Better Humans: What the Mental Health Pandemic Teaches Us About Humanity

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Post Hill Press, Aug 15, 2023 - Health & Fitness - 224 pages
When a global pandemic exacerbated a pre-existing mental health crisis, the US was left with a mental health pandemic. This opened a Pandora’s box revealing what was long denied—we must prioritize mental health in all aspects of society, eliminate disparities and stigma, and become better humans.

The world was turned upside down March 2020 by a virus no one expected to turn into a global pandemic. While millions experienced loss and disruption of life, the pandemic put lives on pause, making the nation turn inward to question the life Americans were living pre-pandemic and examine who and what really mattered in this time of financial, emotional, and interpersonal upheaval. Depression, anxiety, violence, substance abuse, and mental health illnesses soared in what became a mental health pandemic. Children lost parents, millions lost jobs, and thousands of teachers and health and wellness professionals abandoned their fields.

This has been a tremendous time of reflection on how to be better to ourselves, and to humanity as a whole. What can we learn from this global disruption and how can we become better humans? To start, we can’t look away anymore. The suffering is vast, and the stakes are high. The voices of the pandemic have insightful lessons to teach each and every one of us. It’s time to silence our distractions, listen, and create transformative, sustainable strategies that prioritize the health and wellbeing of humanity.

About the author (2023)

Janeane Bernstein, Ed.D. is a mental health advocate, journalist, and speaker. In response to the global pandemic, she created the mental health and wellness podcast/event series, Outside the Box; this includes her CARE Initiative, Creative Arts & Wellness Series, and other programming designed to address the mental health and wellness needs of students, teachers, and organizations of all sizes. She is the author of Get the Funk Out!: %^&* Happens, What to Do Next! in which she shares stories of resilience and the importance of prioritizing mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Bernstein hosts Get the Funk Out!, a weekly radio show on KUCI 88.9 FM.

She graduated from Syracuse University with a focus on communications and education and earned a doctorate from Boston University in Curriculum & Teaching. She is a 2021 Age Boom Academy Fellow with the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center in partnership with Columbia Journalism.

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