Emotional Well Being After Childbirth

Quick Tips for Emotional Well Being After Childbirth


  • Sleep- Aim for 4-6 hours stretch of sleep at least 3 nights a week. Have your partner take over a feeding or arrange for help to nap during the day when able.
  • Nutrition- Continue taking a high-quality prenatal vitamin for at least a year after childbirth. Avoid caffeine, sweets, and processed carbohydrates, and be sure to eat protein at every snack and meal.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids- Fish oils are proven to prevent and treat anxiety and depression in new moms. Up to 3000 mg, combined EPA and DHA (look on the back of the label) are proven safe during pregnancy and nursing. Discuss with your provider prior to taking.
  • Walking- Daily gentle exercise such as walking outside, or yoga/stretching can make a huge difference in mood. Go slowly and listen to your body.
  • Baby Breaks- Try to get regularly scheduled breaks with your child(ren) in the care of others. Ideally, you should get at least two hours at a time, three times a week. If this is not feasible at this time, get as much a break as you can.
  • Adult Time- None of us are built to be alone with children 24/7. Join an online group, reach out to a friend daily, and journal, even when you are not feeling well. Find safe people to share your feelings with on a regular basis.
  • Liquids- It is important to hydrate throughout the day, so keep a water bottle next to you and try to ensure that you consume about two liters of water a day.
  • Laughter- Make time for silliness and joy each day. A funny movie, time with friends, etc. If you find it difficult to connect to this aspect of yourself, it’s time to reach out for professional help.

You deserve to be well!

Things to quit: 

1. Trying to please EVERYONE

2. Fearing Change

3. Living in the past

4. Putting yourself down

5. Overthinking


Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse

By: Anna Smiley

Growing older can mean declining cognition, physical struggles, and an increased dependency on others for care. This increased dependence puts elders at risk for abuse, which could come in the form of exploiting finances, physical abuse, emotional and verbal mistreatment, neglect, and abandonment (Elder Abuse, 2008). Elder abuse is associated with high levels of psychological distress such as depression and physical indicators such as hospitalizations and mortality. Risk factors for experiencing abuse include multiple health problems, lower functioning, an age below 90 years, aggressive behavior, and a smaller social network size (Brijoux et al., 2021). Abuse can harm an elder’s identity and autonomy. “Given the growing speed of population aging and the severity of [elder abuse], understanding the magnitude of [elder abuse] is a crucial first step to develop effective preventive measures against this type of violence” (Wang et al., 2021). 

In a literature review covering three East Asian countries (China, Japan, South Korea), overall incidents of elder abuse were lower than the global levels. Compared to the global level listed above, the authors found that three East Asian countries had elder abuse incidence rates of 78.33 out of 1,000 (Wang et al., 2021). The authors noted that this fact can be attributed to the cultural norms of respecting one’s elders and filial piety (which is defined as the “attitude of obedience, devotion, and care toward one’s parents and elder family members that is the basis of individual moral conduct and social harmony” (Guar, 2019)). 

In the United States, 1 in every 18 elders are financially abused. This abuse could come in the form of telemarketers or cybercrimes, and is preventable with proper education geared towards the elders. Additionally, elders can network with each other to prevent scams and alert others about potential fraud (Schuessler, 2022).

In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, a scoping review by Santos et al. (2021) stated “The WHO reports about a tenfold increase in abuse and neglect against older people during the pandemic” (Santos et al., 2021). While the studies reviewed didn’t detail the specific type of abuse, social isolation was deemed a risk factor for experience abuse, despite being necessary to stop the spread of the pandemic.

