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Pandemic is putting kids in mental health crisis

Depression and anxiety symptoms have doubled, help needed, warn clinical psychologists

The new study is a meta-analysis, pooling together data from 29 separate studies from around the world, including 80,879 youth globally. The new findings show that depression and anxiety symptoms have doubled in children and adolescents when compared to pre-pandemic times.

“Estimates show that one in four youth globally are experiencing clinically elevated depression symptoms while one in five have clinically elevated anxiety symptoms,” says Dr. Nicole Racine, PhD, a postdoctoral associate, clinical psychologist and lead author of the paper. Further alarming, these symptoms are compounding over time.

The study — which incorporates 16 studies from East Asia, four from Europe, six from North America, two from Central and South America and one from the Middle East — also shows that older adolescents and girls are experiencing the highest levels of depression and anxiety.

“We know from other studies that rates of depression and anxiety in youth tend to ebb and flow with restrictions,” says Dr. Sheri Madigan, PhD, co-author of the paper. “When more restrictions are imposed, rates go up. Being socially isolated, kept away from their friends, their school routines, and social interactions has proven to be really hard on kids.”

“When COVID-19 started, most people thought it would be difficult at the outset but that kids would be better over time, as they adjusted and got back to school. But when the pandemic persisted, youth missed a lot of milestones in their lives. It went on for well over a year and for young people that’s a really substantial period of their lives.”

For many adolescents that loss was especially impactful. “Once you enter adolescence you begin differentiating from your family members and your peers can actually become your most important source of social support,” says Racine. “That support was greatly reduced, and in some cases absent altogether, during the pandemic.”

Older teens in particular have missed out on significant life events such as graduations, sporting events and various coming of age activities. “These kids didn’t imagine that when they graduated, they’d never get to say goodbye to their school, their teachers or their friends, and now they’re moving on to something new, with zero closure,” says Racine. “There’s a grieving process associated with that.”

As more of the population becomes vaccinated and an end to the pandemic seems near, the question arises: how will our children and adolescents fare? Will they bounce back from this traumatic time, or will the mental health impacts linger?

“At this point we don’t know the answer to that,” says Racine. “I think for most children who have experienced elevated mental health symptoms, some of that will resolve. But there will be a group of children for whom that isn’t the case. For them, this pandemic may have been a catalyst, setting them off on a trajectory that could be challenging. And there’s another group of children who had mental health difficulties pre-pandemic. They might really struggle long term.”

For now, though, the elevated mental health symptoms in youth are rising and that’s a problem that must not be underestimated, Madigan warns. “We’re continuing to see compounding effects of the pandemic,” she says. “It’s disjointing for kids because they can’t predict what their environment is going to look like, and we know when their world lacks predictability and controllability, their mental suffers.”

The study recommends that more mental health supports should be put in place to help children and adolescents in this time of need.

“Long before the pandemic we had a youth mental health system that was stretched and lacking resources,” says Racine. “A potential doubling of mental health difficulties will overwhelm that system without a significant increase in resources.”

Madigan agrees, “If we want to mitigate the sustained mental health effects of COVID-19, because of the chronic stressors our youth experienced, we have to prioritize recovery planning now. Not when the pandemic is over, but immediately. Because kids are in crisis right now.”


Dr. Jenny Holland, PsyD

Dr. Holland is a psychotherapist practicing in Sonoma County California, providing cutting edge, integrative and evidence-based mental health care, proven effective with depression and anxiety, life transitions; pregnancy, parenting, ageing, loss, and caring for a parent or loved one during a health crisis or decline.

In-person and Online Video Counseling Services are now available. Short-term sessions, single sessions or ongoing support to meet your needs. Contact Dr. Holland to schedule an appointment at 707-479-2946.

Suicide. Let’s talk about it!

