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Naomi Judd’s death spotlights mental health crisis 

mental health crisis

On April 30, 2022, Naomi Judd’s daughters Wynonna and Ashley announced that their mother had died. The Associated Press reported their joint statement, “Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness. We are shattered. We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public. We are in unknown territory.”  

Sermo physicians believe that Naomi Judd’s death shines a spotlight on today’s mental health crisis—reveals a recent poll of 450+ global doctors. Eighty-seven percent of physicians said they believe their country is facing a mental health crisis. Ninety-one percent believe this crisis will continue to grow; and 92% said they believe prevention is key. 

The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), “Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, NAMI joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Each year we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support people with mental illness and their families.”  

The Hill reports, “Judd was among the nearly 52.9 million Americans with a mental illness, a statistic that has only risen since the start of the pandemic. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that the number of people who reported symptoms of anxiety disorder and/or depressive disorder jumped from 11 percent in 2019 to 41 percent in 2021, as the pandemic entered its second year…  

recent survey from Harvard University found that even after many COVID-19 restrictions ended, 52 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 reported experiencing feelings of depression and hopelessness. Nearly a quarter said they had considered self-harm.  

That’s in addition to thousands of their families simultaneously suffering job losses that resulted in loss of income. Many even lost a parent, sibling or relative to COVID-19, with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimating more than 140,000 U.S. children lost a primary or secondary caregiver due to the COVID-19 pandemic between April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.  

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the Harvard survey agreed with the statement, ‘the United States has a mental health crisis…’  

The American Psychological Association (APA) found that even though the coronavirus has slowed down since 2020, other stressors have been added to Americans’ lives, like rising inflation and the historic Russian invasion of Ukraine…  

‘Living through historic threats like these often has a lasting, traumatic impact on generations. As a society, it’s important that we ensure access to evidence-based treatments and that we provide help to everyone who needs it,’ said Arthur C. Evans, APA’s chief executive officer, in a statement.  

‘This means not only connecting those in distress with effective and efficient clinical care, but also mitigating risk for those more likely to experience challenges and engaging in prevention for those who are relatively healthy,’ said Evans.” 

Below, Sermo physicians from around the world share more of their professional insights, perspectives, and opinions on this important topic—in their own words: 

Mental health will surely worsen with time! Social isolation; Social media bombardment; lack of daily exercise; increasing financial and social demands; more mental health services; divided citizenry; lack of personal resources…The future looks bleak for many unless we change collectively!”

Orthopedic Surgery, U.S. 

“We have too few psychiatrists in our community and care by psychologists is not paid for by our medical system. This is a huge issue in Canada.”

Infectious Diseases, Canada 

as heart disease and diabetes, and help you maintain your independence as you age. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it should not be neglected. Incorporating mental dexterity exercises into your daily routine will give you the benefits of a clear mind and a healthy body for years to come.”

General Practitioner, Cuba

“It is important to establish promotion and prevention actions to counteract the mental health crisis that exists in today’s world.”

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Cuba 

“Mental disorders increase every day, people forget that the mind gets sick, we have to listen to the signals that our body sends and seek help in time.”

General Practitioner, Venezuela

“Yes there is a crisis and [it] needs addressing; and the insurance companies need to be on board and allow and pay for the much needed services, as the insurers are true believers in total denial of most medical conditions: ‘not covered by your plan’”

Infectious Diseases, U.S. 

who is under a lot of stress, has economic problems, has trouble sleeping, is restless, has a tendency toward verbal or physical aggressiveness, or has unusual or strange behavior, or perceives extrasensory experiences, it would be important not to ignore these symptoms and seek support from a mental health professional.”

General Practitioner, Venezuela

“I agree with APA that the crisis has worsened mainly in the last two years. Covid caused practically everyone an affectation, either physical or mental. Many of us lost a family member, we live in a situation of general collapse on a large scale that affected the largest world economies and currency inflation has skyrocketed. Prevention can be developed by increasing actions from the social and television media so demanded by the population and can be used to give psychological messages that help overcome such a difficult situation.”

Stomatology, Cuba 

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