Mental Health Awareness for January 2017
Thursday, December 29, 2016 33 Comments
January Mental Health Awareness
Along with Advocacy & Awareness
for other mental health related issues
(and a calendar for the month!)
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the ADD/ADHD Cormidities series
It takes one person to make a difference —
just think of what thousands can do.
~ Psychology Today 2016 Awareness Calendar
A bit early for January
I am using the lull between Christmas Day and New Years Eve to post January’s Awareness list.
I’m pretty sure that nobody will be in any kind of shape to pay attention to it on New Year’s Day (nor am I likely to be in any kind of shape to get it up on January first myself!)
Mark your blogging calendars anyway
Every month and many days of the year have been set aside to promote awareness or advocacy of an illness, disability, or other special-needs-related cause. Scroll down to use this January index to make sure you mark those special occasions this month.
In addition to a calendar for the current month, each Awareness post usually offers a list highlighting important days and weeks that impact and intersect with mental health issues.
May 2017 be the year
when EVERYONE becomes aware of
the crying need for upgraded mental health Awareness.
If I’ve missed anything, please let me know in a comment so that I can add it to the list below.
Attention Bloggers: If you write (or have written) an article that adds content, feel free to leave a link in the comment section and I will move it into it into the Related Content on this post.
Included on every Awareness Month list are awareness and advocacy reminders for health problems that intersect, exacerbate or create problems with cognition, mood, memory, follow-through and attention management.
Stay tuned for more articles about Executive Functioning struggles and management throughout the year (and check out the Related Posts for a great many already published.
Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>
Executive Functioning Awareness
Many mental health & EF attentional challenges are NOT genetic; many are acquired, sometimes long after birth.
Related Post: ADD Overview-101
However, NOT ALL attentional & cognitive deficits are present from birth, simply waiting for manifestations of a genetic propensity to show up as an infant grows older – not by a long shot!
Frequently it’s situational
Almost everyone experiences situational challenges, and deficits in the Executive Functioning [EF] arena can show up any time the number of events requiring our attention and focus exceeds our ability to attend.
Situational challenges are those transitory lapses that occur whenever our ability to attend is temporarily impaired – when there are too many items competing for focus at the same time — whenever our brain is a bit “under the weather” for any number of reasons
As I began in Types of Attentional Deficits, EF problems with attention, short-term memory and cognition are accompanied by specific markers, regardless of origin or age of onset:
- neuro-atypical changes in the pattern of brain waves,
- the location of the area doing the work of attention and cognition,
- and the neural highways and byways traveled to get the work done.
In addition to the challenges that accompany neuropsychiatric issues and age-related cognitive decline, a currently unknown percentage of attentional deficits are those that are the result of damage to the brain.
Many ways brains can be damaged
- Some types of damage occur during gestation and birth (for example, the result of substances taken or falls sustained during pregnancy, or an interruption of the delivery of oxygen in the birth process);
- Others are the result of a head injury caused by an accident or contact sports (since TBIs often involve damage to the tips of the frontal lobes or shearing of white-matter tracts associated with diagnostic AD(h)D);
- Still others result from the absorption or ingestion of neurotoxic substances; and
- A great many are riding the wake of damage caused by stroke, physical illnesses and their treatment protocols and medications.
Need More Examples?
Cognitive lapses and functional struggles frequently occur when the brain is temporarily impaired or under-functioning due to:
- Medication, alcohol or other substances
- Grief or other strong emotional responses
- Stress, especially prolonged stress
- Sleep deprivation
Only a FEW symptoms you (or others) might notice:
- Mood changes or mood swings — or heightened emotions or reactions
- Irritability, impatience and/or increased aggressiveness
- Difficulty understanding broader ideas at times — especially abstract concepts
- Short-term memory difficulties and shortened attention span
- Struggles concentrating on written material
- Impaired decision-making ability
- Denial of disability
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at
THREE of the few Awareness events for January.
Awareness and Advocacy Dates for January 2017
Remember: If you write (or have written) an article that adds content to any of these categories, feel free to leave a link in the comment section and I will add it to the post’s Related Content.
We usually think of physical manifestations when we think “birth defects” – but even though we can’t SEE it, the brain is part of the physical body as well, and mental health problems can begin in utero.
Thyroid Awareness Month
American Thyroid Association
Yep! Thyroid problems (and medication side effects) can cause problems in EF arenas – and frequently DO.
Did you know that accident statistics for those with EF struggles (especially impulsivity) are much greater than those in the general population? And the need for blood created by more than a few of those accidents is a good reason to go give some this month!
ONE more to note from a preventative standpoint, especially with what is on the access-to-affordable-health-care horizon. Believe it or not, this is an issue that directly affects men as well as women – the virus that causes most cervical cancer is transmittable and can develop into other types of cancers.
I’m sure we all want to avoid the negative cognitive effects of “chemo-brain” almost as much as the other ways in which cancer and treatment impact our overall health and well-being. If detected early, cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable cancers — and can sometimes be prevented entirely by having regular Pap tests.
“Affordable access to prevention, screening, diagnostic measures, and treatments for new and pre-existing conditions is essential for keeping ourselves, our children, and our sexual partners healthy.”
~ Susanne Marie Poulette, from her excellent timesunion blog article
Worth your time to check out John E. McDonough’s thought-provoking article,
Five Affordable Care Act questions for the GOP: Republican plans don’t add up
while there’s still time to let your elected representatives know how you feel.
Other links to other posts and lists can be found below (in the Related Content section at the bottom of the majority of my articles), with my appreciation for improving your own Awareness, with hopes that you will help me SPREAD THE WORD!
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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.
Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)
You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.
For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —
Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
- Brain-based Coaching with Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
- Group Coaching LinkList
- Brain waves, Scans & Attention
- Types of Attentional Deficits
- Symptoms of Attentional Struggles
- Executive Functioning Disorders – not just kid stuff
Related Content ’round the ‘net
- WONDERFUL Mental Health Awareness Articles on this site
- Trumpcare Is Likely to Be Costlier, Less Efficient, and More Annoying Than Obamacare
- Here’s How to Save Obamacare
- Medicaid Block Grant Would Slash Federal Funding,
Shift Costs to States, and Leave Millions More Uninsured
BY THE WAY: Since ADDandSoMuchMore.com is an Evergreen site, I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.