Mental Health

What should you do during a psychiatric medication shortage?

With the increased stress caused by the the COVID-19 pandemic, prescriptions for medications to treat mental illnesses have increased, leading to potential shortages of certain psychiatric medications. This means that some people might need to discuss their options with their prescribing clinician.

Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit

The brain’s neuroplasticity — its ability to adapt and change — makes it possible for us to learn new skills and solve complex problems, but it also makes some people more vulnerable to the consequences of substance use disorders. This same ability also makes it possible for a person to make cognitive modifications in order to change an addictive behavior.

Global mental health in the time of COVID-19

The singular focus of health care services on COVID-19 has disrupted mental health care, and people with new or existing issues are having difficulty accessing much-needed care. A global initiative launched at Harvard Medical School aims to rectify this situation and transform global mental health.

Easing stress and seeking normalcy in traumatic times

Traumatic events, whether global or in a person’s own life, can take a toll on mental health. How can you reduce your stress and regain your emotional composure after going through a difficult time?

Can forest therapy enhance health and well-being?

When you were a child and your mother told you to go play outside, it wasn’t just because she needed some child-free time. Inspired by a Japanese practice, forest therapy is an immersion in nature that has been shown to have positive effects on health.

Collaborative care: Treating mental illnesses in primary care

Collaborative care is a team-based model of integrated psychiatric and primary care that can treat mental illnesses in the primary care setting. Providing this patient-centered care in the primary care setting improves access to mental health care and reduces stigma.

If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal

There is disagreement over whether or not there is such a thing as a cannabis withdrawal syndrome, but it’s definitely real, and with increased availability of legal marijuana and other products, even those who use it medicinally need to be aware of the symptoms, and what to do if they think they have it.

Why your sleep and wake cycles affect your mood

The body’s circadian rhythm controls our sleep-wake cycle, so an irregular rhythm can negatively affect sleep and proper functioning, which can lead to health problems including mood disorders. The tendency to rise early or stay up late is genetically determined, but you may be able to adjust your life to better match your circadian rhythm.

COVID-19 and the LGBTQ+ community: Rising to unique challenges

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, the LGBTQ+ community faces specific difficulties that add stress to the situation. The resources gathered here can help.

7 tips for going outside safely with your children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

During the COVID-19 pandemic, getting yourself and your children outside helps with both physical and mental health. Be smart and do it safely by following these tips.