Mental Health Care &Good Physical Health are inseparable

By, Jay H. Berman


Fifty years ago, Pres. John F. Kennedy addressed Congress on the state of mental health care.   This year, Pres. Obama initiated his Sandy Hook Response plan.  Along with the energies of Health and Human Services, (H.H.S.), Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the 2013 national dialogue on mental health is an initiative to help remove the stigma and provide education to bring about better understanding.  This year long program is the result of Pres. Obama’s Response Plan.


Students and young adults receiving early preventive care and having their specific needs met is the primary focus toward enhancing improvements and access to quality mental health care.   In addition, Secretary Sebelius and H.H.S. now provide two new programs that further advance these goals.  First, one plan is to increase by 5, 000 the number of providers who specifically focus on youth.   Teachers and other personnel interacting with youth require specialized training in order to recognize and effectively refer children to mental health care providers as needs arise.  To accomplish this Project Aware is created through the offices of H.H.S. Secretary Sebelius that intends to reach out to 750, 000 children.  Project Aware is officially known as Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education.

Recent research showed that by the age of 14, children who develop lifetime mental illness exhibit symptoms.  But even prior to the onset of symptoms, new scientific evidence shows bodily changes leading to mental illness.  Different mental illnesses appear later in life, however, studying the development of children’s brains – researchers have learned more about early stages, by understanding how fast and when brains develop during childhood.   By applying these advancements mental health care providers can effectively treat a great many disorders.

But we cannot yet cure, and unfortunately many children do not receive proper treatment.  When illnesses develop minus recognition and medical care, irregular behavior(s) become ingrained.  This results in greater challenges to address symptoms with positive results.  Conversely, lessoning the increase of future illness can be made possible through early detection and pro-active parental management to help their child.

All of this progress leaves us nonetheless with questions and concerns.  Once the willingness to bring this discussion out into the light of day is significantly increased, we accomplish greater reduction of and eventual elimination of the awful stigma attached by our society.  This stigmatization is caused through fear and embellished by ignorance.  Professional mental health care providers cannot overcome this obstacle alone.  Parents, caregivers and others who take active roles in a child’s upbringing are in a position to lend much needed assistance.  The household that embraces education and takes on these challenges provide children in their care with the best potential for success when signs and symptoms appear.  Parallel with physical illness, early recognition followed by preventive treatment is the best medical approach to mental health care.

A wide range of varieties of potential disorders that can affect a child include the following:  ADHD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Depression, Anxiety Disorders, (of which there are multiple forms), Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorders, Spectrum Disorders, and Autism.  The duplicity of co-occurring overlapping symptoms is not uncommon.  This makes proper diagnosis more difficult.  Therefore, it makes earliest steps for care essential.

It is not the intention of this author or these pages to cause alarm.  The variety and sometimes mere mention of these certainties can appear daunting.  We are not licensed or professionally trained and certified mental heal care providers.  This information is intended for educational purposes only.  It does not in any many whatsoever represent a replacement for, or provider of proper medical care, as is advisable.  Rather, as the previous column addressing the current nation-wide discussion of the relationship between gun related violence and mental illness – the contributors and creator producer of these pages seeks only to improve upon the conditions of life in this great nation.  Together, with honesty and courage, America can and we pray shall be better for each successive generation.  This is our purpose, our goal, and the challenges we face have always been, and hopefully shall continue to be overcome.

I thank you on behalf of Ron and thank its creator for allowing this generous opportunity to speak with his audience today.  Speaking only for me, I would be very pleased to continue this most important conversation going forward.

For more professional medical information and education we humbly and respectfully suggest visiting the website of The National Institute of Mental Health, N.I.M.H. by going to, /


2 comments on “Mental Health Care &Good Physical Health are inseparable

  1. Thanks for the comments. The last one is particulaly disturbing. Thats why we need less guns…suicide is the 6 or 7 leading cause of death

  2. Greg Mercer on said:

    Thanks, Ron, for your helpful & important work. Mental illnesses remain too common for most people not to know someone living with one, even if understandable privacy concerns hide this fact from many. To the extent we erase stigma & ignorance, more people will open up about their experiences, and we will all discover far better how to address such experiences usefully. Mental illness, tabloid media hysteria to the contrary, offers very little risk of harm other than suicide, and the vast majority of people living with mental illnesses offer no more treat than anyone else. Suicides remain all too common, killing ens of thousands in America annually. In fact, while guns are involved in12,000 American murders a year, they are also used in 18,000 suicide deaths, so that if a gun is used to kill, the victim is 50% more likely to be the shooter than everyone else combined.

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