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The April 2017 issue will be printed April 28; copies will be distributed that day and all distribution sites will have copies by May 3. High-traffic locations will be restocked weekly throughout the two-month publication cycle to ensure everyday circulation.
The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
In that context, we face numerous challenges:
- Mental health disorders affect a great many Americans, from all walks of life, in numerous debilitating ways: anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicide, eating disorders, and bipolar disorder syndrome among them. Anxiety disorders alone affect 40 million adults in the U.S., and 15 million American adults are coping with severe depression.
- Persistent depressive disorders—depression that continues for at least two years—affects 3.3 million American adults.
- Suicide in the U.S. has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years—lifting the nation’s suicide rate to 13 per 100,000 people, the highest figure since 1996.
- Substance abuse issues have also reached epidemic levels: an estimated 20.6 million people in the U.S. over the age of 12 suffer from addiction—and drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015.
Addressing mental health is, of course, the work of many specialists. But mental and physical health are inextricably linked, so all healers deal with mental as well as physical health. Chronic pain, trauma, or other major physical problems often contribute to mental health problems; and mental health issues can exacerbate physical problems. At the same time, healing the mind can help heal the body and vice versa.
Linking Mental and Physical Health
“When someone’s belly hurts, I ask very quickly what’s going on in the mind as well as in the abdomen. When someone is depressed, I think also about what might be going on in the body that’s leading to the depression. Mind and body are inextricably woven together. Every primary physician knows that. Studies show that probably half the visits to us in the office are for things related to mind issues rather than body issues. We’d better be educated in both if we’re going to serve those patients well.”
That quote is from Dr. Thomas Delbanco, speaking with Bill Moyers as part of the epic Healing and The Mind television series. At the time, he was head of the primary care division at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Delbanco acknowledges in his interview that “I know more about the body than the mind. It’s probably the easier to study and that’s what we learned in medical school—95 percent body and 5 percent mind. But I’ll tell you, once you’re in practice, and you’re taking care of real people, it becomes much closer to 50:50.”
In the April issue of Health&Healing, we invite practitioners to share their programs and insights for dealing with depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues; and to talk about the “50 percent” of their practice that clearly relates mind and emotions to physical health and dis-ease. Often, the connections are powerful and easy to discern: biofeedback and hypnotherapy, for example, rely solely on the power of the mind to effect healing. In other cases, the connection is more subtle but no less fascinating: eczema and psoriasis are exquisitely sensitive to increases in stress. Asthma seems to thrive on psychological distress. Clients often express relief of depression following chiropractic treatment. And it’s inescapably true that the quality of our thoughts greatly influences the quality of our lives.
We invite local practitioners to join in this discussion of Mental and Emotional Health in our April 2017 issue.
A special section of the publication—Other Voices, Other Choices—provides a forum for area practitioners to submit articles related to the feature topic. In this section, we invite health care/health service providers who have a special connection to the feature topic to write articles about their work.
Mental health care practitioners include a broad range of skills and perspectives, and deal with many different kinds of issues and diseases. And the conditions that fall under the umbrella of "mental health" are many. In April, we welcome the perpectives of psychologists and psychiatrists, social workers; specialists in treating substance abuse and eating disorders; those who help with phobias and anxiety; experts who address suicide prevention, among others. We also want to hear from the practitioners who, understanding the deep connections between mental and physical health, offer holistic advice and support about the roles of nutrition, exercise, and pain management.
To join the conversation, see information about the Other Voices, Other Choices section in Advertising in Health&Healing, and contact us at 919-967-6802.
The following are reservation deadlines to guarantee space in the April 2017 issue; advertisements may be included after these dates on a space available basis. To reserve space, a reservation contract must be submitted by the appropriate deadline. Contact us for information or a reservation contract.
- Reserve article space by March 28
- Reserve display ad space by April 7
- Other Voices, Other Choices articles due April 7
- Reserve classified Health Services Directory
space by April 14
- Camera-ready display ads due April 14