May marks the beginning of Mental Health Month an observance dedicated to spreading awareness of mental health conditions that are becoming increasingly prevalent across the global population. As the body of research concerning the wide-ranging impact of mental illness continues to grow, the correlation between brain health, the process of brain aging, and mental health becomes clearer. While mental health is just one of many important facets of overall brain health, emerging evidence points to its significance in promoting healthy brain aging.
The month of May honors National Nurses Month a time designated to recognize the incredible contributions nurses make to the field, particularly during the increased strain they have endured throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In early 2020, the pandemic turned nurses and other healthcare personnel into frontline responders, forcing them to contend with caring for COVID-19 patients, insufficient personal protective equipment, grueling work hours, and other factors contributing to exponentially rising rates of burnout.
Today, nurses and other healthcare professionals continue to grapple with the global pandemic and its repercussions on the healthcare system, one of which is the magnified visibility of institutional failures. Effects of such failures are widespread and include the tremendous burden placed on frontline nurses throughout the past year, severely impacting their mental and physical wellbeing. With endless reports of overwhelmed and exhausted practitioners flooding the news, supporting nurses and their fellow medical professionals has never been more important.
Body dissatisfaction and poor body image have been rising in prevalence continuously fueled by social and popular media channels leading to shifting attitudes among adolescents in particular. Such concerns are frequently reported in mid-adolescence and may be associated with the subsequent onset of mental health symptoms, ranging from disordered eating patterns to depression. As a whole, body dissatisfaction can lead to behaviors among individuals that multiply health risks, including excessive exercise, drug abuse, and often comorbid psychiatric illnesses which have been linked to numerous adverse outcomes.