red meat hamburger

Swapping Red Meat for Chicken May Lower Cancer Risk 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women aside from skin cancer. It affects around 1 in 8 women in the United States during their lifetime. 1

 

However, many factors influence the chance of a woman developing breast cancer. Due to the variety of these factors, some which are environmental and lifestyle choices, causes can be difficult to pinpoint. 

 

That is to say, recent research often focuses on factors that lead to cancer which we can control such as nutrition. 

 

A recent study in The International Journal of Cancer reports that consuming poultry instead of red meat may lower breast cancer risk after gathering data from over 40,000 women. 2

 

Red meat and breast cancer?

 

The data, derived from the Sister Study, included participants from the U.S. and Puerto Rico who were 35–74 years old. Participants also provided information that included their lifestyle factors, medical history, height, weight, diet, and other demographic information.

 

The participants also reported details about their food consumption, including type of meat consumption, portion sizes and level of “doneness” of meat. 

 

Throughout the study, the research team reported 1,536 cases of breast cancer.

 

At the end of the study, the scientists concluded that women who ate more red meat had a 23% higher chance of developing breast cancer. 2

 

However, previous studies have not produced similar results. Some researchers have found no association, whereas others have shown a weak relationship between meat consumption and cancer. 

 

Poultry and breast cancer risk?

 

The scientists calculated that those who ate the most poultry had a 15% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who ate little poultry. 

 

The scientists also controlled for a range of factors, including level of physical activity, household income, family history of cancer, race,  vegetable consumption, dairy consumption, body mass index (BMI), birth control usage, and also alcohol consumption. Even with these factors considered, the results were still significant.

 

The effects of cooking methods on cancer risk 

 

An earlier study discovered high consumptions of fried chicken increased breast cancer risk while intake of skinless chicken reduced risk.

 

A further study concluded that chicken cooked by any method was “significantly protective” against breast cancer. 3 The researchers in the latest study, however, found no link between the way people cooked meat and breast cancer risk.

 

However, other researchers report no links between meat consumption and breast cancer. 

 

As always, research must continue before we reach a solid conclusion about the role of meat in breast cancer.

 

 

 

Limitations of the study

 

Although the study had a large number of participants, limitations, of course, exist. For example, the study was observational. It cannot easily explain cause and effect.

 

Furthermore, dietary information was only recorded at the beginning of the study. Participants may have had dietary changes throughout the nearly seven years of the study. 

 

CCMH is proud to offer cancer care right here on our campus at the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma. To learn more, visit their website at ccswok.com

 

Sources 

1 American Cancer Society. How Common is Breast Cancer? 18 September 2019.

2 International Journal of Cancer. Jamie J. Lo, Yong-Moon Mark Park, Rashmi Sinha and Dale P. Sandler. Association Between Meat Consumption and Risk of Breast Cancer: Findings from the Sister Study. 2019.

3 Science Direct. Alacro L. Ronco, Eduardo De Stefani, Alicia Fabra.White meat intake and the risk of breast cancer: a case-control study in Montevideo, Uruguay. 20 May 2oo2.

 

Disclaimer 

 The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital also does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

Content is frequently updated, however, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Alan Riddle, Project Manager with IT receives his yearly flu shot during our Annual Flu Vaccination and PPD Clinic.

International Infection Prevention Week — October 13 – 19

The 2019 theme for the International Infection Prevention Week is Vaccines are Everybody’s Business.

There are many different germs inside and outside of the healthcare setting. These germs spread in many different ways. For example, germs can spread from person to person and from objects to people. To stop germs from infecting people, healthcare professionals, patients and families need to work together to stay healthy.

It takes a chain reaction of events for infections to spread to others. The way to stop germs from spreading is by interrupting the chain. When you go into a hospital or other healthcare setting to receive care, you become vulnerable to catching infections. But the good news is that patients, their families and visitors can take steps to prevent infections by simply knowing the top infection prevention basics.

