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Jonathan Lopez

Justin Falk-Gee

English 110

Section R3

Mental Health: The unseen problem

The birth of a new child is something beautiful and heartwarming, but it is something serious as many risks arise from that whether that be at birth or after. The health of the mother is a factor of the child’s health as when a mother is healthy and takes care of herself, then a low risk is present for a child in the womb or when born as anything the mother does the baby does too. The issue of infant mortality has many known factors as pointed with the mother but what other factors contribute to the health of the newborn and who and how specifically does it impact? Authors Joanna Almeida, Candance Mulready-Ward, Vani R. Bettegowda, and Indu B. Ahluwalia seek to inform us about these other hidden factors. All of these authors are very distinguished coming from various credible and distinguished backgrounds such as Simmons University, New York City’s very own Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) specifically The Bureau of Maternal, Infant, and Reproductive Health (BMIRH), March of Dimes, and the CDC. They all worked together on this from The Maternal and Child Health Journal which serves the purpose to make peer-reviewed articles. These authors explore various factors surrounding the mother in this scientific piece to see why some mothers of certain ethnicities have different results than mothers of other ethnicities, but an important note is that they take no stance on the issue of new mortality and only offer information through correlations. This can be inferred heavily with words like “The goal of this study was to examine the relative contributions of social ties and social support to rates of LBW(Low birth rates) and PTB(preterm birth) across women defined by race/ethnicity and nativity status among mothers” (Almeida, Mulready, Bettegowda, Ahluwalia 2014). They don’t state directly or indirectly any passion-driven diction, always using neutral words. The goal of this study was to examine the contributions of social ties and social support of mothers to rates of LBW and PTB across women defined by race/ethnicity and nativity status among mothers.

This next article titled “When New Yorkers Report A Mental Health Crisis, Who should Respond?” by Caroline Lewis of the Gothamist, talks into detail about mental health and how it’s not only a problem for the patient suffering but anything else who comes in contact with that person. There isn’t an author mentioned specifically who wrote this or contributed but this comes from The New York Post and whoever wrote this has a clear stance on the subject of mental health and the lack of proper care we have in place for it. In this opinion piece of they talk about how when the police have to confront someone suffering from a mental disability, the public often makes villains of the officers for using excessive force despite the fact they also are in danger. Especially the author writes “…supporters began to rally against the NYPD for its use of force. But the officers weren’t at fault. This incident is another reminder that police are often put in impossible positions by a mental-health system that too often fails…” (NYP 2019) The position of the author is clear about how police are often blamed if things take a bad turn despite the fact this could’ve been avoided if they received help beforehand. The medium used also supports this as they wanted the public to know the whole picture of this situation and what’s more public than the newspaper. To drive the point of their argument about the police even further they state, “Not all officers have the temperament and skills needed for dealing with the mentally ill.” They are defending the officers who are just doing their job as best as humanly possible even if they don’t know anything.

Continuing the conversation about mental health and its significance in daily life but with more positive feeling surrounding it is a magazine article by The Chain Drug Review. It involves the CVS Health company and its efforts of collaborating with public and charter schools to make more mental health clinics. This is something serious as “Manhattan President Gale Brewer and New York City Councilman Corey Johnson are also part of the initiative.” This magazine piece right off the bat tells facts that make it seem as they have a clear positive opinion, but they use neutral language like the first text mentioned here. The similarities don’t stop there with the first article as they also wrote this to inform the people of what’s happening in their community but have a touch of positivity. This is supported by the inclusion of a positive opinion stating “We are incredibly grateful to partner with, and have the support of, an organization like CVS Health who has made it their mission to provide individuals with the resources, access to treatment and medicine they need.”(Chain Drug Review 2017) Anyone would’ve already been sold of the idea of supporting the youth when they need it at a critical age where approach a crossroad in life.

This last point about mental health comes from a website called Mentalhealth.gov ran by the US Department of Health and Human Services which aims to tell us what mental health is, how it affects us daily and know ways to deal with it appropriately. They want to inform us with real facts as sometimes the details are muddled or misinterpreted like how there is only one cause for mental illness when “Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse, Family history of mental health problems.”(mentalhealth.gov) Many people didn’t know this and just assume which causes society to make uninformed standards about mental health for example like mental health is exactly that, mental with no physical manifestations when a myriad of physical effects occurs such as “… Having low or no energy, Eating or sleeping too much or too little, Having unexplained aches and pains…”(mentalhealth.gov) Many people don’t know much or nothing at all about mental wellness and this itself can be bad because people with close friends or family don’t know someone close to them could be suffering and can’t offer an effective helping hand continuing this cycle of lack of knowledge and feeling of isolation.

All these articles share their own individual similarities and differences with all of them sharing one of each. They all talk about mental health and its relation to a certain group but where they all dissipate is how the group is affected mental health specifically if the group talked about is impacted by mental directly or as a secondary effect. An example of this is between the first article and the second article where the first article compares mental health effects on mothers directly while in the second article talks about police and how mental health affects them indirectly afterward as the police officers aren’t said to be suffering from mental health just associated with them. However, a lot more similarities can be drawn between the second, third, and fourth articles where they all seek to inform the reader who is impacted and in what ways, keeping the general idea that mental health is something important and necessary to talk about.



Almeida, Joanna, et al. “Racial/Ethnic and Nativity Differences in Birth Outcomes Among Mothers in New York City: The Role of Social Ties and Social Support.” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 18, no. 1, 2014, p. 90+. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A519201390/AONE?u=cuny_ccny&sid=AONE&xid=2680343c. Accessed 19 Sept. 2019.


“What Is Mental Health?” What Is Mental Health? | MentalHealth.gov, www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health.


“Teaming up to expand mental health clinics in NYC schools.” Chain Drug Review, 11 Dec. 2017, p. 74. Gale Academic Onefile, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A520579066/AONE?u=cuny_ccny&sid=AONE&xid=23b4307e. Accessed 19 Sept. 2019.


When New Yorkers Report A Mental Health Crisis, Who Should Respond?