling something with a friend who is struggling, “give him the choice to participate or not,” says Katrina Gay of NAMI. Understand that if he does come with you, he may have to leave early, and that it might be really hard for him to make any long-term commitments.

  • Blog Post » Addressing the Needs of the Autism Community During COVID-19
    by Joshua Gordon (NIMH News Feed) on April 27, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In this message for Autism Awareness Month, Dr. Gordon highlights the specific impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

  • Video » Guided Visualization: Dealing with Stress
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on April 27, 2021 at 4:00 am

    we will talk about how stress affects the brain. We will talk a little bit about the brain, how stress affects the brain, and then we will practice a technique that can help you to feel a little bit more relaxed and calm when you are feeling stressed out.

  • Video » Getting to Know Your Brain: Dealing with Stress
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on April 27, 2021 at 4:00 am

    We will be talking about what stress and anxiety are, where they come from, and different ways of coping with them. We will also talk about how the brain works in teenagers and why this is such an important time of development.

  • Science News » Media Advisory: Prototype App for Mobile Devices Could Screen Children at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder
    by NIMH Press Office (NIMH News Feed) on April 26, 2021 at 4:00 am

    A mobile app was successful at distinguishing toddlers diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from typically developing toddlers based on their eye movements while watching videos, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

  • ‘We're carrying so much': How Indianapolis parents are talking to kids about race and pain
    on April 22, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Dr. Christine Crawford, Associate Medical Director for NAMI, previously told IndyStar that dealing with the emotional stress and trauma that comes with being Black in America is like wearing a sticky suit. From the smallest microaggression to the most overt racism, everything remains and takes its toll. “Something as common as, ‘oh, you speak pretty well for a Black person.’ These kinds of subtle comments over time, they add up. They stick to you. They start to weigh you down and you have this burden,” Crawford said. “Seeing someone on TV that looks like you being shot in the back multiple times by police in front of their children in the car, that also stays with you." Crawford adds that people begin carrying that burden at an early age. She says children of color can experience vicarious racism that affects their worldview when people in their lives or people who resemble them are victimized. “When a racist incident happens to someone that the child knows whether that's a parent or someone else in the family, it's almost for that child as though they themselves have experienced that race-related trauma,” she said. “They imagine themselves in the place of that person that was victimized.” Crawford said these emotions can lead to young children being overly worried, irritable, on-edge or clingy the more they hear stories about racism affecting people that they know, or people who resemble them. "It's shaping how they view the world and it can erode our sense of worth," Crawford said.

  • The immune link between a leaky blood-brain barrier and schizophrenia
    on April 20, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Research points to the involvement of the immune system the brain as a contributor to mental disorders such as schizophrenia.

  • Astronauts' mental health risks tested in the Antarctic
    on April 20, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    Astronauts who spend prolonged time alone in space face mental health stressors like loneliness, isolation and more. A psychologist developed the Mental Health Checklist, a self-reporting instrument for detecting mental health changes in isolated, confined, extreme environments. She's reporting results that show significant declines in positive emotions.

  • Video » The NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Advancing Therapies for Central Nervous System Disorders
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on April 16, 2021 at 4:00 am

    On April 15, 2021, Beverly Davidson, Ph.D., was the guest speaker for the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series. Dr. Davidson is the Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Arthur V. Meigs, Chair in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and director of the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at CHOP. She provided an overview of recent research approaches for inherited disorders that impact central nervous system (CNS) function during her talk.

  • Can financial stress lead to physical pain in later years?
    on April 15, 2021 at 9:07 pm

    Financial stress can have an immediate impact on well-being, but can it lead to physical pain nearly 30 years later? The answer is yes, according to new research.

  • Scientific Meeting » The NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series: Advancing Therapies for Central Nervous System Disorders
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on April 15, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    On April 15, 2021, Beverly Davidson, Ph.D., was the guest speaker for the NIMH Director’s Innovation Speaker Series. Dr. Davidson is the Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Arthur V. Meigs, Chair in Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and director of the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics at CHOP. She provided an overview of recent research approaches for inherited disorders that impact central nervous system (CNS) function during her talk.

  • Objective analysis of stress in the classroom
    on April 15, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Is it the difficulty of a task that determines whether or not students are stressed when working on it? Biologists working in biology didactics set out to find out the answers; to this end, the team used questionnaires and measured the heart rate in 209 test participants.

  • New measure to predict stress resilience
    on April 15, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Researchers show that increased sensitivity in a specific region of the brain contributes to the development of anxiety and depression in response to real-life stress. Their study establishes an objective neurobiological measure for stress resilience in humans.

