August 2005
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
Jul   Sep

Channels
Children & Adolescents
Dual Diagnosis
Health Care Systems
Leadership
United States
United Kingdom
New Zealand & Australia

IIMHL UPDATE Home Page
User's Guide
Feature Articles Index

Links
IIMHL
SAMHSA (US)
NIMH (UK)
MOH(NZ)
MHCA


IIMHL Update is researched,
edited and designed
by Bill Davis.

For information about the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, please contact Fran Silvestri.











Transforming Mental Health Care in America - The Federal Action Agenda: First Steps
This issue of IIMHL update features the recently released report from SAMHSA, "The Federal Action Agenda: First Steps," detailing the continuing transformation of the Mental Health system in the United States. You can read the full report and there is also an executive summary available.



daily link  Monday, August 08, 2005


Congress to Consider Major Medicaid Changes in September, Grassroots Advocacy Campaign Needed During Congressional Recess Action Alert at the NAMI web site - " This week the House and Senate began a month long summer recess, during which members of Congress will be in their states and districts across the country. One of the major issues Congress will confront upon their return to work in September is how to reduce future Medicaid expenditures by $10 billion over the next five years. These reductions to Medicaid will be considered as a part of a massive budget 'reconciliation' measure that Congress is supposed to complete sometime in the fall. This "reconciliation" legislation will include a number of programmatic changes to Medicaid that could have an enormous impact on beneficiaries (both children and adults) living with mental illness. NAMI is very concerned that these reductions to Medicaid do not adversely impact on access to treatment support services for Medicaid beneficiaries living with mental illness."  
comment []  permalink  


FDA Responds to Criticism With New Caution August 6 New York Times article - "Stung by a series of drug safety scandals, the Food and Drug Administration has in recent months issued a blizzard of drug-safety warnings and approval times for new drugs are slower. The agency is issuing twice the number of public advisories about drug risks as it did a year ago and adding five times as many black box warnings - its most serious alert - to drug labels. And drugs approved in the first half of this year took almost twice as long to get that approval as drugs approved in the same period last year. This new conservatism, a response to fierce recent criticism from Congress that the F.D.A. has failed to protect the public against drug dangers, has upset some doctors and drug makers..." [Viewing New York Times resources requires registration, which is free].  
comment []  permalink  


Data Behind Antidepressant Advisory Don't Give Clear-Cut Answers  Psychiatric News story - "The FDA's most recent public health advisory regarding antidepressants appears to have been based on seemingly contradictory studies published earlier this year. The FDA's June 30 public health advisory concerning antidepressants was prompted, the advisory said, by 'several recent scientific publications' that suggested 'the possibility of an increased risk for suicidal behavior in adults who are being treated with antidepressant medications.' FDA spokesperson Christine Parker told Psychiatric News that the advisory was prompted by 'two papers of particular interest.' Both appeared in the February 19 BMJ..." See also abstracts of the BMJ studies.  
comment []  permalink  


FDA Alert Covers Cymbalta  Psychiatric News story - "In conjunction with its release of the public health advisory regarding increased risk of suicide in adults taking antidepressants, the FDA issued a separate FDA Alert involving duloxetine (Cymbalta) and suicidality in pediatric and adult patients. The alert largely echoes the language of the advisory, noting that the FDA is 'highlighting that adults being treated with any type of antidepressant medication, particularly those being treated for depression, should be watched closely for worsening of depression and for increased suicidal thinking or behavior.' "  
comment []  permalink  


Texas Health Official Explains Effort To End Mental Illness Stigma  Psychiatric News story - "Deep in the heart of Texas, NAMI members learn about several new initiatives on destigmatization and prevention of mental illness for those living in the state. Government officials in Texas, the state that hosted the 2005 annual conference of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), are setting an example for other states by taking steps to eliminate the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Part of their focus will be on implementing strategies for preventing mental illness in those at risk for these disorders."  
comment []  permalink  


Identifying Patients' Treatment Goals Helps Overcome Noncompliance  Psychiatric News story - "Though many patients with anosognosia refuse to take psychotropic medications because they don't believe they are ill, some may take them to quell loved ones' concerns. To stem what some call an 'epidemic; of medication noncompliance for patients with serious mental illness, psychiatrists must tie treatment directly to patients' goals. This was a key message delivered to mental health consumers, family members, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals who attended the 2005 annual conference of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Austin, Texas, in June."  
comment []  permalink  


Latino Behavioral Health Institute to Present Eleventh Annual Conference Prime Zone press release - "Latino Behavioral Health Institute (LBHI), one of the nation's largest non-profit organizations dedicated to eliminating discrimination against Latinos in need of behavioral health services and health care, will present its eleventh annual international conference, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 20 -- 22, at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Universal City, Calif. Themed, 'Transformation: Towards Access and Quality in Latino Behavioral Health,' the event will address contemporary issues of policy, training, research, clinical practice and education related to Latino mental health, substance abuse, health and human services. Approximately 1,000 behavioral health professionals from the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico and South American countries are expected to attend."  
comment []  permalink  