• Speak up for your care

• Keeping your hands clean

• Ask about safe injection practices

• Ask to have your room or equipment cleaned

• Ask questions about your medications

• Ask about vaccines you need to stay healthy

• Become familiar with healthcare-associated infections

 

man suffering from head injury

Traumatic Brain Injury: Latest Research, Causes & Treatment

Approximately 2.87 million Americans will receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) this year. 1 Many think of this as a problem faced by those in combat situations. However, many traumatic brain injuries are due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Traumatic brain injury can affect anyone in any season of life. Thankfully, recent research has given us a hopeful look into the future of diagnosing, preventing and treating TBI. 

 

Traumatic brain injury and children 

 

72% of TBIs that occur in childhood are caused by consumer products according to a recent study published in the Journal of Brain Injury. 2 These products include items such as floors, beds, stairs, bicycles, chairs, walls and tables. Injuries during sports such as soccer, football, and basketball are also common causes. 

 

Infants and young children may be unable to communicate possible TBI symptoms. Signs you should watch for include change in eating or nursing habits; sensory problems; irritability;  confusion; persistent, inconsolable crying;  inability to pay attention; change in sleep habits; seizures; sad or depressed mood; drowsiness and loss of interest in favorite activities or toys. 

 

To prevent TBI among children, the study suggested parents improve lighting; remove area rugs; avoid hard surface playgrounds; increase use of safety devices such as stair gates; and use stairway handrails without sharp edges.

 

The latest research in TBI diagnosis 

 

One study tested a new blood test which specifically measures two types of proteins –UCH-L1 and GFAP. 3 These proteins release from the brain and into the blood after the brain receives an injury. This test may be as effective or more so than a CT scan. Researchers are excited that this test could be easily utilized in places where CT scans are not possible such as on the field for the military and in underfunded healthcare facilities worldwide. 

 

The latest research in TBI treatment 

 

A new study involving rats suffering from TBI may lead to promising TBI treatment. 4 Researchers will present their findings at the American Chemical Society Fall 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. Their study reports a self-assembling peptide hydrogel that increased blood vessel regrowth and neuronal survival when injected into the brains of rats with TBI. These researchers hope to regrow new blood vessels in TBI patients to restore oxygen exchange which is reduced after TBI. 

 

 

If you have had a traumatic brain injury, we know that recovery can be extensive. We are proud to offer our team of medical professionals to help you regain a normal life as much as possible. From neurological services to our inpatient rehab facility, we’re here for you! Find a physician today by visiting our online directory.

 

Sources 

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention.TBI: Get the Facts.  11 March 2019.

2 Journal of Brain Injury. Ali, Bina; Lawrence, Bruce A.; Miller, Ted; and Allison, Jennifer. Products and activities associated with non-fatal traumatic brain injuries in children and adolescents – United States 2010-2013. 29 July 2019.

3 Forbes. Fisher, Nicole. Study Finds New Blood Test Could Help Detect Brain Injury In Minutes. 24 August 2019.

4 American Chemical Society. Peptide hydrogels could help heal traumatic brain injuries. 27 August 2019.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

school aged child with backpack

Back-to-School Illnesses

Back to school means back to the doctor for many children. It can be very stressful for many families to deal with what seems to be never ending illnesses. School is, unfortunately, a hot spot for viruses and bacteria to flourish including common childhood illnesses that attack immature immune systems of young children. You may already be very familiar with some of the illnesses that commonly spread at school such as the cold or flu. What about other school illnesses like lice or pink eye? Here are 4 common illnesses you may encounter this school year. 

 

Lice 

 

Lice are tiny parasites that feed on your blood. They spread especially easily from schoolchildren through close personal contact and by sharing belongings. It is difficult to completely prevent lice among school children because  they commonly store their items so closely together. 

 

To prevent the spread of lice, encourage your children not to share items. Lice spread through items such as brushes, clothing, headphones, hair decorations, combs, towels, pillows, stuffed toys and blankets.

 

Symptoms of lice include seeing nits in the hair. Nits are the eggs or young form of a louse that attach to human hair. Many  mistake them as dandruff, but unlike dandruff, lice do not brush off easily. Your child may complain of intense itching and have small bumps on the neck, scalp and shoulders. 

 

Nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice will usually take care of a lice problem, but you should see your doctor if the shampoo doesn’t kill the lice. 