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that more than 700,000 people die due to suicide every year and it’s the fourth leading cause of death in 15 to 19 year-olds. While many suicides happen on impulse as an attempt to escape emotional pain, abuse, or seemingly insurmountable problems, the most vulnerable groups are people who experience discrimination due to sexual preference, as well as migrants, refugees and indigenous persons.

Why suicide?

Suicide might be described as an attempt to escape suffering that has become hopelessly unbearable. Intense feelings of self-loathing and hopelessness can shut a suicidal person down to the point that they feel they can no longer reach out to get help, making death their only option. However, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted when it comes to ending their own lives. They deeply wish there was an alternative to suicide, but for whatever reason, they just can see what that might be.

What can be done?

“In order to be a good clinician, I have found that in addition to a strict adherence to the code of ethics, a duty of care, and empathy, I must be fearless when it comes to talking about sex, money, death, and suicidal ideation,” explains Dr. Jenny Holland, Sonoma County psychologist.

“I think it is essential that we have the ability and opportunity to explore our thoughts, feelings and ideas. Such as what it means to feel like, that we might be better off dead, or that the world might be better off without us. Exploring what it feels like to think, talk and even to fantasize about it can be the first step in diffusing what could be a very bad choice. It is important to have a safe place to talk about suicide and the feelings associated with that idea.”

The WHO says that “the stigma, particularly surrounding mental disorders and suicide, means many people thinking of taking their own life or who have attempted suicide are not seeking help and therefore are not getting the help they need. The prevention of suicide has not been adequately addressed due to a lack of awareness of suicide as a major public health problem and the taboo in many societies to openly discuss it.”

“Obviously, a line is drawn if it goes beyond simply thinking and exploring. If there is a plan, and if there are means to carry out the plan, then an intervention outside the treatment room must be made. Understandably, this causes people to feel hesitant about bringing up the topic at all. For fear of being seen as ‘crazy’ or feeling out of control. But really, people just need to be able to talk about it, to talk about being able to do it, having free will, having the choice, to talk about wanting to do it, sometimes to talk about even how they might do it- so they don’t have to act it out.”

The warning signs

Suicidal individuals usually give warning signs of their intentions. The trick is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond when they happen. Alert friends, family members, teachers and even co-workers can play an important part in suicide prevention by listening objectively, pointing out the alternatives, showing care and concern, and even getting a doctor or psychologist involved.

Major warning signs for suicide can include talking about killing or harming oneself, writing about death or dying, and most importantly attempting to find anything that could be used facilitate a suicide attempt, such as poison, weapons, and drugs. The importance of these kinds of signals are even more serious in someone who suffers from a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, is alcohol dependent, has previously attempted suicide, or has a family history of suicide.

Studies have found that hopelessness is a strong predictor of suicide. People who feel hopeless may talk about “unbearable” feelings and say that they have nothing to look forward to, that the world is a hopeless place for them. Dramatic mood swings or sudden personality changes can also be warning signs. A suicidal person may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, neglect their appearance, and have extreme changes in diet or sleeping habits.

“These situations require some fierceness and some fearlessness,” says Dr. Holland. “Sometimes even I am afraid to ask. But I know that I must ask. Every session, every patient. Because talking about suicide and talking about wanting to die by suicide saves lives.”

Suicidal thoughts are scary. If you are feeling like you’ve had enough, but you’re afraid to tell anyone for fear of being seen as crazy, or misunderstood, it is time to talk about it. Or if you know someone who is struggling, and you are afraid that you’ll say the wrong thing, know that there is help available. Taking the risk and talking openly can save a life. Don’t put it off! Reach out today.

Article sources: World Health Organization, The HelpGuide


Dr. Jenny Holland, PsyD

Dr. Holland is a psychotherapist practicing in Sonoma County California, providing cutting edge, integrative and evidence-based mental health care, proven effective with depression and anxiety, life transitions; pregnancy, parenting, ageing, loss, and caring for a parent or loved one during a health crisis or decline.