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. ..."  
comment []  permalink  


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."  
comment []  permalink  


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."  
comment []  permalink  


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."  
comment []  permalink  


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.' "  
comment []  permalink  


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..."  
comment []  permalink  


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."  
comment []  permalink  


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..."  
comment []  permalink  



daily link  Friday, August 05, 2005


One-Third of the Estimated 8.4M Uninsured Children Go Without Medical Care for Entire Year, Despite Eligibility for Public Health Insurance, Report Says Item in the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report - "The number of uninsured U.S. children decreased by about two million to 8.4 million between 1998 and 2003, and 70% of the uninsured qualified for public health insurance programs such as Medicaid or SCHIP but were not enrolled, according to a study released on Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CQ HealthBeat reports. According to the report, released as part of the sixth annual RWJF Covering Kids and Families Back to School Campaign, 20% of Latino children lacked health insurance, compared with 9% of black children and 6% of white children... "  
comment []  permalink  



daily link  Thursday, August 04, 2005


Leavitt Praises Governors on Medicaid  AP story in the Las Vegas Sun - "The nation's governors likely will play an influential role in federal efforts to slow the growth of Medicaid, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. Leavitt has appointed a commission that will recommend to Congress short- and long-term changes to the program, which serves about 52 million Americans. The commission's first report is due Sept. 1. It will focus on ways to slow the health insurance program's growth by $10 billion over the next five years. The commission just had its first meeting last week, raising the question of how extensive a review it can accomplish. Leavitt said in an interview Tuesday with Associated Press reporters and editors that governors have had some of the answers for a long time. .."  
comment []  permalink  


Mental Health Portrayals Praised (New Zealand) Story at Black Enterprise - "The Mental Health Commission has congratulated the country's print media for the way it reports mental health issues. The commission said compared with a 1998 study, reporting of mental health issues last year showed a significant improvement in how papers portrayed people with experience of mental illness. Commissioner Mary O'Hagan was heartened by that and made specific mention of the Waikato Times for the number of stories it ran with a mental health theme."  
comment []  permalink  


Mental Health of War Survivors Ivanhoe Newswire story - "War has exposed millions of people to psychological trauma. While impunity for those responsible for the trauma is thought to be associated with the mental problems of survivors of violence, a new study finds other fears may play a role as well. The study could have important implications for determining effective intervention for traumatized war survivors in postwar countries."  
comment []  permalink  



daily link  Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Outlining the World Health Report 2006 Announcement at the WHO web site - "In response to World Health Assembly resolution WHA57.19, the Director-General has declared the health workforce to be the theme of the World health report 2006. And for the first time, WHO is offering open consultation on the World health report via the World Wide Web and electronic mail. Broad participation is encouraged – from schools for the health professions to national and international financing institutions to the ultimate beneficiaries of health services, the general public."  
comment []  permalink  


Terrorism, Mental Health, and September 11  44-page report in PDF format from the Century Foundation that "examines how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) extended far beyond the New York population directly exposed to the September 11 attacks. Television coverage brought the disaster to a much larger audience and caused full-blown and sub-syndromal cases of PTSD throughout the nation. The report recommends increasing training for PTSD diagnosis and treatment so that primary care physicians are able to refer or assist patients suffering from the disorder. "  
comment []  permalink  


Including behavior in health-disparities legislation APA Monitor story - "Although the adverse effects of behaviors such as limited physical activity, poor nutrition and alcohol and tobacco consumption are widely recognized as precipitators of stroke, lung disease, diabetes and other such diseases, the rising prevalence of these behaviors is still cause for national concern. As a result, psychologists have been developing effective evidence-based interventions to help modify these behavioral risk factors. APA's Public Policy Office (PPO) has been working to inform Congress and key federal health agencies of these interventions and emerging best practices in hopes that they reach more citizens to improve the nation's health status and lower the cost that unhealthy behavior inflicts on society."  
comment []  permalink  


VA psychology conference advocates for new veterans' mental health APA Monitor story - " At the eighth annual Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Psychology Leadership Conference, April 29–30 in Dallas, VA psychologists and top VA and APA officials met to discuss ways to promote improved psychological services for veterans, including those who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Illustrating this year's conference theme, "Strong leadership in uncertain times," top officials including VA Deputy Secretary Gordon Mansfield and VA Under Secretary for Health Jonathan Perlin, MD, PhD--who received word while at the convention that the Senate confirmed him for a four-year term in the position--discussed mental health care's future at the VA..."  
comment []  permalink  