  • Dr. Ken Duckworth writing mental health guide, due in 2022
    on April 14, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    A leading mental health expert has a book deal his publisher is calling an “authoritative yet compassionate guide to managing mental health challenges” anticipated because of the pandemic. Dr. Ken Duckworth’s “You Are Not Alone” is scheduled for the Fall 2022. “My dream is to write the practical ‘how to’ Guide my family and I needed,” Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, said in a statement Wednesday. “This book leverages a core NAMI value in lessons from people’s lived experience. The Guide also integrates that experience with up-to-date, practical answers to commonly asked questions from experts.” Duckworth’s book, which draws in part upon his own childhood and his father having bipolar disorder, is the first announced release by Zando, an independent publisher founded last year by former Crown executive Molly Stern.

  • Psychedelic experience may not be required for psilocybin's antidepressant-like benefits
    on April 13, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Researchers have shown that psilocybin -- the active chemical in 'magic mushrooms' -- still works its antidepressant-like actions, at least in mice, even when the psychedelic experience is blocked. The new findings suggest that psychedelic drugs work in multiple ways in the brain and it may be possible to deliver the fast-acting antidepressant therapeutic benefit without requiring daylong guided therapy sessions.

  • MTV Tees Up 200 Businesses, Non-Profits For Inaugural Mental Health Action Day
    on April 13, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    As America’s mental health crisis spirals and pounds particularly hard on Black and BIPOC communities, and members of Gen Z, more than 200 businesses and nonprofits are uniting for the inaugural Mental Health Action Day on Thursday, May 20. Their emphasis is on the word action. Brianna Cayo Cotter, SVP at MTV Entertainment Group, says collaborations among partners are already under way. AARP is working to elevate action around the mental health struggles caregivers face. YouTube is teaming with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to provide training to people who create content on their platform. Many of the larger corporate partners are focusing not only on their consumers and audiences, but internally as well.

  • Spanking may affect the brain development of a child
    on April 12, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    A new study linking spanking and child brain development shows spanking could alter a child's neural responses to their environment, in similar ways to a child experiencing more severe violence.

  • COVID-19 pandemic may have increased mental health issues within families
    on April 12, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, many families found themselves suddenly isolated together at home. A year later, new research has linked this period with a variety of large, detrimental effects on individuals' and families' well-being and functioning.

  • Stress does not lead to loss of self-control in eating disorders
    on April 12, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    A unique residential study has concluded that, contrary to perceived wisdom, people with eating disorders do not lose self-control - leading to binge-eating - in response to stress.

  • COVID-19 pandemic has been linked with six unhealthy eating behaviors
    on April 12, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    A new probe into the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed correlations to six unhealthy eating behaviors, according to a new study.

  • Profound loss of pleasure related to early-onset dementia
    on April 12, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    Loss of the ability to experience pleasure - or anhedonia - has been revealed as a key feature in frontotemporal dementia, in contrast to Alzheimer's disease. The findings from brain scans, believed to be a first, show grey matter deterioration in the so-called pleasure system of the brain - these regions were distinct from those implicated in depression or apathy, suggesting a possible treatment target for the early-onset dementia that affects people from 40-65 years.

  • Corinne Foxx on Growing Up With an Anxiety Disorder: "My Heart Was Beating Out of My Chest"
    on April 12, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    Actress, singer, and producer Corinne Foxx (NAMI Ambassador) is a triple threat, and she also lives with an anxiety disorder that she was diagnosed with at age 14. To alleviate her anxieties, Corinne continues to go to therapy, does regular exercise, meditates, goes on walks, socializes with friends, and makes sure to get eight hours of sleep per night. In 2017, Corinne partnered with NAMI to share her journey with anxiety and the tools she's developed over her life to manage her disorder. The response to her story was overwhelming and encouraged Foxx to continue partnering with NAMI to shift the narrative around mental health. "Once that happened, I was like, 'Oh, people are craving this conversation,'" she said. Today, Corinne says her teenage sisters inspire her to see the future in a positive light.

  • Blog Post » One Year In: COVID-19 and Mental Health
    by Joshua Gordon (NIMH News Feed) on April 9, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In this message, Dr. Gordon highlights what we know about Americans’ mental health after one year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Beyond the Byline: Kids' unchecked mental health needs pose long-term consequences
    on April 8, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    I think one of the things that struck me in doing the report the most was when I spoke with Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, who said, "It takes eight years to make a social worker. It only took roughly eight months to create this mental healthcare pandemic." So the problem is one that was years in the making. And it's likely going to take that long, if not longer, to solve it.

  • Blood test for depression, bipolar disorder
    on April 8, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Worldwide, 1 in 4 people will suffer from a depressive episode in their lifetime. While current diagnosis and treatment approaches are largely trial and error, a breakthrough study sheds new light on the biological basis of mood disorders, and offers a promising blood test aimed at a precision medicine approach to treatment.