More than 54% of those above the age of 80 have experienced a form of elder abuse, typically psychological abuse, in a study from Germany. This abuse leads to much lower quality of life outcomes, including more depressive symptoms, more perceived loneliness, lower autonomy, and a lower life satisfaction. These outcomes are devastating for an individual, and can lead to a lower life satisfaction. The article briefly mentioned the risk factors for abusers, such as caregiver burden of care for those experiencing dementia, but did not expand specifically on the risk factors (Brijoux et al., 2021). An informational document by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging detailed that in their research, the leading causes of substantiated allegations for elder abuse included self-neglect, caregiver neglect, financial exploitation, and physical abuse. The document detailed the ways in which they worked with law enforcement and personal care organizations to provide care and protection for the elderly in Pennsylvania. The first step in protecting the eldery, according to the document, is to identify victimization and for mandatory reporting to take place (mandatory when mandated by law, such as healthcare workers or school employees) (Older Adults, 2018).

The CDC cautions that elder abuse is underreported because injuries are mainly found in emergency departments, where elders are admitted with nonfatal injuries. If there aren’t hospital level injuries, the abuse may not even be reported. The CDC also lists ways to prevent elder abuse, including the following:

  • Listen to older adults and their caregivers to understand their challenges and provide support.
  • Report abuse or suspected abuse to local adult protective services, long-term care ombudsman, or the police. Use the National Center on Elder Abuse Listing of State Elder Abuse Hotlines to find your state’s reporting numbers, government agencies, state laws, and other resources.
  • Educate oneself and others about how to recognize and report elder abuse.
  • Learn how the signs of elder abuse differ from the normal aging process.
  • Check-in on older adults who may have few friends and family members.
  • Provide over-burdened caregivers with support such as help from friends, family, or local relief care groups; adult day care programs; counseling; outlets intended to promote emotional well-being.
  • Encourage and assist persons (either caregivers or older adults) having problems with drug or alcohol abuse in getting help.

(CDC, n.d.)

Works Cited:

Brijoux, T., Neise, M., & Zank, S. (2021). Elder abuse in the oldest old: prevalence, risk factors and consequences. Zeitschrift Für Gerontologie Und Geriatrie, 54(S2), 132–137.

CDC. (n.d.). Preventing Elder Abuse.

Elder Abuse. (2008). American Psychological Association.

Older Adults Protective Services Annual Report. (2018). Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

Santos, A. M. R. D., Sá, G. G. D. M., Brito, A. A. O. D., Nolêto, J. D. S., & Oliveira, R. K. C. D. (2021). Violência contra o idoso durante a pandemia COVID-19: revisão de escopo. Acta Paulista de Enfermagem, 34., Z. (2022). Nurses’ Role in Identifying Elder Financial Abuse. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 53(1), 30–34.


PTSD and Sleep

PTSD & Sleep

By: Anna Smiley

This month, we will dive into the connection between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and sleep. I’m sure we have all experienced a good night’s sleep before, or at least a good nap, where we wake up a little disoriented and very well-rested. Imagine, however, that you struggle to even close your eyes because you are plagued by reliving past traumatic events. Sleep is undoubtedly important for any type of recovery (whether recovering physically from a taxing workout, emotionally after a breakup, or mentally from a traumatic event that could precipitate PTSD). How can we help those struggling get the rest they so desperately need?

It is important to define PTSD, and determine the relationship between sleep and PTSD. PTSD is a condition that stems from a reaction to a traumatic event. In a literature review conducted by Biasson et al. (2013), the authors found that PTSD is “characterized by symptoms of re-experiencing the trauma (in the form of nightmares, flashbacks and distressing thoughts), avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, negative alterations in thoughts and mood, and symptoms of hyper-arousal (feeling on edge, being easily startled, feeling angry, having difficulties sleeping, and problems concentrating)” (Biasson et al., 2013). The hyperarousal symptoms are particularly notable where sleep is concerned, as feeling on edge and being easily startled are not conducive to quality sleep. Diving right into medical terminology, physical changes in the brain can affect sleep quality in those with PTSD. Differences in the uncinate integrity, which is a part of the brain that helps to regulate behaviors and nervous system activity, have been shown to cause hyperarousal, one of the main tenets in PTSD. Damage to this pathway “could create vulnerability for sleep problems” in individuals with PTSD (Bottari et al., 2021).

