Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Focus on Mental Health

List of Articles

  • Learning Life Lessons: Part I
    Helping students and supporting them, in their quest to make their lives better, helps to improve the communities too. And that is our mission. The healthy future of society depends on, the literacy and health of today’s children, who are the guardians of the future. Our Projects | Programs will help schools and universities to plan and develop: 1)Health-promoting schools; 2) Programs for Youth Development (PYD); 3)Mental Health Programs to Prevent Gender & Gun Violence; 4)How to Handle Life’s Challenges for Good Mental Health. Learning Life Lessons Series. These so-called Life-Lessons include decision-making, problem-solving, critical thinking, self-esteem, communication, self-assessment and coping strategies. People with such skills are more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyles. It is a three-part-series. Part I addresses first four chapters: 1) Stop procrastinating, get organized; 2) Improving emotional intelligence; 3) Overcoming shyness; and 4) Test-taking strategies. Always remember: Practice! Practice! Practice!

  • Learning Life Lessons: Part II
    Learning effective study techniques can ensure you are fully prepared for your exams, and will help you curve any looming test anxiety. Hopefully, with the techniques discussed in this review, you can avoid cramming the night before and make your study time more effective. Experiences in person’s life are a major source of how self-esteem develops. In the early years of a child’s life, parents have a significant influence on self-esteem, and can be considered the main source of positive and negative experiences a child will have. Learning Life Lessons Series: These so-called Life-Lessons include decision-making, problem-solving, critical thinking, self-esteem, communication, self-assessment and coping strategies. People with such skills are more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyles. Part II addresses these three chapters: 5) Reading effectively; 6) Attitudes and Behaviors for Success; 7) Studying Tips. In many ways, improving the way we read is the number one skill that can change our lives for the better. Attitude is something that lies between emotions and thought processing. It may be positive or negative. Have strong determination and never give up. Commit yourself to long-term learning by studying throughout the semester.

  • Learning Life Lessons: Part III
    Part III addresses these two chapters: 8) Helping the world become a better place; and 9) Becoming an effective changemaker. Reading and learning about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) provides substantive support and capacity-building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues. A lot of the time you can get so caught up in working to improve the globe as a whole, that you forget there are lots of things that we can do every day at home, which have a positive impact too. One of the best things you can do easily, and every day, is to treat others how you want to be treated. The Women’s Health and Education Center (WHEC) aims to help facilitate this engagement. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum is the main platform for the youth to share their ideas at the global level.

  • Contraception and Mental Health
    This review highlights for healthcare providers evidence and principles for practice, affecting women with the common mental health conditions, who want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. Among the most prevalent and disabling chronic diseases affecting reproductive-aged women worldwide, depression and anxiety can contribute to adverse reproductive health outcomes, including an increased risk of unintended pregnancy and its health and social consequences. Effective contraception can be an important strategy to maintain and even improve mental health and well-being. Reproductive health clinicians play a critical role in providing and managing contraception to help women with mental health considerations achieve their desired fertility. This discussion reviews the literature on relationships between mental health and contraception and describes considerations for the clinical management of contraception among women with depression and anxiety. The issues related to contraceptive method effectiveness, adherence concerns, and mental health – specific contraceptive method safety and drug interaction considerations, clinical counseling and management strategies are also discussed. Given important gaps in current scientific knowledge of mental health and contraception, the Women’s Health and Education Center (WHEC) highlights areas for future research. Ultimately, mental health promotion may reduce adverse pregnancy-related outcomes, improve family-planning experiences, and help achieve reproductive goals for women, their families, and society.

  • Psycho-Oncology Services for Gynecologic Cancer
    The purpose of this document is to begin to bridge the gap between clinicians' and patients' expectations of how psychosocial services should be used in response to distress screening. The Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC) supports professional organizations with the mission to improve survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. In 2014, the WHEC approved new standards to promote patient-centered care, an exciting shift driven by research over the past decade showing that patient-centered services improve outcomes. Patient-centered standards include the provision of treatment and survivorship plans, palliative care services, genetic services, navigation programs, and psychosocial distress screening. Given that the popularity of distress screening is increasing exponentially, and begins to bridge the gap between clinicians' and patients' expectations of how psychosocial services should be used in response to distress screening. Key findings and implications for service delivery were: 1) receptivity to referral is a separate issue from that of distress level, 2) strong preference among those who declined psycho-oncology referral to cope on their own emphasized the potential role of self-management interventions, and 3) low social support was a major theme among those accepting referral, suggesting that assessing family support might further contribute to identifying patients in need of additional psychological assessment. Additional studies are needed to further examine, on a large scale, patients' preferences for follow-up care after distress screening. Several different approaches to distress screening are discussed above, and additional studies should examine their comparative acceptability and efficacy.

