Reno News & Review’s 2019 Health Guide

Welcome to the Reno News & Review’s 2019 Health Guide. The above statement, “It’s all in your head,” might be a familiar chorus for anyone living with mental health issues—or even just negative thoughts from time to time. Maybe it was said by a loved one, someone you opened up to in hopes they could relate. Maybe you said it to yourself, hoping to assuage the panic that sets in when considering the idea that your thoughts are not your own. Or maybe, if you’ve been spectacularly let down—as many have—by our country’s public and private health care systems, you’ve even heard it from a health care professional.

But simply because a disease manifests “in your head” doesn’t make it imaginary—the real world effects of PTSD, anxiety and depression, psychosis and trauma are all too real for too many Americans. That’s why this guide tackles issues that are familiar to many but never seem to be discussed.

Coping with the everyday stresses of our chaotic world are enough of a challenge to even “healthy” minds, let alone those with a diagnosable issue. To both, however, help can be found in the emerging science behind meditation’s effects on the physical structure of our brains. Check out Andrea Heerdt’s piece on page 4 for a primer on this theory and some advice on how to start meditating yourself.

Of course, to those affected by a mental condition, the best advice comes from those who can relate personally. To that end, contributor Ashley Warren details her own struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder on page 7.

To many who need help, however, diagnosis and treatment can be a long, painful process—one made worse by the numerous barriers to finding care in a model that puts profits before patients. On page 9, Editor in Chief Brad Bynum spoke with a mental health professional about navigating the system’s many pitfalls.

Finally, if you’ve been lucky enough to be unaffected by the issues listed above, it’s almost certain that you know someone who has. Whether its a friend or complete stranger experiencing a psychotic episode or just not being themselves, offering help can be complicated—but sometimes necessary. Temi Durojaiye spoke with the experts and lists some resources on how to find the care needed for a mental health crises on page 11.

In the past decade specifically, study after study has come to a similar conclusion: Americans are not well. The current administration touts mental health care as a priority for curbing tragedies like veteran suicide, youth depression and the epidemic of mass shootings—while simultaneously cutting funding for these services. Until systemic issues are addressed, knowledge will be our community’s first-aid, and I hope that’s what you’ll find here.

Best regards,

Matt Bieker

Special Projects Editor