Video: The Rx Nature Connection

(Halanda Speaks)

Good afternoon. My name is Halanda Little and welcome to this breakout session as part of the Sustainability Summit. For those of you who have never participated in WebEx before, please use the Q and A option to ask your questions. These will be collected and answer towards the end of the presentation. Captioning is available as needed in the chat function. Use a navigation bar that pops up at the bottom of your screen to access these. At the end of the webinar, you will be asked to fill out an evaluation. Please fill this out when it pops up on your screen as your feedback will help us to improve future functions. This web webinar, excuse me, will be recorded and will be available on our website after has been transcribed and captioned to comply with the ADA Accessibility Guidelines. Our speaker today is Karen Cuttill. Karen is employed as a licensed professional counselor at Dallas College. She provides mental health counseling and crisis intervention for students. She serves on multiple College initiatives, as well as on our own campus. Karen's professional interests center on mental well-being and stress management. As she helps people through counseling and psychoeducational programming. She's a certified compassion fatigue professional, a certified clinical trauma provisional, and cognitive behavioral therapist. She's also passionate about environmental and personal sustainability. Her motto, to leave any situation better than when she had encounters it. Karen now to you.

(Karen Speaks)

Well, thank you very much. I'm very happy to be here. And first I wanted to say thank you to all of our vendors supports. I should have a list of vendors for y'all. I don't have that slide in my apologies, but I think you can find all of the wonderful vendors back on her webpage. Please try because they've done a really great job of supporting us. And I just wanted to say thank you to them and let you know that they're out there and we couldn't do these things without our vendor support. So back to nature R x connection. So today I wanna talk about how we can, how we can respond to stress and crisis in a natural way. The title is Nature RX. Adapting and Thriving after a Crisis naturally. We'll be focusing on the good health and well-being. Number three, this sustainable development gold, goal. Number three. And it is about good health and well-being, which is just really what I enjoy doing the most. By 2030, the goal is to reduce by 1 third, premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment. And to promote mental health and wellbeing. The goal number three, it took it the goal in kind of made it like this. You would have three components to it. You would have a physical component which kind of refers to our physical bodies. You would have a mental component, which is referring of course to our moods and our emotions in the way we think about things. All of that cognitive piece, the part of us that kinda makes us, us in a way. And in the environmental part is it is our environment that we live in. It is also the environment that we create are that we choose. So we have some control over our environment in some ways are the ways we have very little or no control over our environment. And we'll talk a little bit about that. First I want to ask you. And since we're talking about how we respond to crisis, and I think crisis is a word that we've all kind of talked about this year because 2020 has been unlike any other year for all of us, for the whole world we're in. Now think everyone's been talking about it, right? We have Covid were in election year. We just things are different this year. I'll be gone virtual. We'd just done things in a different way and we're learning to do new things. And that's a positive side of this, is that we are learning and growing and we're expanding our creativity and our ability to respond to different kinds of situations. But I'm gonna ask you, so we are talking about crisis mode here because crisis is a little bit different than just regular stress. How do you define a crisis? Well, for some of us it might be failing a major exam. Maybe the thought of I'm going to lose a scholarship. I can remember those days didn't seem that long ago. Sudden change in a relationship. You know, he doesn't love me anymore or, you know, wow, I think he wants someone besides me or he has somebody besides me? It would be in my situation, it might be she her them whatever it in another person's situation, for me, it would be he. A loss of transportation. That can be really critical if you depend on your transportation to get to your work, to get someone to a hospital, to get food. And if you are in a really tight budget and your car breaks down, this can be a real crisis. And for many people it is a crisis. And for a lot of other people they've had to learn how to deal without transportation. And in the Dallas, Fort Worth area, it's really hard to go by bus places or to go by train. So loss of transportation could be a crisis for someone. Of course, job loss, financial struggles. And we're seeing a lot of that since, you know, April, since we started having to close down, we've seen a lot of people lose their jobs either permanently or hopefully just temporary. I'm a believer that everything if we give it time and we're kind and helpful to each other, our economy is going to naturally come back. There'll be some change that it will require. But if everybody helps everybody out, I think we'll get through this. But again, it doesn't mean that this is not a crisis. And if it's happening to you, it's probably a crisis. A lot of people think this crisises are just natural disasters. Wonder the hurricanes that have come through the Gulf Coast, amazing more hurricanes ever. I think we are now tied. The amount of ever in one season. So maybe it's the fires out west. Maybe it's an avalanche, maybe it's a tornado, and maybe it's a flood. There are a lot of natural disasters. I didn't even say earthquake, but there's lots of natural disasters and yes, sometimes we know they're coming, sometimes we don't, but they're almost always a crisis, even if we prepare for them. A death of a family member. That can be a spouse, a child, a parent, just a loved one, someone really close to the family that we see them as a member. It could also be the pet, because pets are often family members. All of these can be crisis, especially if it's unexpected. An unexpected change in health. Luck, lucky most of us are probably relatively healthy and we will probably go through Covid being relatively healthy, but not everybody will. And some people will get over it. Most people get over Covid, they get sick for a little while and they get better. That's what happens to most people. But some people don't. And that kind of a crisis situation can really destabilize, destabilize us. So, yes, are changing our health, whether it's Colbert or not, could be considered a crisis.

