NMHIC Blog

  • Palm of a hand with light bulbs above

    We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know: Why, When, and How to Use Critical Thinking

    Jun 10, 2021
    In an era in which loads of information on almost any topic is available at our fingertips within minutes, most of us are comfortable– confident even – with most of our decisions. But what if our views are skewed, our interpretations are flawed, and we are wrong about the reasons behind our actions? Perhaps alarmingly, there is evidence that this may be more likely than we think. Factors such as conformity, choice-blindness, and confirmation bias influence our behavior daily.
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  • Sleep

    Sleep Matters: Why Our Brains Need Sleep

    May 26, 2021
    Sleep is associated with several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, and the relationship is bidirectional – poor sleep contributes to the development of many mental health disorders and many mental health challenges hinder healthy sleep. Across all populations, sleep deprivation, which is defined as 6-hours of sleep or less, impacts our attention span, memory, mood, immune function, and impulse control in the short-term, but has several long-term consequences, as well.
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  • Man with birds enjoying nature on sunset background

    MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD

    May 12, 2021
    With a looming mental health epidemic amidst the global pandemic, treating trauma has never been more pertinent or more important. But with inadequate conventional treatments for PTSD, what are we to do? MDMA-assisted psychotherapy holds incredible promise as a novel treatment, especially for those who do not respond to conventional treatment. Phase 3 clinical trials which included data collected by 80 therapists at 15 sites in the US, Canada, and Israel are expected to be reported on later this month and the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is undertaking a plan to make MDMA- assisted therapy an FDA approved prescription treatment by 2023.
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  • Kettle ball

    The Pandemic's Toll on Gyms and Mental Health

    Apr 29, 2021
    Like many people at the beginning of the pandemic, I assumed I could use this newfound free time at home productively. Maybe pick up a new hobby, or even stick to a workout routine. However, as the lockdown went on it became apparent to myself and many others that finding the motivation and space (both physically and mentally) was far more difficult than previously thought. Moreover, aside from the physical repercussions of falling out of shape over quarantine, I experienced fluctuations with my mood and attitude. I didn’t realize it previously but working out often helped my mental state, allowing me to be more focused and engaged in general.
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  • Image of feet walking

    Seeking Creativity? Try Taking a Walk

    Apr 15, 2021
    We are more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and most, if not all of us, have experienced some form of fatigue—pandemic fatigue, tech fatigue, emotional fatigue. All these factors play into our creativity and productivity. How can we boost our creativity at work given all these factors? One solution – walking.
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  • Flower with Butterfly

    Mindfulness Amidst National Tragedies

    Mar 31, 2021
    With repeated tragedies in the headlines, a lot of people are feeling fear, anxiety, and grief. Many of us, I suspect, could use some help handling those difficult emotions and thoughts in the wake of continued gun violence in our state and across the country. Mindfulness cannot undo the damage done by senseless actions of violence, but it is one tool to help us cope.
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  • Roof Garden

    Spatial Comfort and Stress

    Mar 11, 2021
    Feeling comfortable in one’s space can act as a grounding mechanism to reduce such stress. The relationship between spatial comfortability and stress is an important concept which is involved in every one of our lives, whether we know it or not. Investigating the various ways in which we can create a comfortable space, whether it be physically or mentally, is key in understanding the effects that architectural and organizational decisions within various communities, facilities, or environments have on mental stress.
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  • Resiliency

    A Hunch About Resiliency

    Feb 24, 2021
    When I really listened, the theme that I heard was that people built their resiliency over time and with infinite patience and compassion from those they trusted most and (perhaps more importantly) for themselves. They asked themselves what they truly needed in the moment of and were able to create space between the quick thoughts. Hence, they were able to refocus to the present moment, seek reassurance from themselves and those they trusted that they were okay, and then solve the situation or challenge.
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  • Avielle Photo

    A Compassionate Legacy of Grief & TraumaOpens in a new window

    Dec 14, 2020
    The upcoming holiday season will be unspeakably difficult, amidst a pandemic many will miss the time surrounded by family and friends, we are also mindful of loved ones lost. Our thoughts turn to the 8th anniversary of the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including Avielle Rose Richman, 19 of her classmates and 6 educators. Urvi Sanghvi, founding member of the Avielle Foundation, wrote a blog piece on the legacy of grief and trauma in the aftermath of survival and recovery following a challenging experience. Urvi reminds us that compassion and kindness are more important than ever and the importance of looking after ourselves and others as we move forward.
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  • Virtual Learning Vector

