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Another Example of our Environment Impacting Mental Health Solutions

Over the weekend I shared some research that found that the mental health benefits of extra sleep are not evenly distributed. That research showed that workers living in poverty conditions in Chennai don’t see much benefit from an extra half-hour of sleep per night because their home environment is often not a safe place for restorative sleep. It’s just more time spent sleeping poorly, taking away from time doing other things.

Today, I happened to come across some more research that should make us question another of our flip answers to someone struggling with their mental health, eat healthier. Because, when eating at all is in question, telling someone to eat healthier is not solving any issues for them.

Food Insecurity and Mental Health: The Hidden Crisis

Food insecurity was discovered to have a 257% higher risk of anxiety and a 253% higher risk of depression in a study by the CDC. Loss of income or a job greatly contributes to food insecurity and mental health problems.

Telling people who are struggling to afford any food at all to buy more expensive, healthier food is like telling someone who missed the bus to go buy a BMW to solve their transportation problem. Sure, having a BMW would provide for their transportation needs, but it’s not a solution that is available to them.

As I said over the weekend, telling people to spend money on their self-care when they don’t make a livable wage is just mean. It’s certainly not supportive, or helpful.

How about if we figure out a way to have fewer people living in poverty in the first place?

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