Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of November 29, 2010
Mental Health in the Headlines offers summaries of the latest news and views 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Depression and diabetes are closely linked and one can cause the other condition…more
Health Law May Produce Rebates
The new health care law’s regulations requiring insurers spend at least 80 percent of their revenue on direct medical care might produce rebates for millions of Americans starting in 2012. The regulations closely follow recommendations by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) after months of meetings and debate involving industry and consumer representatives. The government estimates that 45 percent of people who buy their own coverage are in plans that currently don’t meet the standard. If the law were in effect now, about 9 million would get rebates. (Kaiser Health News, 11/22/10)
Massachusetts Program Increases Access to Pediatric Mental Health Care
A Massachusetts program that offers free mental health consultations to pediatric primary care physicians increased the proportion of pediatricians who said they were able to meet the needs of their psychiatric patients from 8 percent to 63 in 3.5 years. The program could be a model for how to at increase access to psychiatric care among children and adolescents, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. The program divided the state of Massachusetts into six regions. Each region was serviced by one team of at least one child psychiatrist, one child and family psychotherapist, and one care coordinator. (Internal Medicine News, 11/23/10)
Advocates Criticize Hawaii Mental Health Cuts
Hawaii mental health advocates says changes limiting the eligibility for state mental health services contributed to a 36 percent rise in deaths among patients in 2009 from the year before. The state Department of Health in July 2009 halted treatment of new patients for several mental health problems, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, personality disorder and major depression. The department held a public hearing after a lawsuit was filed several months ago, which charged the state failed to follow rule-making procedures. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 11/23/10)
Justice Department Launches Probe of NC’s Mental Health System
The U.S. Justice Department has launched a formal investigation into North Carolina's mental health system. The probe arises from a complaint filed in July by the advocacy group Disability Rights North Carolina that charges the state is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by failing to provide proper housing for people with mental illness. Vicki Smith, the executive director of Disability Rights, said the federal investigation could force the state to take actions to fix the mistakes made during North Carolina’s 2001 reform effort, which has resulted in people with mental illness languishing for days in emergency rooms because no bed in a psychiatric facility is available. (The News & Observer, 11/25/10)
Rate of Eating Disorders in Children, Teens Rises
The rate of eating disorders among children and teens has risen over the last few decades, a federal report finds. Some of the sharpest increases occurred in boys and minority youths, according to an analysis by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It found that that hospitalizations for eating disorders jumped by 119 percent between 1999 and 2006 for kids younger than 12. (HealthDay News, 11/29/10
Suicide Rate Among Off-Duty National Guard Soldiers Doubles in Year
New Army statistics show that twice as many off-duty National Guard soldiers took their own lives this year than in 2009. But suicides among Army soldiers on active duty appear to be leveling off, new Army statistics show. Eighty-six non-active-duty Guard completed suicide in the first 10 months of 2010, compared with 48 such suicides in all of 2009. Army officials say the reasons could be linked to the economy, including home foreclosures, debt and the loss of a job. (USA Today, 11/26/10)
Being Grateful Improves Well-Being, Research Shows
A body of research that finds being grateful improves well-being also shows that children who express gratitude achieve more. Adults who feel grateful have a more positive attitude than those who do not. They're also less likely to be depressed or abuse alcohol. (Wall Street Journal, 11/23/10)
The New York Times examines the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among the general public.
The Green Bay Press Gazette reports on the high suicide rate among Native Americans.
Medscape profiles an Army psychiatrist who is working to combat soldier suicides.
A Boston Globe piece examines a new field of research that is probing the physiological and neurological effects of being bullied.
The Hartford Courant profiles a program that brings together Mental Health Care Providers, Teachers and Parents.
The Houston Chronicle reports on the need for mental health care in schools.
Correlation Between Depression and Diabetes Found: Depression and diabetes are closely linked and one can cause the other condition, researchers say. They followed nearly 55,000 nurses over ten years and documented their conditions of depression and diabetes through questionnaires. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found a 17 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes among the 7,400 nurses that had depression symptoms, and a 29 percent greater risk of developing depression among the 2,800 nurses that developed diabetes. Researchers say there may be a biological connection. People with depression symptoms often have chronic stress, and certain stress hormones such as cortisol may lead to abnormal glucose metabolism, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. They cautioned that other factors such as obesity could influence results. (HealthDay News, 11/22/10)
Retirement Good for Mental Health: Retirement can reduce depression andfatigue, a new study asserts. Researchers followed French workers for 14 years, seven before retirement and seven after. Study participants filled out a detailed questionnaire describing their health and mental status annually. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that in the year immediately after retirement, the participants reported 40 percent fewer depressive symptoms than they had in the year before their retirement. The researchers also found an 81 percent drop in reports of both mental and physical fatigue over the same time period. Researchers say the declines could be due to the absence of the stress of work and generous pensions. (Time, 11/26/10)
Early Marijuana Use May Cause Cognitive Problems: Early users of marijuana may have cognitive difficulties later in life compared to those who start using marijuana in later years, according to new research. Researchers compared 35 chronic marijuana users and compared them to 28 healthy volunteers. About half of the chronic marijuana users started smoking prior to age 16 while the rest started afterwards. Cognitive testing found the healthy group outperformed both groups of chronic marijuana users on several measures. In addition, the more marijuana a person used in adolescence, the more trouble they had with focus and attention. (USA Today, 11/19/10)
HEADLINES at Mental Health America
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
MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA Media Highlights
The holidays definitely intensify stress, according to Mental Health America. It says that a person who regularly has money troubles finds them extra hard during the holidays. The Birmingham News, “Birmingham counselors suggest ways to handle holiday stress,” November 25, 2010
The holidays most likely will be a source of stress for some. According to Mental Health America, the biggest stressor for Americans during this time of year is financial. Daily Herald (Provo, UT), “Avoiding holiday season pit falls to stay healthy, wealthy, sane,” November 25, 2010
Stay Up to Date With More News, Views and Tools
- New national survey shows economic downturn taking toll on Americans’ mental health
- Survey reveals obstacles to health care for people who have schizophrenia
- New report reveals link between states’ depression status and access to treatment
- 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. Mental Health America's Mental Health in the Headlines staff: Steve Vetzner, senior director, Media Relations; Robert Redpath, director, Web Technology.
To subscribe to Mental Health in the Headlines, visit http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/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 firstname.lastname@example.org.