All of Sharon: Community Conversations on Mental Health

Over the past several years, rates of anxiety and depression among Americans have risen significantly. But finding ways to open conversations around mental health can be difficult. Throughout February, March, and April 2019, the Sharon Public Library sought to change that by hosting a speaker series in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"All of Sharon" featured local mental health professionals from Be Inspired Counseling and Aspire Health Alliance in a multi-part series of presentations and experiential learning sessions about anxiety and depression among different age groups. Participants learned about how these disorders manifest and impact individuals, coping strategies, and resources and support networks available through the NLM and NIH.

This project was funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Cooperative Agreement UG4LM012347-01 with the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

General Resources

National Institutes of Health - The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency—making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.
  • National Institute of Mental Health - The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders.
  • National Library of Medicine - The National Library of Medicine (NLM), on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836. NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library.
American Psychiatric Association - The American Psychiatric Association is an organization of psychiatrists working together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental illness, including substance use disorders.

American Psychological Association - APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 118,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students as its members.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Founded in 1979, ADAA is an international nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders through education, practice, and research.

National Alliance on Mental Illness - NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Get Help for Mental Illnesses [NIMH]
If you or someone you know has a mental illness, there are ways to get help. Use these resources to find help for you, a friend, or a family member.

Participate in the All of Us Research Program [NIH]
The All of Us Research Program is a historic effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health.

Resources on Depression

Depression Basics [NIMH]
Everyone feels sad or low sometimes, but these feelings usually pass with a little time. Depression—also called “clinical depression” or a “depressive disorder”—is a mood disorder that causes distressing symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Also available in Spanish.

Depression: What You Need to Know [NIMH]
This booklet contains information on the signs and symptoms of depression, treatment and support options, and a listing of additional resources. Also available in Spanish.

Depression [MedlinePlus]
An overview of depression, with links to helpful resources.

Teen Depression [NIMH]
Being a teenager can be tough. But if you have been overwhelmingly sad for a long time (a few weeks to months) and you’re not able to concentrate or do the things you usually enjoy, you may want to talk to a trusted adult about depression.

Depression in Women [NIMH]
Depression is more common among women than men, likely due to certain biological, hormonal, and social factors that are unique to women.

Postpartum Depression Facts [NIMH]
Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that can affect women after childbirth. Mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that may make it difficult for them to complete daily care activities for themselves or for others. Also available in Spanish.

Men & Depression [NIMH]
Men and women both experience depression but their symptoms can be very different. Because men who are depressed may appear to be angry or aggressive instead of sad, their families, friends, and even their doctors may not always recognize the anger or aggression as depression symptoms. Also available in Spanish.

Older Adults & Depression [NIMH]
As you get older, you may go through a lot of changes—death of loved ones, retirement, stressful life events, or medical problems. It’s normal to feel uneasy, stressed, or sad about these changes. Depression is different. It is not a normal part of aging. Also available in Spanish.

Chronic Illness & Mental Health [NIMH]
Depression is a real illness. Treatment can help you live to the fullest extent possible, even when you have another illness. Also available in Spanish.

Depression Screening [MedlinePlus]
A depression screening, also called a depression test, helps find out if you have depression.

Genetics Home Reference: Depression [NLM]
Though depression does not have a clear pattern of inheritance in families, people with a first-degree relative with depression appear to have a 2 to 3 times greater risk of developing the condition than the general public.

Getting Help With Depression [American Psychiatric Association]
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable.

NIMH Answers Questions About Suicide [NIMH]
How to recognize suicide risk factors and warning signs, and what to do if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or behavior. Also available in Spanish.

Resources on Anxiety
Anxiety Disorders [NIMH]
Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.

Anxiety [MedlinePlus]
An overview of anxiety, with links to helpful resources.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: When Worry Gets Out of Control [NIMH]
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. But people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) feel extremely worried or feel nervous about these and other things—even when there is little or no reason to worry about them. The good news is that GAD is treatable. Also available in Spanish.

5 Things You Should Know About Stress [NIMH]
Everyone feels stressed from time to time. But what is stress? How does it affect your health? And what can you do about it? Also available in Spanish.

Panic Disorder: When Fear Overwhelms [NIMH]
People with panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. These are called panic attacks. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. Also available in Spanish.

Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness [NIMH]
Are you extremely afraid of being judged by others? Are you very self-conscious in everyday social situations? Do you avoid meeting new people? If you have been feeling this way for at least six months and these feelings make it hard for you to do everyday tasks—such as talking to people at work or school—you may have a social anxiety disorder. Also available in Spanish.

Tips to Manage Anxiety & Stress [ADAA]
Strategies you can use to help you cope if you are feeling anxious or stressed.

Find Help: Treatment for Anxiety [ADAA]
Resources on finding treatment for anxiety.

Locate a Support Group [ADAA]
Search for a local support group, or learn how to start one.

Resources for Families & Children

Children & Mental Health [NIMH]
Even under the best of circumstances, it can be hard to tell the difference between challenging behaviors and emotions that are consistent with typical child development and those that are cause for concern. Here's where to begin if you are concerned about your child. Also available in Spanish.

Helping Children & Adolescents Cope with Violence & Disasters: Helping Children Through Play [American Psychiatric Association]
Play is natural and fun for children and an important part of learning and development. Play therapy is a therapy used by licensed mental health professionals to help children to better express their thoughts and emotions and to address a variety of problems.

NAMI Family-to-Family Classes [NAMI Massachusetts]
NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session educational program for family members and other caregivers of people diagnosed with mental illness. It offers resources, insights, coping skills, and genuine support for families, and equips class participants with the knowledge they need to navigate the mental health system.