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"Human health is profoundly threatened by our global failure to halt emissions growth and curb climate change. As representatives of health communities around the world, we argue that strategies to achieve rapid and sustained emissions reductions and protect health must be implemented in a time frame to avert further loss and damage. We recognise that this will require exceptional courage and leadership from our political, business and civil society leaders, including the health sector; acceptance from the global community about the threats to health posed by our current path; and a willingness to act to realise the many benefits of creating low carbon, healthy, sustainable and resilient societies." - Doha Declaration on Climate, Health and Wellbeing
Does alcohol-related activity on Facebook promote drinking?
The more a Facebook user gets involved in alcohol-related pages or posts -- whether it's a like, share or comment -- the more likely that person is to consider drinking alcohol
Michigan State University
Public Release: 9-Feb-2015
Released Inmates Need Reentry Programs to Meet Basic and Mental Health Needs
Newswise, Jan. 6, 2014 - When inmates with severe mental illness are released from jail, their priority is finding shelter, food, money and clothes. Even needs as basic as soap and a place to bathe can be hard to come by for people leaving jail, according to a new study from Case Western Reserve University’s social work school. “Reentering the community after a period of incarceration in jail is a complex situation,” said Amy B. Wilson, who researches jail and prison issues, and even more difficult for inmates who suffer from a major mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.
Jails, unlike prisons, house offenders serving short-term sentences or those awaiting trial. Therefore releases from jails are more unpredictable then prisons, allowing less time for planning and transitional services, Wilson said. The problems associated with the transition from jail to the community is also compounded by a general assumption within the correctional system that family and friends will house and care for released inmates, said Wilson, who has found the reality, for some, is quite different.
Some inmates lose everything they own while in jail, including a driver’s license and social security card, she said. And once released, access to their apartment or house might be lost as well. While observing inmates for this study, she saw some released during winter wearing summer clothing. One woman was released wearing see-through pajamas. Other inmates reported having no money or a place to go.
Findings were reported in the Qualitative Health Research journal article, “How People With Serious Mental Illness Seek Help after Leaving Jail.” Link to full story.
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Plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste
Wansink, Brian; van Ittersum, Koert Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Vol 19(4), Dec 2013, 320-332.
Research on the self-serving of food has empirically ignored the role that visual consumption norms play in determining how much food we serve on different sized dinnerware. We contend that dinnerware provides a visual anchor of an appropriate fill-level, which in turn, serves as a consumption norm (Study 1). The trouble with these dinnerware-suggested consumption norms is that they vary directly with dinnerware size—Study 2 shows Chinese buffet diners with large plates served 52% more, ate 45% more, and wasted 135% more food than those with smaller plates. Moreover, education does not appear effective in reducing such biases. Even a 60-min, interactive, multimedia warning on the dangers of using large plates had seemingly no impact on 209 health conference attendees, who subsequently served nearly twice as much food when given a large buffet plate 2 hr later (Study 3). These findings suggest that people may have a visual plate-fill level—perhaps 70% full—that they anchor on when determining the appropriate consumption norm and serving themselves. Study 4 suggests that the Delboeuf illusion offers an explanation why people do not fully adjust away from this fill-level anchor and continue to be biased across a large range of dishware sizes. These findings have surprisingly wide-ranging win–win implications for the welfare of consumers as well as for food service managers, restaurateurs, packaged goods managers, and public policy officials. Abstract link. doi: 10.1037/a0035053
Lifestyle Changes Lengthen Telomeres
Newswise, Sept 16, 2013 - For five years, researchers at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute followed 35 men with early stage prostate cancer to explore the relationship between comprehensive lifestyle changes and telomeres. Telomeres are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age: as the cap shortens, cells age and die more quickly. Ten patients made lifestyle changes that included:
The Secret to Finland's Success With Schools, Moms, Kids—and Everything
The Atlantic, July 11 2013 - The country has cheaper medical care, smarter children, happier moms, better working conditions, less-anxious unemployed people, and lower student loan rates than we do. And that probably will never change. Full story
Study Finds It's Better, Healthier to Give Than Receive
Newswise — BUFFALO, N.Y. – Feb. 4, 2013 - A five-year study by researchers at three universities has established that providing tangible assistance to others protects our health and lengthens our lives. "over the five years of the study," says Michael J. Poulin, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo, "we found that when dealing with stressful situations, those who had helped others during the previous year were less likely to die than those who had not helped others.” Link to the release. The study, Giving to Others and the Association Between Stress and Mortality, in the American Journal of Public Health, is here.
Effects of Stress Can Persist for Generations
Scientific American Mind, Feb. 11, 2013 - Stressful events early in a person's life, such as neglect or abuse, can have psychological impacts into adulthood. New research shows that these effects may persist in their children and even their grandchildren. Link to story.
Japan tsunami stress may have brought on seizures
Reuters, Jan. 20, 2013 - The number of seizure patients in a northern Japanese fishing community devastated by the March 11, 2011, tsunami spiked in the weeks following the disaster, according to a Japanese study. Thirteen patients were admitted with seizures in the eight weeks after the disaster, but only one had been admitted in the two months before March 11. Previous research has linked stressful life-threatening disasters with an increased risk of seizures, but most case reports lacked clinical data with multiple patients. Of the 13 admitted after the disaster, 11 had preexisting brain disorders that included epilepsy, head injuries or stroke. More from Reuters. Go to the journal abstract.
Can Eye Movements Treat Trauma?
Recent research supports the effectiveness of "eye movement desensitization and reprocessing"
By Tori Rodriguez, Scientific American, Jan. 18, 2013 - Imagine you are trying to put a traumatic event behind you. Your therapist asks you to recall the memory in detail while rapidly moving your eyes back and forth, as if you are watching a high-speed Ping-Pong match. The sensation is strange, but many therapists and patients swear by the technique, called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Although skeptics continue to question EMDR's usefulness, recent research supports the idea that the eye movements indeed help to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Read the full story.
Study Examines Link Between Incarceration and Psychiatric Disorders
Newswise, Jan. 16, 2013 - Psychiatric disorders are prevalent among current and former inmates of correctional institutions, but what has been less clear is whether incarceration causes these disorders or whether inmates have these problems before they enter prison. A study co-authored by Jason Schnittker, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, shows that many of the most common psychiatric disorders found among former inmates, including impulse control disorders, emerge in childhood and adolescence and, therefore, predate incarceration. Yet incarceration seems to lead to some mood-related psychiatric disorders, such as major depression, which have important implications for what happens to inmates after their release. Link to study abstract in Journal of Health and Social Behavior. Link to release. More health news on this site.
More flexible timetables, staff training will help fight student stress: Queen’s report
Toronto Star, Nov. 28, 2012 - A landmark report on student mental health by Queen’s University calls on the school to balance exam timetables, create a fall break for overwhelmed undergrads, and train more staff to spot the signs of severe stress on its campus.
The Principal’s Commission on Student Mental Health makes 116 recommendations on almost every aspect of student life, from building a new student wellness centre where students can go for counseling, to pet visits and adopt-a-grandparent programs, which can help build a more welcoming environment where students with mental-health problems feel comfortable asking for help. Link to full story.
Learning to Overcome Fear Is Difficult for Teens
Newswise, Sept. 27, 2012 - A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers shows that adolescents' reactions to threat remain high even when the danger is no longer present. According to researchers, once a teenager's brain is triggered by a threat, the ability to suppress an emotional response to the threat is diminished, which may explain the peak in anxiety and stress-related disorders during this developmental period.The study was published Sept. 17 in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). More.
Study: 60% of deaths in Ontario attributed to 5 unhealthy habits
By Andrew Moran, Digital Journal
Researchers state that 60 percent of all deaths in the province are attributed to atrophy. Overall, if everyone were to be healthy in all of those five categories [alcohol, cigarettes, diet, physical activity and stress] then we would all live longer – poor diet, smoking and physical inactivity accounts for a loss of about two years in an average lifespan. The research suggested that not only does quitting at least one of those nasty customs increase your longevity but it also improves your general health. The study is by Public Health of Ontario and the InstitutClinical Evaluative Sciences. More.
Placebo reduces the urge to cough
June 18, 2012
The desire to cough can be soothed by a placebo, suggesting that coughing can be controlled by more sophisticated thought centres in the brain, according to a small new study. Link to the story.
Psychological distress as a risk factor for death from cerebrovascular disease
June 18, 2012
People with psychological disress (who scored four or more on the GHQ-12 scale) had an increased risk of death from cerebrovascular disease and ischemic heart disease. Link to the journal abstract.
Brains of anxious women work harder, study reveals
Toronto Star, June 12 2012
When anxiety is brought to bear on a simple task it interferes with women’s ability to deal effectively when they make mistakes — so their brains work less inefficiently. Full story.
Creating friendships between African-American and Caucasian couples can reduce prejudice - Wayne State University, June 20, 2014
Kids with strong bonds to parents make better friends, can adapt in relationships - University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, June 19, 2014
It’s All Coming Back to Me Now: Researchers Find Caffeine Enhances Memory - Newswise, Jan. 9, 2014
Fear of Being Too Skinny May Put Teen Boys at Risk for Depression, Steroid Use - Newswise, Jan. 13, 2014
Remission From Depression Much Slower in Adults Who Were Abused in Childhood - Newswise, Jan. 9, 2014
Teen Concussions Increase Risk for Depression - Newswise, Jan. 9, 2014
Want your children to grow up to be healthy adults? Teach them to cook...Canadian Press, Dec 16 2013
Terrible Twos Who Stay Terrible... New York Times, Dec. 16, 2013
Surge in diseases of animal origin necessitates new approach to health - report...FOA - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Dec. 16, 2013
A Rationale for Biologically based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF): Bioeffects are clearly established to occur with very low exposure levels (non-thermal levels) to electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation exposures.
A documentary about overcoming mental health stigma in the workplace. The site provides tools for use with the documentary in education, job training and awareness initiatives. Project developed by SkyWorks Charitable Foundation in partnership with Oolagen, a youth mental health centre in Toronto
The average global alcohol consumption in 2005 was 6.1 litres a year per person; Canadians put away 9.9 litres per person. More.
"NHH’s first Citizens’ Advisory Panel was a new way to work together to address tough problems. It brought together a group of community members, chosen at random through a civic lottery, to learn about the issues, represent the interests of their neighbours and fellow citizens, and make informed recommendations."
The full report.
Breaking the Taboo
Families and corporations struggle with mental illness. By Jan Matthews. Link.
Information Overload: Is too much information making you sick? By Jan Matthews, Chatelaine magazine, 1998. Link.