In-person and Online Video Counseling Services are now available. Short-term sessions, single sessions or ongoing support to meet your needs. Contact Dr. Holland to schedule an appointment at 707-479-2946.

College students experiencing depression, anxiety, loneliness at peak levels

depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality

A survey by a Boston University researcher of nearly 33,000 college students across the country reveals the prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the coronavirus pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality.

“Half of students screened positive for depression and/or anxiety,” says Sarah Ketchen Lipson, a Boston University mental health researcher and a co-principal investigator of the nationwide survey published on Februray 11, 2021, which was administered online during the fall 2020 semester through the Healthy Minds Network. The survey further reveals that 83 percent of students said their mental health had negatively impacted their academic performance within the past month, and that two-thirds of college students are struggling with loneliness and feeling isolated — an all-time high prevalence that reflects the toll of the pandemic and the social distancing necessary to control it.

Lipson, a BU School of Public Health assistant professor of health law, policy, and management, says the survey’s findings underscore the need for university teaching staff and faculty to put mechanisms in place that can accommodate students’ mental health needs.

“Faculty need to be flexible with deadlines and remind students that their talent is not solely demonstrated by their ability to get a top grade during one challenging semester,” Lipson says.

She adds that instructors can protect students’ mental health by having class assignments due at 5 pm, rather than midnight or 9 am, times that Lipson says can encourage students to go to bed later and lose valuable sleep to meet those deadlines.

Especially in smaller classroom settings, where a student’s absence may be more noticeable than in larger lectures, instructors who notice someone missing classes should reach out to that student directly to ask how they are doing.

“Even in larger classes, where 1:1 outreach is more difficult, instructors can send classwide emails reinforcing the idea that they care about their students not just as learners but as people, and circulating information about campus resources for mental health and wellness,” Lipson says.

And, crucially, she says, instructors must bear in mind that the burden of mental health is not the same across all student demographics. “Students of color and low-income students are more likely to be grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID,” Lipson says. They are also “more likely to be facing financial stress.” All of these factors can negatively impact mental health and academic performance in “profound ways,” she says.

At a higher level within colleges and universities, Lipson says, administrators should focus on providing students with mental health services that emphasize prevention, coping, and resilience. The fall 2020 survey data revealed a significant “treatment gap,” meaning that many students who screen positive for depression or anxiety are not receiving mental health services.

“Often students will only seek help when they find themselves in a mental health crisis, requiring more urgent resources,” Lipson says. “But how can we create systems to foster wellness before they reach that point?” She has a suggestion: “All students should receive mental health education, ideally as part of the required curriculum.”

It’s also important to note, she says, that rising mental health challenges are not unique to the college setting — instead, the survey findings are consistent with a broader trend of declining mental health in adolescents and young adults. “I think mental health is getting worse [across the US population], and on top of that we are now gathering more data on these trends than ever before,” Lipson says. “We know mental health stigma is going down, and that’s one of the biggest reasons we are able to collect better data. People are being more open, having more dialogue about it, and we’re able to better identify that people are struggling.”

The worsening mental health of Americans, more broadly, Lipson says, could be due to a confluence of factors: the pandemic, the impact of social media, and shifting societal values that are becoming more extrinsically motivated (a successful career, making more money, getting more followers and likes), rather than intrinsically motivated (being a good member of the community).

The crushing weight of historic financial pressures is an added burden. “Student debt is so stressful,” Lipson says. “You’re more predisposed to experiencing anxiety the more debt you have. And research indicates that suicidality is directly connected to financial well-being.”

With more than 22 million young people enrolled in US colleges and universities, “and with the traditional college years of life coinciding with the age of onset for lifetime mental illnesses,” Lipson stresses that higher education is a crucial setting where prevention and treatment can make a difference.

