The President Urges Bringing Mental Illness Out of the Shadows

Approximately 1 in 5 Americans struggles with mental health problems. About 40% receive mental health services. The most recent statistics show that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. The suicide rate has risen in every branch of the military. This year brought tragedy in the form of almost one mass shooting every month. Each shooting sparked national conjecture and debate about the mental health of the shooter. This may have spurred President Obama to address the issues of mental health stigma and coverage on June 3rd. The President was clear in his message that most people with mental illness are not violent; in fact, they are more likely to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators.

In his speech President Obama encouraged the nation to “bring mental illness out of the shadows.” He pointed out that our culture now speaks fairly openly about personal health issues (e.g. impotence, incontinence), yet the topic of mental illness still elicits such shame and embarrassment that it is often considered taboo and is ignored, making mental health problems hard to identify and even harder to treat. Read More→

Steubenville Rape Case

On the night of August 12, 2012, over the course of six hours, a 16 year- old high school girl who was intoxicated to the point of unconsciousness was sexually assaulted repeatedly by two local high school football players, ages 16 and 17. The events occurred in front of peers and were documented by her assailants and dozens of onlookers through hundreds of live tweets, texts, photos, and videos. These were then sent to more friends and posted to several social media sites. There was extensive media coverage due to the role social media played. Much of the media coverage blamed the victim, from community members who were angered that their local football team was cast in a negative light, to news networks who focused on how the assailants’ damaged reputations would affect their once-bright futures. There were allegations that school and local authorities tried to cover up the incident to protect the high school football program and the accused athletes. Read More→

April is Autism Awareness Month

Autism is one type of brain development disorder characterized by difficulty with social connection, communication, and repetitive behaviors. When very severe it can cause significant behavioral challenges that make it nearly impossible for a family to go out in public, have a peaceful meal, or even be safe in their own home. Autism, along with several other developmental disorders (Asperger Syndrome, Rett Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), will soon be grouped under the diagnostic label of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) when the new DSM V comes out (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual). Read More→


Cyberbullying has been gaining more and more media attention with several recent teen suicides linked to this relatively new form of harassment. Experts agree that cyberbullying is not the sole cause of suicide but can certainly be a strong contributor. The Cyberbully Research Center defines cyberbullying as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” It occurs with communication tools such as social media sites, chat, email, phone calls, and texting. It can come in the form of threats, cruel rumors, embarrassing pictures and videos, fake profiles, sharing someone else’s personal information, or excluding them from online social groups. Deception is often used, as in pretending to be a friend to solicit personal information from a person, or pretending to be someone else for the same purpose. The goal of cyberbullying is to intentionally humiliate, harass, intimidate, or exclude the victim. Read More→

Impact of the Economy on Mental Health

In the current state of the economy, financial stress is unfortunately very prevalent and its psychological impact is pervasive. Worrying about money is a natural part of life, but the proportion of people who report being “stressed” about money is constantly increasing, affecting every aspect of daily functioning, including work life, home life, and involvement in the community. When long-term stress is not adequately addressed, it impacts physical and mental health and interpersonal relationships. Read More→

Suicide Among Our Protectors

The recent cover story in TIME magazine explored the disturbing reality that every day one US Army soldier commits suicide. These soldiers are not killed by a suicide bomber or a roadside IED. These soldiers are dying, an average of one a day, at their own hands. Some of the soldiers have experienced combat and some have not. The overwhelming majority of these soldiers are White males under the age of twenty-five and most of the suicides occur in the U.S. The TIME article focused on suicides in the Army, but statistics also indicate increased suicides within the Air Force, Navy and Marines. In 2011, 26% of all military deaths were due to combat while 20% of all military deaths were due to suicide. Read More→

Managing Your Budget and Your Marriage

The Key to a Healthy Relationship

The current economic deficit has placed a significant strain on our wallets, our jobs, but most importantly, our relationships. Divorce rates are an unsettling 51% today, which means half of all marriages are ending in separation. What is even more disturbing is that out of the couples getting divorced, approximately 80% of them attribute their failed marriage to disputes over finances. While these statistics may seem daunting, there is hope. There are ways to reduce the burden that financial difficulty has on marriage, and by enacting some of these techniques, your marriage will have a better chance for success.

“No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan.”

The most important thing to remember when forming a marriage is that planning for the future is crucial. Read More→

Child Sexual Abuse

Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky. The BBC’s Jimmy Savile. Both men known for decades for their positive public image and philanthropic work with children, now known as pedophiles. How did these men get away with abusing so many children for so long?

The statistics are alarming. The CDC estimates that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. Studies show that 73% of child victims do not come forward about the abuse for at least a year, and 45% don’t tell anyone for at least 5 years. Far too many victims do not talk about their abuse until adulthood, if they talk about it at all.

There are several reasons why children won’t tell about sexual abuse. Read More→

Bullying Touches Nearly Every American School Child

Think your child is free of bullying? While 10% of children experience some direct form of bullying, victimization or social rejection by their peers during their school years, estimates indicate upwards of three quarters of school aged children have been involved in peer victimization either as victimizers, victims or bystanders. And if you were waiting to talk to your child about bullying when he or she is a little older, you should know the potential for peer victimization begins when children are first introduced to a social setting around preschool or kindergarten age. In one sample of kindergarten students, 22.6% of children reported moderate to high levels of peer victimization.

Bullying is defined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as “aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength.” Read More→


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