All of Us

Posts for Topic: Minds Matter

Social Media Can Be A Force For Positive Or Negative Thinking

by Mike Critelli

Recently, the Social Media Victims Law Center filed lawsuits against Meta (Facebook and Instagram's parent), TikTok, and Snap. What does this have to do with the MakeUsWell Network? 


In 2016, I joined the PowerMyLearning Board, a New York-based non-profit. Its mission is to empower teachers and families. The organization used to provide free laptops to low-income families. After the families received the laptops, learning workshops were offered. I attended one at a Bronx school.

After 2½ hours of training, on the many benefits of the new laptops with Internet on-ramps, the last hour was a real eye opener. The trainers focused the parents on all the bad things unsupervised use could bring to the kids.

The Next Big Leap in Managing Health and Wellbeing

by Mike Critelli

At the MakeUsWell Network, we have focused on the need to increase public health attention to stress, anxiety and burnout. These are the triggers and precursors to serious mental health crises. Employers must always focus on what their leaders do to increase or decrease stress, anxiety and burnout for individual employees. 

Recently, we reflected on the death of Dee Edington, a trailblazer for all of us who wanted to get out ahead of population health issues, as opposed to addressing them in the healthcare system. The progress from crisis-driven mental health treatment, such as responses to attempted suicides, domestic violence, extended homelessness, substance dependence, or acts of public violence, to an effective preventive strategy that addresses population-level mental health issues preventively is at its earliest stages.

Historically, the first challenge for employers and other health plan providers was parity in health plan coverage for mental health treatments of all kinds. We are making good progress, but are far from the finish line, if for no other reason than the range of therapies available does not match the needs of our populations.

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. 

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.

Becoming Well…thy: Six Pillars

by Alan Steelman

Congressman Alan Steelman is a Dallas businessman with a career as a global management consultant spanning several decades. He has been chairman for various boards and committees, including the Dallas Council on World Affairs and also served as a representative for the state of Texas. Congressman Steelman is the father of 5, and MakeUsWell is happy to have him as a member.

MakeUsWell edited Alan’s words for clarity and length.

Why Well...thy?

Emotional balance and resilience are always fleeting and elusive in a “survival of the fittest” system like our own. The challenge is even greater now, given the devastation of the past 18 months. Many have questioned and reframed their priorities. Giving ‘well...thy’ equal footing in all of our lives will be a great start.