One potential bright spot from the survey was that the stigma around mental health continues to fade. The results reveal that 94 percent of students say that they wouldn’t judge someone for seeking out help for mental health, which Lipson says is an indicator that also correlates with those students being likely to seek out help themselves during a personal crisis (although, paradoxically, almost half of students say they perceive that others may think more poorly of them if they did seek help).

“We’re harsher on ourselves and more critical of ourselves than we are with other people — we call that perceived versus personal stigma,” Lipson says. “Students need to realize, your peers are not judging you.”

Read this article on ScienceDaily:Boston University. “Depression, anxiety, loneliness are peaking in college students.” www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210219190939.htm


Therapy for Anxiety and Depression, PTSD, Trauma

In these situations, Dr. Holland can help you manage and prevent anxiety using the latest research-based methods to help you get results quickly, providing tools and strategies that work to bring you relief. With these practical tools, Dr. Holland can help you reduce your reliance on medications, if that is your goal. Anxiety, depression and panic are all very responsive to the treatment approaches that are available today. 

Contact Dr. Holland to get help with anxiety today.

New Research Examines Diversity of Nonbinary Youth

New Research Examines Diversity of Nonbinary Youth

It’s been a given for a very long time that most people, including some transgender people, identify as either male or female. But there has been a lot of discussion in this arena lately, pointing out that many people don’t easily identify with the terms ‘male/man’, ‘female/woman’.  For example, some people have a gender identity that blends elements of both primary genders, while others have a gender that simply does not relate to ‘male’ or ‘female’. And, of course, some people don’t identify with any gender at all and other people’s gender changes over time.

How can allies support gender sensitive youth, and affirm their gender identity at the same time? New research from The Trevor Project that polled over 34,700 youth, with about 9,000 respondents all gave the same answer: by using the correct name and pronouns to refer to them.

Understanding the nonbinary terms

People whose gender is not male, or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with ‘non-binary’ being one of the more common. Other terms include queer, gender non-confirming, genderfluid, genderqueer, androgynous, agender, demigirl, demiboy, genderflux and bigender. None of these terms mean exactly the same thing – but all speak to an experience of gender that is more complicated than simply male or female.

Showing respect for diversity – affirming nonbinary youth

According to the report, one survey responder said, “It makes me extremely happy when people respect and use my correct pronouns, and I could literally happy cry.” Others mentioned feeling affirmed when people used gender-neutral compliments, or compliments not associated with the gender that youth were assigned at birth. One respondent described their friends calling them “thude” or “a mix of they and dude” as something that makes them feel good about their gender. Affirming relationships with parents, siblings, friends, and partners were also a frequently cited source of affirmation and happiness for nonbinary youth.

Researchers reported that more than a quarter of the LGBTQ youth polled identified as nonbinary. An additional 20 percent said they are not sure or are questioning whether they identify as nonbinary. Up to this point nonbinary identities have been largely lumped into the category of ‘transgender’, and half of the study participants nonbinary youth also identify as transgender.

How We Got to Nonbinary

Non-binary people have always been a part of society, in every culture. Contrary to what some may say, it is not a new fad and nonbinary people aren’t suddenly confused about their gender identity. When talking about two genders “gender binary,” means “having two parts”, and in this case male and female. The term “non-binary” is currently used to describe genders that don’t fall into either category, male or female. Non-binary identities have been recognized for millennia by cultures and societies around the world.

Suicide is a problem – respect for nonbinary youth is an answer

Nonbinary youth who reported that “no one” respected their pronouns had more than 2.5x the rate of attempting suicide compared to those who reported that “all or most of the people” they know respected their pronouns. Among those who didn’t have anyone in their life who respected their pronouns, 27% attempted suicide in the past year. The rate of attempting suicide in the past year dropped to 15% when a lot of people respected their pronouns and 10% when all or most people respected their pronouns.

How to Be Respectful and Supportive of Non-Binary People

It isn’t as difficult be supportive and respectful of non-binary people, even if it’s a new concept. It is not necessary to fully understand what it means for someone to be non-binary in order to respect them.

