Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Lisa VanGetson APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Second Advisor

Colleen Lane APRN, DNP, FNP-C

Third Advisor

Joyce P. Miller DNP, RN


As anxiety and depression have increased exponentially, researchers have discovered a link between nutrition and incidences of anxiety and depression. The communication between the gut and the brain is imperative for mental health. The inflammatory process that is initiated in the intestinal tract can change the chemistry of the brain resulting in anxiety and depression. Newman’s Theory, Health as Expanding Consciousness, helps people to identify patterns in their food choices and change those patterns to choose healthier foods. This scholarly project was implemented to teach youth and adults living in a rural community about the link between food and anxiety and depression. A booth was set up at an Out of the Darkness Walk in a rural Minnesota town of 13,700 people to educate youth and adults about the importance of a healthy diet on anxiety and depression. There were 35 people at the walk, and I was able to talk to 15 people about the important role of a healthy diet on anxiety and depression. Out of the 15 people, 3 people gave feedback about the project. Implications for Advanced Nursing Practice is to look for nutritional decencies in person who have anxiety and depression. Nutrition is a modifiable way to prevent and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.


SC 11.DNP.2021.Reese.T