Jeff Reagan’s Sunday Thoughts (grandma therapy)

Growing up, and well into my adulthood, there were two people I would turn to whenever I needed guidance or advice… my grandparents.

Their words of wisdom were invaluable as I was trying to make major decisions in my life.

Oh, how I wish they were still around…

I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of my grandparents.

Today, grandparents, and grandmas especially, are becoming invaluable (as they should be).

And get this: they’re literally saving tens of thousands of suffering from depression.

It’s clear, we need you grandmas more than ever. Depression has become a major mental health issue around the world.

According to the WHO, 300 million people around the world suffer from depression.

It’s the world’s leading cause of disability. And it contributes to 800,000 suicides per year.

Here in the U.S., 16.2 million adults have experienced a major depression in the past year. That’s nearly 7% of all adults in the country.

And, it’s estimated that 15% of American adults will experience depression at some point in their lives.

The rising incidence of depression worldwide led to the development of a unique mental health program. And I hope it takes root here at home…

It’s called the “Friendship Bench.” And since it was started in 2006 in Zimbabwe, it has helped over 30,000 people!

The program partners individuals diagnosed with depression with a grandma.

These grandmas are specially trained to go out of their way to look after their charge.

The grandmothers meet with their “patients” regularly, getting to know them, talking to them about what’s going on in their lives, and, pulling from their own experiences. To guide them to a better place.

And it’s been working.

The results of a 2016 clinical trial on the program were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In the study, researchers split 600 people with symptoms of depression into two groups. One received conventional treatment for depression, while the other group received “Grandma therapy.”

After six months, the results showed that the grandma group had significantly lower symptoms of depression compared to conventional treatment.

The success of the program has led to expansion to other countries, including the U.S.

While this program focuses on depression, there are countless other ways older folks can help others and really make a difference in their lives.

The way I see it, this helps everyone. Grandmas (and grandpas) can put their wisdom to work, and help their community. And they’re helping themselves by staying active, engaged and needed.

There’s a great organization called Senior Corps that connects adults 55 and older with people and organizations in need of volunteers.

Do you have something to give back, and the time to do it. Learn more about this organization here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

God Bless,

Jeff Reagan

Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

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3 thoughts on “Jeff Reagan’s Sunday Thoughts (grandma therapy)

  1. I am a grandma who is retired and I would like to help someone with depression. I have a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and am a certified Life Coach. If you can use my services, let me know.

  2. I loved the article about grandma’s therapy. I am interested in helping ithere is a chapter in Kings Mountain NC. Sounds like a great program. I can be reached at [email protected] Does it matter if I am a great grandma and been a widow for 18 months. I have 4 great sons all educated, successful men,4 daughters in law all beautiful wives and mothers.6 grandsons and one bye marriage. 3 granddaughters and one bye marriage 3 great granddaughters and 2 greatgrandsos. Thank you for a resoonse.Jan Deaton

  3. I have come to believe that RX treatment for depression may affect many people, as I discovered about myself. I cannot take them…..they bring me more and more down into depression….cannot take many meds that may help other people…..Cymbalta, Lyrica, gabapenten, antidepressants, and others that should help. MDs need to know this, but how do they know, learn the fact!? When I read of a suicide caused by depression, I wonder if that person responds as I do……if they just keep taking, trying all kinds until they are so far in a black hole they cannot see out, ending it all seems the answer. Sad and dangerous. It takes so much work, visits, tests, evaluations, and things just get worse for this person. An advocate such as a mentor you speak of could even be a help in this situation….I. Know these dangers of meds because I have been here a long time! LOL.

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