As early as 1989, poor sleep quality has been associated with PTSD. In fact, sleep disturbances and nightmares are symptoms of PTSD. But just how closely are the two related, and can they be separated? While the initial thought was that PTSD caused issues with sleep, sleep disturbances tend to persist even after PTSD is treated (Zayfert and DeViva, 2004). So what causes these sleep disturbances? The literature suggests that insomnia and sleep disturbances develop their own maintenance patterns. For example, if an individual with PTSD develops an aversion to going to bed early (a common trick for dealing with insomnia) due to fear of reliving traumatic experiences, the pattern of late nights will be ingrained even after the PTSD is addressed (Talbot et al., 2014). The results from one study indicated that the more nightmares an individual with PTSD experiences, the more significantly their sleep efficacy will be (Short et al., 2017).The same found “only baseline fear of sleep and daily PTSD symptoms predicted nightmares significantly.” The authors of that article proposed a solution: instead of using cognitive behavioral therapy, which can reduce PTSD symptoms but not necessarily help improve the quality of sleep, treatments that target the nightmares themselves, as well as other PTSD specific factors like a fear of sleep (Short et al., 2017). 

There are also small and specific things that can be done to address insomnia in those with PTSD. In an informational article, Villines (2018) suggests developing and sticking to a relaxing bedtime ritual, keeping the bedroom quiet, using your bed only for sleeping (and not for reading or work), and avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, heavy meals, or caffeine before bed. Additionally if you cannot fall asleep, try getting up to do something else for a little while (Vilines, 2018). Further help could come from trauma-focused therapy and sometimes medications. It is important to remember that there is help and there is hope when dealing with PTSD and sleep disturbances.

Works Cited:

Bisson, J. I., Roberts, N. P., Andrew, M., Cooper, R., & Lewis, C. (2013). Psychological therapies for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Short, N. A., Allan, N. P., Stentz, L., Portero, A. K., & Schmidt, N. B. (2017). Predictors of insomnia symptoms and nightmares among individuals with post‐traumatic stress disorder: an ecological momentary assessment study. Journal of Sleep Research, 27(1), 64–72.

Talbot, L. S., Maguen, S., Metzler, T. J., Schmitz, M., McCaslin, S. E., Richards, A., Perlis, M. L., Posner, D. A., Weiss, B., Ruoff, L., Varbel, J., & Neylan, T. C. (2014). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Sleep, 37(2), 327–341.

Villines, C. B. Z. (2018, October 8). Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Sleep Problems and PTSD. Good Therapy.​​Zayfert, C., & DeViva, J. C. (2004). Residual insomnia following cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 17(1), 69–73.


Social Media and Mental Health: Harmful or Helpful?

Social Media and Mental Health

By: Anna Smiley and Carrollyn Ferderber

This month, we will dive into the connection between social media and mental health. Does social media harm mental health? Can it help? It is no secret that in entertainment media, “individuals with mental health concerns are frequently portrayed as victims, villains, or pathetic characters” (Smith-Frigerio, 2020). However, social media is a form of entertainment and communication through which the user curates posts geared towards their audience and chooses which social media feeds they consume. 

Not all the news surrounding social media portrays it in a positive light. In fact, one study states that social media is a “double edged sword,” through which individuals benefit from expressing themselves, but are harmed by a “link between social media use and psychological problems” (Keles et al., 2019). In fact, “a systematic review by Seabrook et al. (2016) reported a correlation between negative online interaction and both depression and anxiety,” and through their systematic review the authors noticed a “small but statistically significant increase” in children and adolescents who had depressive symptoms in regards to their social media usage (Keles et al., 2019). Similarly, the authors found, through their systematic literature review, that increased investment and addiction to social media led to higher incidences of anxiety and depression. For addictive behaviors towards social media, it was found that “low self-esteem compounded the impact of addiction on depression” (Keles et al., 2019). For all aspects studied (time spent on social media, addictive behaviors, activity, and investment), a complex yet substantial relationship between social media use and psychological distress was found. Additionally, the authors stated that adolescents are learning to self-regulate, and are thus vulnerable to peer pressure that can prevail on social media. However, the authors stated that there were some positive benefits to engaging in social media, including the support of friends near and far. The authors noted that the quality of friendships made over social media were more important than the quantity of friendships (Keles et al., 2019).

