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October 31, 2014
by Marti Wormuth, MA

Why Mental Health Continues to Come up in the News

October 31, 2014 04:55 by Marti Wormuth, MA  [About the Author]

One thing that seems to be coming up in the news a lot is mental health. Whether it's a new mental health discovery, or it's something that has occurred that causes us to talk about the mental health care system in our country, there are a lot of questions out there about the mental health system and what can and/or should be done about it. But why does this keep happening? What can be done about the whole thing? That's what we're going to take a look at here and see if we can get a better understanding of in the long run. 

What Stories Have Brought Up Mental Health Issues? 

Honestly, there have been a whole realm of issues that have come up lately, but many of them have to deal with violence, especially in the United States. It's a sad situation, really, and it has caused a lot of problems for people throughout the past couple of years or so. It has brought up a lot of questions, especially in the realm of how people attain weapons and if they should be able to do so easily. Of course, that is a controversial issue that a lot of people have opinions about, but as time goes on more and more people are starting to see the importance of having the debate and determining if the access to these weapons should be restricted from those who struggle with mental health issues.

Homelessness and Mental Health

Another topic that frequently comes up in the news is the discussion of homelessness and mental health. It's well known that a number of people who are homeless are, sadly, people who are struggling with mental illness in one way or another. That's not always the case, of course; there are plenty of people who are just down on their luck that have to deal with living on the streets for a period of time. But more and more people who are out there are people who have been abandoned by their families or lost in the midst of the mental health system. It's a real shame because people really need help, and it's hard to find people the help they need when they are living on the streets in much worse conditions than they were living in in other situations. Is this an epidemic? It may not be quite to that point yet, but it's disheartening to see how many people are on the streets that are suffering from mental health issues. 

With the culture of war that we currently live in, another issue that has come up is how negatively affected our veterans are by their time in combat overseas. Veterans have a lot of scars, and many of them are mental. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an incredibly common disorder that thousands of veterans come home with every year, and many of them are left untreated because they aren't sure where to find the treatment or whether or not their troubles necessarily need the help of a professional. Thankfully, more people are learning about the mental effects of war on people's minds, and because of this, more veterans are getting the help that they need, which is more of what is being talked about on the news nowadays. 

It's Not All Negative News

Everything isn't negative in the news, however. There are always new bits of research coming out about mental health problems, and even though some of them may be troubling at times, the general outlook for much of this research is that it is good and that there is hope for people who are struggling with mental illness. The research out there about mental health, much like the research for much of physical health, is continuing to expand and grow and it's starting to bring a lot of hope to a lot of people who have not been able to get treatment before. By giving names to particular disorders and by working on finding a way to treat those disorders in an effective manner, it's started to bring mental health to the forefront and people are able to get the help they need. The media talks about this research quite a bit, especially because there is so much negative news out there about it, so the more positive research that comes out, the better it will be for those who are struggling with mental illness and those of us who are walking with people whom we love that struggle with it as well. 

Is Mental Health Care Accessible?

Lastly, the news has been talking a lot about whether or not mental health care is accessible to everyone and if the mental health realm is doing a good job of providing resources to those who are struggling with mental health issues. This, of course, goes hand in hand with the previous points, but it also gets talked about all together. Is mental health care as accessible as it needs to be? Are people able to get the help that they need in an effective and efficient manner? Do people know where to go if they are having mental health issues? Do people understand what a mental health emergency looks like? All of these are really important questions, and the media continues to explore them on a regular basis, especially when one of the above issues comes up in the news in one way or form.

So, all of these together make mental health quite a popular topic to talk about in the news, and more and more people are getting interested in the topic in general. It's easy to see why this topic is becoming more out in the open than it has ever been before. 

What Can We Do About It? 

This is, of course, the question that we have to ask. What can we do about mental health issues that are coming up in the news? Is there really anything that we can do, or will we continue to see these things permeate our culture and the media that we are consuming on a regular basis? Here are a few things that we can do in order to help people get the help they need before what's going on becomes newsworthy. 

Understand the signs of mental illness. Many people don't even know what they are looking for if they are looking at a loved one that is struggling with mental health issues or mental illness. By learning about the different types of mental health problems and having a grip on what they look like, you are better able to deal with them, discuss them, and help people through their issues if that is what needs to happen in order to prevent a mental health emergency from occurring. 

Be willing to talk about your own mental health struggles if necessary. If you think that you are struggling with mental health issues, you need to be brave enough to go and seek out help for them. At times, it can be really difficult for people to understand and figure out exactly what needs to be done in order to get the help that you need, but by keeping abreast of the issues in the media and around the world, you will be more likely to be able to find the help that you need. Later in this article, we'll talk a bit about how you can find the help that you need in order to work through your mental health struggles in an effective manner. 

Keep alert of new research that is coming out. This can help you help others, but it can also help you understand what the world of mental health is doing. As the research expands, you don't necessarily have to sit down and figure out every last thing about the research, just have a general understanding of what is going on and keep your eyes peeled for what is out there. You may be able to give advice or help to someone that needs it, or you may be able to pass the information on and keep your loved ones informed, whether or not they have mental health issues. 

Be compassionate toward others. This is, perhaps, the most important thing. Unfortunately, a lot of mental health issues get into the news because someone with mental health problems does something that is newsworthy in a negative way. Many times, those things happen because of a lack of awareness or a lack of compassion. By being compassionate toward others, you may be reaching out to people that need to be loved or need to know that they are important - you could end up saving lives and preventing bad things from happening, just by showing a little bit of love. 

So, as you can see, there are a lot of great things that you can do in order to make sure that mental health news continues to stay positive instead of being negatively viewed in the news media all of the time. If we take the time to understand others and help them through things, or to keep an eye out on what's new in the world of mental health, we have a better chance of taking these things out of the news and into the world in a way that is helpful to others in the long run. If you need help with a mental health issue, make sure that you find the help that you need here on our website - we've got plenty of resources and therapists for you to choose from, so you don't have to feel like you are going through the whole thing on your own. The journey toward mental wellness is one that is best done with the help of others, so take the time to find the help that you need today, or get the help that your loved one(s) need so that they can live the healthy life that they deserve to live. 


Campbell, J. (2013, April). Mental Health and Social Problems: A Social Work Perspective. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from

Guardian News. (2005, September 13). 'Mental illness is now our biggest social problem' Retrieved June 5, 2014, from

National Association of Social Workers. (2014). Mental Health. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from

Scientific American Editors. (2012, March 1). The Neglect of Mental Illness Exacts a Huge Toll, Human and Economic. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from

WHO Media Centre. (2014, April). Mental health: Strengthening our response. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from

About the Author

Marti Wormuth, MA Marti Wormuth, MA

Marti has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Communication Studies. Her favorite activities include reading, playing games, and hanging out with the students at her church. Marti volunteers with the youth ministry at her church as a teacher and mentor. Because of this, she recently started another degree, her graduate certificate in student ministries. She considers her current graduate work to be a stepping stone to becoming a youth pastor or a published author.

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