  • Childhood cognitive problems could lead to mental health issues in later life
    on April 7, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    Children experiencing cognitive problems such as low attention, poor memory or lack of inhibition may later suffer mental health issues as teenagers and young adults, a new study reveals.

  • Why Are ER Wait Times Getting Longer for Kids in Mental Health Crisis?
    on April 6, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    U.S. children commonly wait hours in the emergency room for help with a mental health crisis — a problem that has worsened over time, a new study finds. Experts said the situation likely reflects a longstanding and worsening problem: The U.S. has far too few mental health providers for children. "The demand is crushing the supply," said Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI. Duckworth called the findings important, and said they substantiate the "crisis" the nation faces in its mental health workforce. But the central issue, Duckworth said, is that the professional workforce must be expanded. That includes not only child psychiatrists whose education and training take 12 years, he noted, but also nurse practitioners, social workers and other providers trained in mental health care.

  • Accelerated cellular aging associated with early mortality seen in depressed individuals
    on April 6, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    Cells from individuals with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) were found to have higher than expected rates of methylation at specific sites on their DNA, when compared to cells from healthy individuals without MDD, according to a new study.

  • Scientific Meeting » Virtual Workshop: Integrating Genomics with Dimensional and Transdiagnostic Approaches to Advance Mental Health Research
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on April 6, 2021 at 4:00 am

    This workshop aims to highlight opportunities and challenges related to integrating genomic information and dimensional phenotypes associated with psychopathology, in alignment with the mission of the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative.

  • Ask a Black therapist: 5 tips to support Black mental health during the Derek Chauvin trial
    on April 2, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    "There is a difference between being informed and getting retraumatized." That's what clinical therapist Paul Bashea Williams tells himself and his clients as they struggle with the distressing images now resurfacing during the Derek Chauvin trial. The proceeding churns up a persistent trauma. The replay of George Floyd's final moments can feel inescapable, leaving many feeling raw, vulnerable and without relief. There are places you can turn for immediate help. The NAMI HelpLine number is included as a resource and links to the NAMI homepage. While the evidence surrounding Floyd's death is distressing for most audiences, it is overwhelming for African Americans. The article offers tips to individualize care during the trial.

  • Can drinking cocoa protect your heart when you're stressed?
    on March 31, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Increased consumption of flavanols - a group of molecules occurring naturally in fruit and vegetables - could protect people from mental stress-induced cardiovascular events such as stroke, heart disease and thrombosis, according to new research.

  • Pumping the 'brain brake' in pediatric anxiety
    on March 31, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    A new study reveals that an evidence-based treatment may 'fix' a human short circuit that leads to anxiety and, with the help of brain imaging, might predict treatment outcomes for adolescents with anxiety disorders. Researchers say this could determine medication effectiveness more quickly to help patients.

  • Video » NIMH Expert Dr. Mary Rooney Discusses Bipolar Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on March 31, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In recognition of World Bipolar Day, NIMH hosted a livestream event on bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults on March 30, 2021. NIMH expert Mary Rooney, Ph.D., discussed the signs and symptoms, proper diagnosis, and treatments for bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults. Also, Dr. Rooney discussed some of the challenges that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has presented for individuals living with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

  • Blog Post » One Year of Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics, and Anticipating New Challenges
    by Joshua Gordon (NIMH News Feed) on March 31, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In this jointly written Director’s Message, leadership from across NIH describes one year of progress made through the RADx initiative and anticipates new challenges in the fight against COVID-19.

  • Scientific Meeting » NIMH Livestream Event: Bipolar Disorder in Adolescents and Young Adults
    by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH News Feed) on March 30, 2021 at 4:00 am

    In recognition of World Bipolar Day, NIMH hosted a livestream event on bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults on March 30, 2021. NIMH expert Mary Rooney, Ph.D., discussed the signs and symptoms, proper diagnosis, and treatments for bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults. Also, Dr. Rooney discussed some of the challenges that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has presented for individuals living with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

  • Mental health support at schools helps male, but not female, students feel safe from bullying
    on March 29, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    Bullying at boarding schools has a negative impact on students' emotional health, but for male students, having a school staff member to rely on for support may mute the harmful effects of bullying, according to a new study. Support networks did not have the same effect for female students, the researchers say.

  • Depression affects visual perception
    on March 29, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Information processing by the brain is altered in depressed individuals. A study conducted at the University of Helsinki found that in depressed patients, the processing of visual perceptions is also different.

  • Correcting altered brain circuit could tackle coinciding obesity and depression
    on March 26, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    Researchers have identified and characterized a novel neural circuit that mediates the reciprocal control of obesity and depression in mouse models, and a potential therapy.

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