Mental Health

Olympic Dreams

Olympic Dreams

Fiction:
The fictional storyline revolves around a young cross-country skier, Penelope (played by Alexi), and a volunteer in the Olympic Village, Ezra (played by Nick), who cross paths and form an unlikely relationship. Penelope and Ezra each have transformative experiences at the Games, returning home with a new outlook on life enriched by the Olympic values they have experienced.

Reality:
Alexi’s unique perspective as a current Olympic athlete results in films that portray the Olympic experience from the athlete’s point of view, in a way that has never been seen before. Athletes in competition like American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy (the confidant), American cross-country skier Anne Hart (the stunt double) and American freestyle skier Morgan Schild (the team-mate) star in small acting roles and offer stellar performances! A first!

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Thanks to Lady Gaga, Springfield students will be trained in mental health first aid

Thanks to Lady Gaga, Springfield students will be trained in mental health first aid

By: Claudette Riley, Springfield News-Leader

As a high school counselor, Amy Moran appreciates when teenagers trust her enough to confide their problems.

But, even when they do, she believes she's rarely the first to know.

"Teens are telling teens when there is an issue, when they are struggling," said Moran, who is stationed at Kickapoo High School. "They tell a friend first."

A pilot program aims to train high school students on how to respond — and get help — if they, or a friend, are having mental health issues.

Community Partnership of the Ozarks, in partnership with Springfield Public Schools, will participate in the nation's first teen Mental Health First Aid pilot program. 

10 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health in 2017

10 Ways to Boost Your Mental Health in 2017

You’re constantly bombarded with media telling you how you can get fit, eat better, and improve your physical health — but what about your mental health? Mental health is just as ( if not more) important than physical health, but it tends to fall by the wayside when dreaming up self-improvement to-do lists. Make mental health a priority in 2017 by incorporating these 10 habits into your plans for the new year.

1. Stop taking failure personally

If you’re a perfectionist, you probably set high goals and then beat yourself up for not meeting them. Instead of kicking yourself while you’re down, practice reframing failures as learning opportunities. After all, you’ll never become good at something if you don’t give yourself a chance to be bad at it first.

On the Topic of Youth Suicide in Utah

On the Topic of Youth Suicide in Utah

How to curb Utah’s teen-suicide rate? Hatch-convened roundtable says kids needs access to mental-health services

By Alex Stuckey | The Salt Lake Tribune

Republican state Sen. Daniel Thatcher was 11 years old when he lost his first classmate to suicide. He was 16 when he lost his close friend.

That's why, he says, it's so important to drop the stigma and talk about suicide.

"If you talk to someone, they live," Thatcher, from West Valley City, said. "If you connect them to support, they live."

Hatch convenes suicide-prevention conference

By Lois M. Collins & Lauren Fields | Deseret News

“We’ve made more progress in the last five years than in the 20 years before,” Dr. Doug Gray, a psychiatrist, professor and suicidologist at the University of Utah, told the audience at the roundtable, held at East High in Salt Lake City.

From Walking to Swimming: How To Cope With Bipolar Disorder Using Physical Fitness

From Walking to Swimming: How To Cope With Bipolar Disorder Using Physical Fitness

Bipolar disorder affects nearly six million adults in the U.S., and many studies have been done in an effort to try and pinpoint where it begins and why. It’s not so easy to understand, however, and it is even harder to study in young people because the symptoms sometimes mimic natural emotional changes that come with growing up.

For those who are living with bipolar disorder, medication is one option for minimizing the symptoms. These can include manic episodes and feelings of elation as well as drawn-out low periods of depression, and the sharp shift between those two extremes can be frightening, exhausting, and tiresome. Often, a mixture of medication and therapy work wonders for sufferers, but in some cases, alternative therapy can also be of help. One such method is exercise.

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. 

Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 1

Mental Health Resource Roundup, Installment 1

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act remarking that "those of us called upon to lead this country have a duty" to stand by the families and communities struggling with addiction. The significant funding included in the bill will help fight the ongoing opioid crisis, authorizing $1 billion in grants to states over the next two years. The National Council applauds Congress for the addiction and mental health provisions that will support community behavioral health providers in expanding access and looks to Congress to act quickly and include full funding for these provisions in the FY2017 appropriations package.

Read the National Council’s full statement on the signing and learn more about the 21st Century Cures Act on the Capitol Connector Blog.