Okay, so I've already said it once or twice or three times. Covid 19. It is a pandemic and it is in crisis mode around the globe. It's not just us, it's not you, it's just maze dot Dallas is not Texas is not the United States. It's the entire globe. The entire world is in the same situation. And I believe it can bring us to unity if we let it. But there's also other epidemics going on besides Covid 19 is a pandemic. But there's other epidemics going on and we'll talk a little bit about some of those that we're experiencing in our country right now. The shutdowns. Again, you may lose work. Your you know, after a while, I've been home for a while. After a while that the walls start counting, you know, closing in on your whatever. Some people are harmed by themselves. And they are isolated. Even if they're with families, they're beginning to feel isolated. A lot of students I work with, that's the number one thing they say, I'm lonely, I'm isolated, I don't know how to do this. And it is a crisis. We perceive these situations as crisis. Of course, if there's violence against ourselves or violence against others, those things can really, we can look at that and we were close to that. We will do that as a crisis, social injustice and protests. We're looking, a lot of us look at that as a crisis. We're seeing more of that happening. It's not the first time it's happened, but we are seeing more of it right now. And that can be a crisis. We may feel like it's a crisis. And of course, the 2020 elections, I think we've all, you know, if you're old enough to vote or if you're there, this could be a crisis situation because it is probably the most important election we had had for presidential election in a very long time. And a lot of us feel like we're at crisis were very polarized and we feel like there's a crisis. There is one more crisis that I couldn't get on that you see them all balanced there. I've got them, you know, kind of the same number on each side. But there is one more crisis. And I saw this actually happened in person yesterday. And I think you all may have you may have experienced this some. It is the loss of your cell phone, whether it's misplaced and you don't know where to find it or if it's been stolen. Most of us feel like it's a crisis. We were like, oh my gosh, where's my phone? If you've ever had one lost or stolen that you've had to replace your probably even more anxious and more stress and there's even more of a crisis till you find that phone. Anyway, it was just a kind of a way to hopefully I'll kinda laughed about that because it is kinda when those little bitty personal crisis is the world's not going to fall apart, I hope, but we may feel like it is. And oftentimes it's the way we feel that we react. So all of those crisises or immediate points of stress. But sometimes those happen on top of other things. Such as our district, our college is going in and reorganization. Right? And it's been planned it was planned ahead. It was we've working on it and we were getting up to it, but suddenly Covid happened and it pushed a lot of that forward. It accelerated it. So now we're not looking just at a reorg, but we're looking at Covid and a reorg. If anything was going on in my family or your family at the beginning of the year, we were looking at that situation along with a you know, if we're in it for in Dallas College of or an employee or a student were being impacted by corporate or educational reorg. And so we got that kinda change going on. But maybe it was a change in your life that you were going through at that time or something you were stressed with at that time? And along came Covid and set on top of that. And along came everything that came with Covid and set on top of that. So it's like we're building these stressors up. And what happens to us when we're stressed? Well, we have a physical reaction to that. And that's why we're talking about this because stress is really unique. Or we can have positive stress or we can have negative stress. Anyway, we stress for us usually is what we look at something and we perceive it as being a threat. Now if you've got a lot going on and you're juggling a lot of ball stuffing. You've got a whole bunch of stuff and you're running light and all of these things. The threat there might just be dropping something, you're forgiving something or not following through on something, or getting something turned in, or getting something finished, or being at the right place at the right time. So that can be kinda little crisis stresses, but it's still stressful. And if that situation will sit on top of anything else. What's really unique about humans, and I'm not sure if it happens with animals, I suspect it does, but I'm a human, so I'm going to talk about what happens to us. We are designed, we are designed to look at something that is not okay. Sum it up and decide, is this stressful? Is this a danger? is as good a threatened me? Do I gotta worry about this? You know, if I'm going along the road and I look down, I see a snake in front of me. I don't really care for snakes. And although I've learned over the years that some of them have some very good. They're good for something. We're not good in my, in my pathway when a walking. But if I look down and I see a snake and it's all coiled up, I'm going to be getting, oh my gosh, you know what? I'm going to be looking at that snake and thinking, is this threatening to me? or is it not? Gotta prepare myself and decide pretty quickly what I'm going to do.

