Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of December 17, 2012
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES
Week of December 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.
[NOTE: Mental Health in the Headlines will not publish the weeks of December 24 and December 31. Our next issue will be January 7, 2013.]
One quarter of cardiac arrest survivors suffer long-term psychological problems such as anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression...more
NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
2013 Mental Health America Annual Conference-Why Wellness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health-June 5-8, 2013.
Tell Your Legislators: Protect Medicaid from Cuts in Fiscal Cliff Negotiations. TAKE ACTION!
Read The Bell, Mental Health America's flagship newsletter.
The MHA Career Center matches the best employers with the best talent in the mental health field. Find your employment match at http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/mhacareercenter.
TRAGEDY IN NEWTOWN: Responses and Perspectives
Mental Health America Mourns Victims of Newtown, Connecticut, Shootings: Offers Guidelines to Help in Responding to Impact of Event; Calls for Action to Prevent Such Episodes in Future.
Wayne Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America, is featured in a story by ABC News: "The Reality of Raising a Troubled Child"
The New York Times: "In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness"
The Washington Post: "Seven facts about America's mental health-care system"
PBS' NewsHour: "Revisiting Mental Health, Gun Control Policy After Tragedy"
Behavioral Healthcare: A Time to Cry for the Innocents, Then Act
CBS News: "Mental health care in U.S. questioned amid another tragedy"
The New York Times: "Children Can Usually Recover From Emotional Trauma"
IN THE NEWSStudy-People Living Longer But More Sickness; Mental Illness Largest Contributor to Disability: People around the world are living longer but with higher levels of sickness and disability, according to the largest ever study of the global burden of disease. The analysis, published in The Lancet, shows high blood pressure, smoking and drinking alcohol have become the highest risk factors for ill health. Mental illness is the largest contributor to disability, according to the report. Close to a quarter of the world's disability burden is attributed to mental and behavioral disorders combined (22.7 per cent). These include major depressive disorder, anxiety, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and bipolar disease. Major depressive disorder alone accounts for 8.1 per cent of the disability burden and is second only to low back pain. This compares with cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, which account for 2.8 per cent of the disability burden. The five-year project, involving almost 500 authors and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, found heart disease and stroke caused around one in four deaths-almost 13 million-worldwide in 2010.There's been a sharp decline in deaths from diseases such as measles and tuberculosis, but chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease now cause about two out of every three deaths worldwide, up from just over half in 1990. (MHH Reporting, 12/17/12)
Survey Finds Shortcomings in Care for Older Americans: Large majorities of older Americans with who have depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders are receiving treatment that does not meet evidence-based standards, according to a national survey of Americans 65 and older. The survey, conducted by the John A. Hartford Foundation, found that 46 percent of people currently receiving treatment say their provider did not follow up with them within a few weeks of starting treatment to see how they were doing - a critical component of effective care. Among all respondents, very few understood the health risks of depression: only one out of five had heard that depression is believed to double an individual's risk of developing dementia and only one in three knew it can double the risk of heart disease. (News-Medical.net, 12/13/12)
Older Adults Who Are Depressed at Increased Risk for Stroke: Older adults who are depressed, stressed, or dissatisfied with their life are at increased risk of suffering a stroke and of dying from a stroke, a new study has found. The study showed that those who faced the highest level of psychosocial distress had a significantly increased risk of having a stroke and up to three times the risk of stroke mortality compared with those with the least amount of distress. In the study, the most distressed seniors were less educated, less physically active, and had more chronic health conditions and antidepressant use. (Medpage Today, 12/13/12)
Child Abuse and Neglect Incidents Fall for Fifth Straight Year: The number of child abuse and neglect incidents fell for the fifth straight year, according to new government data. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) estimated 681,000 incidents of child abuse or neglect across the country in 2011. The agency tallied 695,000 cases in 2010 and 723,000 in 2007. The most common types of maltreatment were neglect (78.5 percent), physical abuse (17.5 percent), and sexual abuse (9.1 percent). The agency estimated 1,570 children died from abuse and neglect. Texas had the most fatalities at 246; Montana reported no such deaths. (USA Today, 12/13/12)
