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Mental Health

Mental Health   

How Six Hours a Week Can Build a Healthy, Loving Relationship

Mandy Doria, MS, LPC, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says therapy is not just for ironing out the bad wrinkles in relationships.


Author Kelsea Pieters | Publish Date February 13, 2024
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Mental Health   

Online Dating: How to Make a Search for Love Work for You

Swipe right and you might find the love of your life. At least that’s what dating apps would have you believe. However, as many have discovered, online dating is far more complicated than a simple swipe, and its impacts on our mental health can outnumber all those fish in the sea.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date February 08, 2024
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Community    Mental Health   

Sports Betting: How to Know If You've Crossed the Line

You don’t have to be a passionate sports fan or a fanatic gambler to know that sports betting is booming.

This year’s Super Bowl, second in viewership only to FIFA World Cup soccer, is estimated to generate $1.3 billion in bets in the U.S. alone, breaking its previous record for money wagered on a single live sporting event in the United States. More than 50 million people placed bets on last year’s Super Bowl, another record expected to be shattered by bettors on the Taylor Swift-ified clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers this Sunday.


Author Kristen O'Neill | Publish Date February 05, 2024
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Mental Health   

From Serial Killers to Cult Profiles: Why Do We Love True Crime?

Each week, millions of Americans close their blinds, pour a beverage and snuggle under their favorite blankie to binge the latest true crime docuseries and podcasts.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date February 02, 2024
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Patient Care    Mental Health   

What to Do If Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution Becomes an Addiction

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions involves starting or getting back into an exercise program. The usual marketing and social media focus on “getting fit in the new year” can also have unintended negative impacts on those who already struggle with an often-ignored mental health issue called compulsive exercise (sometimes referred to as exercise addiction).


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date January 12, 2024
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Research    Mental Health    Clinical Research   

Can Sperm Carry Stress Signals to the Next Generation?

At the fall Block Party, when the center of campus erupted into a mass of people, booths and food trucks, some partygoers might have noticed an unusual guest milling around. An oversized sperm, waving and weaving through the lines of people, turned more than a few heads at the annual event.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date January 10, 2024
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Press Releases    Mental Health    Pharmacy    Pharmaceutical Sciences

Hundreds of Clinics May Be Guilty of False or Misleading Claims in Ketamine Advertising

Hundreds of clinics may be using false and misleading statements in online advertising campaigns by offering off-label and unapproved ketamine to treat a variety of mental health and pain conditions, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campusand Johns Hopkins University.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date November 07, 2023
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Faculty    Mental Health    Community and Practice

Coaching Program Reduces Burnout in Medical Residents

A pilot program that successfully reduced burnout among female medical residents has shown even greater results on a national level, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author David Kelly | Publish Date October 04, 2023
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Mental Health    Climate Science   

Aftermath of Maui Wildfires May Have a Heavy Mental Health Toll

As first responders across the nation headed to the fire-ravaged small Hawaiian island of Maui focused on halting the devastation, psychological experts were bracing for an aftermath of another kind.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date August 10, 2023
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Patient Care    Mental Health   

New Unit Signifies Fresh Path to Reversing Mental Health Crisis

With its curved nursing stations and faux stone pathways winding throughout brightly-lighted hallways, the new 40-bed behavioral health unit at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) represents a fresh focus on mental healthcare at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date July 25, 2023
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Community    Mental Health    COMBAT   

Fireworks and PTSD: Keeping the Warzone Out of the Fourth

For one of Ian Stanley’s former patients, an unexpected firework blast sent him hurling across the room, pouncing on his children and shielding their bodies from the fallout of the “bomb attack” that left him trembling in fear.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date June 20, 2023
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Research    Patient Care    Mental Health    COMBAT   

Post-Traumatic Growth: How to Flourish After a PTSD Diagnosis

No caring person would wish post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – or the likely terrifying event that led to it – on anyone. But for those people who develop the mental health condition and find treatment, the skills and lessons they learn can improve their lives in unexpected ways.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date June 09, 2023
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Patient Care    Mental Health   

Can Magnets Help Heal Depression?

