Connections crucial to individuals — to our communities

Stay connected. Live with purpose.

Keep moving, and eat right too.

That recipe for achieving a longer life with optimal health was shared by Dr. Richard Dowell, a clinical neuropsychologist with UPMC Susquehanna, during a recent keynote speech at the Elder Care and Special Needs Resource Center on Washington Boulevard.

But he was there to talk about more than just longevity. He was there as part of a panel discussion on mental health, a serious problem nationwide.

The statistics are staggering. Provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness — the local chapter hosted this event — they show that each year in the United States, one in five adults experiences mental illness, one in 25 adults experiences serious mental illness, and one in six youths from 6 to 17 years of age experiences a mental health disorder.

A study by a major medical group showed vulnerability among children who are exposed to conditions that are not safe and secure and with broken attachments and connections.

All too often, a reality of modern life has been yet another mass shooting or attack on unsuspecting people just going about their business or attending an event. Mental illness has been suggested as key to this ugly trend.

It’s too late to do something about events that have already passed, but actions taken today may positively impact the future.

Staying connected and finding purpose with the youngest generation may do us all more good than we know.


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