(Karen Continues)

If I'm looking at that snake and I noticed that it is making a noise like a rattle noise here in Texas. I know right there, I am in a crisis moment. I have to figure out, should I stay very still and not move and hope it doesn't think I'm getting hurt it. Am I going to try to collect, remove it from my path, not me. I'm gonna, I'm gonna run the other direction. I'm going to try to figure out how to escape and get out of the situation. But this is the way we're designed a long time ago when we were in caveman days and we would go trotting along in our little tribe and we would come across a saber tooth tiger. That was really important because we would look at that tiger and we'd say, if I engage his tiger and win I can bring back food for the entire tribe, I'm going to be a hero. I'm going to be, you know, the member of the day. If I engage the tiger and the tiger wins, I'm gonna be lunch. So again, we have to size up the situation. And in order to do that, because we perceive a threat, not that threat, today's not a saber tooth tiger, but maybe it's getting its traffic. Maybe it's it's a test. Maybe it's something to do with work, all of these stressors, we react to them. Oftentimes as if they are saber tooth tiger or it was broad crisis. We have a reaction of physical reaction to that so that we can either run like crazy or fight like crazy. So when we perceive a threat, all lot of things happen. Our brain starts saying, well, threat, I think it's a threat. I'm pretty sure it's a threat. And it starts saying, Okay, we're gonna get ready. And so what it does, it says, OK, all you hormones, all of your adrenaline, your cortisol, actually some other hormones too like epinephrine and norepinephrine. But we're going to talk really about adrenaline cortisol today. It says, wow, we got to be able to move and we got, have strengthened we gotta pack power, we've gotta do it fast. So it says give us everything of the adrenaline that we can get. Now if anything changes at that time and we perceive it to be even worse situation, I'm going to give more adrenaline and it's going to send that drill adrenaline out. And it's going to tell the heart, heart, you start pumping really, really fast. just pump really fast to get all of that adrenaline. And when we shoot out cortisol is going to say you prompt even faster to get all of the adrenaline and the cortisol all around the body so that all parts of the body can react in a stressful matter. We can either run like crazy or we can fight like crazy. And this is good that this does that because it's meant to be a short term reaction to something is perceived as life or death. But well, that works really good again, is if it's something that is a life or death threat, but if it's something that we perceive that is chronic, okay, so let's say we have the heart's pumping out. When the heart starts pumping out really quickly, then the lungs start breathing really quickly and we get more, a little bit more shallow breaths. So if you're thinking about few have test anxiety or if you get really nervous right before you speak in front of people. We perceive that, often perceive that as a threat and we'll have the same physical reaction maybe our. We don't have to digest food if we're fixing to be eaten by a saber-tooth stagger. So our digestion slows. Maybe we get bubble, butterflies in our stomach. Maybe our hands get sweaty, palms get sweaty, or maybe we get cold. Those are because we don't need capillaries. If we're going to fight for our lives, we don't need capillaries. We just need all that blood in the center of our system so that we can predict and we can have all the power we need. So our body reacts to this dress in ways to promote us to be able, to be able to run like crazy or fight like crazy. Now there is one more option. So it's fight, flight, and freeze. So if you have too much hormone response, too much chemical response to the situation, your brain might actually overflow itself. And you'll get into kinda stuck where you can't do it. You can't do anything. Kinda like what possums do. It's very effective for possums were not possums, of course, but it's very effective for possums because they put themselves at almost a comatose state and what it was chasing them will come up, they'll smell, they won't see any movement that really don't smell very well. And they say, wow, this is, this is dead, this is no fun, and they leave them alone. And when the threat is gone, the possum gets up and he walks away. That overwhelm for humans doesn't work so well, but it does work for possums. So the truth is we have stress and when we get into stressful situations, our brain gives out hormones so that we can survive the stressful situation. We can deal with it and move on.

