Please visit our COVID-19 Resources page for more information on stroke care during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mental Health

Our brain is in charge of most things in our body, including our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. When someone experiences a stroke, it can affect parts of the brain that control our mood and behavior so that they no longer work as they used to before the stroke. That is why stroke survivors often struggle with common mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and social isolation, during and after their recovery. In general, we call these concerns Post-Stroke Psychosocial Stress.

When stroke survivors do not get treatment for post-stroke psychosocial stress, it can take longer for them to feel better during their recovery. This can have a negative effect on survivors’ quality of life as well, which in turn can worsen the post-stroke psychosocial stress. Add to this the fact that stroke survivors often discharge directly home from the hospital without additional supportive services and are only able to receive care from family members, spouses, and loved ones, whom we call informal caregivers. Because informal caregivers usually don’t have any medical training, they can feel overwhelmed and develop caregiver burden and psychosocial stress. Increased caregiver burden can affect the informal caregiver’s ability to help the stroke survivor through their recovery. This means that both the stroke survivor and their informal caregiver’s psychosocial stress can increase, which can also make recovery more difficult.

Fortunately, there are helpful therapies and supports for stroke survivors and informal caregivers. Receiving these kinds of supports can improve the recovery process for the stroke survivor and their loved ones by reducing post-stroke psychosocial stress.

The Mental Health Program focuses on developing behavioral interventions, supports, and therapies for this crucial post-stroke period. We are interested in learning about how the interventions can improve post-stroke psychosocial stress so that we can improve the education and support services for stroke survivors and their informal caregivers in our communities.

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For Stroke Survivors


For Informal Caregivers


The Jung Center's Mind Body Spirit Institute Resources


Jung Center Logo Washing hands with soap

Weekly Meditation Program

The Jung Center's Mind Body Spirit Institute offers free weekly meditation. This online and live streaming program can be taken from home, or anywhere with an internet connection. For more information and registration details, please visit the The Jung Center's Mind Body Spirit Institute

  • The Power of Community
  • Coping With Grief
Mindful Hand Washing

"Every time we wash our hands, we have a perfect opportunity to bring our attention to the present and let go of anxiety. Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, founding director of The Jung Center's Mind Body Spirit Institute, teaches this easy practice." Please check out this mindful handwashing video provided by The Jung Center of Houston.

The S.T.O.P. Formula

During the day, if you find your mind is racing, you are having trouble focusing, or you are feeling overwhelmed, angry, agitated, worried, or critical (of self and others), use the STOP Formula - Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN

S – Stop, pause

T – Take a few slow, deep breaths and tune in

O – Open and Observe – notice what is on your mind and how you feel

P – Proceed with awareness, kindness, and wise action (or inaction)

Dr. Alejandro Chaoul shares a few mindful "pills" to do between interpreting encounters, or stressful moments that can be viewed here

For Health Care Professionals

Recent Stroke-Related Mental Health Publications

  • Ancer Leal, A., Castro, A., Kadiyala,A., Casameni Montiel, T., Beauchamp, J., Sharrief, A., Denny, C. (August 2020). Video-based Stroke Education: Stroke Messaging for Spanish-speakers. Virtual 4th Annual International Neuroscience Nursing Research Symposium (INNRS). First place for best poster.


The UTSHB Consortium is a UT System Administration initiative designed to improve the health of Texans by providing a standardized biospecimen/related data search and request mechanism for UT personnel at participating institutions. Mental health data is available with appropriate approvals. Find out more at:

Mental Health Team

Jennifer E. (Sanner) Beauchamp, PhD, RN, FAAN
Associate Professor, Department of Research

Anjail Sharrief, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Neurology
Director of Stroke Prevention

Jennifer Hughes, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Alejandro M. Chaoul, PhD
Director, The Jung Center’s Mind Body Spirit Institute

Christopher Fagundes, PhD
Associate Professor, Rice University