A treatment offered by the University of Colorado School of Medicine Community Practice is giving hope to people with depression who haven’t found relief with other treatment options.


Author Guest Contributor | Publish Date May 30, 2023
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Community    Mental Health    Addiction   

How Can Employers Help When Workers Struggle With Substance Use?

It’s no secret that Coloradans are struggling with substance use and mental health issues.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 12, 2023
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Patient Care    Mental Health   

Can ChatGPT and TikTok Fads Hurt People Struggling with Eating Disorders?

Many professions, including the mental health field, are greeting new AI technology like ChatGPT with excitement and fear, celebrating the possibilities while predicting the dark sides. For eating disorder experts, where everything from chatbot misdiagnoses to AI-generated body images can have devasting consequences for their patients, the concerns are high.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date February 24, 2023
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Community    Mental Health

How to Cope When Valentine’s Day Triggers Sadness

While many people celebrate love and romance on Valentine’s Day, for some people, it can be a day shadowed by pain and loss. Mental health issues from depression, grief and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can all trigger harmful negative emotions.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date February 07, 2023
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Research    Mental Health

Could Psychedelic Research Comeback Signal Holy Grail?

Voters in November pushed Colorado to the forefront of a psychedelic-assisted therapy movement for mental health, becoming the second state behind Oregon to approve the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms for therapeutic use.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date November 21, 2022
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Community    Mental Health

Expert Untangles Complexities of Grief for Suicide Loss Survivors

About 800,000 people worldwide take their lives each year, which is one death every 40 seconds, according to the World Health Organization. It’s estimated that for every one person who dies by suicide, there are up to 135 people who are impacted by the death. Survivors of suicide loss often feel stuck in the trenches fighting a battle alone in a war they were thrown into against their will.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date November 15, 2022
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Community    Mental Health

Bipolar Disorder Expert: Raw Look at Selena Gomez’s Life Can Open Eyes

Christopher Schneck, MD, guardedly tuned in to a highly trumpeted documentary on celebrity Selena Gomez on a recent weekend. Unsure if “Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me,” a six-year recorded journey of the pop star’s life that debuted Nov. 4 on Apple TV+, might amount to a publicity ploy, the top bipolar expert began watching with a skeptical eye.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date November 11, 2022
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Patient Care    Mental Health

Shining a Light on Therapy that Might Help SAD Sufferers

As the time changes and the dark days of winter settle in, many people may start feeling the impacts of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Even in Colorado, where we see more sun than most states, SAD is an ongoing problem for many residents and can severely impact their professional and personal relationships if left untreated.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date November 07, 2022
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Community    Mental Health

Could the Kardashians’ Shrinking Bodies Drive Eating Disorders?

The Kardashians, arguably today’s leading body-image influencers, have shrunk, capturing headlines for their striking weight loss. Pictures highlighting tiny waists, jutting ribs and bone-thin arms have shocked fans and raised eyebrows, particularly among eating disorder experts.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date October 18, 2022
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Community    Mental Health

Hurricane Ian’s Reach Includes a Heavy Mental Health Toll

First responders across Colorado and the nation are headed to areas ravaged by Hurricane Ian to assist in recovery efforts. While the acute effects of the tragedy are the prime concern in the short term, experts say psychological effects could persist in the long-term for both survivors and emergency personnel.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date September 30, 2022
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Mental Health    Clinical Research   

Can Science Curb an Alcohol Use Crisis? CU Anschutz Addiction Experts Bank On It

As the nation reels from a substance abuse crisis that’s shattering lives every day, scientists and clinicians across the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus work diligently in their labs and clinics, hoping to prevent tragedies of addiction.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date September 19, 2022
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Community    Faculty    Mental Health

Krinkle: Exceptional Therapy Dog and All-Around Good Boy

Meet Krinkle, a professional therapy dog who works at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center. He and his handler, Samantha McBride, PsyD, senior instructor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, were certified as a therapy dog team in 2015 through Freedom Service Dogs (FSD).