  • The Diseases of Addiction: Opiate Use and Dependence
    Dependence on opioids is associated with seri­ous morbidity and mortality, and advances in the understanding of the dependence have led to the development of effective treatments. A confusing aspect of the body of research on opi­ate abuse and dependence is the inconsistent use of important terminology that describes the nature and severity of involvement with therapeutic and illicit opiates. The purpose of this document is to provide the reader with a current, evidence-based overview of opiate abuse and dependence and its treatment. Topics covered in this review include the history and demographics of illicit and prescription opiate abuse; risk factors, background characteristics, and comorbid conditions of opiate abusers; the pharmacology of opiate drugs; the biological and behavioral characteristics of opiate dependence; and management of opiate dependence, including treatment of overdose, detoxification and with­drawal, agonist replacement therapy, and drug-free approaches. Additional areas of the course are devoted to the abuse liability of prescription opiates and the impact of abused opiates on the fetus.

  • The Diseases of Addiction: Methamphetamine Abuse
    The admissions rates for treatment of methamphetamine-related disorders have ballooned alarmingly in some areas, particularly in rural or frontier areas, causing public health concerns. As a result, it is important that healthcare professionals have a solid knowledge of the effects and appropriate treatment of methamphetamine abuse and dependence. Various programs addressing substance abuse and methamphetamine abuse are also discussed. The Fellowship of Crystal Meth Anonymous works a Twelve Step program of recovery. Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, so they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction to crystal meth. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.

  • The Diseases of Addiction: Disorders Relating to Alcohol
    Mind-altering substances all yield four basic types of disorders: Substance Dependence; Abuse; Intoxication, and Withdrawal. The etiology and pathophysiology of addictive behavior has been somewhat a mystery to the primary care physician. As such, patients with addiction issues are a particularly difficult group to treat in a coherent and comprehensive manner. The common pathways in reward circuitry that affect memory and learning, motivation, control, and decision making are also involved in the addictive process. It is hoped through these publications; the cycle of addiction can be better understood and managed. Citizens of this century have an ever-widening variety of mind-altering substances to use, but doing so still leads to a few basic sorts of problems with behavior, cognition, and physiological symptoms. These behaviors and alcohol abuse are discussed in this chapter.

  • The Healing Power Of The Mind
    We experience illness on a physical level, but in order to be healed, we must understand where the true healing begins: with-in our hearts and minds. The purpose of this document is to explain methods to transform the minds of self-pity and anger, to work creatively with adversity, and to make our lives meaningful, no matter what state of health we are in. We hope this challenges us to open our hearts with compassion and wisdom. Spiritual cure is an understanding which allows us to begin to see illness and disease in a broader perspective. It directs the attention of mind to the special wisdom of cures that cause permanent healing to take place. Spiritual practices are not magical or miraculous but rather help a person to understand the real causes of health and happiness.

  • Anxiety Disorders
    Anxiety disorders are common in women, and cause substantial impairment in all spheres of functioning. Many effective treatment modalities offer hope and help to most sufferers and by asking specific questions to determine whether an anxiety disorder is a possibility, physicians will be able to make the appropriate diagnosis. Women are particularly vulnerable to such disorders, experiencing them twice as frequently as men. Situations related to gender, such as childbirth and domestic violence may increase the frequency of these problems. The purpose of this document is to outline a general framework for healthcare providers to diagnose and treat various types of anxiety disorders in women.

  • Postpartum Psychiatric Disorders
    Despite societal expectations that having a baby should be a completely joyful experience, many women are ambivalent about the birth experience. Some women are not prepared for the postpartum blues, nor are they aware of the risk of postpartum depression or psychosis. Women who unexpectedly develop postpartum blues may find her experiencing guilt, concern, or fear that having the baby was a mistake. These fears may worsen if the women's partner is not supportive and if there are no close relatives or friends to give emotional and physical assistance after delivery. The purpose of this document is to discuss the postpartum psychiatric disorders and to help primary care physicians to recognize and manage the emotional and psychiatric problems that can occur in the postpartum period.

