Dear AJPM  reader,

Each year, we recognize Mental Health Month in May to raise awareness about the importance of mental health but also to help combat the stigma that is often associated with mental illness. According to the CDC , more than half the U.S. population will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime, and 1 in 5 Americans lives with mental illness in a given year. Despite those figures, mental illness continues to be too infrequently discussed or too often shrouded in secrecy and shame.

In celebration of the growing awareness and acknowledgement of mental illness, we are featuring our Mental Health Collection , which explores mental health, often in the context of disparities in access to prevention and care. In our monthly May issue, our readers will also find articles listed below that address the physical, economic, and social factors associated with suicide, which serve to inform future prevention and policy efforts aimed at reducing the rapidly rising rates of self-harm.

Gertner AK, Rotter JS, Shafer PR.
  • The authors model the relationship between wages and suicide using state-based data and found a one-dollar increase in minimum wage was associated with an average 1.9% decrease in the state suicide rate.

Hoffmire CA, Monteith LL, Holliday R, Park CL, Brenner LA, Hoff RA.
  • Suicide ideation was found to be significantly higher among veterans reporting administrative discharge versus honorable discharge, although mental health service use and time since separation significantly modified this relationship. 

Horwitz AG, Smith DL, Held P, Zalta AK.
  • Both male and female veterans were more likely than their civilian suicide decedents to use a firearm for completed suicides.

As always, we hope you find these articles, and the rest of our May issue , to be topical, timely, and thought provoking.

Yours in prevention and health,

Matthew L. Boulton, MD, MPH

American Journal of Preventive Medicine