About 350 million people suffer from depression and various mental problems globally (Jacquart et al., 2014). This number is still increasing. The risks of developing mental disorders such as anxiety and depression are usually greater among those who are in disadvantaged socioeconomic status.
In the US, those who have the problems may seek counseling at community health centers (CHCs) (Jacquart et al., 2014). These CHCs may provide mind-body interventions (MBIs) and trainings with the mechanisms of the relaxation response (RR) for relieving the problems.
A recent study done at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston assessed the practicality and effectiveness of an 8-wk MBI training program for the management of anxiety and depression among a community-based group with 124 adult patients (Jacquart et al., 2014). The MBI practice included training for a relaxation response (RR) together with other resiliency enhancing techniques targeting depression and anxiety.
The study found that the mind-body interventions were related to a remarkable improvement in the symptoms of perceived stress, anxiety, and depression (Jacquart et al., 2014). At least half of the participants finished more than 75% of all the training sessions.
These findings confirmed the effectiveness of the mind-body methods on relieving mental problems including stress, anxiety and depression in CHC settings. Further studies in a larger population would be helpful for providing more evidences and for the investigation of the scientific mechanisms.
Jacquart J, Miller KM, Radossi A, Haime V, Macklin E, Gilburd D, Nelson Oliver M, Mehta DH, Yeung A, Fricchione GL, Benson H, Denninger JW. The effectiveness of a community-based, mind-body group for symptoms of depression and anxiety. Adv Mind Body Med. 2014 Summer;28(3):6-13.