If it's a crisis. If it's something that we deal within, it's over with. It works go, we kind of go back to homeostasis. And a homeostasis is kinda the way you are every day. It gives you a picture it kind of aligned and issue where you are. Most people had good days and bad days, but they kind of stick around the same level of homeostasis right? There. just kinda where we live at. When something bad happens. Let's say a car breaks down. Well, we can stress level and it moves up. And let's say about the same time somebody gets sick and the family not Covid just sick and that kind of moves up. But let's say another thing happens and we're a little bit more stress, so we're windy up here. Homeostasis is way down here, but the car gets fixed, that person gets well, but the other thing really doesn't get worked through yet, but we feel so much better and so much relief that we can. But the truth is we're never back to homeostasis. And eventually this chronic stress will begin to think it's normal. It's not, it's not where we're supposed to be that we begin to assume it's normal and we begin to operate at this higher stress level. So when something happens in would get even more chemicals going on in our body that we would normally, because we're already at higher stress level. And so we really have to worry about how did we get ourselves back to the homeostasis? If we're in a chronic stress state. Chronic stresses, those same life-saving responses in your body that can suppress the immune system. It can suppress digestion, it can wreck your sleep. It can cause problems with the reproductive systems, which may cause them to stop working normally. A lot of women see this. Over time, continued strain on your body from routine stress may contribute to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other illnesses, as well as mental disorders like depression and anxiety. The cumulative effect of chronic low-grade stresses can have a greater impact on the health and well-being than an acute or an extreme event that occur at frequent intervals. Humans are able to manage moderate and high stress levels for a short period of time, we're designed to do so. But chronic stress with little opportunity for recovery, that means it just keeps going and going and eventually we feel like there's nothing we can do about it. And it's just the way things are gonna go. That kind of chronic stress leads to unhealthy levels of psychological and physiological reaction. So kinda talking about the responding to stress. So that's really important about how we respond to stress. But then you listen really closely, I'm sure. And you heard that sometimes too much stress can actually cause problems in our bodies. And if we remember that our sustainable develop, sustain ability development goal, it's non-communicable diseases. And so let's talk a little bit about those non-communicable diseases. Now, right now, we've had goals for like 2030, 2035 and beyond. And non-communicable diseases was number three is really focused. A lot of our focus for health and wellbeing has been shifted over to Covid because Covid is very important and it's an pandemic level, and it is also wreaking havoc with people's mental and emotional well being, as well as their physical well-being and their financial, the environment, the whole thing. But let's go back to where we started from non-communicable diseases. Those are diseases that are not like Covid, not gonna catch him from somebody else. It's diabetes, cardiovascular disease, it's cancer, it's chronic respiratory diseases. It's these kind of non-communicable diseases that we want to eliminate. We want to minimize, we went to mitigate the circumstances and minimize them across the world. So I want to talk a little bit about each of them very briefly, cardiovascular health. This is a myth buster. I want you to think about it. Is it going to be factor fiction? Heart disease runs in my family. So there's nothing I can do to prevent it. Just kinda happened. Mom had it Dad had it. By grandparents have it Everybody's had it. I'm just doom for heart is that factor of fiction? Now, we've got these facts, or fiction from the American Heart Association. So if you want to know more facts and fictions and myths and things, go to their website. They have a lot of wonderful information about keeping your heart healthy. But the truth is, is that statement is fiction. Healthy living, including proper diet, exercise and rest, go a long way to prevent in preventing and warding off heart issues no matter what the family history indicates. So you're not stuck there. You can do something about it. Probably prevented if you work really. Focused. Fact or fiction.

Number two, I should avoid exercise after having a heart attack. Well, isn't that a given, right? You someone gets home, they've had a massive heart attack, is able to sit on the couch, Don't get stressed, don't, don't move, you know, because everyone's afraid they'll have another heart attack, right? And that might be the one, right. But is that, is that factor of fiction? This is fiction also. Proper exercise and physical rehabilitation is actually recommended. And it's been official in several ways. It strengthens the body, including the heart, and it can help in weight control and keep blood pressure it optimum levels. So don't be surprised if you find, if you know someone that has a heart attack, they're gonna come home, they get an exercise program. It's not like it was 20 or 30 years ago. Things are better now. The next thing we were talking about was on cancer. Okay, so there's lots of different kinds of cancer and cancers caused by a lot of different things, but it is not communicable. You're not gonna get cancer from somebody else is going to be something that's going on in your body. And whether, that's all inside you, you're not gonna catch it from somebody else. Here's the myth. So it's often genetic and it is, but you can't do anything about it. Well, the fact is around 40% of all cancers, cancer cases can be prevented. There's a lot you can do about yourself, your situation, your health, where you won't get cancer, you can mitigate it. If you do. About 80% of cancers are survivable if they're caught early. The last part of this I want to talk. It's not really the last part, but the next part of it, when we're talking about physical illnesses or human lungs, our lungs, our respiratory systems. Now we all have them, right? We all have lungs are we most of us have to. One of us might only have one, but hopefully we all have to lungs. And we need to take care of those lungs and that they're a little bit harder to take care of our heart. It's a muscle we can exercise. When you exercise your legs, you exercise your heart. When you take, relax and calm yourself, you help your heart. Now those things help your lungs also. But there's this breathing thing. And breathing can actually give us some stuff inside our lungs. It might not be so helpful. So the first question I have, pollution, is pollution the number one cause of lung cancer after you rule out smoking. So if you're smoking, if you're raping, go onto that American Cancer Society and learn a little bit about what happens when you smoke or when you vape. It's not so friendly to your lungs. But anyway, it's pollution. The number one cause if you get rid of smoking, is that the number one cause for lung cancer? Actually, it's not radon is it's radon exposure. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is colorless, it's odorless, it's radioactive GAS that exist naturally in soil. Now you know if you, if you have an electric I'm sorry, if you have a natural gas home, you might know that that natural gas that comes from underneath the ground, we read, we drill for it, we get it out, and then we use it to heat or homes or cook our food or those sorts of things. If you know about natural gas, you know, it also is odorless, is so dangerous that they actually put smells in it so we can smell it if we have a gas leak, alright, but radon, We don't have a way to, to make a smell right on where we don't do it. Maybe we could, but we don't usually do that. Probably because we're not we're not bringing into our homes. It's seeping into the cracks in our floor. Cracks in our wall or that sort of thing. It's seeping up from the ground.

