UNDERSTANDING MENTAL HEALTH
"There is no health without mental health"
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
“If you have a brain, feelings, or mood, you deal with mental health” – Dr. Morais L. Cassell
Mental Illness is no different than a Medical Illness, both need to be treated. As heart disease is an illness of the heart, ulcer is an illness of the stomach, diabetes is an illness of the pancreas, mental illness is a disease of the brain.
Just as certain illnesses like diabetes is lifelong, mental illness can also last throughout a lifetime.
Just as diabetes can be controlled by medication and treatment, mental illness can also be controlled by medication and proper treatment.
“Just like someone takes insulin for diabetes, I take medication for my brain” – NAMI, In Our Own Voice Speaker
“Traumatic/overwhelming experiences affect the development of brain, mind, and body awareness, all of which are closely intertwined” - Bessel A Van der Kolk, MD .
"Trauma not only damages children’s bodies and emotions, but it wounds their souls, soul murder"- Leonard Shengold, MD .
Trauma, if left unaddressed can lead to internalizing (e.g., insecurity, depression, anxiety, subsyndromal anxiety, somatic complaints, “Spiritual/God detachment”) and externalizing (e.g., aggression, delinquency, destruction of property, hypersexuality) behavior problems or trigger traumatic symptoms” - Dr. Morais L. Cassell, Behavioral Health Specialist/Therapist.
“Having an anxiety disorder is like being stuck in that moment when you realize you’ve leaned too far back in your chair but have not yet fallen.” – Teenage Patient
Children may never say I am anxious or depressed, but they may say I have a headache or a stomachache. - Mental Health Philosophy.
Primary Care is the de facto treatment setting for most patients with common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
70% of all antidepressant prescriptions in the United States are written by a primary care provider
Persons with mental illness are more likely to seek help from clergy than from general medical doctors (Wang et al., 2003) or from psychologists and psychiatrists combined (Hohmann & Larson, 1993).
25% of patients who sought treatment from a mental health professional did so from the recommendation of clergy (Want et al., 2003).
 Van,. K. B. A. (2015). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma
 Shengold, L. (1999). Soul murder revisited: Thoughts about therapy, hate, love, and memory. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
 Cassell, M. (2018). Effectively Transporting a Spiritually Based Intervention for Reducing Subsyndromal Anxiety and Increasing Coping Skills in Urban Adolescents: A Multiple Baseline Design.
Watch This Clip on Empathy
Brown, B. (2013). Empathy. RSA Shorts.