May Was Mental Health Awareness Month—But Mental Health Remains A Major Theme During Men’s Health Month in June

Mental Health and Children

For the 74 million children and adolescents in the United States (24% of the total population), mental health includes reaching develop-mental and emotional milestones, developing healthy social skills, and learning how to cope when problems arise.

Although recent years have brought a more concentrated focus to the topic of mental health treatment in adolescent populations, there is still an alarming disparity among minority children. Latino children, for example, are half as likely to receive mental health treatment as White, non-Hispanic children.

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) sought to address this disparity by incorporating parents and adolescent mental health care in a recent research study.

Parents play a crucial role in connecting their families to mental health providers. One such connection is peer navigators, who act as a resource and open dialogue hub for those seeking mental health services. PCORI research on the Parent Peer Support Program has shown that parents who have a family navigator are “less likely to increase doses of medicines for mental illness than children whose parents received usual care.”

College Students

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on college students, leaving many to struggle with finding housing and collecting tuition refunds. The transition to online classes, and the potential cancellation of fall semesters has placed a burden on both parents and students alike. As these sudden changes take place, many organizations continue to provide resources for students and their families. The Center for Online Education has created a guide for homeless students who need financial resources, continued educational support, and housing. Additionally, the World Health Organization has provided a guide for college students looking for tips on completing work from home.

Mental Health is also an important factor among college students. Students who used to rely on on-campus mental health services are now, in some cases, left to deal with their mental health issues on their own. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 67% of college students who felt suicidal reported telling a friend before anyone else. We believe that because of the social isolation and increased loneliness brought about by the pandemic, unaddressed and untreated mental health issues—including suicidal ideation—are likely to increase.

Mental Health America

Mental Health America (MHA) participated in the May, 2019 Men’s Health Network–PCORI Conference on Behavioral Health Issues in Males, a part of the Dialogue on Men’s Health series of discussions. This key meeting convened various government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, Indian Health Service, the military, and Veterans Association, national medical associations, large hospital systems, and a select group of national mental health patient advocacy organizations, including Mental Health America.

A summary of the discussions can be found here in English and in Spanish.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston

During the month of May, MHA of Greater Houston hosted Facebook– and Instagram Live events featuring healthcare professionals, and regularly shared tips to help students get through these challenging times. In addition, the national organization ( offers a variety of targeted programs and resources, including school behavioral health, and a best-practices incubator.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect families across the United States, it is important to recognize the great work and resources that organizations such as MHA are providing. For more information, resources, and tips on how to stay mentally and physically healthy during COVID-19, please visit Men’s Health Network.

Photos by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash
Zach Vessels on Unsplash

Savanna Maloney

View posts by Savanna Maloney
Savanna Maloney is Project Manager at Men's Health Network.

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