Volume 1

  • No. 11 November 2023

    Light exposure and mental health

    The November issue’s cover references a study published this month by Burns et al. detailing patterns of increased night-time light exposure associated with greater risk and increased daytime light exposure associated with decreased risk of psychiatric disorders and self-harm. The authors suggested a sunflower and the dynamics of heliotropism (i.e., a plant following the sun’s trajectory) as a metaphor for the effects of light on mental health and the possibility of its future use as an intervention.

    See our Editorial for more on light and the potential effects of urbanization and urbanicity on mental health.

  • No. 10 October 2023

    Mental health — a universal human right

    The theme of the 2023 World Mental Health Day on 10 October is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’. This is a powerful statement and reminder that everyone, regardless of their station and conditions, deserves the opportunity to live at their highest attainment of physical and mental health. Our cover this month depicts doves, a time-honored symbol of human rights, flying freely from a cage and signifying release from the potential bondage of human experience.

    See our Editorial for more on the need to recognize mental health as a universal and foundational human right.

  • No. 9 September 2023

    Unlocking personalized psychiatry

    Personalized psychiatry has made important gains in elucidating the neurobiological basis of many psychiatric disorders, yet heterogeneity, polygenicity and interactions with the environment and epigenetics continue to be major challenges for researchers to explore. Our September issue cover reflects this great complexity. For each person, there are potentially manifold ‘keys’ to unlocking or to personalizing diagnosis and treatment. The cover gives a nod to the fact that personalized psychiatry research is technology and tradition — an elegant incorporation of -omics and big data and a backdrop of established elements, such as self-reported measures and patient assessment.

    See our Editorial for more on the potential and pitfalls of personalized psychiatry.

  • No. 8 August 2023

    Youth mental health

    Adolescence and young adulthood are periods of intense emotions and a crucial time for developing strategies for coping and processing emotions. In addition to facing normative developmental experiences, young people today are growing up in a time of great challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, gun violence and international conflict — all of which have negatively affected youth mental health. The cover for our August issue is deliberately moody and somber, reflecting the uncertainty of our times. Yet even in unexpected places, there is always hope. The shadow of a young person’s hand reaches for a bright poppy, often associated with the promise of a more peaceful future, depicting the need to continue to strive for a better world.

    See our Editorial for more on the challenges facing youth mental health and some promising new research avenues.

  • No. 7 July 2023

    Mindfulness-based interventions

    Mindfulness is interpreted as the state of being attentive to the present and observing and accepting the thoughts and sensations that arise. Mindfulness-based interventions for mental health, including forms of meditation, have rapidly expanded in their use and popularity over the past few decades. The cover for July depicts a person in the process of meditating and above her glows an unfolding lotus. Across religions traditions, the lotus is a famous symbol associated with purity, rebirth, transcendence and enlightenment — all concepts that are associated with the benefits of mindfulness and the positive aspects of mindfulness-based interventions.

    See our Editorial for more on the need for improving the quality of research around mindfulness-based interventions.

  • No. 6 June 2023

    Celebrating Pride and protecting LGBT+ mental health

    Nature Mental Health celebrates Pride this month of June and echoes the call of many advocates and researchers to work together to protect LGBT+ mental health. The cover of our June issue incorporates the ‘progress Pride’ flag. In addition to the iconic rainbow, black and brown have been added to represent people of color, as well as pink, light blue and white to represent trans, gender non-binary, intersex people and those across the gender spectrum. Flowers, which have been a key symbol of gay pride, mark a path to show the constant movement forward.

    See our Editorial for more on the celebration of Pride and the need to stand up and to protect LGBT+ rights and mental health.

  • No. 5 May 2023

    Mental health awareness

    Each May, campaigns take place that are designed to draw awareness to mental health, to reduce stigma and to champion inclusivity. This month’s issue cover features a green ribbon — the international symbol that is associated with observing Mental Health Awareness Month. Not only is green the theme color of the Nature Mental Health journal, but the May cover is festooned with the mental health awareness ribbon, florals and greenery to evoke the imagery of vitality, growth, new beginnings and hope.

    See our Editorial for more on the need to bring together advocacy and research to promote mental health awareness.

  • No. 4 April 2023

    Restoring mental health safety nets

    In our April issue, we feature several pieces that speak to the need for robust and comprehensive social safety nets. Mental health safety nets take this notion a step further to include specific provisions for access to mental and behavioral healthcare and medications in addition to assistance for people who are vulnerable or experiencing poverty. The cover image was designed to prompt the idea that restoring mental health safety nets is a means to allow individuals and communities to have basic needs met but that will allow them to flourish in unexpectedly vibrant ways.

    See our Editorial for more on the importance and value of restoring mental health safety nets.

  • No. 3 March 2023

    Lived experience: shifting focus

    On the cover of this issue, we feature the mind and brain as a prism — refracting the simple input of white light into a resplendent and living rainbow. It serves as a metaphor to consider how mental health lived experience is complex and inhabited by an individual. For some, embracing their lived experience has become a transformative experience, prompting them to use their status as a mental health ‘expert by experience’ to inform research, advocacy and policy, ultimately, to help others.

    See our Editorial for more on how shifting our focus to the value of lived experience can be transformative for the science of mental health and wellbeing.

  • No. 2 February 2023

    Black mental health

    The month of February commemorates Black History Month, a time to celebrate the many contributions of Black people in the United States. Black history is interwoven with achievements but also a legacy of discrimination and oppression. The cover image evokes the notion that Black mental health is profoundly affected by history, yet even through great adversity, there is an opportunity to thrive. The flowering vines include red, gold and green, three of the four colors that symbolize unity and pride throughout the African Diaspora.

    See our Editorial for more on the need for acknowledging and uplifting Black mental health during Black History Month.

  • No. 1 January 2023

    Cultivating mental health equity

    Equity is often depicted as individuals of varying heights, abilities or vantage point as they seek to watch a ballgame or to pick fruit from a tree. A simplified description of equity, as opposed to equality, is to “meet people where they are”. Mental health equity, where individuals are allowed the opportunity for the best state of mental health they can achieve, is not an end point, but a process that calls for all stakeholders to take part. The cover image represents the layers of active commitment that go into cultivating mental health equity and the role of community alongside individuals.

    See our Editorial for more on Nature Mental Health’s commitment to mental health equity.