NCCPA Health Foundation

Mental Health

Did you know? October 6th isn’t only National PA Day … it’s also National Depression Screening Day.

Psychiatrist with TeenagerAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is projected to become the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020. Celebrate your chosen profession by taking time to learn about depression and then consider doing the 25 Days of Wellness Challenge (prepared by Screening for Mental Health), with your colleagues or in your practice! 


Mental illness is increasingly recognized as a contributing factor to violence and tragedy for individuals, families, and communities. The widespread impact of depression and anxiety, suicide, substance abuse, and other mental illnesses means few are unaffected. With more than 99.5 million Americans known to live in mental health profession shortage areas (calculated by the Health Resources and Services Administration primarily based on a psychiatrist to population ratio of 1: 30,000), we hear a clarion call to take action. 

As the healthcare system strives to build workforce capacity, the nccPA Health Foundation seeks to foster a dialogue about how all certified PAs, who provide care at the front- and back-end of the disease process for all ages, genders, and diseases, can be positioned as champions for integrating mental health and wellness throughout the healthcare system. 

The Foundation seeks to gather PA and interprofessional partners from an array of health professions and health support systems to design strategies that position PAs as champions for integrating mental health and wellness into practice. This effort is ultimately intended to identify both the most pressing mental health needs (i.e., addictive disorders, opioid prescribing, etc.) and opportunities to support PA education and practice to ensure all PAs have a base fund of knowledge that equips them to effectively integrate mental health as part of overall health (i.e., curricular content, clinical skills, CME resources, grants, etc.). Stay tuned for more information!


  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.

  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24.

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.

*Note:  All statistics came from the National Alliance on Mental Health.  Learn more at


As the Foundation’s work gets underway, we need your help! The Foundation is collecting tools and resources that may be helpful to PAs, beginning with the ones listed below. Please let us know about additional resources that we can share with all PAs.

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of American affected by mental illness. NAMI offers extensive resources to support mental health awareness.

  • The Campaign to Change Direction seeks to support a chance in the culture of mental health in America so that all of those in need receive the care and support they deserve. The campaign encourages all Americans to pay attention to their emotional well-being – and it reminds us that our emotional well-being is just as important as our physical well-being.  In order to change the culture, learn the five signs here.

  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network is dedicated to raising the standard of care and improving access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States. Check out their knowledge base, apps for parents, and more. 


Share tools and resources, ask questions, or learn more about our work.  Plus, tell us what you’re doing to integrate mental health in your role as a PA!