  • Use the name a person asks to be used
  • Don’t make assumptions based on appearances
  • When uncertain what term to use, ask
  • Get to know non-binary people to learn more about who they are

Researchers say the findings of the survey emphasize the need for policies that affirm nonbinary youth in their identities, including respecting their pronouns and allowing them to change their name and gender marker on legal documents like driver’s licenses and birth certificates>

“Being that something as simple as respecting pronouns can be life-saving, we must work to expand training and improve understanding of transgender and nonbinary identities among schools, medical facilities, and youth-serving organizations and adults,” said researchers.

LGBTQIA+ Affirming Therapy

Dr. Holland’s clients often come to therapy experiencing significant stress resulting from living under circumstances where their cultural, sexual, or gender identities are not fully recognized or validated. This is known as Minority Stress. Dr. Holland incorporates a combination of systemic, interpersonal and humanistic approaches to develop a meaningful connection with her clients. She also uses therapeutic approaches are validated by years of scientific and behavioral health study. The goal of these approaches is to help clients develop insight into the behaviors and relationship patterns that are causing personal issues. This leads to an exploration of new ways of being and expression.

Dr. Holland has personal interest and professional experience in this arena. Patients report feeling comforted by the LBGTQI A+ affirming symbols which are displayed in her office. If you are experiencing social rejection, discrimination, harassment, verbal and physical bullying or other daily stressors associated with living LGBTQIA+, you will certainly benefit from the work of Dr. Holland.

Contact Dr. Holland to learn more and to schedule an appointment or call 707-479-2946.

 

Article Sources: The Trevor Project

National Center for Transgender Equality – Understanding Non-Binary People

Physical activity improves symptoms of depression, making change possible

Physical activity improves symptoms of depression, making change possible

The beneficial effect of physical activity on depression is confirmed by a new study. Researchers discover that physical activity not only reduces depressive symptoms it also increases the brain’s ability to change, which is necessary for adaptation and learning processes.

“The results show how important seemingly simple things like physical activity are in treating and preventing illnesses such as depression,” says study leader Dr. Karin Rosenkranz.

Exercise program promotes motivation and togetherness

People with depression often withdraw and are physically inactive. To investigate the effect of physical activity, researchers enlisted 41 people, who were undergoing treatment at the hospital, for the study. The participants were each assigned to one of two groups, one of which completed a three-week exercise program. The program, which was developed by a sports science team, was varied, included fun elements, and did not come across as a competition or test, but instead employed teamwork from the participants. The other group took part in a control program without physical activity.

The study team ascertained the severity of the depressive symptoms, such as a loss of drive and interest, lack of motivation and negative feelings, both before and after the program. The brain’s ability to change, known as neuroplasticity, was also measured. It can be determined externally with the help of transcranial magnetic stimulation. “The ability to change is important for all of the brain’s learning and adaptation processes,” explains Rosenkranz.

Ability to change increased — symptoms decreased

The results show that the brain’s ability to change is lower in people with depression than in healthy people. Following the program incorporating physical activity, the ability to change increased significantly among participants, reflecting the same markers as healthy people. At the same time, depressive symptoms decreased in the group. “The more the ability to change increased, the more clearly the clinical symptoms decreased,” says researchers. These changes were not so pronounced in the group who took part in the control program. This shows that physical activity influences symptoms and the brain’s ability to change. “We cannot say to what extent the change in symptoms and the brain’s ability to change are causally linked based on this data,” says the doctor. “It is known that physical activity does the brain good, as it, for instance, promotes the formation of neuron connections. This could certainly also play a role here.”

Read this article on Science Daily: Ruhr-University Bochum. “Physical activity jolts brain into action in the event of depression.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2021. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210804123610.htm.


Dr. Jenny Holland, PsyD

Dr. Holland is a psychotherapist practicing in Sonoma County California, providing cutting edge, integrative and evidence-based mental health care, proven effective with depression and anxiety, life transitions; pregnancy, parenting, ageing, loss, and caring for a parent or loved one during a health crisis or decline.

