All of Us

Mental Health and Substance Abuse

by Mike Critelli

Opioid related deaths skyrocketed during the pandemic. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were nearly 92,000 drug overdose deaths in 2020, a 30% increase from the prior year. Overdose deaths spiked up again in the first half of 2021. An examination of causation produces a multitude of reasons:

  • Progression from addictive prescription opioids to heroin to fentanyl

  • Availability - the result of more active drug cartels across Mexican borders into the United States, and more lucrative drug trafficking opportunities in heroin and fentanyl

  • Public policy and institutional leaders such as corporate CEOs, educational system leaders, healthcare system CEOs, and military leaders lack a comprehensive culture of health strategy.

The opioid crisis has a direct correlation with mental health issues, obesity, and other health concerns. Isolation and loneliness caused by the various Covid-19 lockdowns have seemingly exacerbated mental health disorders, triggering an increased incidence of substance abuse and related behaviors, such as domestic abuse and suicide. Contributing to these stress levels are politically divisive news outlets promoting fear mongering for ratings. The coping mechanisms for some when dealing with this fear, anxiety, and burnout have led to the abuse of various “self medicating” substances. 

Demand Great Science

by Mike Critelli

We must demand great science, not simply passively follow what others tell us is “the science.”  

Great scientists developed and deployed Covid 19 vaccines, which have been effective in reducing hospitalization and death risks in every age cohort and in every subpopulation of comparable health risk. They also understood that the virus would evolve and that what we believed at the beginning of the crisis would change.  

The certainty and rigidity emanating from politicians, the media, and many health advocates are the opposite of great science. When we truly use and demand rigorous scientific analysis, additional solutions will emerge.

My Citizen Engagement in COVID-19 Research

by Douglas B Quine

In March 2020 when COVID-19 was a hot new topic, a COVID-19 Smartphone application was launched by the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (where I was born) and King's College (London) to capture real-time data on possible COVID symptoms, infections, tests, and vaccinations. I enrolled a month later in early April 2020 and have been reporting my health status (almost) every day since.

Augmented Analytics Can Help Manage Your Mood

by Eliot Arnold

Eliot is developing the world's first mood-improving digital companion. It detects sadness and uplifts with conversations, memories, and video visits from friends and family. Previously, he co-founded crunch data analytics which he sold to Qlik.

MakeUsWell has edited Eliot's insights for clarity and length.

MakeUsWell's Worldview, Today

by Mike Critelli

Vaccinations and boosters are necessary to our pandemic containment strategy. But they have been inadequately marketed. If telling people what's good for them were enough, no one would smoke, overeat, or do drugs. All health-related messaging in the pandemic needs the same sophisticated marketing we are used to getting from Amazon, Apple, and Netflix.

Though necessary, vaccines and boosters just aren't enough. We also need