Mental health in plain sight: May is mental health month

There are mental health issues that need to be in plain sight during Mental Health Month. Up to 50 percent of those struggling with a mental health condition do not seek or receive help. Photo: Alex E. Prolmos

WASHINGTON May 5, 2012 - May is Mental Health Month and this year Mental Health America is advocating two significant themes. One is Do More for 1 in 4. The second is Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds.

Do More for 1 in 4 refers to the one in four adults in the U.S. who have a diagnosable and treatable mental health condition. Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds brings attention to the effect of traumatic events on communities and individuals.

Below are the main points Mental Health America is working to convey in 2012. 

Do More for 1 in 4 

1.  Up to 50 percent of those struggling with a mental health condition do not seek or receive help. Lack of information, absence of health insurance, and the stigma of being diagnosed with a mental illness are the primary reasons why so many go without services.

2.  Those who receive treatment can lead rich, productive lives, and many recover completely.

3.  The passage of the federal mental health parity and addiction equity act has helped expand access to mental health care. The law is applicable to groups of 50 or more employees. It does not require substance abuse or mental health coverage. However, when coverage is provided the insurance is required to be in keeping with other medical conditions.

4.  Adequate access to services are necessary for identifying, treating, and even preventing mental health conditions.

Healing Trauma’s Invisible Wounds

1.  Trauma refers to physical harm, bullying, accidents and natural disasters, combat, interpersonal or social violence, and witnessing violence. It includes harm done by severe stressors such as poverty, humiliation, and childhood trauma.

2.  Unresolved injuries may manifest as panic and anxiety disorders, addictions, self-harm, obsessive-compulsive behavior, eating disorders, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

3.  The probability of chronic physical problems, suicide, and premature death increase.Trauma survivors need trauma-informed care, or help that does not inadvertently re-traumatize them.Trauma injury is a community and societal issue. 

4.  It effects the development of children, and behavior in families and schools. In the U.S., it is the leading cause of death in children. It’s cost in productive life years lost is more than any other disease. The economic cost of 50 million traumatic injuries in 2000 was $406 billion.

The Best Outcome

The best outcome for MHA’s mental health campaigns is that “… citizens, government agencies, public and private institutions, businesses and schools recommit their community to increasing awareness and understanding of mental health, provide steps citizens can take to protect their mental health, and meet the need for appropriate and accessible services for all people with mental health conditions.”


Don’t be one of the 50 percent that goes without treatment for mental illness. If you suspect a depression or bipolar diagnosis, learn and find resources at


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Jacqueline Marshall

Jacqueline Marshall is a writer for Help For Depression, and freelances primarily in the areas of psychology and personal development. She has a MA in Counseling Psychology and is a licensed therapist living near Chicago.

Jacqueline has experience helping those diagnosed with severe, persistent mental illness, and in providing general therapy services for individuals, couples, and families. Prior to counseling, she worked in graphic design and music education.

When not writing or counseling, Jacqueline enjoys reading literature and math-less books about quantum physics. She is a published poet, and has studied animal communication and energy healing.  


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