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Assisted Cycle Therapy (ACT) Did Not Improve Depression in Older Adults with Down Syndrome

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The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) on depression in older adults with Down Syndrome (DS). We predicted that older adults with Down Syndrome would see an improvement in their depressive symptoms

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of Assisted Cycling Therapy (ACT) on depression in older adults with Down Syndrome (DS). We predicted that older adults with Down Syndrome would see an improvement in their depressive symptoms after ACT and Voluntary Cycling (VC). However, we predicted there would be a greater improvement in depressive symptoms after ACT in comparison to VC. Depression was measured using a modified version of the Children's Depression Inventory 2 (CDI 2) due to the low mental age of our participant population. Twenty-one older adults with DS were randomly assigned to one of three interventions, which took place over an eight-week period of time. Eleven older adults with DS completed the ACT intervention, which is stationary cycling on a recumbent bicycle with the assistance of a motor to maintain a cadence at least 35% greater than the rate of voluntary cycling. Nine participants completed the voluntary cycling intervention, where they cycled at a cadence of their choosing. One participant composed our no cycling control group. No intervention group reached results that achieved a conventional level of significance. However, there was a trend for depression to increase after 8 weeks throughout all three intervention groups. We did see a slightly slower regression of depression in the ACT group than the VC and control. Our results were discussed with respect to social and cognitive factors relevant to older adults with DS and the subjective nature of the CDI2. This study brings attention to the lack of accurate measures and standardized research methods created for populations with intellectual disabilities in regards to research.

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2018-05

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Best Practices for Undergraduate Mental Health Support for Study Abroad

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This paper describes a mixed methods investigation of undergraduate mental health support practices at Arizona State University (ASU), as well as an outside look at peer and other leading institutions. Methods employed in this study include: ASU undergraduate student survey

This paper describes a mixed methods investigation of undergraduate mental health support practices at Arizona State University (ASU), as well as an outside look at peer and other leading institutions. Methods employed in this study include: ASU undergraduate student survey to assess perception of resources provided by ASU and the likelihood to disclose physical and mental health conditions, key informant interviews to understand ASU mental health support from the perspective of those who implement support measures, participant observation of study abroad events that provide resources to prospective and pre-departure students, and a document review of the study abroad website from peer and other institutions. The target population of this study is undergraduate students who participate or plan to participate in study abroad programs across the United States. The sample population for the undergraduate student survey is undergraduate students at ASU, as well as sixteen institutions for the document review. Significant findings from the research include student concerns about financial and academic barriers to study abroad, as well as a greater likelihood to disclose physical health conditions rather than mental health conditions due to fear of stigma or of being a burden to program coordinators. Additionally, it was found that there is a separation between available resources and student awareness and use of these resources. ASU can work to remedy this disconnect by explicitly presenting easily accessible resource information on the website and in pre-departure materials, as well as addressing mental health awareness abroad in an inclusive manner towards all students in addition to those with pre-existing mental health conditions. Overall, more work should be done to fulfill the vision of comprehensive mental health support at ASU.

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2018-05

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The Future of Mental Health Treatment in the Criminal Justice System: A Restorative Approach

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It is a tragic reality that many individuals in the criminal justice system suffer from a mental illness. As a result, both mental health programs and mental health courts have been developed in response to the increasing number of individuals

It is a tragic reality that many individuals in the criminal justice system suffer from a mental illness. As a result, both mental health programs and mental health courts have been developed in response to the increasing number of individuals in the criminal justice system that are suffering from a mental illness. The first objective of this review is to discuss the background on mental illness as it relates to the criminal justice population, and to understand the common causes of incarceration amongst the mentally ill, including the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1960s, the unavailability of intermediate and long-term hospitalization in state hospitals, more formal and rigid criteria for civil commitment, a lack of adequate support systems and access to mental health treatment in the community, and the high recidivism rates by these types of offenders. Considering these causes, another objective of this review is to compare and contrast the United States' first mental health courts, including those in Broward County, Florida, King County, Washington, San Bernardino, California, and Anchorage, Alaska, by ultimately focusing on the origins of each court, the stages of intervention, methods of entry, competency evaluations, treatment approaches, and disposition of charges. From there, this review considers the differences between the courts and proceeds with a synthesis of the common and recurring themes between them, and then ends with recommendations specific to the mental health court system on practices that can be implemented or altered in order to encourage a more effective form of justice for the mentally ill, and a discussion of the policy solutions that have already been proposed to address the problem.

