Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Exercise Tip- A Way to Keep Motivated

It can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise daily. Instead of considering your exercise session as a “should do,” think of it as an important self-care commitment. Regular exercise helps you stay healthy and balanced.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Older Adult Peer Support: Our Time Has Come

Government Service Center in Boston

May 17th at 2:30 pm by Robert Walker, MS, COAPS from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health

Older adults and their caregivers are sometimes left out of peer support.  Peer support allows people with similar life experiences to help each other learn strategies for self-empowerment and build self-fulfilling lives. Peer support groups exist for many types of disabilities, but are less likely to serve older adults and their caregivers. 

Many think that depression, loneliness, loss of hope, and memory loss are all part of aging with a physical or mental disability. Robert Walker will describe a short-term, evidence-based model of peer support for older adults, which holds promise as a way to assist older adults in leading healthier, values-driven lives. This model has been piloted with older adults and caregivers of older adults with Alzheimer's Disease.

Robert Walker works with the Massachusetts (US) Department of Mental Health in the Office of Recovery and Empowerment. His work involves both researching peer interventions and training peer specialists. He is interested in the behavioral health issues experienced by older adults.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Intergenerational programs – bringing youth and elders together to enhance social connectedness

La Trobe University Armorial

On May 17th at 1:00 pm by Jessica Simionato from La Trobe University (Melbourne, Australia)

Both adolescents and older adults are dealing with identity issues.  They find themselves at a similar psychological cross roads – one trying to find their identify, the other trying to maintain the identity they have created for themselves.  Jessica Simionato is researching the components which make intergenerational programs bringing together teens and older adults successful and impactful.  

With community and connection ever changing, we looked at the components that may make for successful and impactful intergenerational programs involving adolescents and older adults. We will present review level evidence and the practical application of it, including possibilities for the virtual world.

Jessica Simionato has a clinical background in Speech Pathology. She did her research at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. She is interested in how community social outcomes can build intergenerational connections sustainably, including possibilities for the virtual world.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The Impact of Parasocial Relationships with AI on Mental Health

Presenter With Audience

On May 17th at Noon by Dr. Valerie Hill, MLIS, PhD and Rose Hill, MLIS, CPC, SUDP-T from Community Virtual Library and Crisis Connections

Have you used AI? Do you feel a special relationship with the AI? Many people do feel some relationship with the AI who is working with them. Does this affect their mental health? At noon PDT on Friday, May 17, Dr. Valerie Hill and Rose Hill will talk about these parasocial relationships in terms of attachment theory in mental health. They will explore both positive and negative impacts of relationships with AI on human mental health. Are there ways AI can replace or enhance social relationships for youngsters and the elderly?

This presentation examines the growing phenomenon of relationships formed with AI agents and their potential impact on mental health. We'll address the importance of relationship, parasocial interaction, and attachment theory in mental health and consider how these key concepts apply in human-AI interaction. Using popular relational AI applications, we explore both positive and negative examples of their impact on mental wellbeing. We'll conclude with thought-provoking questions about the future of AI relationships and their potential to replace some forms of human connection. 

Dr. Valerie Hill is the director of the Community Virtual Library in the metaverse and co-coordinator of the Virtual Worlds Education Consortium. She researches the intersection of metaliteracy and libraries with virtual worlds and digital culture in our metamodern era. Rose Hill is a Certified Peer Counselor with a focus in trauma and crisis counseling. She is currently an OUD specialist at Crisis Connections in Seattle, WA (US).

Saturday, May 4, 2024

The 13th Annual Mental Health Symposium Is Coming Up May 17th, 2024

Theme:  “Our Youth, Our Elders”

Date:  Friday May 17, 2024

Location:  Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability Island In Second Life



The 13th annual Mental Health Symposium will take place in Virtual Ability’s Sojourner Auditorium, on Virtual Ability Island in Second Life on Friday, May 17, 2024. There is no charge to attend. The theme of this year’s Conference is “Our Youth, Our Elders.” Children and the elderly face unique mental health challenges that are not well understood and often not adequately addressed. Our eight presenters will share information from a variety of perspectives related to the conference theme.

The Symposium will take place in the virtual world of Second Life, at the Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability island. (You can create a free Second Life account through Virtual Ability’s Sign-Up Portal, entering at the beginning of our New Resident Orientation Course. You can then post the auditorium’s SLURL into Nearby Chat, click the green underlined link, and teleport to the auditorium.) Virtual Ability hosts this annual Symposium to share information about mental health and mental disabilities with the general population. Within our cross-disability community we have members who deal with a variety of mental health issues.

Not only is this an opportunity for our community members to learn more about topics related to mental health from experts they probably would not have a chance to meet otherwise, it allows the general public to attend a professional conference at no cost. 

We encourage you to attend live in Second Life, so you can interact with our presenters. However, if you would prefer, you can watch the sessions on Virtual Ability’s YouTube channel. The sessions will be archived in both text and video format on Virtual Ability’s website shortly after the conference. All  conference times are in Pacific Daylight time (also known as SLT). Please check the conference webpage for updates as we get closer to May 17. We hope to see you at the conference!

Friday, May 3, 2024

Displays and Exhibits for Healthinfo Island for May 2024

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs in this posting. When you are in Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island, click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set, and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images.  If you click each poster, you will get a private message with additional information and live links.

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island
Check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. All the poster sets this month deal with mental health and support the Mental Health Symposium, Friday, May 17.

Information on climate change and mental health (poster sets 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8).

Mental Health and Climate Change

Mental Health and Climate Change