In-person and Online Video Counseling Services are now available. Short-term sessions, single sessions or ongoing support to meet your needs. Contact Dr. Holland to schedule an appointment at 707-479-2946.

Burnout & work stress eases when employees are given a say

Burnout & work stress eases when employees are given a say

The effect of burnout on perceived work stress can be somewhat mitigated if employees have more control over their own work and receive support from colleagues or superiors.

Stress and overload in the workplace are often considered a cause of burnout. Indeed, a recent study shows that work stress and burnout are connected. However burnout has a much greater impact on work stress than vice versa. “This means that the more severe a person’s burnout becomes, the more stressed they will feel at work, such as being under time pressure, for example,” said Professor Christian Dormann, researcher. Employees suffering from burnout should be timely provided with adequate support in order to break the vicious circle between work stress and burnout.

Symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced performance. “The most important burnout symptom is the feeling of total exhaustion — to the extent that it cannot be remedied by normal recovery phases of an evening, a weekend, or even a vacation,” said Dormann. “To protect themselves from further exhaustion, some try to build a psychological distance to their work, that is, they alienate themselves from their work as well as the people associated with it and become more cynical,” added Dr. Christina Guthier. She conducted the study as part of her doctoral thesis.

For the joint publication researchers evaluated 48 longitudinal studies of burnout and work stress comprising 26,319 participants. The average age in the initial survey was about 42 years, 44 percent of the respondents were men. The studies from 1986 to 2019 came from various countries, including predominantly European countries as well as Israel, the USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, China, and Taiwan.

Stopping the downward spiral and reducing the effect of burnout on work stress

The results challenge the common perception that work stress is the driving force behind burnout. “Burnout can be triggered by a work situation, but that is not always the case,” Dormann pointed out. Once burnout begins, it develops only very gradually, building up slowly over time. Ultimately it leads to work being increasingly perceived as stressful: The amount of work is too much, time is too short, and work stress is too great. “When exhausted, the ability to cope with stress usually decreases. As a result, even smaller tasks can be perceived as significantly more strenuous,” explained Guthier, a researcher for this study. “We expected an effect of burnout on work stress; the strength of the effect was very surprising,” she noted. The effect of burnout on perceived work stress can be somewhat mitigated if employees have more control over their own work and receive support from colleagues or superiors.

According to Dormann, a new research area is emerging on the basis of this unique data because the strong boomerang effect of burnout on work stress has not yet been investigated. Key questions that need to be addressed are: how can the effects of burnout on perceived work stress be reduced and how can the development of this vicious circle be prevented? Dormann and Guthier suggest that the place to start is with management behavior. Employees should have the opportunity to give feedback on their work stress at any time and be appreciated. Last but not least, proper recovery could also help to stop the downward spiral.

Read this article on Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201110112522.htm


Dr. Holland offers Therapy for Burnout and Job Stress and she is a psychotherapist providing cutting edge, integrative and evidence-based mental health care.

Dr. Holland understands that successful people are not immune to symptoms like depression, anxiety, and addiction. Yet, many successful people are often hesitant to seek treatment because of their high-profile statuses and stressful career responsibilities. For this reason, Dr. Holland takes great pride in offering a private environment that caters to the needs of these individuals, providing them with a therapeutic atmosphere that offers a sanctuary where they can step away from the stresses of their everyday lives.

Working with Dr. Holland clients can expect to receive unparalleled professional help to uncover, address and heal from the underlying causes of their depression and anxiety, and continued substance abuse. Dr. Holland specializes in providing therapy for substance abuse, depression, anxiety and trauma, and unresolved grief and loss.

Dr. Holland is available for Teletherapy – Online Video Counseling Services — Short-term sessions, single sessions or ongoing support as well as in-person appointment for fully vaccinated clients. Contact Dr. Holland to schedule an appointment at 707-479-2946.

