#2: How Race Affects our Mental Health

Hey there, and welcome to Real Talk with Gen Z, a new podcast mini-series. This is a conversation show. Members of Gen Z talk with experts in mental health. They discuss the unique experiences of our generation and explore crucial mental health topics.

During the pandemic, over one-third of teens reported experiencing racism and the rates were highest among Asian (63.9%), Black (55.2%), and multiracial students (54.5%).

These experiences of racism can lead to poor concentration, memory issues, and feelings of isolation, among other things.

In this episode of Real Talk with Gen Z our co-hosts Simone Counts and Daniel Kim are joined by Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz, a senior advisor for the JED Foundation, to share their real-life experiences and discuss the impacts of race on mental health.

Host and Guest bios below:

Dr. Sofia B. Pertuz is a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professional with over 25 years of experience leading strategic planning, assessment, and critical incident management for higher education, nonprofit and corporate organizations. Sofia is a senior advisor for JED, having previously served as JED’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Sofia is currently Managing Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Billie Jean King Enterprises and founder of Mainstream Insight LLC, leading organizations towards inclusive excellence. Sofia has presented keynotes and training workshops to international audiences on topics in culturally responsive mental health support, change management, social justice, racial equity, and LGBTQ advocacy, in both English and Spanish. Sofia has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from SUNY New Paltz and earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy from Seton Hall University. Sofia also holds a Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion for HR from Cornell University and is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

Simone Counts is 25-year-old young professional and a mental health advocate who is passionate about achieving health equity, improving health outcomes and serving her community. In 2018, she graduated from Howard University with a degree in Health Management. She is an associate in the Leadership Development Program at CVS Health where she co-founded the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. During her first rotation she supported the Aetna Mental-Wellbeing Strategic Initiatives team which influenced her to start a personal mental health blog called Everything Counts. Following her first rotation she supported the Aetna NY Medicaid Business Operations team and currently she supports CVS Health’s Workforce Initiatives Business Development & Special Projects team. In her current role she works to develop customized training & development programming to prepare people, especially those in disenfranchised communities for the workforce. The programs help break down some of the barriers people face when transitioning into employment. In her free time she loves to travel, be surrounded by friends and family and be active.

Daniel Kim (He/Him) is a University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis and minors in Statistics & Analytics and Chemistry (May 2021). He interned as a project manager with CVS Health and is now working with strategic insights for Aetna Mental Wellbeing, Behavioral Health. He’s an active member of the UNC community serving as a research consultant for cardiovascular disease in North Carolina and is passionate about mental health, technology, graphic design, and E-commerce.

#realtalkwithgenz #bipocmentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness

CBD Cannabidiol and Depression

There are some questions that remain unanswered about CBD cannabidiol and its potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that the compound can be toxic at high doses. These include anaphylaxis, rashes, and vomiting after ingestion. Additionally, high doses may interfere with a person’s mood, sleep, and thought processes. These studies, however, have not yet been conducted on humans, so it is difficult to tell if CBD is safe or not.

One of the questions that remain unanswered is how much CBD can treat anxiety. Research has indicated that CBD may reduce anxiety in patients with PTSD and GAD. While these studies were small, they did show some potential. One study in individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder showed that CBD reduced the levels of neurons in the amygdala. Additionally, CBD can modify cerebral blood flow in brain areas involved in anxiety symptoms.

Research has also shown that CBD may have anticonvulsant properties. In rodent models of temporal lobe epilepsy, CBD protects against seizures and neuronal death. The drug also reduces heroin-seeking behavior in mice. CBD cannabidiol is a promising option for people suffering from chronic pain, as it has limited diversion and misuse potential. Ultimately, it is an effective treatment for epilepsy.

There are many different ways CBD can be used to treat an addiction. For instance, it can help people with OUD feel less anxious. One in ten users reported relief from pain, inflammation, and anxiety. However, there is still a placebo effect. Other side effects can be drowsiness or diarrhoea. CBD can also improve mental discipline and yoga. CBD should be used only in conjunction with medication.

Before switching to CBD oil, people with a history of depression should evaluate their current antidepressant regimen. Changing antidepressants can be dangerous, so it is important to carefully evaluate your situation before taking a new medicine. It may require trial-and-error, and some people may need to use the product for a longer period of time. It may be necessary to adjust the dosage of CBD oil, and a knowledgeable provider can help you find the right dosage and product.

Some studies have suggested that CBD may be useful for treating neurological disorders. It can decrease the severity of cerebral trauma and improve metabolic activity. PET and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated this. Studies are ongoing to evaluate CBD’s role in high-risk concussion rates. In older adults, CBD is associated with sedation and other medical problems. However, more studies are needed to show whether CBD can effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Despite this, there is no scientific evidence that CBD is addictive. The substance should be studied long-term in controlled human trials to determine if it is beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain. This substance also has an addictive potential, so more research is needed. CBD is an excellent alternative to opioids and other prescribed medications. However, long-term use may be a good idea only if you know what you are doing.

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