NBA updates mental health policies amid the ongoing pandemic
The NBA is urging teams to make increased commitments toward providing mental health resources to players and staff, releasing updated guidelines Wednesday to reflect the challenge of playing amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The league told teams they should establish “education and awareness materials focused on managing mental health during times of uncertainty and coping strategies for addressing the emotional toll of the pandemic.”
The NBA has mandated that teams offer access to mental health professionals in recent seasons — a program the league calls Mind Health that was launched nearly three years ago — but that obviously predates the pandemic and how countless aspects of day-to-day life has changed in recent months.
Children’s Hospitals Grapple With Wave of Mental Illness
Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the United States have led to drastic changes in the way children and teens learn, play, and socialize. Tens of millions of students are attending school through some form of distance learning. Many extracurricular activities have been canceled. Playgrounds, zoos, and other recreational spaces have also closed.
Government figures show the proportion of children who arrived in emergency departments with mental health issues increased by 24% from mid-March through mid-October. Among preteens and adolescents, it rose by 31%. Many hospitals also mention they are seeing more cases of severe depression and suicidal thoughts among children, particularly attempts to overdose.
In some hospitals, the number of children unable to immediately get a bed in the psychiatric unit rose. Others reduced the number of beds or closed psychiatric units altogether to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
How to lift your mood with light therapy
The cold, dark days of winter can do a number on a person’s mental health and could lead to seasonal affective disorder
Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a Mayo Clinic psychologist, says one of the most effective treatments for seasonal affective disorder is exposure to artificial light or light therapy.
Light therapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
Dr. Sawchuk recommends using a 10,000-lux lightbox or lamp within the first hour of waking up for about 20 minutes.
“That tends to be about the sweet spot of exposure to that light. You want to make sure that the light is sitting about an arm’s length or so in front of you. You don’t have to stare directly at the light, but you want to keep your eyes open. So you could be doing things like having breakfast or a cup of coffee, watching TV, or working online,” says Dr. Sawchuk.
Dua Lipa Opened Up About Social Media and Anxiety
Social media can be stressful, even for those of us with only a handful of followers. For those in the spotlight, it can be absolutely overwhelming — which is why Dua Lipa says she handed over control of her accounts to her managers.
“I would get anxiety and I was like, this shouldn’t be the way that I’m experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was messing with my confidence. I’d be super-nervous, wondering what everyone’s gonna say.”
Lipa also said, “I experienced a shit ton [of bullying] at the end of my first record, and it was definitely something that gave me anxiety and made me upset and made me feel like I wasn’t good enough and made me feel like, maybe I’m not meant to be here and on the stage,
New bill focuses on improving mental health resources for college students
Last month, the Senate unanimously passed the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act. The bill requires higher education institutions to print the contact information for the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line on the back of student’s ID cards.
“It can be really hard to be a kid in the world today. These mental health resources can be lifesaving, and college students deserve to know what help is available to them when they need it most,” said Sen. Kennedy. “I hope that this legislation will shed light on the many resources that students can access whenever they need an attentive ear or proper medical attention.”