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Mental Health in the Headlines: November 4, 2013

TODAY’S HEADLINE

Women working in Head Start programs report higher than expected levels of mental and overall health problems compared with other American women with the same social and demographic characteristics…more

NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA

Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace Begins October 1: Mental Health America has just released a new toolkit with a wealth of information and resources.

Mental Health America Produces Comprehensive, Objective Resource Describing Principal Complementary and Alternative Treatments for Mental Health Conditions.

Mental Health America is soliciting applications for the position of President and CEO.

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.

NEWS FOR THE FIELD

SAMHSA Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Toolkit:The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a training resource toolkit, developed through the Enrollment Coalitions Initiative, entitled “Getting Ready for the Health Insurance Marketplace.”  The toolkit will assist organizations with outreach, education and enrollment of individuals in the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is composed of three sections: A description of the health care law, how it works, and why it is important for uninsured individuals with behavioral health conditions; An explanation of how the Health Insurance Marketplace works, how to apply for health coverage and where to get help; and Numerous communication ideas and materials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that can be used to raise awareness and encourage uninsured individuals to enroll. The toolkit has been developed in six slightly different 30-minute, interactive formats, each of which can be accessed and viewed online: http://tiny.cc/GettingReady(General information); http://tiny.cc/CommunityPrevention;http://tiny.cc/ConsumerPeerFamily;http://tiny.cc/HomelessServices;http://tiny.cc/CriminalJustice;http://tiny.cc/TreatmentProviders.

Become a Champion for Coverage: Help make sure all Americans can get the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. Go tohttp://marketplace.cms.gov/help-us/champion.html.

National Dialogue on Mental Health--Toolkit: In over 50 communities, planning has begun for the community conversations of the National Dialogue on Mental Health. The community conversations page at mentalhealth.govdescribes the basic parameters for these events, and the online map at www.creatingcommunitysolutions.org shows the full range of places and organizations involved. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has also released a Toolkit for Community Conversations About Mental Health to support communities interested in holding discussions about mental health using consistent information and approaches. The Toolkit has three parts: an "Information Brief," a "Discussion Guide" and an "Organizing Guide." These components will help communities and individuals start a conversation about mental health and help identify innovative and creative actions to meet the mental health needs of our Nation. The toolkit is available at o http://www.samhsa.gov/communityconversations/ andhttp://www.mentalhealth.gov/talk/community-conversation/index.html.

VA Mental Health Summits: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will be hosting mental health summits at each of the 152 VA medical centers across the country over the next several weeks. The announcement was made during the Military Family Mental Health Conference at the White House. The mental health summits will provide an opportunity for VA facilities to establish and enhance positive working relationships with their community partners.  Furthermore, these summits will help encourage community engagement in order to better address and understand the broad mental healthcare needs of veterans and their families. More information and dates can be found at http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/summits.asp.

RWJF Videos: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has produced brief videos with leading experts in preventing adverse childhood experiences and mitigating their impact through building resilience.

IN THE NEWS

Study on Concussions in Youth Sports Finds “Culture of Resistance” for Self-Reporting Injury: Students who return to sports too soon after a concussion risk a second brain injury with potentially more severe consequences, according to a scientific panel of experts. A report by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council said there's still a "culture of resistance" when it comes to reporting concussions and complying with treatment plans, despite increased knowledge and some tougher state laws. The report was written by a committee of academic medical experts and looked at concussions in several youth sports with athletes aged 5 to 21 years old. The committee said females and athletes who have already had a concussion have higher rates of sports-related concussions. The panel said a concussion treatment plan that includes physical and mental rest is beneficial, but there isn't enough evidence to make a specific recommendation on the type and length of rest. About 90 percent of children should recover from a concussion within about two weeks. The committee said sports helmets and other equipment don't reduce the risk of a concussion but said properly fitted helmets, face masks and mouth guards should still be used to reduce the risk of other injuries like skull fractures. The committee called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish a national surveillance system for concussions and said more research is needed into concussions among children younger than high-school age. (The Wall Street Journal, 10/30/13)

Parental BiPolar Incidence HIgher in US than Europe: New research suggests that patients with bipolar disorder who reside in the United States have a higher parental incidence of bipolar disorder and depression than those who live in Europe. A study published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavicaalso showed that a parental history of bipolar disorder or depression was significantly associated with an earlier age of onset of bipolar disorder in the US compared with in Germany and the Netherlands. Analysis of self-reports from 525 patients with bipolar disorder from 1995–2002 revealed that US patients had a significantly higher proportion of parents with a history of bipolar or unipolar depression compared with European patients. Specifically, 21 percent of US patients had one parent with a history of bipolar disorder, compared with 10 percent of European patients, while in 15 percent versus 4 percent of patients both parents had bipolar or unipolar depression. A parental history of bipolar disorder or depression was significantly associated with an earlier illness onset, an increased history of physical or sexual abuse, anxiety disorder, rapid cycling, experiencing 20 or more mood episodes, and a higher number of total poor prognostic factors. (medwire News, 10/30/13)

Internet Forums Can Help and Hurt Young People Looking For Online Connections—Study: Researchers have found conflicting evidence on whether online activity poses a positive or negative influence for vulnerable teen. Investigators reviewed 14 studies from Western countries and Asia about Internet use and self-harm or suicide among young people. They found that some studies suggested Internet forums support socially isolated people, helping them to cope. But others concluded that young people who went online to find out more about self-harm and suicide were exposed to violent imagery and acted out what they had seen online. Use of chat rooms was strongly linked to greater risks of suicide—a connection not observed in relation to other social networking sites, according to the study published in the journal PLoS ONE. Cyber-bullying was found to make victims more likely to self-harm, and one study suggested online bullying put both victims and perpetrators at higher risk of attempted suicide. (HealthDay News, 10/31/13) 

IN DEPTH

MinnPost has started a beat on mental health and addiction.

The New York Times looks at “Protecting Children From Toxic Stress.”

Oregon Public Broadcasting examines experiment that puts therapists on primary care teams.

The New York Times looks at “Where Mental Asylums Live On.”

TIME examines “The Connection Between Left-Handedness and Schizophrenia.”

PsychCentral.com looks at “The Unlimited Potential of Online Mental Health Tools.”

Latest Research

Women in Head Start Programs Report High Levels of Mental, Overall Health Problems: Women working in Head Start programs report higher than expected levels of mental and overall health problems compared with other American women with the same social and demographic characteristics, according to new research. These health issues can affect their work, which runs the risk of compromising outcomes for the children they oversee. The female employees reported higher incidences of obesity, asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other physical ailments, according to the study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. Twenty-four percent of the women surveyed experienced enough symptoms of depression to warrant a diagnosis, the researchers say. Twenty-eight percent said their general or mental health was "not good" on most days at work, and 15 percent scored their overall health as "fair" or "poor." The findings are based on an anonymous, online survey of employees of 66 Head Start programs in Pennsylvania, of whom 2,122 were female managers, classroom teachers, and home-visit employees. About 86 percent were non-Hispanic white, 62 percent were married, and 60 percent had college degrees. Their health issues, the researchers say, could be a result of the job. Working with young children, especially those from low-income backgrounds, can be emotionally demanding and slowly chip away at staffers' well-being. (National Journal, 11/1/13)

MORE NEWS AND VIEWS

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