State Health Facts Website Provides Useful Data
A website that provides statistics on a variety of health-related subjects is a good source of information for preparing grant applications, educating legislators, and for other uses. Sponsored by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the website provides information on Health Reform, Demographics and the Economy, Health Status, Health Coverage and Uninsured, Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare, Health Costs and Budgets, Health Insurance and Managed Care, Providers and Service Use, Minority Health, Women’s Health, and HIV/AIDS, on a state-by-state basis, with comparisons to the U.S. and to other states. As one example, the website quickly provides the population of Illinois (12,814,300), the number of Illinoisans living in poverty (2,455,700, or 19 percent of the population), the number of Illinois participants in the Food Stamp Program as of Feb. 2012 (1,831,898), and the number of Illinois residents who are uninsured (1,863,800, or 15 percent of the population). Besides this and other data, there is also information about the state executive and legislative branches and much more! The site is available at the source below:
Thanks to Fran Hazam
ADS Center to Host Free Webinar on Access and Inclusion in Higher Education
SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center) is hosting a free webinar entitled “Ensuring Access & Inclusion in Higher Education: Rights, Rules, & Responsibilities,” on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET. The webinar will provide information about “the administrative, legal, and personal issues related to access and inclusion in higher education for students with mental health and substance use problems, and about one university that is leading the way in ensuring that students have the comprehensive supports they need to stay in school and pursue their vocational goals.” Registration is open until the day of the webinar: June 6. To register, click on the link at the source below:
APA Invites Public Comment on DSM-5 until June 15
For a third and final time, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is inviting public comment on the proposed criteria for the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the “bible” of psychiatry. According to a press release, “all responses submitted via the DSM-5 website will be considered by the DSM-5 Work Groups, which are charged with assessing the latest scientific evidence and recommending the disorder definitions and criteria to be included in the manual.” To comment, register at the following link: http://www.dsm5.org/pages/registration.aspx. The controversial new edition has sparked protests around the world as well criticism in the media and from a psychologists’ organization, the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform http://dsm5-reform.com/, which has gathered more than 13,000 signatures on a petition expressing concerns. And Dr. Allen Frances, who led the task force that developed the current edition of the DSM, wrote in an op ed published in The New York Times: “Psychiatric diagnosis is simply too important to be left exclusively in the hands of psychiatrists. They will always be an essential part of the mix but should no longer be permitted to call all the shots.” At the same time, the APA has dropped two controversial proposals that would have expanded the number of individuals diagnosed with psychotic or depressive disorders, and reversed itself in regard to a plan to medicalize the normal grief that people experience following loss.
New Technical Assistance Tool for Women Trauma Survivors Is Available from SAMHSA
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Center for Trauma-Informed Care has published a new technical assistance tool geared toward making trauma-informed peer support available to women who have experienced trauma and who are involved in the behavioral health system or other human service systems. “Engaging Women Trauma Survivors in Peer Support: A Guidebook” is available for free download at the following link http://www.nasmhpd.org/ota/NCTIC/Engaging%20women%20in%20trauma%20informed%20peer%20support.pdf . The guidebook “is the first product of its kind directed to peers on issues of trauma, and I know it’s going to be important,” said Beth Filson, who co-authored the guidebook with Andrea Blanch and Darby Penney, with contributions from Cathy Cave.
SAMHSA Launches New Web Page on Shared Decision-Making Resources
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has created a web page – Shared Decision Making in Mental Health – that people who use mental health services can employ to learn more about how to make informed health care decisions to help them achieve recovery. “Shared decision making” places treatment recipients at the center of the decision-making process. Among the tools available at the following link http://www.samhsa.gov/consumersurvivor/sdm/starthere.html is an online decision aid to help people make informed decisions about the risks and potential benefits of antipsychotic medications. Other topics covered include complementary and alternative medications, side effects, tips to help people better communicate with their health care providers, and good questions to ask.
CalMHSA Creates Campaign to Engage Youth in Fighting Discrimination and Stigma
The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), funded by the 2004 Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63), has launched a social marketing campaign designed to reach Californians who are aging from their mid-teens into their mid-20s and adulthood. It is one of three age-specific media campaigns that will make use of online, radio, public relations and social media. The goal is to combat the widespread prejudice and discrimination experienced by Californians with mental health conditions. “With this campaign, we are calling on California youth to change their world – and ours – by engaging them to help change how we interact with and think about people with mental illness,” said Dr. Wayne Clark, CalMHSA board president. Later media efforts will target 9- to 13-year-olds to increase their awareness of mental health issues, and adults over 25 years old who make decisions around housing, jobs and relationships and influence how people affected by mental health challenges are socially included, valued and supported, according to a CalMHSA press release. Among the tools is a website http://us.reachout.com/calmhsa/landing2english that “offers visitors a unique, safe, anonymous, peer-to-peer experience.”
A Walk in the Park Helps Boost Cognition in Individuals with Depression
A recent study suggests that a nature walk benefits individuals diagnosed with major depression more than walking in an urban setting does. “Our study showed that participants with clinical depression demonstrated improved memory performance after a walk in nature, compared to a walk in a busy urban environment," said Dr. Marc Berman, who led the small study at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Toronto, with partners from the University of Michigan and Stanford University. The study, published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders, found that participants experienced a 16 percent increase in attention and working memory following the nature walk, as compared to the urban walk. However, both the nature walk and the urban walk increased participants’ positive mood significantly and equally.
U.S. Army Launches Comprehensive Review of Soldier’s Behavioral Health Diagnoses
The U.S. Army is undertaking a comprehensive, Army-wide review of military behavioral health diagnoses and evaluations back to 2001 with the goal of making sure that no soldier was denied appropriate medical retirement benefits. The announcement comes following revelations that some soldiers diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) had that finding rejected during a subsequent evaluation at the Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma, Wash. The Army is currently reviewing those cases and, in some instances, has determined that the original PTSD diagnoses were more accurate. The Army will now review diagnoses and evaluations made at its remaining medical facilities. Such diagnoses are the first step in a soldier’s evaluation for disability benefits. “We owe it to every soldier to ensure that he or she receives the care they need and deserve,” said Secretary of the Army John McHugh. In a related story, a new military report says that more active-duty troops – 21,735 – were hospitalized as a result of behavioral health disorders last year than for any other major illness. Admissions for mental health issues grew 50 percent over the last five years, the report found.
First Film Series to Look at Mental Health Disorders in the Developing World Is Released
“Afflictions: Culture & Mental Illness in Indonesia” is an award-winning compilation of six films about the lives of men, women and children living with various mental health conditions in Bali and Java. Each of the six films considers the impact of culture, family and community on the lives of those with mental health conditions. An International Documentary Award nominee and CINE Golden Eagle winner, “Afflictions” was inspired by a landmark World Health Organization research project demonstrating that the prognosis for individuals with serious mental health conditions is significantly better in developing nations than in industrialized nations. “Afflictions,” released on May 22, 2012, by documentary film company Elemental Productions, is available for rental or purchase at Amazon.
Thanks to NYAPRS E-news
NARPA Conference to Be Held in Cincinnati Sept. 5-8, 2012
The 2012 Conference of the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) – “Celebrating Our Past, Creating Our Future” – will be held at the Millennium Hotel Cincinnati (Ohio) Sept. 5-8, 2012. Featured presenters include Robert Whitaker, author of “Mad in America” and “Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America”; Dr. Clarence J. Sundram, a nationally recognized expert and court monitor for landmark class action cases involving reform in institutions and community programs; Erick Fabris, author of “Tranquil Prisons: Chemical Incarceration Under Community Treatment Orders,” and Susan Stefan, who will present significant developments in mental health law.