 

Pink eye 

 

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is an infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva). This membrane covers the white part of your eyeball and lines your eyelid. When small blood vessels in the conjunctiva are inflamed, they are  more visible. This causes the whites of your eyes to be pink or reddish. Pink eye is usually the cause of a viral or bacterial infection.

 

Symptoms of pink eye include a gritty feeling in one or both eyes, itchiness in one or both eyes redness in one or both eyes, tearing and discharge that forms a crust during the night that may prevent your eye or eyes from opening in the morning. 

 

If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within 12 to 24 hours, make an appointment with your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious eye infection.

 

Pink eye can happen along with colds or respiratory infections such as a sore throat. Wearing contact lenses that aren’t cleaned properly or belong to someone else cause bacterial conjunctivitis.

 

To control the spread, teach your children to wash their hands often, use clean towels and washcloths daily and change pillow cases often. They should avoid sharing these items as well as eye cosmetic and eye care items. During a pink eye episode, be sure to throw away eye cosmetics such as mascara too. 

 

Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease 

 

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild, contagious viral infection. It is spread through bodily fluids. Young children often spread this illness by touching their diaper area during diaper changes or bathroom breaks. 

 

Symptoms include a rash on the hands and feet and sometimes buttocks, fever and painful sores in the front of the throat or mouth. 

 

Practice proper hand-washing and avoid close contact with people who are infected with hand-foot-and-mouth disease to reduce your child’s risk of infection and disinfect common areas often.

 

Contact your child’s doctor if the discomfort keeps your child from properly hydrating or if symptoms worsen after a few days. 

 

Mono 

 

Mononucleosis (mono) carries the nickname of the “kissing disease.” The virus that causes mono transmits through saliva, so you can get it through kissing, but exposure also occurs through a cough or sneeze, or food or drink sharing. Adolescent or young adults most commonly contract mono. Young children usually have few symptoms, however, and the infection often goes unrecognized.

 

Symptoms of mono include sore throat, fatigue, fever, headache, rash and swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits as well as swollen tonsils. 

 

If your symptoms don’t get better on their own in a week or two, see your doctor. It’s important to be careful of certain complications such as an enlarged spleen. Rest and adequate fluids are vital to recovery.

 

Is your child in need of pediatric care? Find a pediatrician in our online directory!

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Cache Community Health Center Now Accepting Patients

LCHC Cache Clinic Now Open – Accepting New Patients

Lawton Community Health Center is proud to announce the opening of a new clinic in Cache, Oklahoma. The clinic is the result of a huge demand for additional services in area communities to meet the needs of the under served and improve healthcare opportunities for rural residents in Cache. Access to quality healthcare is critical for rural communities in which they reside. LCHC Cache, will provide services for all ages including adult and pediatric primary care.

The new clinic is located at 512 C Avenue in Cache, Oklahoma. For more information or to make an appointment, contact LCHC Clinic at 580.699.7361.

bar shelves full of bottles of alcohol

Myths about Alcohol

One of the health observances we recognize in the month of April is alcohol awareness. According to The Global Drug Survey, alcohol is the #1 reason people end up in the Emergency Room.1 Therefore, it is so important to know the facts regarding alcohol consumption for your safety and the safety of others.

 

Myth #1: You can sober up quickly

 

Many make the mistake of letting themselves drink too much, too fast because they assume sobering up will not be difficult. Cold showers, fresh air, and hot coffee may seem refreshing, but it is not sobering. In fact, caffeine is a stimulant. Because of that, someone that is drunk is going to be more awake but just as impaired after coffee. The individual gains a false degree of confidence that they are not impaired. This could lead to riskier decision making.

 

Myth #2: It is good to build up your tolerance so you can drink more and stay sober

 

It is true that the more you drink over time, the more alcohol tolerance you develop. However, tolerance is a warning sign, not a stamp of approval to continue drinking. If you have to drink more to feel the same buzz you once did, you are on a dangerous path to developing a drinking problem. The more you drink, the more damage your body receives.

