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Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 3

Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 3

MASSACHUSETTS: Flying Away from Stigma: Logan Exhibit Displays Stories of Mental Illness

The Boston Globe
A new exhibit at Boston's Logan Airport aims to reduce the negative bias associated with mental illness by sharing the images and stories of those who have been intimately affected by it. A collaboration between the psychiatric institution McLean Hospital and several mental health organizations, "Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Change a Life" displays photographs and interviews with people who have experienced a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, addiction, and suicide. Participants, who represent a range of sociodemographic backgrounds, seek to convey the challenges of living with mental illness, but also the opportunities for healing and resilience. Sean Shinnock, who shares his story of living with obsessive-compulsive disorder, said, "I hope that somebody who may be hurting gets a little solace, that they know they're not alone." 

Connect this Christmas

Connect this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, holidays and catch ups can be a time to relax and enjoy being with friends and family, but it can also be a time when feelings of loneliness, personal struggles, conflict and loss surface and make us feel vulnerable. Leading into the festive season, we're asking everyone to take one action every day to help create a more connected world.

Watch this video to hear how R U OK? Ambassador and media personality Ita Buttrose is getting involved by sharing her Christmas dinner with someone who doesn't have anywhere to go.

Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 2

Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 2

How important is social connectivity to health?

Social connectivity – spending time with friends and family, taking part in group activities or having a sense of community – may be among the most important predictors of health.

Study upon study shows the myriad ways human connection plays a valuable role in positively supporting a person’s physical and mental health. 

Having strong social ties has been shown to:

  • Dramatically lower rates of disease and premature death. Those who lacked supportive relationships had a fourfold increased risk of dying six months after open heart surgery.
  • Improve our long-term happiness. People’s happiness correlates to the happiness of others with whom they are connected – and people who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to be happy in the future.
  • Decrease stress during major life transitions. Higher levels of happiness and optimism were associated with lower levels of stress and greater increases in perceived social support during life transitions.
  • Support recovery. One study showed that higher scores on the Recovery Assessment Scale were related to both social support as well as engagement in activities.

And, the quality of our social networks has a lifetime impact on well-being as we age.