This week’s Psychology Around the Net brings you the latest on picture books and children’s mental health, why it’s important to maintain friendships when you’re in a romantic relationship, the mental health benefits of commuting in a natural environment, and more.
Can Picture Books Meet the Crisis in Children’s Mental Health? Author Matt Haig is hopeful his first illustrated story, The Truth Pixie, will encourage children to talk about their mental health. As the name suggests, the book focuses on a cursed pixie who has to tell the truth to a sad girl who’s anxious about her future. Says Haig, “It’s a book I want parents to share with their children — a read-aloud bedtime story. Bedtime is a time when children’s heads are full of fears, and those don’t go away by just ignoring them. They go away by talking about them, externalising them and dealing with them.”
Help Your Kid Relax with These Guided Imagery Recordings: On that note, pediatric psychologists at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County use guided imagery, a relaxation technique that often involves envisioning a goal, to help children and teens deal with sickness and stress, and they’ve created a set of free audio recordings you can use to help your children cope with physical pain, depression, anxiety, stress, and more.
3 Facts about Mental Illness to Wrap Up the Kanye West-Don Lemon Kerfuffle: In the aftermath of Kanye West meeting with President Trump to discuss issues important to African Americans, including reformation of the criminal justice system, as well as the fall out prior to the meeting (fall out involving opinions that Kanye West was not in a place to be taken seriously representing the concerns of black people — or qualified to talk seriously about any issue), Prudy Gourguechon, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who works with leaders in finance and business on the psychology of making critical decisions, is speaking out on what we need to know about mental health stigma, why a mental illness diagnosis or history of hospitalization doesn’t disqualify you or invalidate your opinions, and why it’s important to know the difference between a mental health diagnosis and an active episode.
Selfish People Have Fewer Children and Earn Less Money: Wait, what? According to a study by researchers out of the University of South Carolina, the Institute for Future Studies, and Stockholm University, selfish people tend to have fewer children and receive lower salaries than unselfish people.
Why I’m Grateful I Didn’t Ignore My Friends While I Was in a Relationship: Many people distance themselves from their friends when they’re in a relationship. Not necessarily on purpose; they just get so wrapped up in their new significant other and the relationship that they don’t make an effort to nurture their other relationships (i.e. their friendships). While it might feel difficult to maintain multiple relationships (and types), especially time wise, it’s extremely important to make an effort, because you never know if/when you’re going to find yourself significant other-less…with no one left to lean on.
People Who Commute Through Natural Environments Daily Report Better Mental Health: A new study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) concludes people who commute through natural environments report having better mental health. Says Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, Coordinator of the ISGlobal Initiative of Urban Planning, “Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking.”