 

Myth #3: A nightcap helps you sleep

 

It is true that having a drink before you turn in at night will put you to sleep quicker. However, alcohol will disrupt sleep. Research from a 2018 study concluded that alcohol typically disrupts sleep during rapid eye movement or REM sleep, the more crucial sleep stage. 2

 

Myth #4: Eating before a meal will keep you sober

 

Food will not keep alcohol from affecting your body. The alcohol still enters your system. It may be delayed slightly due to the food, but if you drink heavily, your rate of absorption is affected only a little and you still get drunk.

 

Myth #5: Beer affects you less than other types of alcohol

 

Wine, liquor and beer all contain the same type of alcohol (ethanol). One standard drink should lead to the same level of intoxication. However, many tend to drink more when drinking hard liquor or mixing alcoholic beverages. Cocktails often contain much more alcohol than a standard drink.

 

So, what is a standard drink? For beer its 12 ounces.  A standard drink of wine is 5 ounces, and a mixed drink is one shot of 80-proof liquor. Each standard drink contains .5 ounces of ethanol.

 

Myth #6: When someone passes out from drinking, allow him to sleep it off

 

When someone is so drunk he passes out, alcohol can continue to absorb into the body, sometimes leading to a fatal overdose. Unfortunately, some “aspirate” on their own vomit and choke to death after drinking. It’s important to stay with someone who may have had too much to drink. Do not assume that he will be ok while “sleeping it off.”

 

 

 

Life is meant to be enjoyed. However, make sure as you enjoy life you remember your health and safety too! If you feel your drinking habits are becoming a problem, please reach out to one of our CCMH providers for an appointment. You can find a list of them on our online directory at ccmhhealth.com/directory.

 

Disclaimer


The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.


While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

 

Sources

 

1 Global Drug Survey Findings 2014.

 

2 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Colrain, Ian M., Nicholas Christian L., and Baker, Fiona C. Alcohol and the Sleeping Brain. 2018 Feb 21.

 

woman holding decorative heart

Improve Heart Health in Unique Ways

One of the leading causes of death is cardiovascular disease. Although we cannot change certain risk factors such as age and family history, we can help prevent cardiovascular disease and hope to live a long, healthy life. You probably know that  exercise and a healthy diet can help keep our hearts strong, but there are other means to improve heart health that you may not know. Here are six unique ways you can keep your heart healthy.

 

Crank up the music


Several studies have shown that music can have several positive effects on our bodies including lowering stress and even blood pressure. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital also found that heart patients who were confined to bed had slower heart rates, lower blood pressure, and less distress when they listened to music for 30 minutes each day. 1 So, pull out your favorite tunes, sit back and enjoy the improved heart health! 

 

Have a laugh


We have all heard the Old Testament proverb that “laughter is the best medicine” and have experienced positive emotional effects of having a laugh. Science is proving that there are more than just emotional benefits to laughter, however. Consequently, laughter can also helps our hearts pump stronger!  As we laugh, our blood vessels enlarge in diameter. This in return increases the blood flow like when we participate in aerobic exercise.

 

The University of Maryland also conducted a study and discovered that when people laugh at a funny movie scene, they experience improved blood flow. 2 So, head to the movies, turn on your favorite comedian or sitcom, and enjoy some laughs! 

 

Be kind


We know that high stress levels are not good for our hearts. When we are upset, cortisol, our stress hormone, increases and our blood pressure and inflammation rises. When we experience positive emotions though, our oxytocin levels rise, helping to improve heart health, and our cortisol levels drop. Being kind to others makes us feel better emotionally and just might improve heart health.


Consider the Mediterranean Diet


Many studies have had positive heart health conclusions when studying the Mediterranean diet. According to a 2013 study from Spain, a Mediterranean style of eating can reduce heart disease risk by as much as 30%. 3

The Mediterranean diet consists of green vegetables, nuts, avocados, fruits, beans, high-fiber grains, olives and olive oil,  and an occasional side of small, wild fish such as salmon. In this diet, individuals seldom consume red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, sugary foods and drinks, and refined flours.


Love a Pet


Could your favorite canine or feline improve heart health? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), they can!  Studies show that having a pet can relieve stress, help increase fitness levels, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and increase happiness and wellbeing. 4

Studies on dog owners show that they tend to live longer, have lower risks for heart disease, better cholesterol profiles, less hypertension and are less vulnerable to stress. The reason for these positive results is not entirely clear, but it could be due to the fact that dog owners are generally more active than non-owners.  Either way, owning a pet who loves you unconditionally has plentiful emotional benefits.