There are also demonstrable positive impacts that social media can have on mental health. For example, one article examines how organizations and individuals support those struggling with mental health by reaching out. In an article by Naslund et al. (2016), the authors demonstrated that online peer-to-peer support groups provide individuals with perceived benefits, but the methods of support were not detailed. Similarly, an article by Smith-Frigerio (2020) discussed how peer support was provided in three distinct ways: “connection, stories, and encouragement.” Connection and encouragement came in the form of uplifting comments that welcomed and encouraged audience members to “keep going.” Stories included narrative arcs (with an everyday individual’s experiences before, during, and successfully living after treatment) that the author thought was encouraging to “audience members to seek and stick with treatment, as well as working to break down public stigma about mental health concerns.” These methods of peer support helped ensure the success of the grassroots organization’s mission to make sure nobody they reached felt alone or isolated. 

In conclusion, social media can be both damaging and supportive in regards to mental health. It can be the catalyst for negative comparisons, body image issues, and loneliness. It can also be the means to positively connect with others, to learn, and for entertainment. When social media is used in moderation and with a realistic understanding of how it portrays others and one’s self, it may not cause harm to one’s mental health. We encourage all to evaluate how their social media investment is affecting their mental health and to set goals and boundaries to improve. 

Works Cited:

Keles, B., McCrae, N., & Grealish, A. (2019). A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 79–93.

Naslund, J. A., Aschbrenner, K. A., Marsch, L. A., & Bartels, S. J. (2016). The future of mental health care: peer-to-peer support and social media. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 25(2), 113–122.

Seabrook, E. M., Kern, M. L., & Rickard, N. S. (2016). Social Networking Sites, Depression, and Anxiety: A Systematic Review. JMIR Mental Health, 3(4).

Smith-Frigerio, S. (2020). Grassroots Mental Health Groups’ Use of Advocacy Strategies in Social Media Messaging. Qualitative Health Research, 30(14), 2205–2216.


The Link Between Our Physical and Mental Health

By Anna Smiley and Carrollyn Ferderber

This month we will be discussing the links between physical health and mental health. We know that many people struggle with both mental and physical health challenges, and we want to shed light on the intersection between the two. It is difficult to have one without the other, as both are tied so closely together. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that “there is no health without mental health”” (Connection Between Mental and Physical Health, 2021). This article will hopefully clarify the link between mental and physical health, and then offer some support to those struggling with one or both. 

All of our research shows that those who suffer from mental illness have higher rates of physical health challenges, and vice versa: those who suffer from physical health challenges also are likely to struggle with mental health challenges. The CDC states, “depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions can increase the risk for mental illness” (CDC, 2021).  Preventable physical health problems that are caused by mental health issues could be due to several factors including genetics, lack of motivation, difficulty planning and concentrating, lack of support, and being less likely to receive medical support. Sometimes physical health problems cause symptoms of mental illness as well (Mental Health Foundation, 2021). Struggling physically can cause feelings of frustration, loneliness, and hopelessness.

Like a spiral, declining physical health and declining mental health can impinge on each other, which can feel devastating for an individual. For example, “poor diabetes control may worsen depression,” which can worsen diabetes control, states the authors of one article (Fenton et al., 2006). This cyclical pattern can be broken, however. In this example, the authors recommended a combination of “cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and SSRIs are effective for the treatment of depression in diabetes” (Fenton et al., 2006). To stop this cycle from occurring, the authors of a separate article recommended that “depression screening and systematic depression treatment should become routine components of diabetes care” (Simon et al., 2007). This screening and systematic mental health treatment can provide hope and peace for those struggling with a physical condition, regardless of whether it’s diabetes or not. 

The link between mental health and physical health can be very costly. People with severe mental health challenges are more likely to have higher hospital expenditures than people without mental health issues due to co-occurring physical health challenges. In fact, individuals with severe mental health challenges “spent approximately 3.3 times higher healthcare expenditures than those without mental illness” (Lee et al., 2015). In order to not incur such high hospital costs, go to your provider early and try some of the interventions listed below. 