One out of every 15 homes. So if you're on, if you live in a block, a lot of blocks have 20 houses on that block. If you look at it, especially the older neighborhoods, every 15 homes, one out of 15 homes is subject to radon exposure. And it doesn't really matter if you're in a new home or an old home, they all can get radon exposure. And exposure to radon combined with cigarette smoking or vapor being seriously increases your lung cancer risk. So the number two reason that people get cancer after smoking is actually radon, not pollution. Number three is hazardous chemicals. Number fours, particle pollution. Now I'm going to back up a little bit and we're gonna say pollution, okay? If you jump all those things together, the top three after smoking, except smoking, UV polluting the air around you or someone else's polluting your air, right? So if you do all of those top four reasons that people have lung disease, it's kind of related to pollution, right? It is. If you think about chemical pollution, there's lots of chemicals. If you're, if you're claiming you're not going to use your comment or you're you know, you're scrubbing stuff, you don't can put bleach in there because it's going to create a chemical reaction and it could kill you, right? If you have a lot of particles in pollutions, like if you live close to a manufacturing plant and it's always polluting the air with stuff. Well, it's going to be bad. That's particle pollution, right? Sometimes people get evidence or some really long cases are very big cases when it comes to hazardous chemicals. Back in the sixties and seventies, we were involved in a war called Vietnam War. And we weren't doing so well in that war. And so the military decided we had to do something about the vegetation because we were trying to save our troops lives. And so they decided they had to get rid of all of the vegetation. So they got some stuff, they sprayed it on everything, any killed the vegetation. But that hazardous chemical also impacted all of those soldiers lives. And so now almost all of them have type two diabetes and is directly related to the chemical exposure. And if you, if you want a question about the agent orange exposure, if you want a question that go look at some of the the chemical spills that we have and the United States we've had over the last 20 or 30 years. And you're going to discover in many of them, Type Two Diabetes is connected if they were if someone was involved in that chemical spill, Type Two Diabetes is related to that. It's one of the things people is going to happen to people. Particle pollution. We just gotta be careful. Lung cancer is not curable. I think I've said 80% for stage one disease. So if you taking good care of yourself and you're noticing the symptoms, go to the American Lung Association and say what are those symptoms? I need to make sure that I'm that I'm seeing them if I have them. So you go and you look at those cure rates. If you get in stage 1 , 80% of lung cancers curable. That's pretty good. American Lung Association has something called Stand Up for clean air. Go check it out. It's really important to all of us who care about sustainability in an environmentalism. Every once in while you are gonna see SDGs 3,6,7,10,13 through 15, you're going to see different one of them. That's because this one thing, it isn't just about number three. The amazing thing about number three is it intertwines with all of the other ones. You've looked at this and we look, it's not just one here and one there. It's a system. In my, my goal is to help with number three. But by helping with number three, I'm going to be looking at some other things like air pollution, radon pollution, smoking, health care. One of the things out there. Diabetes, again, 3,6,10,13 through 15. Did you know that the association between air pollution and diabetes is stronger for traffic associated pollutants, gaseous nitrogen dioxide, tobacco smoke, and particle matter. So pollution just might lead you to type two diabetes. Exposure to air pollutants is significantly associated with the increase of type two diabetes. The WHO, the World Health Organization estimates that 50% trusted source of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and stroke.