Taking on policy APA Monitor story - "Adrienne Stith Butler, PhD, and Tracy Myers, PhD, have taken their psychology careers on a nontraditional path to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where they address public policy issues ranging from ethnic inequalities in health care to psychological aspects of terrorism. As IOM program officers, they assemble and oversee interdisciplinary committees that examine policy issues related to public health. Based on their investigations, which are sometimes congressionally mandated, the committees produce reports that help to inform policy-makers and the public about health care, research and education. For example, one recent IOM report highlighted ways to increase the number of minority health-service providers."  
comment []  permalink  


Mentally ill more likely victim than perp Science Daily story - "A Northwestern University study indicates severely mentally ill people are more likely victims rather than perpetrators of violence. Researchers at the university's Feinberg School of Medicine say more than one-fourth of individuals with severe mental illness were victims of violent crime during 2004 -- a rate nearly 12 times that of the general population. Depending on the type of violent crime, prevalence was six to 23 times greater among people with severe mental illness than among the general population, said lead author Linda Teplin, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Feinberg..."  
comment []  permalink  


Cognitive Therapy Reduces Repeat Suicide Attempts by 50 Percent  National Institute of Mental Health press release - "Recent suicide attempters treated with cognitive therapy were 50 percent less likely to try to kill themselves again within 18 months than those who did not receive the therapy, report researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A targeted form of cognitive therapy designed to prevent suicide proved better at lifting depression and feelings of hopelessness than the usual care available in the community, according to Gregory Brown, Ph.D., Aaron Beck, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues, who published their findings in the August 3, 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "  
comment []  permalink  


Cambodian refugees feel stress decades later Reuters AlertNet story - "A majority of Cambodian refugees settled in the United States suffer from post-traumatic stress, deep depression or alcoholism decades after surviving their country's 1970s genocide, a study said on Tuesday. A survey of Cambodians who are representative of the 175,000 who have taken refuge in the United States found practically all had lingering effects from nearly starving to death and witnessing relatives and friends being murdered. An estimated 3 million died during the 1975-79 reign of the Khmer Rouge and in civil wars before and after. The prevalence of psychiatric illness found among Cambodian refugees is indicative of a larger crisis affecting the world's 42 million refugees, based on other reports published in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which focused on the subject of violence." See also the free JAMA abstract, the summary of articles on "Violence and Human Rights" in the current issue and the abstracts of other articles of note - Cognitive Therapy for the Prevention of Suicide Attempts, Psychiatric and Cognitive Effects of War in Former Yugoslavia: Association of Lack of Redress for Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Reactions, Predisplacement and Postdisplacement Factors Associated With Mental Health of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: A Meta-analysis, and the free article, Adult Schizophrenia Following Famine.   
comment []  permalink  


Geriatic pyschiatry grant recognizes growing mental health needs of seniors Medical News Today story - "The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has made a $984,000 grant to the University of Rochester Medical Center to support the training of physician scientists for research careers in geriatric mental health. 'America is aging, at least one third of older people suffer from a mental disorder, and yet we have a critical, nationwide shortage of researchers trained in geriatric mental health,' said Jeffrey M. Lyness, M.D., director of the Program in Geriatrics and Neuropsychiatry at the medical center. 'Mental health problems like depression and dementias cause as much suffering as common medical conditions like heart disease and cancer, and we urgently need more researchers to identify fundamental disease mechanisms and develop the treatments of the future.' "  
comment []  permalink  



daily link  Monday, August 01, 2005


Dual Eligibles: Medicaid’s Role for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Fact sheet (in PDF format) from the Kaiser Family Foundation - "This fact sheet describes the over 7.5 million 'dual eligibles,' the low-income elderly and persons with disabilities who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, why this population needs Medicaid, what services they receive from Medicaid, and the current policy challenges related to dual eligibles, including the new Medicare prescription drug benefit."  
comment []  permalink  


State of California Medi-Cal Redesign Report (in PDF format) called to our attention by Open Minds - "California’s Medi-Cal Program provides medical assistance for qualified individuals with low income under Title XIX of the Federal Social Security Act. The California Department of Health Services (DHS) administers the program with the federal government providing a matching Medicaid reimbursement rate of 50 percent. Currently, Medi-Cal provides health care services to 6.6 million Californians – just under one in five Californians receive their health coverage through the Medi-Cal program. Medi-Cal has been providing health care services to Californians since 1965. It is the health care funding source for low-income children, their parents, pregnant women, and seniors and persons with disabilities. In addition to providing those benefits that are required by federal law, California is one of eight States that provide a wide range of optional benefits. "  
comment []  permalink  