Although experiencing mental or physical health challenges can be painful and lonely, there are ways to prevent the negative effects that they may cause; there is hope! Some ways to achieve relief from these challenges include getting active, eating healthy, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough sleep, and stopping unhealthy habits like smoking (Mayo Clinic Care Network, 2018). All of these and other interventions are efficient ways to mitigate the negative effects of physical and mental health problems.

Works Cited:

CDC. (2021, June 28). About Mental Health. CDC.Gov. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from

Fenton, W. S., & Stover, E. S. (2006). Mood disorders: cardiovascular and diabetes comorbidity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 19(4), 421–427.

Connection Between Mental and Physical Health. (2021). Canadian Mental Health Association. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from

Lee, S., Rothbard, A., & Choi, S. (2015). Effects of comorbid health conditions on healthcare expenditures among people with severe mental illness. Journal of Mental Health, 25(4), 291–296.

Mayo Clinic Care Network. (2018, November 6). The Mind-Body Connection: Better Physical Health, Better Mental Health. Stormont Vail Health. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from

Mental Health Foundation. (2021, July 20). Physical health and mental health. Retrieved November 19, 2021, from

Simon, G. E., Katon, W. J., Lin, E. H. B., Rutter, C., Manning, W. G., von Korff, M., Ciechanowski, P., Ludman, E. J., & Young, B. A. (2007). Cost-effectiveness of Systematic Depression Treatment Among People With Diabetes Mellitus. Archives of General Psychiatry, 64(1), 65.


Mental Health and Crisis Resources

These resources come recommended from our guest speaker, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Brandon Thatcher. You can hear more of his tips on maintaining your mental health during school and other stressful times in Episode 2 of our “Healthy Brain Banter” podcast! Some of these resources are specific to the Utah County region, but scroll to the end to find some great general resources for everyone!

BYU Counseling and Psychological Services

Daytime Crisis Walk-in: 8 am to 4 pm, 1500 WSC, BYU

After-hours Crisis Call: (801) 422-2222 and ask to speak to the psychologist on duty

Quickcare To meet for a one-time consultation with a psychologist this week,
click here to fill out the paperwork,
then call 801-422-3035 and ask for a Quickcare appointment

Other Crisis Resources

Utah Crisis Line (801) 587-3000

Utah Warm Line (801) 587-1055 Non-crisis mental health line. Peer support specialists available from 8 am-11 pm.

SafeUT App
Anyone in Utah may text through this app when in need of emotional support, when in crisis, or to send a tip about another person when they believe this person may need help or be in crisis.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(800) 273-8255

General Mental Health Resources

Drug Counseling and Treatment: Call: 801-422-1942

BYU CAPS – Biofeedback


211 – Dial from any phone for United Way Resources

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

BYU Comprehensive Clinic (Utah Resources)


The “Four A’s” of Self Care


The Impact of Academic Programs on Mental Health

This month we will be discussing the relationship between academic programs and mental health. This topic is applicable to many and will hopefully provide some insight one how to improve mental health amongst students. 

Mental illness is an increasing concern among all populations, and especially with college-aged students. One study found that “five percent of students do not finish their education due to psychiatric disorders” and estimated that “4.29 million people would have graduated from college had they not been experiencing such disorders” (Kessler, 1995). In fact, “In 2019, about 37% of high school students had experienced periods of persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness during the past year,” which led to students stopping their usual activities (CDC, 2019). Studies have shown that mental health status plays a significant role in a university student’s academic success. In a longitudinal study conducted in the Midwest, depression was shown to predict lower GPAs and be associated with a twofold increase in risk of dropout, even when controlling for prior academic performance and other variables. The findings of this study conclude that poor academic performance due to depression is strongly correlated with lower self-efficacy, motivation and satisfaction (Lipson, 2017). Therefore, it may be valuable to implement programs and services that foster self-efficacy, motivation, and satisfaction among students. This would lessen the decline of academic performance of those who struggle with mental illness. 

