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In Recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month

Vision Loss and Depression: Some Studies and Insights

“Vision loss can make it harder – even impossible – to do certain activities you enjoy or to perform routine tasks, such as driving.” The connection between vision loss and depression is examined in the HCA West Florida Division blog. It covers factors like aging and vision loss, isolation, how to be proactive, recognizing symptoms of depression, and coping  — with practical tips to manage life with vision loss. Read the full blog.

How vision loss impacts individuals already living with depression is discussed in a news feature from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired. The article shares the experience of Garry Lone, whose vision loss resulted in a worsening of his long-time depression. He reveals the real losses people feel in terms of everyday activities, like riding a bike or watching TV. Lone also offers some self-care strategies and tips that help him, including exercise, eating habits, sleep, stress reduction and being open to doing everyday tasks differently. Read more about it here.

Findings from the U.S. National Health and Aging Trends Study reveal a higher likelihood of symptoms of anxiety and depression among older adults with impaired vision as well as a higher likelihood of vision loss among those older adults with symptoms of anxiety or depression. An online article by Wayne Boggs, MD, featured in the Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network, explains the impact of vision loss beyond “not seeing clearly.” An increased risk of  mood disorders, cognitive decline, falls and loss of independence are among the consequences. The fact that vision loss among older adults is not inevitable is also cited, with references to prevention and the importance of vision care in overall health.

New On-Demand Workshop Series on Adjusting to Vision Loss

This new series of workshops from Hadley provides practical advice and emotional support on such topics as “Coming to Grips with Vision Loss,” “Tools for Talking About Vision Loss,” and “Partner to Build Skills and Boost Confidence.” Find out more here.

Mental Health in the Workplace: Strategies for Employers

According to guest blogger Leslie Wilson of Disability:IN, writing for the Campaign for Disability Employment, COVID-19 “did put mental health front and center in our workplaces”, and employees, whether or not they have a previous mental health diagnosis, are at increased risk of anxiety and depression. As a matter of fact, research firm Accenture’s report on mental health in the workplace is titled: “It’s Not 1 in 4; It’s All of Us” and states that mental health issues touch 90% of all workers. And that affects business’s bottom line. Disability:IN’s Roadmap to Mental Wellness in the Workplace describes how four companies approach the issue through peer-assisted mental health programs (American Airlines), helping client companies expand benefit choices (Aetna Behavioral Health), training line managers to know the signs of mental illness (Accenture), and providing training and information around mental health to employees at all levels of the company (PNC Financial Services Group). The American Psychiatric Association offers employers a May Is Mental Health Month Toolkit which includes strategies for reducing workplace loneliness, planning a company-wide mental health initiative and facts to share with employees to start the conversation.