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Health Care in Utah is a really interesting thing. Of course we’re all on the quest to get or maintain a healthy body, but I think sometimes we neglect the need to create and sustain healthy minds. It is becoming a much more well known fact that Utah has the highest rate of mental illness of any state in the United States. 22.35% of all Utah adults surveyed reported having a mental illness in the year prior to the report but out by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That is almost 1 in 4! We want to suggest some ways to create and maintain healthy minds—which are just as vital to our well being as healthy bodies.

Sleep is Key

Sleep is an amazing thing. I always remember going to my mom when I was sick, and her answer was always: “YOU NEED MORE SLEEP!” While that may not have been true every time, I think I’ve learned that it is true much more than I used to think it was as a kid. Sleep is an incredible thing and is known to provide our body with a much needed recharge. WebMD provides some insight on the areas of our life sleep helps in: eating fewer calories, processing and storing information learned, having a better mood. The study cited from the SLEEP journal supported the notion that people who sleep 7-9 hours each night have fewer symptoms of depression than those who sleep more or less.

 

Eating is Essential

Diet has a profound effect on mental health. The Mental Health Foundation in the UK cites a study that looked at the fruit and juice consumption of people and their mental health—what they found was incredibly interesting! They found that 2/3 of people who did not report daily mental health problems ate fresh fruit or fruit juice every day. How about the people that did have mental health problems every day? Less than half of that group reported that they eat fresh fruit or fruit juice daily. Along with diet comes exercise. It is well known that exercise releases the happy chemicals, endorphins. These can provide some much needed balance to the mental health of all of us.

 

As all of us who receive or are seeking health care in Utah strive to guard our mental health, it’s intensely important to make or keep good sleeping habits and eating habits. We can all do it! Here’s for a healthier Utah!