Another aspect of academic performance and mental health we have not discussed is how COVID-19 impacted students. Elementary and middle school aged children were shown to have a “increase in mental health problems and psychosocial adaptation problems” (Malboeuf-Hurtubise, 2020). In a randomized cluster trial, the children and adolescents had pre and post tests of anxiety and inattention. They were presented with two separate interventions; a mindfulness based intervention (MBI) that was based on introspection and identification of thoughts, and a philosophy for children (P4C) program that was a more directive approach to sensitive subjects like personal freedom, sadness, and death. Both interventions were found to be helpful in reducing anxiety and inattention, although the researchers speculated that combining the interventions would be most helpful in improving mental health (Malboeuf-Hurtubise, 2020).

Another study demonstrated that conducting a baseline screening for mental health of students entering universities could be a substantial predictor of future academic struggles and mental health decline. The strongest baseline predictor of Major Depressive Disoder (MDD) were previous suicide attempts and ideations, childhood-adolescent trauma, stressful experience in the last 12 months, and parental psychopathology. Early identification of students at risk for MDD may allow them to effectively deploy preventive interventions during college and thereby reduce the incidence, prevalence, severity, duration, and consequences of future depressive episodes as well as of other mental disorders (Ebert et al., 2018). 

How can we decrease the impact of mental health challenges on academic performance? Having a support system is a great start. A support system could include friends, parents, siblings, teachers, or anyone that makes the student feel safe and heard. Having an outlet to express frustrations and celebrate successes with is critical for anybody, especially those dealing with mental health challenges. Medication can also be extremely useful in helping students deal with their mental health challenges. For example, medication can help ease the symptoms of depression, which can allow students to focus on the cause of their mental health challenges through avenues like talk therapy and meditation. Therapy can teach individuals skills to help cope with their academic and nonacademic situations, and meditation helps individuals reflect on their thoughts and actions. A combination of all of these interventions is the most helpful in reducing stress, however, and is recommended for anybody experiencing mental and emotional challenges as a result of stress.

In conclusion, mental health is significantly correlated with a decline in academic performance. With certain preventative interventions as suggested in this article, the negative effects that mental health may have on academic performance can and will decrease. 

Resources for students struggling with mental health:

Text 741741 for help with an emotional or mental crisis. For more information, see the link below:

Call 1-800-273-8255, that national suicide prevention lifeline, for help with an emotional or mental crisis. For more information:

Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for referral to local resources during a mental health (or substance abuse) crisis:

For more resources, visit the CDC website:


CDC. (2019). Youth risk behavior survey data summary & trends report: 2009–2019. CDC.

Ebert, D. D., Buntrock, C., Mortier, P., Auerbach, R., Weisel, K. K., Kessler, R. C., Cuijpers, P., Green, J. G., Kiekens, G., Nock, M. K., Demyttenaere, K., & Bruffaerts, R. (2018). Prediction of major depressive disorder onset in college students. Depression and Anxiety, 36(4), 294–304.

Kessler, R. C., Foster, C. L., Saunders, W. B., & Stang, P. E. (1995). Social consequences of psychiatric disorders, I: Educational attainment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152(7), 1026–1032.

Lipson, S. K., & Eisenberg, D. (2017). Mental health and academic attitudes and expectations in university populations: results from the healthy minds study. Journal of Mental Health, 27(3), 205–213.

Malboeuf-Hurtubise, C., Léger-Goodes, T., Mageau, G., Joussemet, M., Herba, C., Chadi, N., Lefrançois, D., Camden, C., Bussières, E., Taylor, G., Éthier, M., & Gagnon, M. (2021). Philosophy for children and mindfulness during COVID-19: Results from a randomized cluster trial and impact on mental health in elementary school students. ScienceDirect.


Traumatic Brain Injury and Risk for Suicide

By Allison Christenson and Anna Smiley

This month we will be discussing the association between Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and suicide. We know this is a sensitive subject to many, but this is an important correlation we feel the need to educate others on.

