Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. It has been observed by presidential proclamation each year since 1949. Nearly 44 million American adults and millions of children experience mental health conditions each year. The cost to individuals and their families cannot be calculated. The stigma of mental illness prevents timely evaluation, causes shame, increases alcohol and drug abuse, and can result in loss of life. This one month of Mental Health Awareness helps to increase education, focus on cause and treatment and encourages evaluation of those with symptoms that can be associated with mental illness.

Dr. Megan Riddle is writing a post each Monday this month that will focus on some aspect of mental health. Last week she began her series with a plan for mental wellness that received many comments and much shared wisdom from the readers who visit our site.  Today, Dr. Riddle provides a beautiful description of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, better known as PTSD, with the latest recommendations for treatment options.  It is important for us to remember that 10 percent of women experience PTSD at some point in their lifetime and that twice as many women as men will suffer from PTSD.

On the Bright Side, a new series that debuted this month, introduces a new concept in fitness for our readers today: “It Takes Only a Minute.” So many of us do not have the time or the motivation to devote an hour of our time for fitness (often with another hour added on to get dressed in fitness gear, get to a class or gym, shower, change clothes and resume living), even though we believe in the real benefits of exercise.  

Finally, I want to thank Deb Harkins, our wonderful editor, for finding the writers for our extraordinary Mother’s Day stories, shepherding the process and editing only lightly so that the real voices behind these posts shines through. “The Keenan Women” and “Bringing My Mother Home” remind us all that competent, determined women are the stock from which many of us come.  

I am so grateful to those of you who have begun to comment on a regular basis. This is your site so add your voice as often as possible to make Women’s Voices the place where your opinion, your interpretation and your appreciation for the work that our writers do matters. —Dr. Pat

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  • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger May 9, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Thank you for shining our light on this issue.