Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of April 11, 2011
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES
Week of April 11, 2011
Mental Health in the Headlines is a weekly newsletter produced by Mental Health America, providing the latest developments at Mental Health America and summaries of news, views and research in the mental health field. Coverage of news items in this publication does not represent Mental Health America's support for or opposition to the stories summarized or the views they express.
NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
May is Mental Health Month 2011: For information on this year's May is Mental Health Month activities, go to http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/may.
Tell Your Representative-Oppose Dangerous House Budget: Use our action alert and contact your House member to stop this plan, which contains dangerous cuts to Medicaid and health funding.
Take a Survey on Children's Mental Health: We are asking you to respond to a short survey to better understand how to meet the needs of parents and caregivers concerned with children's mental health. Please click on the link below and take a few moments to complete the survey:
Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often recover and more quickly than for many with other major psychiatric disorders...more
IN THE NEWS
President to Present Deficit Reduction Plan
President Obama on Wednesday will present a deficit reduction plan, including curbs on Medicare and Medicaid spending. He will also renew his call for tax increases on the rich. The President will likely use the speech to criticize a House Budget Plan that would transform Medicare into a voucher program for future retirees and turn Medicaid into a block grant. (Politico, 4/11/11)
Spending Agreement Includes Cuts to Health Programs
The short-term spending agreement reached last week for the current fiscal years includes $13 billion in cuts from programs at the Departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services and $1 billion more in an across-the-board cut from domestic agencies. It also changes two provisions of the health care reform law. About $2 billion would be cut from a program designed to implement new co-op health plans. The agreement would also eliminate a provision of the law that would have allowed low-income workers to opt out of employer-offered health insurance and shop for more affordable coverage through insurance exchanges to be created in 2014. (The New York Times, 4/10/11)
Youth Suicide Prevention Bill Introduced
Suicide prevention programs targeting at-risk youth would get more money under bipartisan legislation introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). The measure would authorize the federal government to award up to $45 million annually to help states and institutions prevent youth suicide. Included the legislation are portions of Durbin's Mental Health on College Campuses Act, which calls for the creation of a competitive grant program that would provide funding to colleges to focus on both outreach to identify students with mental health needs and treatment of students coming to counseling centers for help. The legislation, the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act Reauthorization of 2011, is named for then-Sen. Gordon Smith's (R-Ore.) 22-year old son, who took his own life. Smith authored the original bill and has championed suicide prevention and mental health initiatives. (WIFR, 4/8/11)
Michelle Obama, Jill Biden to Launch Effort to Increase Support for Military Families
First Lady Michelle Obama and the vice president's wife, Jill Biden, will kick off a national effort on April 12 to increase public support for U.S. service members and their families. The new campaign will focus on four areas: employment, education, wellness and public awareness. Mrs. Obama says the country has an obligation to help care for those serving in the military, along with family members affected by lengthy and repeat deployments. (CNN, 4/8/11)
Lawmakers Want Brain Trauma Rehabilitation Included in Health Law
Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) are calling for including brain trauma rehabilitation services as essential benefits in the health reform law. Pascrell, co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to ensure the most effective care is provided under the law. Studies show that providing appropriate care is less expensive than warehousing patients in nursing homes or providing round-the-clock services. (USA Today, 4/8/11)
Study: Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder Recover More Quickly Than Thought
Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often recover and more quickly than for many with other major psychiatric disorders, a new study finds. The findings counter the view that many patients can't be effectively treated. Over ten years, researchers studied 111 patients with borderline personality disorder, 114 with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and 62 with major depression for more than 10 years. All the patients had sought treatment for their problems. The study, which appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found 85 percent of the people with BPD experienced remission and only 12 percent of those patients relapsed. The relapse rate was lower than for either major depression or other personality disorders. (Los Angeles Times, 4/6/11)
Few Alcohol Abusers Believe They Need Help
The large majority of American adults who abuse alcohol don't believe they need treatment, according to a new report. Of the more than 7.4 million American adults aged 21 to 64 with alcohol dependency, only 1.2 percent said they would benefit from treatment. And among those with untreated alcohol dependence disorder, a more severe condition, only 7.8 percent recognized they needed treatment, The finding shows the need to increase public awareness about adult problem drinking, how to identify people with an alcohol problem, how to raise the issue with a problem drinker and how to get help, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which released the report.
Dangerous Synthetic Drugs Growing in Use; States Consider Bans
A new type of synthetic drug is driving users to emergency departments and drug addiction programs with violent, psychotic behavior and a range of other symptoms. Known as "bath salts," they mimic the effects of marijuana and cocaine. At least eight states have outlawed the drugs, and many others are considering similar bans. (American Medical News, 4/11/11)
IN DEPTHThe Post-Star looks at how empathy can be the difference between being a bully and a nice kid.
NPR aired a two-part series examining current treatment plans at California's psychiatric hospitals.
Secondhand Smoke Linked to Mental Health Conditions in Children, Teens: Children and teens who are exposed to secondhand smoke could be at greater risk of suffering from mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and ADHD, according to new study. Researchers, whose findings are reported in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, analyzed data from a national survey of nearly 3,000 children, ages 8 to 15. By looking at markers used to show how much smoke has entered the body-called serum cotinine levels- the researchers found that they were linked to symptoms associated with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, ADHD and conduct disorder. (Los Angeles Times, 4/5/11)
Mexicans Who Immigrate More Likely to Experience Depression Than Those Who Don't: Mexicans who immigrate to the United States are more likely to experience significant depression and anxiety than those who remain in Mexico, according to a new study. Researchers interviewed 550 Mexicans who migrated to the United States and 2,500 others who stayed in Mexico. The study, reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that during the time right after they arrived in America, Mexican immigrants were nearly twice as likely to experience depression or anxiety issues. People between 18 and 25 have the greatest risk of being depressed, nearly four and a half times greater than Mexican peers who don't emigrate. (Medpage Today, 4/5/11)
People with Income Loss, Low Income More Likely to Have Mental Health Conditions: People who have experienced a drop income are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety disorders and drug abuse and those in low income brackets had high rates of mental health conditions, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed surveys conducted three years apart of almost 35,000 adults in the U.S. that assessed participants for a range of mental health conditions and also asked about household income. About 1 in 5 of all those interviewed had a mental health condition. Lower income was linked with a higher rate of almost all mental health conditions, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders. Survey respondents whose household income dropped between surveys were also at an increased risk of mood and anxiety disorders and substance use compared to participants whose income didn't drop. The research, which appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry, did not show that poverty or a drop in income directly causes mental illness. (Reuters, 4/5/11)
Stay Up to Date With More News, Views and Tools
- Read our blog: Chiming In
- Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MentalHealthAm
- Become a Fan of Mental Health America on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthamerica
- New national survey shows economic downturn taking toll on Americans' mental health
- Join Mental Health America's Advocacy Network
- Check out previous issues of Mental Health in the Headlines
Mental Health in the Headlines is produced weekly by Mental Health America. Staff: Steve Vetzner, senior director, Media Relations.
To subscribe to Mental Health in the Headlines, visit http://www.nmha.org/go/action/subscribe.
To unsubscribe to Mental Health in the Headlines, visit http://takeaction.mentalhealthamerica.net/site/CO
To find out more about the Mental Health America, including how to make a tax-deductible contribution to help support Mental Health in the Headlines and the association's other educational activities, visit http://mentalhealthamerica.net/ or call 800-969-6MHA (6642).
For comments and suggestions, send an e-mail to Mental Health America at email@example.com.