Wellfie Wednesday Tip #145: Mental Health Awareness Month

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! We’re back!! We apologize, but the Wellfie Crew ended up taking a little hiatus the last few weeks because life and other things sometimes get the best of us, and THAT’S OKAY! Which actually goes well with this week’s topic, brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt), on Mental Health.

Mental health and wellness are important for not only individual health but for society as a whole. So why then do we still have such drastic numbers around untreated mental health issues? Stigma.

One of the most important things is that we need to stop treating mental health illnesses as something that you can just “get over.” Do we refer to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, like this? (Maybe diabetes wasn’t the best example because this is also highly stigmatized.) People often feel isolated, shame, discrimination, and stereotypes about their mental illness, but we need to increase talking about these things and decrease the stigma. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Many people do not even recognize that they may have a mental illness that can be treated. Many societies and cultures teach and instill the concept of silently suffering. But there are ways to help these people and talking about mental illnesses and increasing awareness is just the start. It can be hard to seek help but the more someone realizes that they are not alone, the more likely they will feel comfortable seeking help.

So what can we do to help? We need to recognize that while discussing the complicated nature of mental health may be common for those working in health and wellness, that this is not the norm for most people. Many people find it difficult to discuss their mental health and how they are feeling in their professional and personal lives. We can help by discussing the normalcy more, by giving people the space to talk about how they’re feeling, and to lead by example. We cannot change the way society treats mental health alone, it is a team effort of helping those that live with mental health ailments know that they are not alone and to increase acceptance in society.


Check out how different people experience depression to see just how varied the experiences can be: https://www.blurtitout.org/2016/07/08/describing-depression-whove-never/


Here are some stats from a previous piece I wrote about mental health so you can see how common mental health illnesses are and how there is a severe lack of treatment:

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

Lets end the Stigma! Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #119: World Mental Health Day

Happy Wellfie Wednesday and Happy World Mental Health Day! Today’s piece is brought to you by Diana (@DianaKlatt).

There is a mental health crisis, that up until recently, was silently suffered by many.

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the US live with a serious mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 youths (13-18 years old) experience a severe mental disorder at some point during their lives.

  • Nearly 60% of adults and 50% of youths did not receive mental health services in the previous year.

    These are not small numbers. Nor are these the true representation, it is likely that these are under-reported values due to the stigmas that exist around mental illnesses.

More Statistics:  Mental Health By The Numbers

Mental health is frequently overlooked because it is an unseen ailment. Yet, it is one of the most impactful, long term, chronic conditions that can persist and even lead to detrimental events when gone untreated. A huge barrier to this is stigma. People often feel isolated, shame, discrimination, and stereotypes about their mental illness, but we need to increase talking about these things and decrease the stigma. It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Many people do not even recognize that they may have a mental illness that can be treated. Many societies and cultures teach and instill the concept of silently suffering. But there are ways to help these people and talking about mental illnesses and increasing awareness is just the start. It can be hard to seek help but the more someone realizes that they are not alone, the more likely they will feel comfortable seeking help.

Untreated mental illnesses can lead to serious, chronic medical conditions. Psychological and physical ailments can be intertwined, many in the form of traumas or chronic pain. Mental illnesses and their associated physical ailments frequently affect people’s ability to focus on their work. This can impact society much more than we suspect: financial loss to mental illness costs the US roughly $193 billion each year. For comparison, the cost to decrease stigma and raise awareness is $0. So while treating patients, talking to friends, collaborating with colleagues, and interacting with strangers, remember that they could be silently suffering and lend a hand, take note of their actions, listen to the way they describe things, and make sure they feel comfortable if they decided to talk with you.


If you are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).


Sidenote: In case those numbers did not shock you, there is another population that experience mental health issues at an alarming rate: graduate students and those in higher academia. There is a six times higher prevalence of mental health issues in this population. If you are in the world of academia and looking for a community and resources, check out www.thephdepression.com

Please know that mental health is extremely important and something that should be called about. Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@FreestylePhysio@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-WW Crew

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #115: National Suicide Awareness Month

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! Welcome back!

September is National Suicide Awareness Month in the United States.

Every year, 45,000 American lives are lost to suicide and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Globally, around 800,000 deaths per year are by suicide and is the second leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds. On average, there are 123 suicides per day and men are 3.53x more likely to die due to suicide compared to women. When it comes to suicide and suicide attempts there are rate differences depending on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity and race. Nonetheless, suicide occurs in all demographic groups.

Suicide rates are on the rise in the United States, 11.27 per 100,000 individuals in 2007 compared to 13.42 per 100,000 individuals in 2016 (that’s a 2.15 per 100,000 individuals in just 10 years). It is difficult to recognize mental illnesses, many people show no symptoms. But there are signs you can look for that could indicate potential suicide; eight out of ten people considering suicide give some indication of their intentions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or is in a crisis, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Every “level” of crisis is valid, your emotions are real, and you matter. You are not alone.

Below are hotlines accessible to those in the United States and Canada.

United States:

  • National Suicide Prevention: 1-800-273-8255

  • For hard of hearing (TTY): 1-800-799-4TTY

  • Spanish: 1-888-628-9454

  • *Tele-interpreter is available for more languages

Canada:

  • Canadian Suicide Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-3000

  • Canadian TTY Hotline: 1-800-448-1833



Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

  • WW Crew

*Statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics Fatal Injury Report for 2016.