Author Kiley Carroll | Publish Date August 23, 2022
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Research    Mental Health

This Is Your Brain on Mushrooms: How Does Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Work?

Over 60 years ago, Bill Wilson, the man behind the largest sobriety program in history, tried LSD and began publicly touting the psychedelic drug as a way toward recovery from alcoholism. Today, a growing number of studies suggest the Alcoholic Anonymous co-founder’s revelation might be right.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date August 15, 2022
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Research    Mental Health

From ‘Gray’ to ‘Technicolor’: Ketamine Therapy Lifts Patient From Treatment-Resistant Depression

Plagued by severe depression all his adult life, Aaron Serna has lived through years of ups and downs so low nothing could pull him out of the darkness. Job losses, failed relationships, forced hospitalizations and months of isolation and despair mark his 37 years of life, with thoughts of ending it planned out – all the way to the circled day on his calendar.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date July 29, 2022
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Research    Mental Health   

Can Psychedelic Therapy Offer a Sense of Peace for the Dying?

What’s it like living when you are dying?

It’s a question palliative care provider and instructor Jonathan Treem, MD, fields so often, he derived an analogy in answer.

It’s like being in a perpetual horror movie, where a killer lurks inside your home, he says. You’re the main character, alone with the murderer, who lies in wait. As you creep from dark room to dark room, searching for a monster sure to overpower you, the dread builds.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date July 22, 2022
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Research    Mental Health

Can Psychedelic Therapy Ease the Nation’s Mental Health Crisis?

Demonized in the early 1960s despite promising research, psychedelic drugs are making a resurgence as therapeutic tools, capturing the eye of medical scientists and the public. Two initiatives destined for Colorado’s November ballot would open the door to treatment in the state and likely ease the launching of studies at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date July 20, 2022
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Research    Press Releases    COVID-19    Mental Health   

People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Struggled With Mental Health During COVID-19 Shutdowns

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) struggled with their mental health during the COVID-19-induced lockdowns and subsequent restraints on community services, according to a new study published today in Psychiatric Services.


Author Kelsea Pieters | Publish Date June 23, 2022
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Community    Faculty    Mental Health

How to Choose a Therapist That’s Right for You

Starting the process of finding a therapist can be overwhelming. Emily Hemendinger, MPH, LCSW, assistant professor of psychiatry in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, walks through the questions you should ask yourself before starting therapy, the different types of therapy and what to expect at your first session.


Author Kiley Carroll | Publish Date May 24, 2022
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Faculty    Mental Health   

Combating Physician Burnout With Coaching

The term burnout has been tossed around frequently the past two years.

Most people know the feeling, but what can you actually do about it? Tyra Fainstad, MD, visiting associate professor of internal medicine, and Adrienne Mann, MD, assistant professor of hospital medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine decided they wanted to do something to address the root of the problem, so they created and implemented Better Together, a physician coaching program for trainees. The duo answers common questions and addresses misconceptions about burnout.

Editor’s note: This interview was edited for clarity and brevity. 


Author Kiley Carroll | Publish Date May 16, 2022
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Research    Women's Health    Mental Health   

Coaching Program Reduces Burnout Among Resident Physicians

A coaching program aimed at decreasing burnout among female resident physicians significantly reduced emotional exhaustion and imposter syndrome while increasing self-compassion over a six-month period, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author David Kelly | Publish Date May 06, 2022
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Community    Faculty    Mental Health

A Guide to Dealing with Grief and Loss

After a loved one dies, mourners are left to process a range of emotions – depression, guilt, anger, anxiety, numbness, regret. In some cases, even peace or relief can arise as conflicting feelings. Often, a combination of feelings can strike at once. 


