At This Hour

Science: The University of California Irvine Health (UCI) just opened its Newport Beach clinic location, the first to offer a science-based medicine comprehensive model combined with a philosophy of care that makes use of all therapies and disciplines to achieve optimal health. The clinic will consider all aspects of patient mind, body and spirit. Services will uniquely include mindfulness and naturopathic medicine, sports medicine and massage therapy.

Sports: “Tackle Depression” is a non-profit in New Jersey trying to break-the-stigma of mental health with an online clothing store that your teen might enjoy, featuring Adidas snap-back hats and hoodies with anti-stigma messages on them. A high school coach started the clothing company to help athletes and coaches consider the importance of mental health in athletics, including how to look for signs of depression and how words can have a powerful effect on mental health.  Tackle Depression’s website features a mental health directory for the State of NJ and features volunteering opportunities. Founder Bill Kvalheim is a football coach and is diagnosed with depression and anxiety. A new law in New Jersey requires that schools from K-12 teach about mental health.

Policy: Many people on the autism spectrum cannot wear a face-covering due to sensory issues because it causes them great distress.  Robyn Thom, MD and Karen Turner, OTR/L at Harvard Medical School, say trying on different masks to find one that is very comfortable and planning initial outings in low-demand environments that are quiet and calm can help make a person comfortable. Or use an “ear saver” to clip mask loops behind the head instead of around the ears, according to North Carolina’s autism society chapter. In England, the government has an exemption for severe distress and the National Society of Autism provides a downloadable “I am Autistic” card that can be shown to transportation staff, public or British transport police. You do not need to prove you are autistic to be exempt, but for a person on the spectrum it may be comforting.


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