Choral Singing is Good for You - 4:33
Jonathan Miller, Sounds Good! Choir, NFP
Posted Aug 22, 2019
Statistics from the recent Chorus Impact Study from Chorus America reveal that more than 54 million Americans, 18 years or older, are singing in a choir. Roughly 73% report feeling connected to others through socialization and hold a more positive attitude due to their regular activity in a choir. Three-quarters of adults surveyed report that their first experience in a choir was in elementary, middle school or high school, and nearly 20% of older choristers stated that singing relieved chronic health conditions and improved cognitive ability. In addition, of the estimated 5.6 million people worldwide who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-related dementia, more and more are singing in “dementia choirs.” With no drug-based cure for dementia, social interventions--such as choirs for people with early-stage memory loss--are improving the social, emotional, and physical well-being of participants and their care partners.
Hosted by: Ellee Pai Hong Produced by: Greater Chicago Newsmakers Team

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Digital Mental Health Initiative

The UI Center on Depression and Resilience has launched a new innovative artificial intelligence (AI) and technology based treatment initiative, creating a digital based mental health safety net, to address Illinois' mental health crisis, and treat suicide risk factors. The UICDR has developed numerous digital tools, apps and inventions to reduce mental health disparities and offers these cutting-edge products to the public. This pioneering concept potentially can serve as a blueprint for the cost-effective integration of AI and technology to give greater access to mental health resources to poverty stricken areas and combat the growing national mental health crisis. This initiative is the “Digital Mental Health Initiative” (DMHI). The DMHI is a collaborative, transdisciplinary group of scientist, researchers, engineers and physicians working across 19 labs in at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Psychiatry Department to improve equitable access to mental health treatment with innovative smart, connected technology. The DMHI employs cutting-edge research to develop evidence-based digital tools and other technology based mental health treatments, which have already effectively treated thousands of patients. 1.5 million people in Illinois live with serious mental illness. According to the most recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide in Illinois has risen 23 percent, and is now ranked as the 11th leading cause of death in the state. The prevalence of depression in Illinois has increased, as it has globally, catapulting depression to the number one cause of disability worldwide.

This crisis has come at a staggering cost; estimates place the economic cost of untreated depression/behavioral health in the state to be more than 1.4 billion dollars a year.

Lack of access to treatment, and inefficient models of care, lie at the heart of this crisis. These numbers are a sobering reminder that we as a society have not adequately addressed the core reasons nor put forth the proper solutions to confront this health crisis, and necessitated the creation of UI Center on Depression and Resilience “Digital Mental Health Initiative” (DMHI).

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