Author Kiley Carroll | Publish Date March 11, 2022
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Community    Faculty    Mental Health

Feeling Helpless as the Crisis in Ukraine Escalates? Tips on How to Cope

For many of us, the unrest in Ukraine may be the first time we are seeing images and videos from a war across the world on our phone screens minutes after an explosion. We now have a front-row seat to war on top of remaining on edge from the pandemic, economic uncertainty, climate change, a global refugee crisis, polarized politics and other psychological tumult.


Author Kiley Carroll | Publish Date March 04, 2022
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Research    COVID-19    Mental Health   

Behavioral Health Expert on Front Lines of Police Calls? Study Targets Co-Response Teams

Amber McDonald, PhD, LCSW, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been on the forefront of public safety’s cultural shift for years. She’s helped steer policing from a confrontational, “we’re taking you in” approach toward a more nuanced style such as: “We want to hear you out and connect you to community resources.”


Author Chris Casey | Publish Date January 03, 2022
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Research    Patient Care    COVID-19    Cancer    Mental Health

CU Anschutz in the Spotlight: Here Are the Top 10 Stories of 2021

With the events of the past year underpinned by the fast-mutating SARS-CoV-2 virus and the vaccine rollout, researchers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus remained in the spotlight in 2021.


Author Staff | Publish Date December 14, 2021
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COVID-19    Mental Health   

Dreaming of the ‘Ideal’ Holiday? Forget Perfect. Remember Gratitude.

The holiday season has always challenged mental health experts and their patients. Things like loneliness, depression and grief over lost loved ones don’t go away just because the ornaments and the mistletoe come out. In fact, they often get worse.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date November 12, 2021
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Research    Patient Care    Community    COVID-19    Mental Health

CU Anschutz Puts Strong Focus on Mental Health Needs

The past year has been defined by overwhelming stress. While COVID-19 remains the overarching trigger, a slew of other stressors remain on the boil: domestic economic uncertainty and a global refugee crisis; rising crime rates and mass shootings; climate change and relentless wildfires; and polarized politics and a Capitol insurrection.


Author Staff | Publish Date October 01, 2021
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Community    Mental Health   

Mass Memorials: A Place to Grieve, Heal, Remember

Images of the crumbling Twin Towers are invading American living rooms and cellphones, as the 20th anniversary of one of the worst days in the nation’s history nears. From Netflix and PBS documentaries to news reports of tribute events across the country, the swell of 9/11 coverage will give rise to uncomfortable emotions for nearly everyone.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date September 07, 2021
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COVID-19    Mental Health

Pandemic Boosts Mood Disorder Risk in Vulnerable NICU Parents

Sahra Cahoon remembers watching her baby girl turn blue. As doctors and nurses rushed to the incubator, bagging the infant and performing CPR, the fear the new mother felt defies words. But at least her partner was by her side.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date April 13, 2021
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Community    Mental Health

Tragedy Strikes Boulder, Injecting Sadness, Fear, Anger Into an Already Vulnerable Society

When a gunman opened fire this week in a grocery store next door to our Boulder sister campus, he added to a string of shootings that has put the state on an unwanted map. From the Columbine High School nightmare to the Aurora theater shootings, many Colorado residents and healthcare providers have seen such tragedies unfold before.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date March 25, 2021
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Faculty    Women's Health    Mental Health

This Is Breakthrough: Dr. Neill Epperson

“One of the reasons studying the brain is so fascinating is we do have more to learn, and it is complex,” says Neill Epperson, MD, Robert Freedman endowed professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry in the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, “But let’s face it: this is the organ that is at the seat of who we are. Don’t we hope that it’s complex?” 


Author Kiley Carroll | Publish Date March 16, 2021
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Community    Mental Health

Capitol Chaos Unsettles a Nation Already Battered by Disease and Unrest

A storming of the U.S. Capitol aimed at halting a historical presidential electoral vote failed in its intent on Jan. 6. Yet the riotous act frazzled a nation already weary from a months-long pandemic punctuated by political turmoil and social unrest. And the collective stress is taking its toll.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date January 08, 2021
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