Wellfie Wednesday Tip #96: Path of Resilience

Happy Wellfie Wednesday and welcome back! This week with is brought to you by Patrick (@TheFuelPhysio). And we hope the topic is something that is applicable to everyone.

     This week I want to talk Resilience and making sure you are aware of your ability to "bounce back" when faced with difficult experiences. "Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors." (1) So essentially how you react when unexpected or unwanted situations come your way. Do you get trapped behind new road blocks or roll with the punches and adapt to a new environment? 

     The American Psychological Association has some great resources on Resilience, including strategies and places to seek help. I'll go ahead and share with you their "10 ways to build resilience," (1) but be sure to check out their site for more in-depth information for each of these: 

  1. Make connections
  2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems
  3. Accept that change is a part of living
  4. Move toward your goals
  5. Take decisive actions
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery
  7. Nurture a positive view of yourself
  8. Keep things in perspective
  9. Maintain a hopeful outlook
  10. Take care of yourself

     I have personally come across several instances recently that have tested my resilience. With starting a new business and planning for a wedding, things never go exactly as I originally hope. But I have learned to accept that things are not always in my control and change can be a positive thing that usually puts me on a new path, but often a path with greater reward. 

     It is important to remember that success comes with having a great support system of friends, family, and loved ones to help you along the way. Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew

1. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx

 

Wellness Wednesday Tip #50: Benefits of Traveling & Keeping Your Routine

     Welcome back and Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week is brought to you by Diana and inspired by her recent travels.

     I have just returned from a trip to Italy and wanted to discuss the effects of traveling and your physical health. Many people are under the impression that when you travel you won’t be able to keep up with your fitness routine or that you will ignore your nutritional goals, but that’s completely untrue. During my trip, I found that I was far more aware of what I was eating, more active, and overall felt more invigorated and energized.

Physical activity. I’m not sure about all of you, but when I am home I walk a decent amount. I try to walk places if I can versus driving, which is pretty easy for me given that I live in New York City. While I was traveling I found that I was walking an average of 15 km (9 miles) a day! This was the best way for me to get around and see everything as well as preventing me from mistakenly getting on a bus or metro in the wrong direction and getting more lost. Traveling makes you more active of a person because you aren’t sitting at your desk working or studying! You are out and about, trying to explore as much as possible. And as a #WellfieCrew member, I obviously also brought theraband with me to keep myself active. They take up very little space and can be manipulated in so many ways for exercise. Backpacking also acts as an indirect method of exercise as you are carrying around all of your things while traveling between cities! In American standards, I am an early riser. In European standards, I am considered mad! I told a few of my hosts that I wake up at 6am to run almost daily and they were all completely shocked! This turned out to be a great time to go out as cities were silent and you could run on a path to see monuments and landmarks to avoid the masses and crowds during the daytime (for example, the Trevi fountain in Rome).

Nutrition. What’s the first thing you think about when you hear “Italy?” Pizza. Pasta. Cheese. Wine. Not things you typically associate with a healthy diet. Italy is notorious for eating an abundance of grains, dairy, and meats. You would think that I would have gained weight and felt unhealthy after having pizza daily, but it was the opposite! I found that everything tastes lighter and fresher, which I at first thought was just the fact that I was in a new country but in actuality, the quality of the food is better in the European Union. The EU has higher regulations and restrictions on their treatment and production of food products and thus the quality of the food on your plate is greater (in comparison to the United States). This is certainly felt in eating as you feel lighter and less weighed down by a nearly identical meals of pizza and antipasta (appetizer) in the EU versus the USA. (13 Ways the EU Beats the U.S. on Food Safety) On top of the quality of ingredients, I found that it was easier to keep track of what I was eating while traveling because it was harder for me to succumb and purchase my guilty pleasure foods (ie. Haribo fizzy cola gummies…) because of my weak grasp of the Italian language.

Expand Your Perspective. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” (Bill Bryson) Travel gives you a chance to interact with new people and new environments, which ultimately gives you a greater perspective of things. You are exposed to other people and hear about the way that others live in their hometowns or you see how people live if you happen to go to smaller cities and villages. It gives you a perspective you would have otherwise never known, especially as someone from a dominant country (ie. the United States of America).

Mental Wellness and Stress Reduction*. We lead busy lives, constantly occupied, and always trying to increase our multitasking abilities. Travel is a great way to escape the stresses and commitments of everyday life, offering novelty and change in the form of new people, sights and experiences. Traveling has many advantages, with stress relief topping the list. With a short list of activities each day, freed up from the complexities of ongoing projects and relationships, the mind can reset, as does the body, with stress relief the main outcome. Humans thrive on novelty, and travel offers the complete package with new faces, sounds and sights. (Dr. Margaret J. King, https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2017/02/24/how-travel-can-benefit-our-mental-health/)

     Overall, traveling and vacation tends to be misinterpreted as purely for relaxation and doing nothing but it’s quite the contrary! You can relax and stay active, recharge and explore, and open your mind to new things, all from the simple act of traveling! “Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” (Matthew Karsten)

*Longer article to come. I met many people in my travels that I have reached out to in order to collaborate to write about the effects of travel on the mind, body, and soul. Check back in a few weeks at klattalyst.com/thetraveleffect

     Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members (@PBernerSPT@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@fitnerdaimee@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew