A recent study, published in Psychiatric Services, has shown that more Americans are stressed, anxious, and depressed than previous years. According to data analyzed from the U.S. Center for Diseases Control, as many as 8.4 million Americans, or 3.4% of the population, suffer from psychological distress, an umbrella term that covers a range of conditions, from common stress and nervousness to diagnosable depression and anxiety. This estimate has increased from previous estimates, which were less than 3%.
While factors for this rise are varied, health experts are citing the long lasting effects of the 2007 economic recession and the decreasing accessibility of mental health care services as some primary reasons. Whether it be a shortage in mental healthcare providers or gaps in insurance coverage as it relates to mental health, distressed Americans are having a harder time addressing these issues.
At VNA, we are passionate about promoting health and wellness not just among our patients, but among our staff and volunteers as well. We are proud to provide holistic care throughout the continuum of one’s lifespan and mental wellbeing is an important facet in that mission.
As such, we encourage all of our patients, staff, and volunteers to embrace healthier and less stressed lifestyles. While we know these are not substitutes for official mental health care services, we have found the following activities, which were put out by Harvard Health Publications, to be great ‘at-home’ de-stressing activities: