Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of September 17, 2012
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES
Week of September 17, 2012
Mental Health in the Headlines is a weekly newsletter, 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.
Maternal diabetes during pregnancy, or economic status, may predict a child's risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)…more
NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
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IN THE NEWS
Obama Administration Details Impact of Automatic Budget Cuts: Budget cuts (called sequester) set to hit federal agencies next year would be “deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments, and core government functions,” the Obama administration said Friday. The numbers came in a report that details how federal agencies would implement roughly $110 billion in mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts agreed to by Congress and President Barack Obama last August as a way to end a dispute over raising the debt ceiling. The 2011 budget deal ordered the cuts if a “super committee” of lawmakers failed to land a deal to cut $4 trillion from the budget over 10 years. The committee failed, leaving the across-the-board cuts as an incentive for another attempt at compromise before the end of the year. The cuts would reduce military spending by roughly 9 percent and domestic spending, such as education, environmental cleanup, welfare services and border security, by 8 percent. The sequester would cut $605 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration; eliminate $490 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and reduce the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration by $275 million. The sequester's impact on the Affordable Care Act includes cutting $66 million of $868 million in state insurance exchange grants and $76 million of the $1 billion in its Prevention and Public Health Fund next year. However, the administration's legal analysis concluded that the sequester did not affect either the law's funding for pre-existing condition insurance plans or the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan program. (Los Angeles Times, 9/14/12)
Panetta—Military Leaders Must Be Accountable for Stemming Suicides: Military leaders should be held accountable for whether they succeed in stemming the number of military suicides, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. Panetta called the rise in suicides in the military an epidemic. "What I've tried to do, very frankly, is to make sure that not only the secretary (of Defense), but all of the military leadership kick ass on this issue," Panetta told USA TODAY in an interview. He also said that the last decade of fighting two wars holds lessons on how to address problems such as traumatic brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Pentagon is facing a record year of suicides among active-duty troops, averaging 33 deaths per month so far this year, according to Pentagon data through September 2. (USA Today, 9/16/12)
DOD Needs More Providers Trained in Treating Substance Use—IOM: The U.S. Defense Department needs more providers trained in treating substance use in the armed forces, according to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. The prevalence of comorbid behavioral conditions "necessitates access to providers with advanced levels of training rather than certified counselors or peer support by individuals in recovery," the report said. The Department of Defense (DOD) asked the IOM to assess the way it handles the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use disorders for service members, National Guard troops, members of the Reserves, and military dependents. The IOM said failure to improve services will result in detrimental effects on the military's readiness and have significant public health consequences on the public health of the DOD. A survey of military personnel found 20 percent engage in heavy drinking and 47 percent in binge drinking, the report said. (Medpage Today, 9/17/12)
Number of People without Health Insurance Falls for First Time Since 2007: The number of people without health insurance fell for the first time since 2007, the Census Bureau reported last week. The report found that 48.6 million Americans were uninsured during all of 2011, compared to 49.9 million in 2010. The rate of uninsured dropped to 15.7 percent from 16.3 percent, the biggest percentage drop since 1999. Census officials attributed the declining uninsured rate to two major factors: More people were enrolled in government programs such as Medicaid; and the percent of people with private coverage did not decline for the first time in a decade. The biggest drop in the uninsured was among people aged 19 to 25, for whom the rate fell from 29.8 percent in 2010 to 27.7 percent in 2011. Health experts credit a provision in the federal health law which took effect in September 2010, which allows families to keep adult children on their health plans until age 26. The Obama administration said about 3 million people have gained coverage from this provision. (The Washington Post, 9/13/12)
Portland Pledges Reforms in Response to Federal Finding of Excessive Force Toward People with Mental Illness: The city of Portland, Oregon, will has pledged to revise its policies on dealing with people who suffer from or are perceived to suffer from mental illness as part of an agreement with the federal government, which found a pattern of excessive force by police. The city plans to pair more officers with mental health experts, bring back a specialized team of experienced officers to respond to mental health calls and help reroute certain 911 calls to mental health providers. The Portland Police Bureau and the Justice Department plan to finalize a more-detailed agreement by October 12, after seeking further community input. The agreement will be signed by a federal judge and could be enforced by the court. Federal justice investigators would provide continued oversight. (The Oregonian, 9/13/12)
Guide Created To Promote Mental Health And Safety On College Campuses: A new guide has been created to promote mental health and safety on college campuses. "Balancing Safety and Support on Campus: A Guide for Campus Teams" is a free online resource and project of the Higher Education Mental Health Alliance (HEMHA). The initiative is being led by The Jed Foundation. The new resource offers tips on how to create and maintain effective campus teams. In recent years, events like the tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University spurred the creation of campus teams that can both anticipate and respond to different types of campus problems or threats. (Occupational Health & Safety, 9/12/12)
Drug Use in One Ohio County Skyrockets: Fatal overdoses from heroin, cocaine, pills or a combination of those drugs has skyrocketed in Ohio’s Lorain County this year. There were 39 fatal overdoses through September 2 compared with 22 for all of last year, 20 in 2010 and nine in 2009.There were 1,544 fatal overdoses in Ohio in 2010, compared to 327 in 1999, a 372 percent increase. About four addicts fatally overdose per day in Ohio, about one every six hours. “It’s mushrooming, and we’ve got to do something,” said Dr. Stephen Evans, Lorain County coroner. “We have to stop these deaths.”
The Wall Street Journal examines the issue of whether ADHD medications are overprescribed.
The Los Angeles Times looks at how neuroscience could yield an understanding of and treatments for autism, schizophrenia, depression and schizophrenia, depression and Parkinson's Disease.
Steven Southwick writes in The Huffington Post on “The Science of Resilience.”
Scientific American examines “Are All Psychotherapies Created Equal?”
Kevin Cook writes in The New York Times on football and head injuries.
The Miami Herald reports on how University of Central Florida researchers are using a virtual system to help ease symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PC Magazine interviews the founder of a California startup called Breakthrough that has created a site that lets users find a mental health provider, and talk confidentially online through a secure video chat platform.
The San Francisco Chronicle profiles Brandon Staglin, communications director of his family's International Mental Health Research Organization, which raises money for research and treatment. The organization has raised more than $135 million since its founding in 1995, and held its 18th annual fundraiser in Napa, California, on Saturday.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer looks at co-occurring disorders.
Author Judith Warner writes in Time on Thomas Szasz, the founder of the anti-psychiatry movement, who passed away last week.
Work Stress May Strain Coronary Arteries: Being stressed on the job was associated with nearly a 25 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in workers, researchers say. In a meta-analysis of published and unpublished European studies, job stress was significantly associated with CHD events compared with no stress in the workplace, researchers report in The Lancet. A small, but consistent, risk was more present in published than unpublished studies. The meta-analysis looked at data from 13 cohort studies involving a combined 197,475 working adults from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and England. (Medpage Today, 9/13/12)
Maternal Diabetes During Pregnancy or Economic Status May Predict Child’s Risk for ADHD: Maternal diabetes during pregnancy, or economic status, may predict a child's risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study. Researchers report in a research letter in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine that children born to mothers who developed high blood sugar during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) were almost twice as likely to have ADHD as children born to mothers without gestational diabetes. The study also found more than double the risk of ADHD for children born into a family with a low socioeconomic status compared to those in the highest socioeconomic class. Children in the middle class had almost a 60 percent higher rate of ADHD compared to the upper-class children. However, fully breastfeeding the child offered some protective effect against ADHD. (Medpage Today, 9/10/12)
Male Stroke Survivors More Likely to Become Depressed than Females: Male stroke survivors are more likely to become depressed than females, a new study asserts. The gap may be due to men putting extra stock into the notion that they will enjoy good health, one of the researchers explained. Published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the study looked at 36 people who had a first stroke within the previous 36 months. Of these stroke survivors, 16 were women and 20 were men. The researchers found that uncertainty about health was strongly associated with greater depression for both men and women. The researchers noted, however, that this link was stronger for the men. (HealthDay News, 9/13/12)
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Mental Health in the Headlines is produced weekly by Mental Health America. Staff: Steve Vetzner, senior director, Media Relations.
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