The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) Focuses on Improving Mental Health and Wellness in Honor of MS Awareness Month
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) recognizes March as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. MSAA is proud to announce the 2021 awareness campaign theme on Improving Mental Health and Wellness, with specific programs addressing Purpose in Life, depression and anxiety in MS, care partnering, and wellness strategies to improve symptom management and overall quality of life. MSAA invites the MS community to participate in various digital educational activities throughout the month of March, including:
- “Finding Purpose in Life” on Thursday, March 4, 2021 from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST: Purpose in Life (PIL) is a research area that focuses on the interactions between mind and body and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, and spiritual factors can directly affect health. PIL has been shown to significantly support the central nervous system, cardiovascular health, and even the immune system. In this one-hour live webinar, Dr. Adam Kaplin, clinician-researcher in the departments of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, will explore the concept of having a Purpose in Life, health consequences of having/not having a Purpose in Life and why it is important, and ways to develop and foster your own Purpose in Life.
- “Managing Depression and Anxiety in MS” on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 from 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST: Depression is a common and often overlooked symptom of multiple sclerosis, and anxiety is perhaps the most taxing and under-treated psychological effect of living with MS. Understandably, these significant health issues have been exacerbated by the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the need to address these important concerns, MSAA encourages you to register for this free one-hour webinar where Dr. Amy Sullivan, clinical health psychologist at the Mellen Center for MS Treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, will build an understanding of depression and anxiety as it relates to MS and its symptoms, discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with MS and their family, provide helpful strategies to treat and manage depression and anxiety, as well as improving one’s overall mental health and wellness.
- “Caring for the Care Partner” Podcast: Dr. Amy Sullivan joins MSAA again on our signature podcast to address the often overlooked but important physical and emotional needs of care partners and provides practical tips and suggestions on ways to avoid care partner burnout. Stay tuned for the release of this podcast episode during the month of March.
- Insights from MS Experts: MSAA has enlisted the support of Drs. Annette Okai and Mitzi Joi Williams to share their insights and helpful strategies on ways to better manage four key areas that impact mental and emotional health. Topics explored in this four-part series center on the importance of sleep, staying connected, diet and exercise, and self-care. Each week during March, MSAA will highlight one of these four topics on our peer-to-peer platform, My MSAA Community – tune in on the Community to read what our experts have to say!
To access information and resources provided by MSAA during MS Awareness Month, please visit the MS Awareness Month hub page at https://mymsaa.org/ms-awareness-month.
To learn more about MS Awareness Month and MSAA’s scheduled digital activities, please contact Kaitlyn Gallagher, Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator at (800) 532-7667, ext. 122 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™ (named one of the best multiple sclerosis iPhone & Android apps by Healthline.com); a resource database, My MS Resource Locator®; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves of the CNS, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common MS symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, depression and cognitive issues, and various levels of impaired mobility. The prevalence of multiple sclerosis is estimated at nearly one million people nationwide and most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not contagious and researchers continue to look for both a cause and a cure.