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As School Nutrition Association CEO Patricia Montague, CAE, writes in the March issue of School Nutrition, SNA’s award-winning flagship publication, “Most of us engage in a longstanding silence when it comes to talking about mental, mood and developmental disorders—our own challenges or those of someone we love. As a society, we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go to overcome the entrenched stigma around this issue.”
Because of this stigma—and because the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 26.2% of Americans ages 18 or older (one in four adults) suffer from a diagnosable mental or mood disorder in a given year—School Nutrition is starting a conversation about various mental and emotional conditions in its annual personal development issue. The magazine’s March edition takes a look at depression; anxiety, attention and addiction disorders and autism spectrum disorder, as well as tips for providing support to a loved one who is struggling with a mental or mood disorder and some ideas to lift your spirits when you’re feeling a more ordinary case of the blues.
“Mental Blocks” shines the light on why we need to start a conversation about mental health—and mental illness. The articles in this issue are designed to enhance awareness, leading to improved comfort in discussing the topic, and ultimately, greater tolerance and empathy for those who struggle.
People with a depressive disorder can’t just “snap out of it” with a little self-talk and well-intentioned encouragement. “Depression: More Than Just a Bad Day” explores the different forms that depression can take. Bonus Web Content: Learn the important facts about suicide and how to reach out for help if you are feeling suicidal, as well as how depression manifests itself with older adults, children and teens. Also online is a list of resources for more information and support.
“Through the Looking Glass” provides a look at some of the anxiety, attention and addiction disorders that affect millions. Bonus Web Content: Available online is a brief overview of personality disorders and psychotic disorders, which affect a smaller number of people and are even more misunderstood than relatively common conditions like depression and anxiety.
How can you help someone who is struggling with a mental or mood disorder? “Love and ‘Madness’” offers some tips. Bonus Web Content: Look for additional content on how to respond if you suspect an employee or coworker is suffering from a mood or mental disorder.
Most children with autism spectrum disorder don’t choose to isolate themselves from social circles; they simply lack the inherent skills for easy interactions. “An Invitation to Engage” delves into this developmental disorder and how you can make a big difference in the life of a lonely child. Bonus Web Content: Check out some amazing individuals with autism who shined in 2013, as well as details about new changes in diagnosing autism.
Sometimes the blues are just the blues and you need to seek out ways to lift your spirits. “Sunny up the Moody Blues” has some ideas.
“Seeing Red” dives into new ways to enjoy and promote red and pink fruits at school and at home. Bonus Web Content: Find menu ideas and fun facts about some other red and pink fruits, plus additional recipes.