If you’re not in a position to own a dog, local shelters often need volunteers to play with dogs. Consider playing with a friends dog or taking up dog walking and earn some extra cash too!

 

Offer a Hug


Oxytocin levels rise and cortisol level drop when we give and receive hugs. In a study by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, participants who hugged their partners had a slower heart rate up to 10 beats per minute than those who did not hug their partners.5

So, grab someone around you who needs a hug, and enjoy the improved heart health!

 

Good health is often about incorporating small changes in our routine. We hope this article encourages you to add some of these activities to your routine and  improve your heart health today!

Learn about Heart and Vascular Services at CCMH by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Heart-And-Vascular/.

 

Sources

1 Harvard Health Letter. Harvard Health Publishing. Nov. 2009. Using music to tune the heart.

2 Stein, Rob. Los Angeles Times. Apr. 2005.  Laughter helps blood go with the flow.

3 John Hopkins Medicine. Take Your Diet to the Mediterranean.

4 The American Heart Association. Apr. 2018. Can Your Pet Help You Be Healthier?

5 McColm, Jan. Endeavors. Jan. 2004. A Hug a Day  

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Do You Know Your Tips for Halloween Safety?

From cool costumes to sugary treats, kids can’t wait for Halloween to arrive. Halloween is one of the most anticipated days of the year, yet it is important to also be very cautious and know some tips for Halloween safety. In Fact, the National Safety Council reports that children are twice as likely to be killed in a car accident on Halloween than any other day of the year. 1 Here are a few tips so you can make the most of your Halloween holiday and avoid an emergency visit to see us here at CCMH!

Costume Safety

Be aware of the following to help children avoid accidents involving their costumes:

  • Consider buying light-colored costumes that are easy to see at night.
  • Add reflective tape or glow-in-the-dark tape to your child’s costume and to their trick-or-treat bag. Some children enjoy carrying glow sticks or flashlights as well. Ensure your child knows not to break into the glow stick because the contents are toxic.
  • Make sure all costumes are flame-retardant. If you make a costume, use nylon or polyester materials.
  • Accidents can occur not only because children are distracted on Halloween, but because some costumes make it difficult to see. Consider using non-toxic face paint or makeup instead of masks.
  • It is illegal to sell colored or decorative contact lenses. Only use them if a licensed optometrist prescribed them. When not prescribed and ensured for safety, colored contacts may cause inflammation and pain and serious infection, which may cause permanent vision loss.
  • Talk to your child about how to be safe with any costume props by avoiding swinging or throwing them. Props that are plastic, lightweight and flexible are best.
  • For younger children, put their name, your name and contact information on a notecard in their pocket.
Trick or Treating Safety
  • Halloween is not the best night to let an unexperienced driver occupy the roadway. Compromise by allowing older kids to walk the neighborhood with their friends but pick them up and drop them off at designated locations. Also know the route they plan to walk beforehand.
  • Remind your kids to put electronic devices down and pay close attention when crossing roadways.
  • Teach your children to use crosswalks, sidewalks and lit areas and never assume drivers will stop. When possible, tell them to try to make eye contact with drivers so they can be certain they are seen.
  • Although they are excited, remind your children to walk, not run. Running in the dark often leads to serious accidents.
  • Discuss safety tips concerning strangers with your children. Remind them not to go up to houses that do not have the porch light on and not to enter the home or vehicle of strangers.
Candy Safety
  • A good meal prior to trick-or-treating will discourage your child from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Fortunately, candy tampering is rare. However, help your child check all treats to make sure seals are not broken and packages have no holes or tearing.
  • Throw away spoiled items and homemade treats that were made by strangers.
  • Ensure young children do not have candy that may cause choking.
  • Make sure children know not to eat any candy until they are home so you can inspect it.
  • Halloween can be challenging if your child has food allergies. It’s important that parents closely examine Halloween candy.
  • Always read the labels on treats. Many popular candies contain common allergens, such as peanuts or tree nuts, egg, soy wheat or milk.
  • If the ingredients aren’t listed, hold a treat “exchange” with other friends.
  • Candy is often high risk and contains trace amounts of common allergens because it is usually manufactured in factories that produce many different products.
  • “Fun size” candy bars sometimes contain different ingredients or be made on different equipment than the regular size candies, meaning that brands your child previously ate without problems could cause a reaction.
Prepare Your Home for Trick or Treaters
  • Ensure the safety  of your home for other children too.
  • Remove anything that could cause them to trip or fall.
  • Make sure the lights are on outside your house and light the walkway to your door.
  • Keep pets away from trick-or-treaters.

