Tag Archives: mental health

Feedback

Photo Credit: cali.org via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: cali.org via Compfight cc

This week, we thought it might be interesting to share some of the feedback we are getting from users and how this is informing changes we are making to the sova sites.

Last year, Theresa wrote and then recently reposted a brief overview of all the different types of helping professionals who can help to treat mental illness called, “What do all these letters mean?” – referring to the post-nominal letters after a professional’s name like PhD.

We received several comments on that article letting us know it was helpful but that young people especially wanted to know more information and details. Our new research assistant, Amie, set to work. At first she created a table which looked great on word but blurry in wordpress. We have started using piktochart, an infographic design app, for a newsletter we send out to research participants. We thought – why not try making a more interesting looking infographic instead of a table? Infographics look great and seem to be more engaging, grabbing a user’s attention in a fun way. Although as Amie will tell you, they do require some time and perseverance!

These articles were published yesterday on sova and wisesova with the infographics.

What do you think? Feel free to comment below or email us! We value you this group as our stakeholders and welcome any advice! Thank you!

Crisis Text Line

A year ago we posted about the development of the Crisis Text Line and how it’s a transformative tool for people to be able to text someone when they are in crisis. Since the Crisis Text Line’s inception, they have had 16,185,952 messages exchanged since August 1, 2013.

Which, as Nancy Lublin notes in her TED talk:

“That’s the volume, velocity and variety to provide a really juicy corpus. We can do things like predictive work. We can do all kinds of conclusions and learnings from that data set.So we can be better, and the world can be better.” 

Furthermore, CrisisTrends.org has been launched to share ALL THIS DATA with us! Crisis Trends aims to empower journalists, researchers, and citizens to understand the crises Americans face so we can work together to prevent future crises from happening. From the TED talk:

“This data is also making the world better because I’m sitting on the world’s first map of real-time crises.Think about it: those 6.5 million messages, auto-tagging through natural language processes, all of these data points — I can tell you that the worst day of the week for eating disorders: Monday. The worst time of day for substance abuse: 5am. And that Montana is a beautiful place to visit but you do not want to live there, because it is the number one state for suicidal ideation.”

From: CrisisTrends.org
From: CrisisTrends.org

With this information, we can know when people are most affected by certain mental health issues, and we can create better interventions.

Project Uplift

Last week when we attended the  NAMI Southwestern PA Annual Education Conference. One of the speakers was Zach Valenti. Zach is a filmmaker, Voice Actor, and Mental Health Activist who believes that the power of communication and mindfulness are life changing.

While an undergraduate, Zach studied film and what makes people “care” in a film setting. He used these skills and tools to interact with his fellow students at organized events and created a carnival around mental health awareness. He found that adding an element of fun, meeting people where they are and engaging naturally was the best way to reframe conversations around mental health.

He started Project Uplift in 2013 as a way to “gamify” stress reduction through a neurofeedback installation piece. He wanted to make mental health fun, and not a chore. Here’s his TEDx talk about how he came up with the idea for Project Uplift.

One thing Zach announced at the NAMI conference was that Project Uplift is Open Source – free for anyone to get the plans to make their own Uplift Tower. By wearing a headset and being guided through a simple breathing exercise, when the wearer relaxes, the brainwaves trigger the fan to lift up a globe themed beach ball. By going within and uplifting themselves, they are lifting up the world.

Zach’s speech reminded us that burnout is a real issue and that leadership starts with self-care.  We think that Project Uplift is a great initiative and we’re excited to share it with you!

The Super Power of Empathy

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past thirteen years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

In this short animated video she explains the four qualities of empathy: perspective taking, staying out of judgement, recognizing emotion in other people, and communicating that emotion. She goes on to explain, very concisely, how to implement them.

Using empathy is incredibly important in the work we are doing with the SOVA project. While our feasibility study is in full swing, we are seeing comments and connection with our websites. As providers we remain cognizant of our clients needs and emotions as they open up to us.

We recently shared this video on our project websites – what do you think? Did Dr Brown hit the nail on the head? Tell us what you think in the comments!

 

 

Preparing Our Students for College

 

7184808054_faa7bac3f1 Photo Credit: Illinois Springfield via Compfight cc

Recently, the JED Foundation, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The Jordan Porco Foundation released the results from a study showing how young adults transition from high school to college. Many challenges arise at this tough time that can greatly affect how your future plays out. If we, as healthcare providers, know what these challenges are, we can help intervene!

The Harris Poll of 1,502 U.S. first-year college students found that emotional preparedness- which is defined by the ability to take care of oneself, adapt to new environments, control negative emotions or behavior, and build positive relationships– plays a major role in students’ success during their first year of college. Students who are less emotionally prepared for college were more likely to have a lower GPA and label their college experience as terrible or poor. 60% of the students wish they had more help with their emotional preparedness for college.

One of the major issues is that the support they wish they had was not there. 51% of the students said they found it difficult to get emotional support at college. So where do these students look for support when they need it?

76% turn to their friends for support

64% turn to their family for support

24% turn to the university staff for support

While some students are seeking support, 65% of first year college students say they tend to internalize these feelings about such challenges. Here at SOVA, we are determined to figure out a way to bring this percentage down. Our goal, via technology, is to provide another mode of support. Creating a safe and anonymous environment online, can give adolescents a way to out their challenges without feeling embarrassed. An online support community can also be extremely accessible at all times, unlike most of the other support systems.

 

National Suicide Prevention Week

NSPW

 

Did you know?

  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24
  • Every day there is an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by adolescents in grades 7-12
  • It has been found that four out of five people had shown  warning signs before committing suicide

National Suicide Prevention Week was formed to raise awareness and advocate for these alarming statistics, and corresponds with a global effort.  This year the national dates are September 6th- 12th.

Here are some national campaigns you can take part in to show support for preventing:

Sources: AFSP,  Jason Foundation