Weekly INT Boost: New Laws, Therapy for Stephen Strange, and More

Photo by I Love Trees (CC By 2.0)

Welcome to our roundup of the best mental health-related articles you may have missed. This week, we have a study about Pokemon Go, the psychology of Stephen Strange, and a marketing misstep by Netflix.

21st Century Cures Act Becomes Law, Improves U.S. National Mental Health Efforts

“While the bill goes a long way in helping fix certain components of mental health care in the nation, it does little for the vast majority of people who suffer from mental health concerns and receive outpatient treatment. Here are the highlights of what just became law.”

You may have heard about a big change in American mental health treatment funding this week — but the details are important, and they aren’t universally positive. Still, as PsychCentral explains in detail, quite a bit of good could come of it.

Overwatch Players Band Together To Send Cookies To Blizzard

“You might not always agree with the choices the developers of your favorite games make, but they work hard, dammit. As a show of gratitude, a bunch of Overwatch players have pooled their resources to buy cookies for the development team.”

Kotaku shares a sweet story of gamers coming together to do something kind for their favorite devs, just in time for the holidays.

Forget About the Games – PlayStation VR is Set to Hack My Entire Life, and I Couldn’t Be Happier

“PS VR’s not just another console. It’s also capable of improving the everyday via its ace-in-the-hole functionality – non-gaming applications. Stifle your yawns and hear me out. After a long day, I love holing up in one of my fave fictional forts. But touring The Witness’ peaceful puzzle island, there’s the nagging sense I should be solving something. No Man’s Sky’s galaxy, meanwhile, delights in reminding me that I’ll dissolve into a putrefied jelly if I don’t find some plutonium sharpish.”

Writing for GamesRadar+, Jen Simpkins explores the ways VR can help us spend quality time with our friends or even with ourselves, and not just in novel game universes.

The Psychology of Doctor Strange

“As a psychologist, this film struck a special chord with me. They style of therapy I use is called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy or ACT (said as the word act rather than the individual letters). A core concept in ACT is not holding on too tightly to an identified sense of self, and while this is an important concept I have found it difficult to explain to clients. Fortunately I now have an excellent and entertaining example to use in the form of Doctor Strange.”

Dr. Megan Connell of Shrink Tank breaks down a type of therapy you may not know much about with the help of Stephen Strange’s journey.

Content warning: discussion of suicide in this article.

Hey Netflix, Maybe Don’t Tweet Videos of Girls Jumping Off Bridges, Dramatized or Not

“To promote their new series The OA, Netflix published a series of cryptic tweets earlier today. The small tweet chain ended in a pair of videos, meant to look like cell phone footage of a girl (ostensibly the main character of The OA) running out into traffic on a bridge highway. In the first video, she runs to the edge of the bridge, then sits on the barrier…”

The Mary Sue lays out a strong argument against using suicide-related imagery unnecessarily in viral marketing campaigns.

Pokemon Go: Exercise impact ‘short-lived’

“Pokemon Go requires players to take to the streets to try to catch on-screen monsters like Pikachu and Snorlax in real-world locations. And researchers found that keen players walked an average of an extra 955 steps a day in the first week of using the game. But it seems additional exertion soon dwindled, and by week six participants were taking no more steps than they had been before they downloaded the game.”

If you’re still enjoying the world outside more because of Pokemon Go, that’s wonderful news. As the BBC points out, it may not have the broad public health benefits that were hoped in the early days, but who knows? Maybe newer features like daily rewards and baby Pokémon will get people out and walking again.

And with that, we’re off for the weekend. If you haven’t seen, we’re in the process of looking for more PAX South volunteers, so please help us spread the word! We’ll be back on Monday for another great week. Till then, take care of yourselves — and each other.

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