Poor management practices leave employees at increased risk of depression

Poor management practices leave employees at increased risk of depression

A year-long study has found that full time workers employed by organizations that fail to priorities their employees’ mental health have a threefold increased risk of being diagnosed with depression. And while working long hours is a risk factor for dying from cardiovascular disease or having a stroke, poor management practices pose a greater risk for depression, the researchers found.

Lead author, Dr Amy Zadow, says that poor workplace mental health can be traced back to poor management practices, priorities and values, which then flows through to high job demands and low resources. “Evidence shows that companies who fail to reward or acknowledge their employees for hard work, impose unreasonable demands on workers, and do not give them autonomy, are placing their staff at a much greater risk of depression,” says Dr Zadow.

Internationally renowned expert on workplace mental health, ARC Laureate Professor Maureen Dollard, says the study found that while enthusiastic and committed workers are valued, working long hours can lead to depression. Men are also more likely to become depressed if their workplace pays scant attention to their psychological health.

Due to the global burden of depression, which affects an estimated 300 million people worldwide and shows no sign of abating despite available treatments, more attention is now being paid to poorly functioning work environments which could contribute to the problem. High levels of burnout and workplace bullying are also linked to corporations’ failure to support workers’ mental health.

“We also found that bullying in a work unit can not only negatively affect the victim, but also the perpetrator and team members who witness that behavior. It is not uncommon for everyone in the same unit to experience burnout as a result. In this study we investigated bullying in a group context and why it occurs. Sometimes stress is a trigger for bullying and in the worst cases it can set an ‘acceptable’ level of behavior for other members of the team. But above all bullying can be predicted from a company’s commitment to mental health, so it can be prevented,” Prof Dollard says.

The global costs of workplace bullying and worker burnout are significant, manifested in absenteeism, poor work engagement, stress leave and low productivity. The extent of the problem was recognized in 2019 with the International Labour Organization (ILO) implementing a Global Commission on the Future of Work and calling for “a human-centered approach, putting people and the work they do at the center of economic and social policy and business practice.”

“The practical implications of this research are far reaching. High levels of worker burnout are extremely costly to organizations and it’s clear that top-level organizational change is needed to address the issue,” Prof Dollard says.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE on Science Daily: “Companies who pay scant attention to workers’ psychological health leave employees at higher risk of depression, research finds.” www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/06/210623100300.htm.


Dr. Holland offers Therapy for Burnout and Job Stress and she is a psychotherapist providing cutting edge, integrative and evidence-based mental health care.

Dr. Holland understands that successful people are not immune to symptoms like depression, anxiety, and addiction. Yet, many successful people are often hesitant to seek treatment because of their high-profile statuses and stressful career responsibilities. For this reason, Dr. Holland takes great pride in offering a private environment that caters to the needs of these individuals, providing them with a therapeutic atmosphere that offers a sanctuary where they can step away from the stresses of their everyday lives.

Working with Dr. Holland clients can expect to receive unparalleled professional help to uncover, address and heal from the underlying causes of their depression and anxiety, and continued substance abuse. Dr. Holland specializes in providing therapy for substance abuse, depression, anxiety and trauma, and unresolved grief and loss.

Dr. Holland is available for Teletherapy – Online Video Counseling Services — Short-term sessions, single sessions or ongoing support as well as in-person appointment for fully vaccinated clients. Contact Dr. Holland to schedule an appointment at 707-479-2946.

Youth with diverse gender identities subject to increased bullying

Youth with diverse gender identities subject to increased bullying

Young people with diverse gender identities may be bullied and victimized up to three times more often than peers who identify as male or female, a new study of more than 4,464 adolescents in Illinois found. The students were part of a statewide survey of eighth- through 12th-grade youths in Illinois schools.”Transgender youths reported the highest rates of all forms of peer victimization, which were double to nearly triple those of males and up to 2.6 times higher than those of females,” said social work professor Rachel Garthe of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, who led the research. “Slightly more than half of transgender youths reported verbal abuse such as peers calling them names or spreading rumors about them. About one in three of these youths reported cyber victimization, and slightly fewer reported psychological dating violence,” such as a romantic partner denigrating or trying to control them.

