Our mental health relies on our ability to cope with and adapt to difficult situations, but the length and the scope of the impact of the pandemic on our lives is something most of us have never experienced. Here are four evidence-based strategies to support your mental health this holiday season.
Terri Tanielian, a senior behavioral scientist at RAND and an internationally recognized expert on military and veteran health, spent six months as a fellow with the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. She helped the committee develop a comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.
When we are feeling anxious or depressed or otherwise bad, we experience a variety of urges toward things that we think will make us feel better, but ultimately make us feel worse. Connecting with a friend, exercising, accomplishing a task, and helping others are some things that can actually help.
Many post-9/11 veterans who have PTSD or depression also struggle with substance use. There are clinically proven treatments to help break the cycle of the co-occurring disorders, but the VA and other facilities need guidance on how to expand and enhance treatment opportunities for these veterans.
Millions of post-9/11 U.S. military veterans experience life-changing invisible wounds, including posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic issues resulting from traumatic brain injuries. While effective treatments are available, many veterans lack access to high-quality care. And what high-quality care means, exactly, has been elusive.
Rising mental health problems in the United States have long made health advocates and providers worried about the need for additional support for struggling college students. The pandemic has only exacerbated this concern.
It is not uncommon to see a co-occurrence of PTSD and heavy use of substances, which can rise to the level of a substance use disorder. It may be necessary to challenge how the needs of veterans are addressed to remove barriers to care that make treating these co-occurring disorders simultaneously so difficult.
As certain COVID-19 restrictions lift, and life for some begins to return to a “new normal,” employers may have the opportunity to rebuild work policies to better support those employees who want to continue working from home. This could produce well-being benefits for employees, without compromising on, and often increasing, productivity.
There is momentum in Los Angeles County to do the difficult work of criminal justice reform. This will take considerable investments of time and resources, as well as a commitment to implementing new strategies and evaluating their effectiveness along the way.
Governments around the world have offered furlough schemes to try to delay employers from making any restructuring decisions during the pandemic. The aims of such programs are laudable. But they may come with unintended consequences.
Deployed civilians often work alongside the military in combat zones or other high-stress, high-risk areas. But when they return, their experience is much different. They come home to support that is often incomplete and insufficient, and sometimes entirely nonexistent.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects spread, concerns about mental health impacts continue to grow. Many communities and policymakers are desperate to stem the tide of unaddressed mental health needs, and with the right investments in training, task-shifting models have enormous potential to bolster available, accessible mental health services.