The Current Mental Health Crisis and Meaning Therapy

Sep 5, 2019Articles

EXCERPT: The Old Paradigm is No Longer Working

The WHO World Mental Health Survey (WMH) shows that trauma exposure is common; about 70% of people experience lifetime traumas. If untreated, trauma leads to depression, PTSD, and suicide.

Suicide rates in the U.S. have increased nearly 30 percent in less than 20 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. Suicide among ages 10-24 was the second leading cause of death (2016 CDC WISQARS).  These heart-wrenching statistics have received intense media coverage and national debates regarding the causes and solutions.

Although depression is a major cause of suicide, CDC pointed out in its report that more than half of the suicide related deaths in the U.S. were not previously diagnosed with a mental disorder. The medical model of having more psychiatrists, more diagnoses, and more medications has not stopped the rising rates in suicide, drug overdoses, and depression. Therefore, we need to search more broadly for the underlying cultural and social factors that contribute to suicide, overdoses, and depression.

Published as Wong, P. T. P. (2019, July 16). The current mental health crisis and meaning therapy. Keynote presented at Ottawa’s Royal Mental Health Center, CanadaRetrieved from

You will be redirected to the full article on