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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Mental Health Daily: The Year in Review
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

December, 2015


2015 was quite a year. For reasons good and tragic, "mental health" was on the nation's mind, worried over by everyone from athletes to politicians to comedians. As editors of Mental Health Daily, the challenge is no longer finding interesting news about mental health, but curating it in a way that keeps the phrase "mental health" from becoming stale. We're interested not just in what's obviously true about mental health, but also what's mysterious, surprising, and controversial about the relationships between the mind, the brain, and the larger society. 
The features below link out to blog posts on the Mental Health Daily website. Each post draws on, and seeks to identify the larger patterns in, stories we've featured on MHD during the course of the year. For this Year in Review, we decided that the six themes of Race, Policy, Humor, Technology, Music, and Film were sufficient to capture much of what drove the news in mental health. In addition, we have included contributions from two of our partners, Mental Health Channel and SIMS Foundation, who have their own unique points of view from the worlds of film and music, respectively.
by Ike Evans
2015 will be remembered as a year that violence was hyperlinked — literally and figuratively. In particular, viral images of community anguish often dominated the news cycle, and sparked yet another maelstrom of debate among pundits, social media mavens, and literati over whether the best efforts of civil society and the political system are truly enough to heal a fractured society that, riven by inequality, has never truly known wellness.  
The Year in Humor
 by Daniel Oppenheimer, Editor-in-Chief, Mental Health Daily
The fundamental challenge of mental health humor is how to be funny about mental distress without being cruel, and in 2015 we saw a range of comedians, podcasters, writers, filmmakers, and TV shows attempting to do just that, with varying degrees of success. Along with John Oliver's 12 minute segment on the state of the mental health care system in the US, we saw a new book from blogger Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess), a movie starring Saturday Night Liveveteran Kristen Wiig, a story arc on depression on the FX show You're the Worst, and much more. 
year in mental health technology
by Lauren Macknight, Editor, Mental Health Daily
Is mental health technology having a cultural moment? If the flood of digital solutions to traditional issues in mental health access and support is any indication, then maybe it is. It's opening up a fertile, fascinating, and important series of conversations about whether technology will truly advance mental health and wellness, or is part of a much larger increase of distraction and social disintegration that ultimately detracts from living full, flourishing lives. 
by Julie Almendral, Mental Health Channel
2015 was an eventful year for positive mental health messages in online media. Celebrities like actress Lena Dunham and rapper Kendrick Lamar came out of the so-called mental health closet, bravely engaging in honest conversations about their challenges. Outlets like Upworthy and The Huffington Post grew their focus on positive mental health messaging. Over the past year it has felt like we’re on the verge of a cultural shift in how we think and talk about mental health in our society.
by Alison Mohr-Boleware, Policy Editor
The Texas Legislature meets every other year. For 140 calendar days. The state's legislative agenda is so densely packed that keeping track of any policy area, mental health included, is a dizzying task. This summary tells you what you need to know about bills that were passed, commissions that were formed, and reforms that were pushed.
by Heather Alden, SIMS Foundation
If celebrity has any influence on changing attitudes towards mental health stigma, musicians have been an important voice for the cause in 2015. Stories of success and drastic failure dotted the cultural landscape this year, starting with the tell-all documentary about Amy Winehouse and her tragic demise. 
Visit the new for the latest in mental health-related news!


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