Recession Depression: Nanny State or Mental Health Threat?

The U.S. government's Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration launched a website today designed to help citizens deal with mental health issues associated with the economic crisis, earning this headline from the Drudge Report last night: "NANNY STATE: GOVERNMENT WEBSITE TO WARN OF SADNESS/CRYING OVER ECONOMY." And it's true, the site does warn that "Persistent Sadness/Crying" is a warning sign "that financial problems may be adversely affecting your emotional or mental well being --or that of someone you care about."

But the recession's mental health threat is real, according to this story published yesterday by the Fresno Bee, detailing the problems of unemployment-stricken Mendota, Californa: "With a 41 percent jobless rate, the town's social fabric is tearing at the seams. Alcoholism and crime are on the rise. To save money, some mothers wash and re-use disposable diapers. Unemployed men with nothing to do wander the streets and sit on benches," the Bee's Chris Collins writes.

Sadness/crying, indeed.