A traumatic brain injury is defined as “a change in brain function” that can lead to lasting physical and mental afflictions, such as trouble focusing or remembering things. Traumatic brain injuries, often referred to as TBIs, can come as a result of a concussion, a car accident, a fall, a penetrating injury, or others. There are different types of TBIs, as well. TBIs range from mild to severe, and are rated on an individual’s motor response, verbal response, and eye opening. TBI’s can cause a cognitive deficit and poor judgement. Concussions are the leading type of TBI, and can have debilitating impacts for an individual (Chang, 2019). Concussions can result in “mood swings, personality changes, fatigue, and insomnia,” among other post-concussive symptoms.

Traumatic brain injuries are associated with suicide risk. In fact, a Danish study found that severe traumatic brain injuries are associated with a 2.5 times increased suicide risk. Additionally, studies have shown that veterans with mild and moderate to severe TBI are at increased risk of death by drug overdose and firearms (Byers, 2020).

Risk factors for suicide, following a TBI, include; being male, sustaining serious injury, older age, substance abuse, depression, psychiatric disorders, unemployment, and alcohol disorders (Fralick, 2019 &, Brenner, 2020). One of the major factors that impacts an individual following a TBI is depression. In fact, “Most of the associations between post-TBI symptoms and suicidal ideation were statistically explained by co-occurring depression” (Campbell-Sills, 2021). Three themes that contributes to increased risk for suicide for TBI patients; 1. a loss of sense of self, 2. people that experience a TBI don’t have clear knowledge about what it is therefore it is an unseen disorder, 3. TBI’s can cause a loss of support system because of the afflicted individuals actions. 

People that experience a TBI are in need of an increased support system, therapy, and routine screening for suicidal ideation for years after the TBI. More education is needed on how traumatic brain injuries affect those that experience them. In addition, there should be more education for family members and caregivers on TBI’s and warning signs for suicide (Kemp, n.d.). Close monitoring for a year after suicide attempt is important for TBI patients, and it is important to limit the availability of substances. These individuals need social support, spirituality, and positive personal qualities reaffirmed continuously (Knight, 2020).

We believe that with enough care, support, and resources, individuals who have experienced a traumatic brain injury can go on to lead healthy and productive lives despite their injuries.


About Us

Welcome to our blog! Whatever may have brought you here to our website–concern for a loved one, to find answers for yourself, or simply to learn more about mental health and trauma–we hope you find the information you are looking for and are able to utilize the resources we share.

Our Team

We are a team of nursing students and faculty from Brigham Young University’s College of Nursing who have a passion for learning and teaching others about trauma and mental health. Our mission is to create a one-stop resource center for both college students and the general public that contains accurate, reliable, and easy-to-understand information. Our platform will deliver information via many routes so that everyone can find something that works best for them.

All Things Trauma and Mental Health Blog

Readers can find articles on most recent scientific journal publications of various health topics on our blog page. These articles are written in a collaborative effort by our team members after spending hours reviewing medical journal articles for the most relevant and trustworthy information. New topics will be added every month, so check back here often!

All Things Trauma and Mental Health Podcast

At the beginning of every month, a new episode of our podcast will be released coordinating with our monthly blog article topic. These podcast episodes will be full of great information, firsthand experiences of those dealing with mental illness or trauma, and interviews with providers of the great resources we reference on our page. Whether you’d like to hear the experiences of people dealing with similar struggles to your own, or are simply looking for a good way to pass the time on your work commute, we can’t recommend it enough!

All Things Trauma and Mental Health Videos

Some things are best explained and understood visually, so we will often include videos with our trauma and mental health topics to increase learning and awareness. We also plan to create videos specifically geared towards children, so that this resource can be used by parents, guardians, and teachers to help kids understand these important, but sometimes difficult topics.

In short…

We live in a world where 1 in 10 people struggle with a mental health disorder and even more have dealt with trauma in their lifetime, meaning that it is more important than ever to gain an understanding and raise awareness of mental health. In sharing our information with you, we hope you take the chance to share it with others to create a wide network of support for friends, family, and all the world around us.