Gender-expansive youths — students who don’t identify as male, female or transgender — experienced disproportionately higher rates of all forms of bullying and dating violence.  Among these students, 41% experienced verbal abuse, nearly 32% were cyberbullied and 19% experienced physical violence, according to the study.

Garthe said the findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, are very concerning and underscore the need for supportive policies and practices for students with diverse gender identities who may need help coping with psychological and physical violence from peers and romantic partners. Additionally, she said more programs are needed in schools that prevent these types of violence from being perpetrated.

Equal numbers of male, female, transgender and gender-expansive students were included in the research. The study was novel in that it included a large sample of transgender individuals and the experiences of gender-expansive individuals were explored as a distinct group, Garthe said.

The students in the current study were a subset of the participants in the 2018 Illinois Youth Survey, a biennial survey that gathers data on a variety of social, behavioral and health indicators from youths in schools throughout Illinois. The Center for Prevention Research and Development, a unit within the U. of I. School of Social Work, conducts the survey.

Despite growing numbers of schools implementing anti-bullying policies that include protections based on sexual or gender identity, rates of victimization remain high among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths, research has shown. However, LGBTQ students report feeling safer and more connected at school and experience fewer gender-related negative remarks from peers when resources such as LGBTQ-inclusive curricula are taught, according to the study. When anti-bullying policies with LGBTQ protections are implemented, students are less likely to be forced to use bathrooms that match their assigned sex or wear clothing incongruent with their gender identity or expression, Garthe said.

“To enhance the effectiveness of these policies and further support these students, anti-transphobic education for teachers, administrators and students is needed, along with the use of pronouns that reflect individuals’ gender identity,” Garthe said.

Read this article on Science Daily: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau. “Youths with diverse gender identities bullied up to three times more than peers, study finds.”  www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/05/210512132910.htm.


Dr. Holland offers LGBTQIA+ Affirming Therapy and is a psychotherapist providing cutting edge, integrative and evidence-based mental health care, proven effective with depression and anxiety, life transitions; pregnancy, parenting, ageing, loss, and caring for a parent or loved one during a health crisis or decline. She is available for Teletherapy – Online Video Counseling Services — Short-term sessions, single sessions or ongoing support as well as in-person appointment for fully vaccinated clients. Contact Dr. Holland to schedule an appointment at 707-479-2946.

Outbeat Radio Interview with Jenny Holland, PsyD

Join in as co-hosts and wives, Dr. Dianna L. Grayer and Sheridan Gold interview JENNY HOLLAND, ADAM BROWN, and their 3 kids. AMELIA 18 years old, ADDISON 15 years old, and NOAH, 12 years old, all identify with the LGBTQI+ community. Listen in as you learn from the parents and their kids how they navigate the world.

LIVING PROOF – JUNE 20121

Outbeat Radio Interview with Jenny Holland, PsyD

“Our family was recently asked to be interviewed for pride week. We have three children. One of them identifies as trans, one of them identifies as somewhere on the LBGTQI A+ spectrum, and the other is uncertain. Our friends, Sheridan and Dianna have noticed our positive parenting and wanted to talk to our family about it on their radio show. Living proof on Outbeat Radio.” ~ Dr. Holland

Patient Comment – June 2021

“Our teen has been meeting with Dr. Jenny Holland for a couple of years. She took time to reach out to us as parents to ensure that we were getting support too as we navigated not just a transitioning child but the emotional ups and downs of a teenager, too. She gave us permission to be strong parents without giving in to our kid. Reach out, it is worth it.”