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2018-05

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Parental Stress in Raising a Child with ADHD

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This paper investigates how stress in parents is affected by their child's Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this paper is to identify common stressors for parents of children with ADHD, as well as to determine what parents need from

This paper investigates how stress in parents is affected by their child's Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this paper is to identify common stressors for parents of children with ADHD, as well as to determine what parents need from healthcare providers to mediate this stress. A survey was developed to identify sources of stress, consequences of parental stress, parental coping methods, resources provided by their healthcare provider that have been helpful, along with what they feel that they need from their healthcare providers in order to better support themselves and their family. Participants were composed of members of Facebook support groups for parents of children with ADHD. Major findings of this study include: parents experience the most stress when dealing with their child's oppositional and aggressive behaviors; parents frequently experience disruption in their marital relationship; and parents perceive that they receive little health care resources that are helpful for themselves, their child, and their family overall.

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2018-05

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Remote Presence in Nature through Virtual Reality: A Pilot Study on the Mental Well-Being of Older Adults

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By 2030, the number of people above the age of 65 is projected to outnumber those under the age of 18 for the first time in United States history. With a growing older population, it is predicted that the amount

By 2030, the number of people above the age of 65 is projected to outnumber those under the age of 18 for the first time in United States history. With a growing older population, it is predicted that the amount of people moving into nursing homes and care facilities will also increase. However, a pressing problem is the high prevalence of depression and anxiety among elderly people residing in institutionalized living arrangements. With drugs and antidepressants less effective at treating patients with both dementia and depression, there is a need for more non-pharmacological interventions geared toward improving older adults’ mental well-being. In response, the potential therapeutic effect of exploring virtual nature through EcoRift—which provides dynamic and realistic 360-degree audio and visual environments—on older adults’ mental well-being was examined in this study. Ten individuals (3 men and 7 women) aged 50 and above were recruited and each participant experienced the virtual nature sojourns for 15 minutes once a week, for a total of three weeks. Pre- and post- virtual reality (VR) survey questionnaires were implemented to gauge the participants’ emotional response, including overall well-being and level of relaxation. Physiological measures such as heart rate and blood pressure were also taken before and after the VR experience. Findings show that immersion in nature through virtual reality improves older adults’ mental well-being by eliciting a transient sense of relaxation, peacefulness, and happiness. Further studies need to be performed in order to validate EcoRift’s effect on physiology; however, preliminary data suggests that immersive virtual nature also acts to decrease blood pressure. Overall, EcoRift shows to be a promising tool for bridging access to remote natural environments and may be a mentally beneficial activity for patients isolated in hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes.

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2019-05

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Building a Culture of Care: Mental Health Awareness for Elementary School Teachers

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This study examines the intersectionality of mental health and education, with an emphasis on resources and awareness for elementary school teachers. It starts with a review of mental health awareness in society, particularly in regard to social stigma and its

This study examines the intersectionality of mental health and education, with an emphasis on resources and awareness for elementary school teachers. It starts with a review of mental health awareness in society, particularly in regard to social stigma and its associated effects. I then discuss the existing resources, teaching methods, and third party interventions which address mental health awareness and care within elementary schools. Within this context, the research supports the strong influence of teachers’ behaviors and perceivable attitudes on students. However, despite the identification of teachers playing a significant role in the availability of mental health resources for students, existing studies rarely addresses the necessity of mental health awareness and care to optimize teacher capacity and counteract occupational stress. The study examines the current approach and challenges of an elementary school that has expressed interest in creating a culture of care, characterized by mental health awareness and resources that support teachers within the school environment. After identifying the key mental health concerns of the school’s stakeholders, I propose a custom program of self-care and mental health awareness to support the current work culture. The study concludes with examination of implementation strategies for the school, as well as implications for future mental health awareness in similar settings.

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2019-05

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Worksite Wellness and Its Impact on Mental Health

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The overall goal of this paper is to promote wellness, exercise and positive mental health. To encourage this goal, insight on the benefits of worksite wellness programs will be provided. Current worksite wellness programs focus minimally on the mental health

The overall goal of this paper is to promote wellness, exercise and positive mental health. To encourage this goal, insight on the benefits of worksite wellness programs will be provided. Current worksite wellness programs focus minimally on the mental health benefits of exercise. Instead they focus on physiological results that come with worksite wellness programs. Exercise can provide both physiological and psychological health benefits (Ramirez & Wipfli, 2012). There should be more emphasis on mental health benefits of worksite wellness programs to provide positive mental health benefits in the workplace.
There are many different types of worksite wellness programs such as group fitness, on-site facilities and health allowances. It is important to vary wellness activities due to individuals having different fitness and health motivation. This implementation can become costly and require resources and support that many companies do not want to provide without successful results. Focusing on the psychological health benefits to such programs will allow companies to recognize the increase in productivity and positive work environment that result in worksite wellness programs. This will allow not only employees to benefit from the implementation of such programs but also the succession of the company.
This paper will explore ways to seek future enhancements within worksite wellness programs. Individuals will be given ways to positively contribute to work environments while maintaining healthy lifestyles. Companies will also better understand the importance that top recruits in the industry see within these types of programs. Through worksite wellness programs, employees will be provided with the tools necessary to improve their physical and mental health, while companies will have a more positive work environment as a result.

