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Renewed Government Scrutiny of Antidepressants
March 2004

January 2003

Recent Trends, Challenges and Issues in Funding Public Mental Health Services in the US
March 2002

October 2001


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About PULSE | Channels | User's Guide | Email subscriptions | Publications

PULSE is a free service, gathering new and noteworthy Internet resources for mental health providers, family members of individuals with mental illness, consumers of mental health services and consumer advocates. PULSE is researched, edited and designed by Bill Davis.

NEW PULSE PUBLICATION: The inaugural issue of the PULSE Quarterly Briefing was published in late June and has already received a great deal of praise ("Brilliant" - Fran Silvestri, Director: International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership; "A triumphant inaugural issue" - Paul Lefkovitz, CEO: Behavioral Pathway Systems; "Very useful..." - Elaine Alfano, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law). The PQB comes bundled with two other services, the "PULSE Bulletin" (40 issues/year) and "Recent Resources" (10 issues /year) and organizational subscriptions include access to a set of Internet-based tools for distributing news and announcements. For details on subscriptions, please see the new PULSE Community Site.

daily link  Sunday, August 07, 2005

Peer Support Manual 192-page booklet in PDF format from CMHA/British Columbia = "Sometimes the simplest concepts are the most profound. The CDP strives to build relationships and treat other people and their opinions with respect. It is our fundamental belief that people can and should be encouraged to speak on their behalf. Our role is to ensure that people have opportunities and support to develop the skills to do so. The CDP has evolved to become a leader and champion in a recovery vision of service with the idea that one of the essential roles of the mental health system is to support individuals to connect with appropriate services within the mental health system as well as build supports in other areas of their lives through personal, social, environmental and spiritual connections. We strive to bring alive the concepts of the Framework for Support, CMHA’s guiding principles. A recovery vision of service is grounded in the idea that people can recover from mental illness when they play an active and empowered role in their journey. ..."  

What Can Communities Do? A Community Action Guide to Early Psychosis Intervention Strategies Booklet in PDF format from CMHA/Ontario - "A guide emphasizing the key role that community members can play in the early identification, treatment and recovery of young people with psychosis." The guide notes that "CMHA’s project activities have reflected this community focus by promoting 'ownership' of the issue and the capacity for action by a range of community-based constituencies. The project has:  promoted awareness and provided information to key national stakeholder organizations by preparing articles for publications in journals and newsletters; produced and widely disseminated a range of educational resource materials; developed a strategic planning framework to assist policy makers to move forward effectively; facilitated first-episode family action and mutual support; and raised awareness and improved access to services through working directly with various groups and organizations across Canada."  

A Sibling's Guide to Psychosis - Information, Ideas and Resources Booklet, in PDF format, from CMHA/Ontario - " guide providing information, ideas and resources to siblings of young people with psychosis, guided by the reflections and experiences of siblings themselves."  

Hangin' in There: Strategies for job retention by persons with a psychiatric disability (Canada) Booklet in PDF format from CMHA/Ontario - "This publication is an exciting new booklet that outlines strategies on keeping a job by people with a psychiatric disability. The reader will discover how people with a disability are overcoming the challenges faced in keeping a job. In addition, employers weigh in with their viewpoints on hiring people with psychiatric disabilities."  

New hope for schizophrenia sufferers Research Australia press release at EurekAlert - "Key research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) could lead to the first early diagnostic tool for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. 'At the moment we don't have any biological tests for these conditions,' said one of the authors, UNSW Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Philip Ward, who is based at Liverpool Hospital's Schizophrenia Research Unit. 'Our research could eventually lead to a simple, cost-effective and safe way to distinguish patients with schizophrenia from those suffering bipolar disorder. This is important because a patient can get treatment sooner and hopefully have a better outcome.' "  

Creating and supporting family therapists of color Brief Blackwell Publishing press release at EurekAlert - "An article published in the latest issue of Family Process describes the creation and structure of a training program designed to increase the number of family therapists of color. The authors address the first twelve years, in which the Diversity and Social Work Training Program of the Ackerman Institute for the Family trained fifty-seven graduate students of color. Of those, twenty-seven elected to remain in their program for post graduate training-- a high fifty percent retention rate as compared to other recruitment and retention efforts for professionals of color. Using a bottom-up approach, they recruited students of color while still in graduate school and provided them with mentors, financial aid, and emotional support..."  