PharmedOut’s Third Annual CME Conference to Be Held June 14-15, 2012
Pharmed Out, a Georgetown University Medical Center project that advances evidence-based prescribing and educates healthcare professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices, will hold its third annual Continuing Medical Education (CME) conference, “Missing the Target: When Practitioners Harm More Than Heal,” June 14-15, 2012, at Georgetown University. Among the many topics the conference will address are antipsychotic medication use in children, the ethics of performing clinical trials on people who are homeless; adverse effects of marketing, the history of medical device regulation, prescription tracking, and physician payment disclosure laws. Speakers include Rita Redberg M.D., editor-in-chief of the Archives of Internal Medicine, and Carl Elliott, M.D., Ph.D., Author of White Coat, Black Hat. Details and registration information are available at the source below.
Thanks to Elizabeth Saenger
New Research Again Suggests That African Americans May Be Overdiagnosed with Psychosis
A study by Howard University researchers, whose preliminary results were reported at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in May 2012, suggests that the “culture-bound” nature of diagnostic systems may contribute to the overdiagnosis of psychosis in African Americans. Past research had already shown that African Americans are overdiagnosed with schizophrenia. As just one example, a 2004 study analyzing data from 2,311 individuals in Indiana who received inpatient psychiatric treatment over an eight-year period found that African Americans were four times as likely as their white counterparts to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. “Overdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of schizophrenia among African American clients is a longstanding and critical disparity in mental health services,” the researcher wrote.
Thanks to NYAPRS E-news
Recent Study Finds Bias in Mental Health Drug Research
When thousands of psychiatrists attend the American Psychiatric Association (APA) annual meeting, the presentations they hear about research into drug treatments report overwhelmingly on positive results, according to a study published in the June 2012 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Of 278 studies presented at the 2009 and 2010 APA meetings that compared at least two medicines against each other for any psychiatric illness, the researchers found that 195 had been supported by industry, and 83 funded by other means. Of the industry-supported studies, 97.4 percent reported results that were positive toward the medicine that the study was designed to test, and 2.6 percent reported mixed results. No industry-sponsored studies with negative results were found. In contrast, when industry was not the source of funding, 68.7 percent of the presentations were positive, and 24.1 percent contained mixed results, while 7.2 percent contained negative results. “This analysis suggests that the APA meeting might be being used as an opportunity to make drugs seem more effective than they are,” said Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., who led the study while in his residency at Yale. Meanwhile, research on such treatments as cognitive behavioral therapy – which doesn’t have industry backing – gets less attention, even though there is growing evidence that such non-drug therapies can have as much effect as medicines in conditions such as depression, according to Science Daily.
You Are Invited to a Monthly National Networking Teleconference!
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse invites you to participate in our monthly national networking teleconferences, which usually take place the third Monday of every month at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. (If the third Monday is a national holiday, the call will take place the fourth Monday.) The call-in number is 866-906-0123; the pass code is 5037195#. The purpose of the call is for peer movement leaders from around the U.S. to get together, share information, and “network.” Join us! The next call will take place on Monday, June 18, at 1 p.m. ET. If you have a topic or topics you would like to see discussed on this call, please write to Susan Rogers email@example.com with the words “National Teleconference Agenda” in the subject line.
Do You Operate, or Know of, a Warm Line?
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is assembling a list of warm lines around the country. If you operate or know of a warm line, please share this information with us by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800-553-4539.
Consumer-Driven Services Directory
The Clearinghouse welcomes all programs in which consumers play a significant role in leadership and operation to apply for inclusion in its Directory of Consumer-Driven Services. The directory, accessible at http://www.cdsdirectory.org, is searchable by location, type of organization, and targeted clientele, and serves as a free resource for consumers, program administrators and researchers. Apply online at http://www.cdsdirectory.org/contact, via fax at 215-636-6312, or by phone at 800-553-4KEY (4539). To receive an application by mail, write to email@example.com or NMHCSH Clearinghouse, 1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
About The Key Update
The Key Update is the free monthly e-newsletter of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse Volume 8 No.11, May 2012, http://www.mhselfhelp.org
To subscribe send a message to: subscribe thekey. To unsubscribe send a message to: unsubscribe thekey. For content, reproduction or publication information, contact Susan Rogers at 215-751-1800 x288 or firstname.lastname@example.org.