Veterans and Mental Health

Mental Illness Often Plagues Those in the Military Even though the United States has made an effort to increase awareness and support for those struggling with mental illness, more and more people still struggle with their mental health. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in five adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness, equaling as much as 46.6 million Americans. Unfortunately, that number continues to rise. Mental illness can affect anyone from any demographic. One particular group that does not receive the attention they deserve is veterans. In a recent report from a Veterans Affairs analysis, the rate of veterans’ suicides continues to rise, reporting a 6.1% increase in the number of suicide deaths from 2005 to 2017. While this number may not seem large, it’s important to know that the number of veterans in the United States continues to decrease as older generations get age. This population dropped 18% from 2005 to 2017. With the Veteran population getting smaller, and Veteran suicides increasing, this statistic is alarming. With Veterans Day approaching on November 11th, the team at Lifeworks Counseling Center would like to increase awareness on the growing struggles of mental illness within the…

Continue Reading

How Sports Affects Your Mental Health

Sports Have a Positive Impact on Your Mental Health Sports have become an integral part of Americans’ lives, from their days as youths engaging in team sports to becoming dedicated professional sports fans. As you progress through school, playing sports has become a coming of age moment for many. Many parents often played sports in their youth and encourage their young ones to play, as well. The physical health benefits for playing sports and exercising are well documented, including: Maintaining a healthy weight Building strong bones and muscles Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol Reducing the risk of heart disease And much more While many of us are quite aware of the obvious physical benefits organized sports have on your body, sports’ effects on your mental health are often overlooked or just not mentioned. However, the impact on your mental health is quite large, extending throughout your entire life. Lifeworks Counseling Center is here to explain just how powerful participating in organized sports can be for you and your loved ones. Provides Social Connections One of the greatest things that sports offer you is the chance to interact with other people. Humans are inherently social beings. We strive to make social…

Continue Reading

October 10th: World Mental Health Day

Anyone Can Help Spread Awareness for Mental Health We all know how important taking care of one’s health is. Being sick can cause you to miss work or school. It can even affect how well you can complete everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and more. While it is incredibly important to make sure your body is healthy, it is equally as important to make sure that your mind is healthy as well. That is why the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) established October 10th as World Mental Health Day. On this day, you can join others who advocate for mental health awareness with the hopes of improving the mental health of people all across the globe. Mental health struggles can affect anyone, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. WFMH established World Mental Health Day to educate those around the world about mental health and advocate against the social stigma surrounding mental illness. 2019 Theme: Suicide Prevention This year the WFMH has chosen to make suicide prevention World Mental Health Day’s theme. Suicide has been a constant throughout most of history. However, due to complex reasons, the rates of suicides throughout the world continue to increase to…

Continue Reading

Discussing Bullying with Your Children

Bullying Can Have Lasting Effects on All Children As your children grow up, they face many new challenges. Whether it be new subjects in school they struggle to comprehend, growing competition in sports, trying to navigate romantic relationships, or puberty, your child will experience plenty of new things as they go through school. However, weaved within these experiences happens to be something no parent wants their child to go through, and that’s bullying. We often see bullying depicted in movies and TV shows where a larger individual often picks on a smaller child who is seen as nerdy. The only reason they are viewed as nerdy or “uncool” is either because of their looks, wearing glasses or dressing a certain way, or doing well in school. However, not all bullying looks this way. Bullying remains prevalent in schools. While it has gone down from 23% of children being bullied in 2005 to 20% in 2016, it remains a real threat to children from elementary school through high school. What is Bullying? To understand how to discuss bullying with your kids, you must first understand what it is. While there is no specific definition for it, it is often described as…

Continue Reading

September: National Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide Rates are Constantly on the Rise Every Year Suicide is becoming a growing health concern in this country. It has become one of the leading causes of death within the United States. Suicidal thoughts do not discriminate. No matter your age, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or education level, suicidal thoughts can still occur. Unfortunately, the rates of suicide are only increasing. Due to this shocking realization, organizations and people are across the country recognize September as National Suicide Prevention Month. September is a time for drawing the nation’s attention to the problem that is plaguing our country. It is a time for sharing stories and resources with the hopes of ending the stigma surrounding mental illness. This month is used as a chance to help those who are suffering from mental health issues, been affected personally by suicide, and raise awareness on this taboo topic. Suicide is often the result of a medical condition going untreated, yet these mental illnesses do not receive the resources and help they deserve. That is why September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Lifeworks Counseling Center and all other organizations across the country hope to reduce the number of deaths every year while…

