Innovative new program offers affordable, accessible help.
| 3 min read | by Doug Marrin |
Let’s be honest, or better yet, transparent – we’re all dealing with stuff. You, me, the person behind the counter, we’re all just trying to get past the next thing. It can leave us feeling down, anxious, stressed and overwhelmed but the good news is that there is a novel new program in the area that can help us move on and upward with life.
Mood Lifters is a mental health program with an innovative approach to helping live the life they want to live.
The neurologically based program was founded by Patricia Deldin Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. Dr. Deldin created Mood Lifters to help people who aren’t receiving sufficient mental health care because it’s too expensive, they don’t know where to go, or the sense of isolation keeps them from even seeking help.
Dr. Deldin is open about her own struggles with mental health but for her, the mission of Mood Lifters is more than that. She is motivated by what she views as a failure of the mental health field in general to make significant advances for people.
“We as a field, has failed,” she says. “and it’s been on my watch.”
Before coming to Michigan, Patricia taught at Harvard for 9 years. She is a nurse, neuroscientist, and clinical psychologist who has been trained by the best programs in the world. She takes personal responsibility for her field not doing better and he is out to fix that.
“Cardiovascular disease is decreasing,” she says. “Cancer mortality is decreasing. While we see decreases all across the board for diseases like this, depression, anxiety, and suicides are on the rise. Why is it getting worse? So this is what motivates me.”
Inspiration came from an unlikely source. Patricia joined Weight Watchers and was immediately struck by the structured program, encouragement, incentives, support, all at an affordable price.
“Why don’t we have something like this for mental health?” Dr. Deldin wondered. “What don’t we have something that’s affordable, accessible and highly effective?”
One thing led to another, as things always do, especially for people on a mission.
“So that’s what I did,” says Patricia. “I went out to create an evidence-based, low cost, highly accessible, affordable program that works, that wouldn’t be so scary or embarrassing to go to, and so I developed this thing called ‘Mood Lifters’”.
Mood Lifters is a mental wellness program not geared towards a specific illness. It draws from a variety of disciplines to address the complexity of mental illness and its biological, psychological and social consequences.
Like Weight Watchers the program incorporates a point system. Unlike Weight Watchers, the more points you accumulate the better. For example, movement, activity and exercise are proven treatments for depression. If a person is totally sedentary, their objective might be as simple as walking to the mailbox. Each time they do this, they get a point.
Mood Lifters is designed to meet a person where they are and the points are designed to nudge them to the next, small, incremental step forward.
“It’s not a replacement for therapy,” Dr. Deldin makes clear. “But it’s building a healthy, healthy life.”
Everyone faces stuff and the problems they face are as unique and complex as the people themselves. Dealing with the psychological, biological and social consequences are tough enough. Getting to the root of the problem is tougher still.
We realize that everyone’s problems are unique and complex – with psychological, biological, and social causes and consequences. Our mission is to help individuals learn new, science based strategies that will help to improve their mental health and overall well-being – both now and into the future. We want to help people live the life they’ve always wanted: one with deep meaning, less anxiety and depression, more joy and contentment, and better relationships.
“What we’re trying to do is meet people where they’re at,” says Dr. Deldin. “We want to help people live the life they’ve always wanted. A life deep with meaning, with less anxiety and depression, with more joy and contentment, and better relationships.”
More information on Mood Lifters can be found on their website at https://www.mood-lifters.com/