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2019-05

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The Effects of Mental Health and Familial Support on Childhood Cancer Patients

Description

Children with cancer can experience decreased emotional health along with deteriorating
physical health compared to children without cancer. Many studies have been done to examine the effects of emotional distress and mental health on the cancer patient, as well as

Children with cancer can experience decreased emotional health along with deteriorating
physical health compared to children without cancer. Many studies have been done to examine the effects of emotional distress and mental health on the cancer patient, as well as the role of familial support. It was found that children with cancer may suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and socio-emotional problems as a result of the trauma of being diagnosed and treated for a pervasive, life-threatening disease. Late effects may also worsen co-morbid mental health disorders. Childhood cancer patients who experience co-morbid mental health problems of depression and anxiety end up having a longer duration of recovery, as well as a worsened outcome than others with a single disorder (Massie, 2004). It was also shown that family members are affected emotionally and mentally from dealing with childhood cancer. Not only is the cancer patient at risk for PTSD during or after treatment, but also family members (National Cancer Institute, 2015). Siblings of the child with cancer may experience feelings of loneliness, fear, and anxiety, as the parent’s attention is focused on the child suffering with cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (2015), familial problems can affect the child’s ability to adjust to the diagnosis and treatment in a positive way. However, children with strong familial and social support adjust easier to living with cancer. A common theme found in literature is that regular mental health checkups during and after cancer treatment is important for quality of life. Therefore, it is important for all childhood cancer patients and their families to receive information about mental health awareness, as well as therapeutic interventions that are developed for families caring for a child with cancer.

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2019-05

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Teachers' Responses to Students' Anxiety: How Does it Impact Students' School Experiences?

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With an increase in the discussion around mental health in general, there needs to be research geared toward how educational professionals may assist a student who struggles with anxiety symptoms or disorders. This study aimed to determine how students with

With an increase in the discussion around mental health in general, there needs to be research geared toward how educational professionals may assist a student who struggles with anxiety symptoms or disorders. This study aimed to determine how students with anxiety and anxiety disorders are impacted by teachers' responses to their anxiety manifestations, both positive and negative, in terms of their school experience. This study also investigated students' suggestions for how teachers may effectively assist a student who struggles with anxiety. This study used self-reported data from students from an honors college via a survey and focus groups in order to investigate these topics. The results found that students value student-teacher relationships and communication, flexibility (accommodations), and empathy from the teacher. Results suggest it is important for teachers to get to know a student and understand his or her challenges before making judgments.

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2018-12

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An Evidence-Based Resource for Faculty Addressing Non-Course-Specific Student Needs

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The goal of this thesis was to create a resource addressing non-course-specific (NCS) student needs that College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA) faculty can provide to their students when appropriate. Students attend faculty office hours for a variety of

The goal of this thesis was to create a resource addressing non-course-specific (NCS) student needs that College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA) faculty can provide to their students when appropriate. Students attend faculty office hours for a variety of reasons, and not all are academic in nature. Data was collected in order to determine which resources were lacking in addressing these needs. Student need was identified through a 13-item survey regarding faculty perception of NCS student needs, including the primary reason for office hour visitation and the primary sources of stress, academic advising, and time management complaints from their students. Additionally, feedback was collected regarding faculty perception of available resources and likelihood of utilizing a new resource. Throughout the Downtown, Tempe, and Polytechnic campuses, 24 faculty responded. It was found that work stress, familial stress, academic advising requests, and students comments of being overwhelmed were the primary NCS student needs as perceived by faculty. Additionally, the majority of faculty reported not feeling fully equipped to address these needs. This information was used to create a resource compiling a list of University and off-campus tools that students can access to address these needs. The resource combined data from faculty and from the literature to address general and specific issues of stress, academic advising, feeling ‘off,’ and recovery and was created a double-sided handout to be used electronically or for print. It is currently available for faculty use. With further research, this resource could be expanded or refined to address the needs of a larger population of students in different colleges or on different campuses. Eventually, this could be used as a University-wide tool.

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2019-05