  • Crisis Intervention In Office Practice
    Crisis intervention provides a theory and treatment model that can be readily applied to helping patients with their psycho-social problems. Patients entering crisis treatment should expect that they will be treated immediately and recover from crisis. Patients can be treated while living in their natural environment, and should be able to return to normal life as soon as possible.  Mental health is a low priority in most countries around the world. Minimal research and resources have been invested in mental health at the national level. The document encourages mental health policy-makers to shift the responsibility to the primary care sector. Although professional training in mental health for primary care workers exists in many countries, it is not rigorously evaluated.

  • Eating Disorders
    It has been estimated that the prevalence of anorexia nervosa is 0.5% in high school and college-aged women and that 1% to 3% of young women meet criteria for the diagnosis of bulimia nervosa. In addition, many more women display evidence of milder forms of eating disorder behaviors. The first step in detecting the onset of an eating disorder is to be familiar with the diagnostic criteria for the major types of eating disorders, including: anorexia nervosa -- identified most simply by significant weight loss and a decrease in nutritional input; bulimia nervosa -- marked by binge and purge behavior with or without weight loss; and eating disorder not otherwise specified -- which is a category that includes patients with eating disorder behaviors and thoughts who do not meet all of the official criteria of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Early detection and management of eating disorders are key factors in improving the course and outcome of the illness. The roles of the individual practitioner in the initial stages of management are to detect the presence of the eating disorder, to perform the initial evaluation, and to refer the patient to appropriate level of care. Coordination with the patient's family, primary care physician, nutritionist, and / or mental health provider is often necessary.

  • Anxiety and Depression in Women in India
    Anxiety and depressive disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders in the community. Both disorders are more common in women according to literature available from developed countries. In this report we will evaluate whether such a trend is also seen in India, and if it is, what could be the possible factors behind it. Before evaluating prevalence figures for a given disorder, it may be necessary to establish that the referents for the disorder are similar to the prototype across cultures as it was widely believed earlier that depression was less common in non- western cultures.

  • Mental Health Promotion in Schools
    When people think of mental health, a negative picture of madness or depression tends to come to mind. However, just as physical health creates an image of strength and vitality, mental health should be associated with strength of mind and vitality in the way that individuals interact with others and as they deal with the challenges of everyday life. Life skills education in schools enables children to protect and promote their own health and well-being. They must have the opportunity to practice such skills in the classroom as well as in homework assignments. Teaching methods therefore need to be interactive for learning such skills, rather than just acquiring knowledge.

  • Psychosocial Impact Of Breast Cancer
    Breast cancer treatments present significant challenges and distress; most patients learn to live with the disease and to incorporate it into day-to-day living. The purpose of this document is to stress upon the factors such as psychologic state, level of optimism, spirituality and support from sources such as family, friends and healthcare team in the recovery of the patients with breast cancer. The psychological distress remains constant over the disease continuum as patients move from diagnosis and treatment to recovery and survivorship. These factors present unique challenges to the healthcare team, and if undetected and untreated psychological distress can jeopardize treatment outcomes and actually increase healthcare costs.

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious anxiety disorder triggered by the experience of trauma. One in 4 individuals exposed to trauma will develop PTSD. Victims of trauma are frequent users of health care, but screening is rarely done and most sequelae remain undetected. In recent years, it has become evident that PTSD is a major health concern both in United States and worldwide. It is a debilitating form of an anxiety disorder triggered by personal experience of serious trauma (e.g., sexual abuse or assault, victim of violent crime or severe motor vehicle accident). The course of untreated disease averages more than 5 years and may lead to additional psychiatric comorbidities, including a greatly increased risk of major depression and suicide. The medicines to treat PTSD with fewer side effects is a possibility and it remains an intriguing idea, and one that ushers in an era of effective drugs with much less side effects.

  • Psychological Impact of Infertility
    The psychological stress of infertility and its managements is widely acknowledged; and it actually affects pregnancy rates. The relationship between stress and infertility has been recognized since biblical times. Recent research indicates that distress may indeed influence the outcome of infertility treatments, and that psychological interventions are associated with increased pregnancy rates. Infertility affects every aspect of women's lives. With infertility treatment, some women become pregnant after one or two tries, but others need many attempts before they are successful. A few never be able to become pregnant or have live and healthy baby. This chapter reviews the psychological impacts of infertility and helps to guide the various coping mechanism. Many institutions have developed mind/body program for infertility, and helps many to reduce the distress of coping with infertility. Although attending the sessions is no guarantee of pregnancy, women who have participated generally feel better.

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Women's Health & Education Center
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