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2018 Top Five Mental Health Stories

We are often asked to join news outlets in print and in live interview formats for our thoughts on the pressing topics in the world of mental health. Our CEO, Kristin Walker, put together a short list based on information gathered across our network of podcasters. She has discussed in depth the list below on several programs including one of our favorites: YouToo America.

Our top five mental health stories for 2018 are listed below:Walmart’s decision to align themselves with Beacon Behavioral Health and make this a public announcement. Discussed on our show here: What this means for mental health is that big business taking an interest in promoting mental health initiatives is good PR as well as revenue generation. While the mental health sector of healthcare is still one of the most underfunded, the tide is turning. More and more companies are aligning themselves with mental health and social justice issues which will have an affect on payment reimbursement from our government, as well as, privately held payers.

More and more celebrities are sharing their mental health journeys from Bruce Springsteen to Sean “Puffy” Combs to Kevin Love to Ryan Reynolds. While this has been a growing trend it took a different turn in 2018. Initially, celebrities like Glen Close shared the struggles of family members with mental health issues, which is needed and admirable. This still kept the idea of mental health struggles being about “those other people”. With the #metoo movement we have seen a rise in “This is not just someone else’s struggle. This is my struggle.” We see many more people with a public platform comfortably discussing their lives, their mental health challenges – the challenges of human beings. We are seeing less of the “persona movement” and more of the “personal movement”.

Alternative treatments for mental health and addiction struggles such as Ketamine, some anti-depressants that will hit the market in 2019 that are inhaled, MDMA receiving FDA approval and more. Because mental health is becoming less and less stigmatized, organizations are viewing it as a revenue generating initiative on multiple levels. There are certainly downsides to this that will have to be navigated. However the overarching affect on anyone with a mental health issue can be a positive one – more access to care, more affordable access to care, and better care in general.

A Star is Born, with Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa, shining a light on addiction being a life long struggle. The halls of AA, NA, and so on have been saying for years that addiction is a lifelong issue but treatment for addiction issues has been based on the 45 day quick fix. One stint in rehab is not a cure all. With relapses in the public eye like Demi Lavato who helped produce the wonderful documentary and Ben Affleck, we saw a more understanding reaction from the general public. Both had to contend with backlash but the fervor about their relapses was more understood this time around. Because of the increased awareness around addiction as a disease our healthcare system is being forced to treat it as such. The addiction treatment industry is having to follow suit and payment models like Value Based Care discussed on are finally able to make their way into mental health and addiction services.

A spotlight on power imbalances. With the #metoo movement an increased awareness around mental health issues, which includes addiction, can be caused by abuse. A growing awareness around sexual abuse, financial abuse, religious abuse, corporate abuse, and so on causing PTSD, addiction relapse, depression, and the need for long term care is finally being discussed openly. Citizens being forced to take action in relation to gun control, politics, and sexual harassment because of the lack of crisis support and validation from our governing bodies was increased to a level of awareness in 2018 that will have lasting effects on our society.

Our founder is a weekly contributor on YouToo America’s network show America Trends hosted by the incredible Aimee Fuller. Check here for there timely and needed topics related to mental health:

For inquiries and guest appearance requests regarding Mental Health News Radio Network, any of our esteemed hosts, or our founder, Kristin Sunanta Walker, please reach out to our PR firm Goldman and McCormick.

Ryan McCormick at

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