Posted on 20 March 2016 by Michael Dahl

Follow NAMI Minnesota on Facebook for great info on mental health.

I’m a big fan of NAMI Minnesota (i.e National Alliance on Mental Illness – Minnesota chapter). I support them financially. I follow and participate in their calls to action regarding policy matters. And I follow their Facebook feed for great information on mental health / mental illness.

I encourage you to do all three as well — give, advocate, follow — but today’s post is focused on the treasure trove of information for you to be better educated on mental health matters as well as how to fight the stigma attached to mental illnesses.

Today, for instance, their feed provided a link to a National Institute of Health article “Understanding Anxiety Disorders:  When Panic, Fear, and Worries Overwhelm.” The article does a great job sharing how basic everyday worries and anxiety disorders are different things.

Many of us worry from time to time. We fret over finances, feel anxious about job interviews, or get nervous about social gatherings. These feelings can be normal or even helpful. They may give us a boost of energy or help us focus. But for people with anxiety disorders, they can be overwhelming.”

A few days ago NAMI – Minnesota’s feed shared a Huffington Post article, “People With Anxiety Perceive The World In A Fundamentally Different Way.”

According to a new study in the journal Current Biology, those with anxiety perceive the world differently — and it stems from a variance in their brains.  It all comes down to the brain’s plasticity, or its ability to change and reorganize itself by forming new connections. These inherent changes in the brain dictate how a person responds to stimuli, and researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel found that people diagnosed with anxiety are less likely to be able to differentiate neutral or “safe” stimuli from threatening ones.

And early last week the Facebook feed shared “National Alliance on Mental Illness creates new resource for students: Getting the Right Start, Student Guide to Mental Health.”

The graphics include data and information about how students can assess both their own and their friends’ mental health, along with suggestions about how to reach out for help. The titles of the three infographics are “Getting the Right Start,” “Taking Charge of Your Mental Health” and “How to Help a Friend.”

Want to have access to more information like this? Just “Like” NAMI – Minnesota’s Facebook page.