The month of May has several days designated for celebrating events and/or honoring individuals or groups of people, such as May Day, Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Memorial Day. The month itself is given titles that focus on specific interests or groups of people, such as Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

I, as well as many others, am concerned about the need for people with mental illness to get mental treatment. Too often, behaviors by mentally ill people are dismissed with words that minimize these behaviors: peculiar, odd, some-timey, childish, grumpy, mean, etc. 

This is not to say that everyone who is described this way is mentally ill, but certainly we need to be more aware of patterns of mental illness that require professional help and psychological assessments.

Let us take the month of May’s designation as Mental Health Awareness Month seriously.

The assaults on Asian Americans is upsetting and inexcusable. There are theories as to who is responsible for having encouraged these attacks, blaming the Chinese for the COVID virus. 

Do attackers assume that every person that appears Asian is Chinese?  Asians include the Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai, Pacific Islanders, et al. 

People who are evil or ignorant, and some who are mentally ill, are to blame. Even worse is the fact that some of the attackers belong to ethnic/racial/religious groups that have a history of being abused. Does their memory or reality check fail them?

I chose the title “What’s going On” for this article because the lyrics of the song with that title acknowledge the pain and suffering and mistreatment of people in the world and is “an exquisite plea for peace on Earth” (

*”What’s Going On”  was recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1971.