mental health in the headlines: Week of July 5, 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.
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Teens who cyberbully others through the Internet or cell phones are more likely to have both general medical and psychiatric problems, and their victims are at heightened risk for behavioral difficulties…more
Medicaid Funding Could Be Revisited After July 4 Break
Congress may revisit legislation to extend a Medicaid funding increase for the states when it returns from its July 4th recess next week. Governors say action must be taken soon or they will have to reduce their budgets. The increase in funding has been held up because of concerns it would increase the deficit. But continuing economic problems are creating a greater demand for services provided under Medicaid. (MHH Reporting, 7/05/10)
New Program for Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions
A new program to help people who can't get health insurance because they have pre-existing health conditions was unveiled by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The coverage is a major transitional protection carved out in the health reform law for people whose medical problems have caused them to be uninsured for at least six months. As many as 350,000 people will receive coverage under the program. (MHH Reporting, 7/05/10)
Employees with Child, Dependent Care Support More Productive, Healthier
A study of 4,000 working parents found that employees with child and dependent care supports provided by their employer report far less stress and significantly better health than employees without access to these benefits. The study said that people who work for companies that provide these benefits reported fewer headaches and stress-related illnesses, and were 31 percent less likely to report lost productivity due to stress. The results show that work cultures that promote flexibility and understanding have reduced health care costs, according to experts. (Boston Globe, 7/01/10)
Demand for Psychiatrists Growing Faster Than Other Medical Specialties
The demand for psychiatrists is climbing faster than for any other medical specialty, according to a national recruiting firm. Psychiatrists were the third most requested physician. Family doctors were the most requested. Despite the demand, fewer medical students are entering careers in psychiatry, in part because they earn less. A shortage of psychiatrists will cause problems for the large number of patients in need of mental health services. (USA Today, 6/30/10)
People with Serious Mental Illness Lose More Years of Potential Life
People who have serious mental illness lose significantly more years of potential life compared with the general population, according to a new research. Researchers conducted a retrospective study of death records and case management files at a community mental health center. They found that years of potential life lost for those with serious mental illness was 14.5 years; for the general population, the years lost was 10.3. The authors of the research, which is published in Psychiatric Services, say improving access to primary care by integrating services can help address the problem. (HealthDay News, 7/02/10)
The trauma journalists witness in their reporting can have a long-term impact on their emotional well-being, Voice of America reports.
Patients with Heart Disease and Anxiety at Great Risk for Problems: Patients with coronary heart disease who also have anxiety may be at greater risk for cardiovascular events, including myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, or even death, according to a new research. Reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a study of 1,000 patients found that those who had both coronary heart disease and Generalized Anxiety Disorder had a 74 percent increased risk for adverse events compared to patients who only had heart disease. (Medpage Today, 7/05/10)
Cyberbullying Teens and Victims More Likely to Have Psychiatric Troubles: Teens who cyberbully others through the Internet or cell phones are more likely to have both physical and psychiatric problems, and their victims are at heightened risk for behavioral difficulties, a new study finds. Researchers collected data on 2,215 Finnish teens 13 to 16 years old. The survey’s results, which are reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that teens who were victims of cyberbullying were more likely to come from broken homes and have emotional, concentration and behavior problems. In addition, they were prone to headaches, abdominal pain, sleeping problems and not feeling safe at school, the researchers found. Cyberbullies were also more prone to suffer from emotional and behavior problems, according to the survey. (HealthDay News, 7/05/10)
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Texas ranks 48th in the nation in per capita spending on mental health, according to a Mental Health America survey. "In Texas, we just don't provide for this population," said Ron Stretcher, director of Dallas County's criminal justice department. Dallas Morning News, “Mesquite teen with mental disability struggled in a broken system,” July 4, 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
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- Check out previous issues of Mental Health in the Headlines
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