The American Diabetes Association reports that more than 71% of US adults with diabetes also has hypertension or use medication to treat hypertension. That that's really important in Covid because if you notice that one of the top four or five high risks or type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and lung diseases. Just saying, think about it. What happens at all out here? It can really impact our lives in a crisis situation like Covid 19. The last part I want to talk about diabetes. It's really about any chronic illness. The presence of diabetes doubles the odds of depression. Comorbid depression just means you get depression along with something else. It is serious. From that point I want to go on to well-being. Because when we get to mental well-being, that mental health part of it, you can't really just like with diabetes leading to depression. You can't pull that apart and you can't do it. You can't say, well, this is this and this is that we're all one human being. And so what happens to one, happens to the other? So if you're looking at mental health, mental well-being, we are targeting through that sustainable sustainability development goals. We are targeting depression, anxiety, substance use and abuse, and suicide. Depression and anxiety are biologically their biological illnesses. We think they're just emotional ones and we have a lot of stigma against mental health issues. But the truth is, is when you're depressed, you have a biological reaction that's happening in your body that's making you depressed. If you're really anxious, there's that whole fight or flight or whole anxiety thing going on. It's making you anxious, right? The truth is, and I'm going to say very quickly, I believe that you can't have an emotion without a thought first, I'm a cognitive behavioralist, I believe wether you recognizes the thought or not. If you have a thought that thought leads you to an emotional response. The emotional response generally in our culture that says do something or not do something because we based on our emotions. And then you ruminate over that and it starts the cycle over. Do you have a life that event, you think about it, you have an emotional response. You do something that you don't do something, then you think about it again and it sets the cycle over. If you change any one of them, he changed the whole cycle. But this is a story for another another presentation. Substance abuse comes in when you have depression and anxiety. People don't like the way it feels. So they want to change the way they feel. So they stop and they get a drink, or they go and smoke a joint, or they do something else. Well, it works for a little bit of time. Not one with that cycle, anything that you do for just change your emotional. If you're just looking for the emotional feeling, it's temporary and you have to do it again and again. And then you get substance use that turns into substance abuse, and then we turn into addictions. So all the things are really, really important that we recognize that our mental health is just as important as our physical health and it works in tandem. It is not separate health, it's really all the same health. And I wanted to talk a little bit about overcoming depression because depression can be fatal. A lot of people don't realize it. But depression, anxiety, untreated anxiety often leads to depression. And depression for some people becomes a fatal disease. A fatal illness. Suicides not about being weak. Suicide is about a chemical imbalance in people's brains that leaves him in a point that they feel helpless and hopeless and they don't have really a choice at that point. They do have a choice, but they don't see the choice. Their emotional state is impacted by their physical chemical levels. Overcoming depression, really important for the whole world right now, right? So I wanna talk a little bit about nature because you come to hear about nature and what we can do naturally. So I am not going to ever say you shouldn't take medication, you shouldn't go to the doctor because I kinda think you ought to. Right. There was a place for medication, there's a place for medical care, there is a place for surgery, there's a place for all of that.

(Karen Continues)

