AAN News & Opinion
Policy brief on climate change and mental health/well-beingClimate change has a significant global impact on individuals’ mental health and well-being. However, global health systems are inadequately prepared to address this issue. Studies indicate that climate events such as floods, droughts, tornados, earthquakes, and fires not only exacerbate chronic mental illness, but also impact well-being causing anxiety, stress, and in the worst case, suicide. The World Health Organization estimates that 12.6 million preventable deaths per year can be attributed to environmental factors, all of which are exacerbated by climate change, and an additional 250,000 deaths per year are projected between 2030 and 2050.
Preventing adverse health outcomes among children and adolescents by addressing screen media practices concomitant to sleep disturbanceIn today's digital age, screen media use is prevalent in the daily life and functioning of children and adolescents. Sleep disturbance and adverse health outcomes related to screen media practices are on the rise affecting physical, cognitive, and behavioral health outcomes. Mounting evidence from studies worldwide support the following recommendations addressing practice, research, and policy: (a) All practitioners are encouraged to assess youth and their families at each health encounter for screen media practices, sleep disruption and daytime sleepiness, and be able to refer to specialists or be trained on interventions to address problems; (b) Children and families are encouraged to seek information about and take responsibility for screen media use practices, effective sleep habits, and signs and symptoms of adverse health outcomes; (c) Policy makers are encouraged to promote public awareness and provide funding for further research into screen media practices, sleep disturbance, and adverse health outcomes.