Recent Additions

How Mental Health First Aid can Prevent PTSD

By Martha Henriques

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has resulted in widespread trauma and mental health challenges for both civilians and military personnel. However, a new approach to mental health care is emerging that focuses on providing “mental health first aid” to those impacted by the conflict. This approach involves training individuals to identify and respond to the signs of mental health distress, with the goal of preventing more serious conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article explores the effectiveness of mental health first aid and how it is being implemented in Ukraine, offering insights into how this approach could be used to support mental health in other conflict-affected regions around the world.

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Tetris Used to Prevent PTSD Symptoms

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found a new and surprising way to help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – playing Tetris. The study found that playing the popular video game within hours of experiencing a traumatic event could help reduce the incidence of PTSD symptoms. This is because playing Tetris helps block the brain’s ability to form and store vivid and distressing memories associated with the trauma. The study offers a potential new and accessible tool for individuals at risk of PTSD, such as those in high-risk occupations like emergency responders and military personnel. The article provides insights into the research, including the method and potential implications of this groundbreaking study.

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Connection – The Key to Healing and Resilience

by Helga Luest

Helga Luest shares her personal experience of surviving a violent crime and domestic violence, and how she learned that connection is essential to healing and building resilience. She explains how isolation is a natural response to trauma, but that it’s important to recognize the need for connection with family, friends, and community in order to foster resilience. Luest also shares a unique community art project she created to encourage connection and build resilience in her neighborhood. This article is a valuable resource for social workers and anyone interested in trauma-informed care and building resilience.

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Four Ways Social Support Makes You More Resilient

by Jill Sutte

This article explores the importance of social support in building resilience. The article discusses how social connections can help individuals bounce back from adversity and move forward in a positive, adaptive way. It highlights the role of social policies and programs in promoting resilience, and how practicing gratitude, altruism, and finding purpose can strengthen social support networks. The article also emphasizes the importance of supportive relationships in reducing stress and improving health outcomes. Overall, the article provides evidence-based insights into how social support can make us more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

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How to Build Resilience and Why it Matters so Much

by Tracy Brower

In today’s world, social isolation and loneliness have become increasingly common, and the importance of community has never been greater. Building a strong community can provide a sense of belonging, purpose, and resilience for individuals and organizations alike. This article explores the benefits of strong communities, and provides practical tips for building and sustaining them. From creating a shared vision to investing in social capital, this article offers valuable insights for individuals and leaders looking to strengthen their communities.

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Community Resilience: More Supports, More Impact

This article highlights the need for developmental, participatory research on complex community initiatives to help build such community capacity that results in higher community-wide contextual resilience. The article argues that communities that increase community capacity and contextual resilience will likely improve coping behaviors, health, education, and occupation levels, even in poorer, higher Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) communities. The article also shows that contextual resilience is a defining characteristic of places with higher community capacity, even in poorer, racially-mixed, and higher-ACE communities. The article concludes that community-wide resilience can decrease the impact of adverse events on the health of people within communities, and communities with contextual resilience will likely improve coping behaviors, health, education, and occupation levels for its members, even when those communities are poor or consist of individuals with higher levels of ACEs

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Psychiatry Needs to Get it Right With God

by David H. Rosmarin

In a recent article published in Scientific American, Dr. David H. Rosmarin argues that psychiatry needs to take spirituality more seriously in the context of mental health care. Despite the potential clinical benefits of spirituality and patients’ desire for spiritual treatments, health care professionals often ignore potential spiritual solutions to mental health crises. Rosmarin’s own research has demonstrated that a belief in God is associated with significantly better treatment outcomes for acute psychiatric patients. Furthermore, a pilot program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts indicates that attention to spirituality is a critical aspect of mental health care. Rosmarin suggests that further scientific exploration is needed, and patients in distress should have the option to include spirituality in their treatment.

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An Epidemic of Moral Injury

by Rita Nakashima Brock

Rita Nakashima Brock explores the intersection of trauma and theology, arguing that Christians have an opportunity to transform a faith that has fueled genocide, slavery, war, and kleptocracy. Brock draws on her experience as senior vice president and director of the Shay Moral Injury Center at Volunteers of America to offer insights on how to heal moral injury through nurturing trustworthy relationships and integrating moral injury experiences into our lives and communities. She also reflects on her own journey of changing her mind about atonement theology and embracing a life-affirming, this-worldly faith. Brock’s essay is part of a series published by The Christian Century in which leading thinkers reflect on their own struggles, disappointments, and hopes.

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How Prayer Strengthens Your Spiritual Health

by Madeline Vann

“Prayer and spirituality can offer a bigger sense of purpose, provide social support, and help you cope with difficulties. Regular spiritual practice has been linked to various health benefits, including preventing depression. Despite the challenges of studying the impact of prayer, researchers have found that it can have physiological effects on the body, such as calming the cardiovascular system and reducing stress. While serious health problems require medical attention, spirituality can play a key role in coping with life’s challenges. Personal stories, such as that of Tiffanie Lyon, vice president of operations for TEEM Academy and an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Slidell, Louisiana, attest to the power of prayer in providing a sense of peace, hope, and gratitude in the midst of chaos.”

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PTSD Treatment in Light of DSM-5 and the “Golden Hours” Concept
By Lior Carmi, Leah Fostick, Shimon Burshtein, Shlomit Cwikel-Hamzany, and Joseph Zohar

This CNS Spectrums article discusses how PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be treated in light of the latest diagnostic criteria and the “golden hours” concept. The “golden hours” refer to the critical period right after a traumatic event when early holistic intervention and treatment can greatly improve outcomes. The importance of timely and appropriate treatment for PTSD is highlighted and several evidence-based treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are reviewed. The article concludes with recommendations for future research along with the need for increased awareness and education about PTSD and its treatment.

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