    Preparing for Online Learning From a College Campus

    Nov 4, 2020
    Coming into this school year, I was unsure what to expect. My past two years at the University of Washington were fun, exciting, academically challenging, and, well, in-person. This year, though, posed new challenges as we transitioned to a completely virtual campus. There wasn’t a “How to do Online School” handbook or an experience that I could relate with to make anything easier. We were all thrown into it. But with practice I was able to organize my life around COVID-19 guidelines while also having a somewhat authentic college experience, as much as one could at least.
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  • A Guide to the Guide

    A Guide-to-the-Guide

    Aug 6, 2020
    NMHIC has created an Inside Out Viewing Guide to help the community start conversations with youth between 5 – 14 years old (adults welcome as well!) about emotions and responding to trying circumstances.
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  • Adolescent Mental Health

    Student Experiences During a Pandemic

    Jul 23, 2020
    While virtually every person has been affected by the pandemic, students have suffered an exceptionally great deal of uncertainty, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, and instability. Personally, the effects of remote learning, social isolation, and the general uncertainty surrounding my education, social, and professional life have caused my mental health to deteriorate.
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  • Pivot during COVID-19

    Mental Health and Wellness Tech Innovation in Response to COVID-19

    Jun 11, 2020
    Recently, many virtual reality (VR) offerings have begun to pivot to offer their solutions in 2D. In layman’s terms this means you can now view the experience from a browser as well as in a VR environment. Some content developers have already launched browser-based options and others have put this in their development roadmap. This pivot covers several issues for mental health patients as well as the general population consumers of wellness or mental health tech.
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  • Using Technology to Cope with Tech-Fatigue

    Using Technology to Cope with Tech-Fatigue

    May 28, 2020
    The integration of technology into most workplaces has been occurring at a slow but steady pace. Until COVID-19 hit, that is. The reliance on technology is a critical component of the transition to working from home, right at the epicenter of telework, and technology also comes with pros and cons. Thankfully, many tech platforms come equipped with several bells and whistles, both for amusement (read: creative and funny Zoom backgrounds) and to enhance functioning and performance.
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  • Diversity and Inclusion in Tech

    The Need for Diversity in Tech, Academia and Behavioral Health

    May 14, 2020
    When comparing the gender, racial, and ethnic diversity of the US population broadly, over half the population is female, and 18% of the population is LatinX. Yet, at major companies like Dell and Microsoft, the gender make-up skews to males by a large margin, and there are less than 10% of LatinX employees.
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  • Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

    Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

    Apr 30, 2020
    It’s too early to say exactly what effect this period will have on people’s short- and long-term mental health, but given that almost a fifth of American adults have likely experienced a diagnosable anxiety-related disorder in the past year, it’s likely that there will be a long and challenging road ahead of us.
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  • Privilege and Vulnerability During COVID-19

    Privilege and Vulnerability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Apr 16, 2020
    The vulnerable groups are not just the elderly population or those with pre-existing conditions or the homeless or under-housed. They are folks from all walks of life who are struggling to cope financially, mentally, or physically with the crisis. There are too many stories and scenarios I have read and heard about to enumerate in this blog post. This pandemic is having a tremendous impact on people from every stratum.
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  • Coronavirus - Recognizing the Upsides for Now

    Coronavirus: Recognizing the Upsides Now – For Later A Directors Perspective from the National Mental Health Innovation Center

    Apr 9, 2020
    Digital tools and platforms became the front face of this classroom. These tools facilitated instruction, communication, and evaluation of learning. This is not the way we typically test technology solutions and their implementation. The urgency and timeline required focus to allow technology to be the tool that gets education done; rather than filling its former role as a modern facilitator of learning to the usual (in-person) classroom experience.
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  • Tips for Therapists Conducting Telehealth

    Tips for Therapists Conducting Teletherapy in Response to COVID-19 Recommendations

    Mar 19, 2020
    Many therapists and agencies have started to offer teletherapy for people they are providing mental health services to. These tips apply to video therapy – where therapist and client participate in the session using a video platform.
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  • Hygiene Guidelines for Virtual Reality Users

    Hygiene Guidelines for Virtual Reality Users

    Mar 16, 2020
    Your job, family and daily routine are most likely being impacted by the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The CDC has provided important guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect your physical health.
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