I always thought that “wellness” was just another way to say good mental health. Or if I wanted to consider physical health too, that it was the opposite of disease. Wellness is so much more! As you can see in this image, there are actually (at least) six dimensions of wellness, developed by Bill Hettler, MD, in 1976. This interdependent model describes a whole person approach to wellness.
We often focus on the physical and emotional pathways but what encourages me is that we can improve our wellness on the other dimensions and have improvement trickle over! For example, when we take (drag) our kids hiking they eventually get lost in the beauty of our surrounding hills too. We can teach them all about nature while getting physical exercise, spiritually connect with the Earth and God's creatures (if you are religious) and spend quality time with our loved ones, and it all leads to an improvement in our mood and physical health.
I encourage you to give yourself a Wellness Week! Take a few hours and focus on how you can improve your wellness on at least 3 of these dimensions this week. Simple steps like going for a walk with a friend can make significant changes to your health and well-being and improve your wellness on 2 dimensions at a time - physical and social! If you live locally in Los Angeles, please consider stopping by one of these 2 upcoming Wellness fairs (click on image for link to registration website)! Perinatal Mental Health Care will be participating in both. Events like these allow me to improve my wellness on at least 4 dimensions at one time - social, intellectual, emotional and occupational! Hope to see you there!
Dr. Accortt in the News
9/11/18: USC Center for Health Journalism, Cedars-Sinai PPD Screening Program May be Model for State
Summer 2018: Cedars-Sinai Catalyst Magazine, The Helping Hand of Los Angeles Funds Postpartum Depression Screening Program, scroll down to page 40 of magazine
5/18/18: TODAY.com, Alyssa Milano on Postpartum Anxiety
5/3/18: Cedars-Sinai Maternal Mental Health Research
10/19/17: Cedars-Sinai Postpartum Depression Screening Program
3/24/17: MomCo. App for Social Support
Dr. Accortt is a California licensed clinical psychologist. When she isn't seeing patients in private practice she conducts research in the OBGYN department at Cedars-Sinai. She will update this page with important maternal mental health news and research.