Quarter of Cardiac Arrest Survivors Suffer Long-Term Psychological Problems: One quarter of cardiac arrest survivors suffer long-term psychological problems such as anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression, according to a recent review. Researchers say the problems are under-diagnosed and doctors have few standards for identifying who is at risk. Cold therapy, which can protect the brain for a time, and implanted defibrillator devices, which can re-start an arrested heart, have helped to lower the death toll from cardiac arrest, but little is known about what mental and emotional scars may linger among survivors. Researchers reviewed 11 studies published between 1993 and 2011 that looked at mental health issues following cardiac arrests experienced outside of a hospital and found problems plaguing anywhere from 15 percent to 50 percent or more of patients. Months to years after surviving cardiac arrest, about one-third of patients were depressed and nearly two-thirds were experiencing anxiety. PTSD symptoms were common, affecting 19 percent to 27 percent of survivors. (Reuters, 12/13/12)
Study-Same-Sex Marriage May Boost Mental Health: A new study suggests same-sex marriage may boost mental health. Gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who are married have significantly lower levels of psychological distress when compared to their non-married counterparts, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The data comes from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, which includes data from more than 47,000 hetero- and homosexual men and women, ages 18 to 70. The study found that psychological distress was not significantly distinguishable among people in legally recognized same-sex or heterosexual relationships. There were, however, big differences in well-being between gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women who were married and those who were not in any sort of legally recognized union. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the legality of same-sex unions. (ABC News, 12/13/12)
Texting 911 Expected to Be Available in 2014: Cellphone users are a step closer to being able to text 9-1-1 in case of an emergency because of an agreement reached between the National Emergency Number Association, the Association for Public-Safety Communications Officials International, and the four major wireless carriers-Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The service is expected to be begin in 2014 and will hinge on the deployment of hardware, software, and training at 9-1-1 centers throughout the United States. Known as "Next Generation 9-1-1," the new system will be able to process various types of emergency calls-including multimedia messages-and will be less costly to maintain in the long run, according to NENA. Text-to-9-1-1 would be important in two situations. There are roughly 34 million Americans who are either hearing-impaired or speech-impaired, who rely on texting as their primary means of communications. Also, there are those situations such as domestic abuse, hostage, or kidnappings where if you were speaking your ability to be detected and placed in harm's way would be increased. (MHH Reporting, 12/17/12)
Nonprofit Groups Press White House on Maintaining Charitable Deduction: Nonprofit groups are pressing the White House to maintain the current status of the charitable deduction. They object to a plan to limit the deduction for high-income earners. "It's all castor oil," said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, an umbrella group representing many nonprofits. "And the members of the nonprofit sector I represent don't want any part of it. It's a medicine we're not willing to drink." Nonprofit group leaders say lowering or eliminating the deduction would reduce giving by wealthy donors. Studies have shown that people would donate less if the deduction were reduced. (The Washington Post, 12/13/12)
The Portland Press Herald publishes a four-part series examining why a disturbingly high percentage of individuals shot by police suffer from mental health problems.
Kaiser Health News looks at how health reform can improve care for low-income mothers with depression.
Parents Who Lost Child to Suicide at Risk to Mental Health Problems: Parents who lose a child to suicide are at high risk for mental health problems and subsequent marital breakup, researchers say. Rates of depression were more than doubled among parents of children who took their life in 2 years after the death compared with the 2 years before the offspring's death. They also had a 40 percent increase in anxiety disorders, researchers report in the Archives of General Psychiatry. There was also an 18 percent increase in marital breakup during those two years. The researchers analyzed data from a large health repository at the University of Manitoba, which includes nearly complete administrative data for the 1.2 million residents of that province. They compared mental health among parents of children who committed suicide both before and after the death, and with control parents who had not lost a child. (Medpage Today, 12/11/12)
Teens at Highest Risk for Suicide Attempt in Two Years after Parent Attempts: Teens are at highest risk for attempted suicide in the two years after a parent attempts suicide or is admitted to a psychiatric hospital, a new study finds. Swedish and Danish researchers included more than 15,000 people who attempted suicide between the ages of 15 and 31. The patients were compared to a "control" group of age- and sex-matched people who had not attempted suicide. The study found that young people had the highest risk of attempted suicide within the two-year period after a parent, particularly a mother, had attempted suicide. The study authors also noted that daughters, in particular, had a high risk of attempted suicide relatively soon after their mother was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The suicide risk in both such situations was higher among teens than among young adults, according to the study, which was published in the journal PLoS One. (HealthDay News, 12/13/12)
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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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