Continue Reading

The Impact of Mass Shootings

Mass Shootings Often Leave Lasting Mental Health Effects In under a month, the state of Texas was the place of two deadly mass shootings. The first occurred on August 3rd, 2019 at an El Paso Walmart, leaving 22 killed and another 24 injured. The more recent one happened on August 31st in Odessa, Texas. Seven people were killed with 22 others wounded. These incidents often have lasting effects on those involved. Their survivors are those from nearly every race, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, and any other identifier. Even more jarring is the fact that most of these shootings take place in peaceful places, including schools, churches, theaters, and office buildings. Most survivors show resilience. However, there are still many who experience long-term mental health struggles after these mass shootings. Mental Health Impact  Many survivors don’t always experience physical wounds. For those who survive mass shootings, especially those who believed that their lives were in danger, they tend to experience a host of continuous mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the National Center for PTSD, nearly 28% of people who have witnessed a mass shooting become the victim of PTSD. Another third…

Continue Reading

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is Important to Maintaining Your Overall Health When it comes to sleep, most people believe this is a time when our mind and body shuts down. However, this couldn’t be further from the case. Our brain and body are both very active during periods of rest. Your mind is processing and storing information while your body is restoring and strengthening itself. Sleep is incredibly important to protect your mental and physical well-being. Getting a good night’s rest is as vital to your health as exercising and a healthy diet. Poor Sleep Leads to Obesity Not getting the right amount of sleep has been strongly linked to weight gain. Studies have shown that individuals with short sleep duration are more likely to see their weight increase significantly as opposed to those who get the right amount of sleep. Those deprived of it tend to have bigger appetites and consume more calories than they should. The production of hormones that control appetite is disrupted by the lack of sleep. Studies have shown that levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, were higher, and the levels of leptin, the hormone that subdues appetite, were lower in those without proper sleep. If…

Continue Reading

How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Alcohol

Alcohol Can Be Harmful if Not Consumed in Moderation Drinking has become a staple in many adult lives. Many tend to go to happy hour after work with their coworkers. Alcohol is often used in many networking events as well. It seems difficult to avoid alcohol no matter where you are. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, some struggle to have a healthy relationship with alcohol. It is important to note that if you do have a problem with drinking, you should seek professional help from trusted addiction counselors such as the ones at Lifeworks Counseling Center. That being said, it is still important to be conscious of your relationship with alcohol to stay as healthy as possible. Risks of Alcohol While many people use alcohol as a way to relax or ease nerves, it is well known for its negative effects. Alcohol not only leads to negative consequences for your mind and body, but it can also affect other areas in your life. Here are some risks that come with drinking: Danger to Your Body: Your overall physical health is in danger whenever you drink. Even the smallest doses can lead to noticeable effects. Alcohol attacks your…

Continue Reading

Caffeine and Anxiety

Consuming Caffeine Leads to Mimicked Anxiety Symptoms Caffeine is the most widely used drug in the entire world. In fact, about 85% of the American population consumes caffeine in one way or another every day. Caffeine is an extremely powerful stimulant. It keeps you alert and energized, but it can also have adverse reactions. Too much caffeine consumption can lead to increased anxiety or worsen existing anxiety disorders. According to the Nation Institute of Mental Health, roughly 31% of U.S. adults experience some form of anxiety disorder throughout their life. Because of this, caffeine can lead to worsened anxiety symptoms. Correlation Between Caffeine and Anxiety When consumed, caffeine encourages the body to release the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol leads your body to experience a stress response. These responses are synonymous with feelings of anxiety and panic, making you feel on edge. To further prove this connection between anxiety and caffeine, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the American Psychiatric Association’s guide to help healthcare professionals diagnose mental disorders, currently includes four caffeine-related disorders: Caffeine intoxication Caffeine withdrawal Unspecified caffeine-related disorder Other caffeine-induced disorders (anxiety disorder, sleep disorder) Symptoms Anxiety is our body’s response to situations that are…

Continue Reading

Going Back to School and Children’s Mental Health

The Start of a New School Year May Give Children Anxiety August typically indicates the start of a new school year for many young children. It gives them a chance to experience new settings, learn new information, and see their friends. However, the beginning of the school year also leads to an increase in anxiety for many children. Going back to school may be exciting for many, but it can also be dangerous to children’s mental health. Schools are effectively jobs where kids are incredibly micromanaged by their teachers. These working conditions are extremely stressful for adults, let alone children. It is no wonder why going back to school leads to a decline in children’s mental health. Going Back to School Increases Psychiatric Hospital Admissions  The summer months are a time for children to relax and enjoy their stress-free everyday lives. Kids get to relax and refresh themselves, being free from the stress of working in a classroom. Unfortunately for many parents, once the school year begins, there is a rise in mental health crises in school-aged children. According to one study, the average number of psychiatric hospital admissions dropped from 32 to 22 per 100,000 school-aged children over the…

Continue Reading
Start the conversation