YOGA AND MENTAL HEALTH
Yoga for Anxiety and Depression – Yoga balances our bodies and stress response systems by lowering blood pressure, easing respiration and reducing heart rates. This improves the overall mood and functioning for those living with anxiety and depression. “Yoga for Anxiety and Depression,” (April 2009) Harvard Mental Health Letter. Boston: Harvard Health Publications.
Neuroplasticity and Depression – Our brains are constantly remolding themselves as a result of changes in behavior, the environment, thought processes and biological events – a scientific concept entitled neuroplasticity. Through the practice of yoga people living with mental illnesses may be able to calm thought processes, providing them with an alternative outlook on anxiety inducing situations. Hellestein, David J. “Neuroplasticity and Depression,” (2011) Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers.
Breathing for health – Yogic breathing techniques for people living with depressive disorders manages stress, psycho-physiological states, improves organ functioning and increases relaxation. Zope, SA and Zope RA. (2013). “Sudarshan Kriya Yoga: Breathing for health,” International Journal of Yoga. 6(1) MedKnow. 4-10.
SOCIAL TRENDS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Increases in Mental Illness + Decreases in Funding = Mental Health Crisis – 1 in 5 young people in Ontario are living with a mental illness, the most common of which is anxiety, behavioural and depressive disorders. It is predicted that by the year 2020, mental health problems will rise by 50% globally. Mental illness will transform to one in five of the most prevalent causes of mortality, morbidity and death for young people. “Join the Cause,” (2013). Children’s Mental Health in Ontario.
Children’s Mental Health Still Taboo in Canada – Statistics Canada identified that suicide is the second leading cause of death for individuals who are 15-19 years of age with the rate of depression on the rise in younger populations. According to Children’s Mental Health in Ontario, prevention and intervention programs have been successful to lower rates of mental illness among youth. “Study shows children’s mental health still taboo in Canada.” (2007). Toronto: Kinarck: Child and Family Services.
Increased Levels of Anxiety as Teenage Experience Changes over Time – Rates of anxiety and depression in young people have doubled in the last 30 years. The demand for a population of youth workers to be flexible, independent and “work for less” creates a climate where youth have to negotiate a different life path in the hopes of acquiring a steady career and employment. “Increased Levels of Anxiety as Teenage Experience Changes Over Time,” (14 March, 2012). London: Nuffield Foundation.