Court clarifies TennCare questions (Tennessee) Story in The Tennessean - "Issuing a new order outlining what the state can and cannot do to limit TennCare benefits, a federal judge said officials now have all the information they need to decide whether about 97,000 sick people can stay in the program. State officials said last night they were encouraged by U.S. District Judge John Nixon's ruling, but remained noncommittal."  

Wall Street Journal Examines Eli Lilly's Tactics To Persuade Physicians To Prescribe Antidepressant Cymbalta Item in the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Review - "The Wall Street Journal on Friday examined how pharmaceutical companies' contracts with insurers and medical organizations to sell their drugs sometimes restrict 'unflattering statements about the costs and risks of drugs when they communicate with health practitioners.' For example, Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly offers health facilities a 5% discount for the antidepressant Cymbalta, but the contract states that most of the discount could be revoked if the facility engages in certain actions, including 'negative [drug utilization review] correspondence to physicians.' A drug utilization review is a type of analysis of prescription patterns often used by insurers to identify risky or inappropriate practices and to reduce expenses. Pharmaceutical industry officials have said that insurers or other groups could use DURs to encourage doctors to use lower-cost drugs that might not be as effective. The Cymbalta contract also restricts 'negative educational counterdetailing,' a practice often used by insurers to counterbalance a drug maker's sales pitch to doctors that can focus on recommending generic drugs."  

Faulty Biological Clocks May Influence Addiction Science Daily story - "A gene that regulates the body's circadian rhythms, including sleep and wakefulness, body temperature, hormone levels, blood pressure and heart activity, may also play a central role in drug addiction, according to a recent study published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Although expressed primarily in the brain's circadian command center, biological clock genes have also been found in areas of the brain involved in reward and addiction. A team led by researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and including Northwestern University's Joseph S. Takahashi, Walter and Mary Elizabeth Glass Professor in the Life Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, used mice lacking the Clock gene to examine the possible involvement of the biological clock system in the rewarding properties of cocaine..."  

State plans new mental health hospital in Fergus (Minnesota) Fergus Falls Daily Journal story - "The state is readying plans to move out of the Regional Treatment Center -- by readying plans to build a new mental health hospital in Fergus Falls. The 16-bed community behavioral health hospital will be located on about 2.5 to 3.2 acres of land at the intersection of County Roads 1 and 15, just past Alcott Avenue in Fergus Falls, according to Kent Mattson, an attorney who is coordinating the RTC reuse process. Mattson said that construction of the estimated $3.4 million facility, which has been nearly three years in the making, is anticipated to begin in late September or early October and be completed by May 1, 2006."  

Veto worries local mental health care providers, clients (Texas) Fort Worth Star-Telegram story focusing on Paradise, a Fort Worth community center - "Paradise Center is threatened by Gov. Rick Perry's veto of a bill designed to retain local control of mental health dollars. ...The bill Perry vetoed would have slowed the transfer of decision-making ability from the state's local mental health/mental retardation centers to Austin bureaucrats. Local mental health care providers fear that groups like Paradise will be less likely to get funding from Austin than they are from the local MHMR offices. They also worry that local government won't continue to fund programs because the money would first go to regional or statewide offices instead of staying at home. Some local mental health providers could close, and others could face substantial funding cuts, said Jim McDermott, executive director of MHMR of Tarrant County. In the Fort Worth area, $24 million administered by McDermott's organization could revert to the state for distribution. MHMR centers statewide could lose more than $150 million."  

Mental Health Issues: The Impact of Explosive Growth (Nevada) Red Nova story on the growing need for services in Nevada - "Both private and public juvenile service providers cannot keep up with demand. Hospitals are often on divert status as a result of too many mental health patients taking up emergency room beds, resulting from too few psychiatric facilities being available to meet their needs. One-third of emergency-room beds and one-fifth of detention beds are occupied by mental health patients. And more than one-tenth of the prison beds are also occupied by mental health patients. Sound familiar? Welcome to the criminal justice system in southern Nevada. And that system is feeling the pinch of this growth in a major way. Law enforcement, the courts, prisons and all their related services, have felt the need to evaluate their roles and examine the scope of their duties in order to focus their efforts in fulfilling their respective and collective responsibilities. Legislative changes as the state has matured have impacted law enforcement, corrections and everything in between. "