We hope you have a safe and happy Halloween!

Sources

1 National Safety Council. 2018. Halloween Safety On and Off the Road.

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Managing Mental Health: There’s an App for That

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. struggle daily with at least one mental illness.1 In recent years, with light being shed on such statistics, mental healthcare has emphasized empowering those struggling with mental health to speak up and seek help when needed.

It is important to be especially concerned for mental wellbeing as we go into the fall and holiday season. Even if you do not struggle daily, factors such as changes in your diet or routine, alcohol consumption, the inability to be with friends or family and less sunlight can trigger “holiday blues.”2

How can technology help manage mental health?

Many apps help manage physical health by promoting dieting and exercise, but what about mental health? With more and more individuals being concerned about managing mental health, a growing number of apps can help. Medical research has not been provided for many of these apps specifically, but the basis of many of them including meditation, breathing exercises, sleep, and relaxation, are all proven techniques to help stabilize our moods. Here are 7 apps to help you focus on mental health management. (All apps were free for both Iphone and Android at the time this research was conducted unless otherwise noted.)

Happify

Do you need help to overcome stress, negative thinking and increase resilience? Happify is an app that helps to manage such feelings. According to the app, 86 percent of the users report having an improved outlook in life after two months of use. The app offers activities and games to ward off negative emotions and weekly  it calculates your “happiness” score. The app uses evidence-based techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and positive psychology to help you form better habits.

Calm

In 2017,  Apple named Calm as their “App of the Year.” The goals of this app include reducing anxiety, improving sleep, and increasing feelings of happiness, clarity and peace. These goals are worked toward through meditation, breathing exercises, music and nature sounds.

Moodpath

Moodpath works as a digital mental health companion that provides insights you can discuss with your doctor by generating an electronic document detailing your assessment after two weeks of use. The app helps screen for symptoms of depression by asking you daily questions. It also has the goal of increasing your awareness of your feelings and emotions. Moodpath contains over 150 videos and psychological exercise.

SuperBetter

SuperBetter is a gaming app that focuses on increasing positive feelings and motivation to take on challenges. Research by the University of Pennsylvania found that those that played SuperBetter for 30 days reported better moods, decreased anxiety and depression and increased positive attitudes toward goal achievement.Also, SuperBetter is designed to assist with chronic illnesses, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.

Pacifica

Pacifica combats daily anxiety and stress using methods such as meditation, mood tracking, CBT and relaxation. The app contains audio lessons and activities, and it assists you at tackling anxiety one day at a time by setting daily goals as well as long-term goals.

Moodnotes

Available only for Iphone for $3.99.

Moodnotes helps you learn about your “thinking traps” and how to overcome them through insights gathered from your thought journal and mood diary. Your feelings and thinking habits are assessed and improved through implementing positive psychology and CBT.

Headspace

Headspace has hundreds of themed mindfulness and meditation sessions to assist you in achieving a happier, healthier life. The app emphasizes reducing stress, building healthier relationships and finding a place of calm.

We hope you find this list helpful. However, no app will ever be able to replace medical care when you have a need. If coping seems like a battle that becomes more difficult each day, please reach out for help. You can find a list of our providers at https://www.ccmhhealth.com/providers/.

Sources
1 National Institute of Mental Health. November 2017. Mental Illness.
2 Greenstein, Laura. National Alliance of Mental Illness. 19 November 2015. Tips For Managing The Holiday Blues.
3 Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania. 2015 June. Randomized Controlled Trial of SuperBetter, a Smartphone-Based/Internet-Based Self-Help Tool to Reduce Depressive Symptoms.

Disclaimer
The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.
Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.
While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

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