Even in mental health, there is a place and a time and a place for it. However, I want you to pay a lot of attention this when we talk about getting Meeting crisis and being sustainably sustainable after them as ourselves. Duke University Medical School study now it's a medical school, they took a 156 patients with major depressive disorder. Now already knew these people were depressed and major depress means they're really depressed and for a long period of time, right? It's not the blue's a couple of days. These are really depressed people. They took a 156 people in. The actually had a little bit more than that. But the other people, the people that came that that were over that the extra people that used them as their control group. Right. So nothing happened to them. They didn't they didn't do any of the things that we're doing, you know, like what they're gonna do to the test groups because there's the control group. They want to see what happens to that group if you don't do anything to it. So that's your base. That's their control. Now in this case, when you are having major depression, you don't want to say, hey, we're gonna put everybody over here. But do you think you're waiting for a place in line then the next set and not do anything that wouldn't be ethical. So they gave every body cognitive behavioral therapy. Ok, so they're helping people through counseling, which actually works. And it's natural. It's what we naturally do. We go to someone we talked, we want people to listen. It's a natural process. Just say, okay, Duke University Medical School took a 156 patients with major depressive disorder and they separated them after the control group into three groups. The first group is a psychiatric medication group. Them that gave them whatever psychiatric medication they were using at the time, a Zoloft or whatever. And you remember some of these have some major physical symptom hazards that go along with them. But Psychiatric group, that's the gaze in the end they expected, they anticipated good success. The next group they said, okay, you can get the medication and we're going to see what this looks like. So we're gonna throw some exercise in there. They didn't expect it to, expected may be a little bit better, but they didn't expect exercise. So do much different because they are a medical school and they're looking at big pharma right there, looking at pharmacological impact because they're a medical school. Medical schools are changing by the way. They took the last group and that gave him the psychiatric medication. And the middle group is psychiatric and exercise. The last group they took the medication part out and this is what we needed. Another groupers go let them exercise. We're not gonna do anything to them except the cognitive behavioral therapy there. We're going to get them to exercise. And they expect that to be crazy, crazy grip. Nothing was going to happen to them. There were just exercising. 16 weeks later, that's four months later, all groups improved seriously. They all groups are about the same. They all improved rabbit 60%. They could see no difference between those two groups. Now that really shocked them. So they said, hm, well all of this stuff helps people. They all got better. So what we wanna do is we want to keep people from relapsing, right? We don't want them to get depressed again. So we say, okay, Duke University said oops. Oh, here we go. There we go. They did a ten month follow up. Okay. Now this is ten months after the thing stopped, right? They wanted to see after they did four months of treatment, what would happen? Ten months later? They got through a 156 people in and they said, oh look, medication alone, 38% of those people got depressed. Again. That means, you know, where it's not bad, it's not good, but it's not relapse, right? With medication, no, they got excited. 31% of that. There's something about exercise that makes a difference physically moving your body. They almost forgot to check the last group where they looked at. Exercise alone group. The relapse rate was 9%. That is astounding. And they've repeated this multiple times since then. They've done different versions of it. They repeated it. Exercise alone is the number one way to fight depression and anxiety. It's totally natural. Just get up and move your body. And that is the first way I want to talk about nature. Let's see if I can get onto the next screen. Now. Prolonged stress becomes environmental stress. It becomes to the point that once one thing you can't do it in your can't deal with it. It gets worse and worse and it becomes environmental stress, and then it becomes chronic stress, and that becomes a problem. So we want to talk about natural choice, right? We want to talk about natural choice. So I'm gonna do this. I have a video to show. It's a short little video and we still have a little bit of time for it. And it's about a four minute video, so it's a little bit long for videos. I'm actually going to pull it over because I don't trust that it's going to load right through my thing. So you're going to see a little bit more, but I'm going to I'm going to start play here. I apologize if it's not totally clear. I hope it is. No sound. Sound. Well, my beautiful music and don't know why you couldn't hear it. So my apologies, but I hope you were able to read the subtitles. And here she was actually summed up everything I said. So I'm gonna run really fast through a handful of slides and you can always email me or asked him questions in a moment.

So in the year 2020, what can we do? What we can exercise? We've already talked about the benefits of exercise. Take that walk in nature. Alright, got rid of that. Can figure where it was coming from. Sorry guys, I'm learning too. So taking a walk in nature, they did a study, Stanford University. They took a bunch of people. They had them walk along an urban four lane highway road about a half a mile. And they had them while another group walk along a natural Oak Woodland setting. The people they gave them before and after tests that tested cognitive ability and their mood. And what they discovered was that the people and the natural path. They had a lot more calmer. They were happier. They actually had a better short-term memory on tests afterwards. So if you've got a test coming up, guys, if you've got something you had to do and got have short-term memory, get out, do some exercise, get into nature, environmental stress and distress. About 50% of people inlet today live in urban areas and won't be long until we're gonna see about 70%. On average, people both have lower mental distress and higher well-being. It's early living in urban areas with more green space. Okay. We're gonna talk about is attention overload. Basically, if you're on your cell phone, you're gonna miss most of what's going on. And they did that with a study of people walking through arboretum. The public piece of green space is important because green space helps us build our immunity. It helps us with our mental health. When your mental health is good, the rest of your self comes in line. When the rest of yourself, isn't so good, then your mental health suffers. So the public use of green spaces is really important. So now we're talking about additional sustainability goals. We're talking about infrastructure, and we're talking about the planning of finding a build of designs for cities. They found out that the birth weight of babies increases. Death rate of newborn babies decrease if the mother's while they're pregnant or exposed to green space, that's pretty important. ADHD, it helps with lots and lots of things. It helps people become more creative. Lots of stuff, lots of tests, lots of research, lots of important people did lots of research. I think I read it all. So ecosystem services are being incorporated into decision-making in all levels of public policy and they need to keep doing that. Please support that in your area so that you will have a natural place to go to so you can get natural healthy, right? Plants, a tree. Trees are really important. All that air pollution, trees are the largest thing to bring him in and give ourselves more oxygen. Plant a tree, healthy trees, healthy lives. Check out the website is a little thing. You can click on things and it will tell you all about what trees do for you. If you want to know where to find green space, Dallas parks and recreations, that Dallas parks system alone, and you can do that. You have to live in Dallas, but as the largest municipal park system in the nation right here to have doorsteps. 397 parks totaling 20,118 acres have developed and undeveloped park land. A lot of people don't know that the largest urban hardwood forest is in Dallas, Texas. That's unbelievable, right? The largest urban forest, hardwood forest in our own backyard. Go and check it out. Discover the forrest would tell you where your closest forest is. And I'll also tell you where you can find parks near your house. Tex parks and wildlife. Well, we pay. Go out and they're all open now, so go enjoy them. National parks service, depending on what the park is there, open. Go learn about them. Recreation dot gov willl give you a lot of places to get out in nature so you can start helping yourself feel better emotionally and physically. There's a list of these if you want them later. Email me and I'll give those to you. The Washington University has a whole thing. Finally remember that kindness is the most important superpower. Random acts of kindness build not only your mental health, your physical health, and someone else's. Kindness reduces stress. If you volunteer and if you volunteer with somebody you know. So when you volunteer yourself, you can get this dopamine and all this good feeling stuff because we are social creatures. We are designed to help one another. We are not designed to go it alone, were designed to be in community. When you go and volunteer with someone you know, or someone you meet and you go back and volunteer again. A crazy thing happens. Oxytocin is given your body gives you oxytocin. Oxytocin is what happens in orgasm. It's also what happens when women deliver babies. They get a ton of oxytocin. So they look at the baby and they loved the baby and they don't want to kill the baby because it was really hard to have the baby. Self-care is not self-indulgent and indulgence itself preservations, and thank you very much. Are there any questions? I may have a couple of moments left. Here.

(Halanda Speaks)

We do have one we have, we have one question that came through and they actually wanted this. What is your view about people being part of an inseparable from the environment? And then it goes on to say, The North American environmental education association argues that nature is not for humans, but not a medicine not an Rx, but humans are nature to disassociate from nature is to dissolve being human.

(Karen Speaks)

I do actually. So when I think about nature, I think about going walking in trees. You sell a lot of pictures and trees is because I really, I loved nature, I love living out doors, likes vitamin D from the sun. I like getting it. It does all these things that the research shows happens for me. Nature is a really great place. But I think these things happen because they're meant to happen. We are meant to be in the nature. We are part of the nature. If you think about wildlife, take Africa, right, they have all. If you think about Africa, you're gonna think about rhinoceroses and zebras and, and do you think of that as part of Africa, all that nature is Africa, right? Well, there's also people in that people or animals too. And I think we were created and designed to live in nature and be part of nature. So I can yes, I kind of agree with that. I think we get benefits from nature and we should be giving benefits to nature. It should be a backend, a give-and-take. So I do believe that nature is natural. So I hope that answers your question.

(Haland Speaks)

Okay. We have one more question that came in and we have one minute when it says working full time, how much time would you say would be good to spend in nature? 30 minutes, one hour? What do you say about that?

(Karen Speaks)

I say anytime you can carve out of your schedule, spend it in nature. If you get a lunch break, go outside, get look at nature on a screen, whatever you can do to make it extra. Well, most people, if they work 40 hours a week to get lunch break and they get maybe a break or coffee break. Coffee, not too bad for you. It's supposed cigarettes. But take that break, go outside, get up and move, get up and do something natural which is like moving, take it outside if you can. That's what I would say. They say basically 15 minutes twice a day is awesome. But you don't have to do that much any bit is better than none of it.

(Halanda Speaks)

Anymore questions. It looks like that is it. And we have one minute before we conclude. So any closing thoughts? I'm itemizes say before that. Just don't forget to take the evaluation to help us improve. Karen take it away.

(Karen Speaks)

I really appreciate everyone listening and being patient. This is all new for most of us. All everything that's happening is something new. And I appreciate your patience and my apologies again that you didn't have any sound because it was really cool music. But you had the words, at least, yea, if anybody wants any part of this, if you want the Site, I have citations for everything. I've talked about, it. You want them. I'll be glad to give them to you if you want to know where to find it, this information, feel free to, to email me at K C U T T I L L at D C C C D dot edu But in the byline, nature or nature programs summit or something. And I'll be glad to help, you know a lot more, but there's not any time left.

(Halanda Speaks)

Thank you so much. That concludes our session.

(Karen Speaks)

Thank you Halanda. You're so welcome.