State of Georgia Gap Analysis for Mental Health Services - Final Report  Index of the final report to the state of Georgia from APS Healthcare, called to our attention by Open Minds - "Established by a Federal mandate, Georgia’s Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council has the oversight responsibility for providing ongoing guidance to the Department of Human Resources, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Disease (DMHDDAD) on services and system design throughout the state. The Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council requested a Gap Analysis of the mental health delivery system that serves Georgia. This Mental Health Gap Analysis provides a comprehensive assessment of the state’s publicly funded mental health system, the system of care paid for by federal, state, and local tax dollars to support adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and children and adolescents with Serious Emotional Disorders (SED)." The link above points to an HTML version. The report is also available in PDF format.  
comment []  permalink  


Mental health courts require access to effective community mental health services  Item in CMHA/Ontario Mental Health Notes - "People who were diverted through a mental health court did not experience reductions in psychiatric symptoms, suggesting the need for more effective and adequate community mental health services, according to a recent study in Psychiatric Services. According to the authors, a variety of studies have demonstrated that diverting defendants with mental illness from the criminal justice system into mental health treatment result in increased access to treatment and better quality of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the increased access to mental health services achieved through diversion resulted in improved clinical outcomes for defendants with mental illness."  
comment []  permalink  


Strategies for a participant-centred approach to research Item in CMHA/Ontario's Mental Health Notes - "Conducting a participant-centred research study with people with severe and persistent mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless requires fundamental changes in research design and methods, according to an article in the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. The paper appears in a special issue of the journal focusing on the Community Mental Health Evaluation Initiative (CMHEI), which evaluated the effectiveness of various community mental health programs. This paper is based on research on the intensive case management (ICM) program of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ottawa Branch, conducted jointly by CMHA and the Centre for Research on Community Services at the University of Ottawa. "  
comment []  permalink  


Homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse increase incarceration time  Item in CMHA/Ontario's Mental Health Notes based on an article in the July Psychiatric Services - " A study published in Psychiatric Services suggests that individuals who are homeless and have severe mental disorders with co-occurring substance-related disorders stay longer in jail than others charged with similar crimes. This study was designed to assess the relationships between homelessness, mental disorder and amount of time spent incarcerated..."  
comment []  permalink  


Securing better mental health for older adults (UK) A document from the UK Department of Health that "marks the start of a new initiative to combine forces across mental health and older people’s services to ensure that older people with mental illness do not miss out on the improved services that younger adults or those without mental illness have seen. It provides a vision for how all mainstream health and social care services, with the support of specialist services, should work together to secure better mental health for older adults, and describes how the Department of Health is aiming to help deliver this." The link above leads to an HTML version of the document, which is also available in PDF format.  
comment []  permalink  


Magnetic Stimulation of the Brain for Depression Health News Digest story reprinted at PsycPORT - "Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is well established for treating depression and other psychiatric disorders. Though effective, ECT produces short-term confusion and occasionally some memory loss, and patients require general anesthesia and muscle relaxants. Now a growing body of research suggests that new techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may offer less disruptive ways to use electromagnetic energy against depression, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders, reports the August issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter."  
comment []  permalink  


Premiums for the Poor Washington Post editorial - "The notion of asking Medicaid recipients to pay more toward their health care has a lot of intuitive appeal. Rapidly growing costs for the health care program for the poor are straining state budgets across the country, as well as the federal government's. In private insurance programs, co-payments, deductibles and other cost-sharing mechanisms have helped make patients more informed and cost-conscious consumers. It's not surprising, then, that the nation's governors are pressing for more flexibility to require Medicaid recipients to pay more for their care as well. But the evidence from states that have adopted such cost-cutting measures suggests that any changes should be made only with extreme caution. Those considering changes in the program must make certain that the payments -- even if they don't appear burdensome -- don't prevent recipients from getting needed services and don't backfire by resulting in more expensive emergency room and hospital care."  
comment []  permalink  



daily link  Sunday, July 31, 2005


Historical Roots of Schizophrenia A Medscape CME - "Ethnographic studies have demonstrated that schizophrenia is present in all existing cultures, from the pre-literate to the most highly advanced. Psychotic symptomatology and schizophrenic-like syndromes were clearly present in ancient civilizations. Recorded descriptions of the disorder appeared before 2000 BC in the ancient Egyptian Book of Hearts, which is part of the Ebers papyrus. Psychological symptoms were thought to emanate from the heart and uterus, and were associated with blood vessels, purulent or fecal matter, poisons, or demons. Hindu descriptions date back to approximately 1400 BC and can be found in the Atharva Veda, one of the 4 Vedas, which are primary texts of Hinduism..." [Viewing Medscape resources requires registration, which is free].  
comment []  permalink  


House Passes Association Health Plan Legislation; Proposal Would Weaken State Mental Illness Insurance Parity Laws Alert at the NAMI web site - "On July 26, the House cleared legislation vastly expanding multi-employer Association Health Plans (AHPs) and potentially undermining existing state laws that require health plans to cover treatment for mental illness on the same terms and conditions as all other illnesses – commonly referred to as parity. The vote was 263-165. This proposal (HR 525) would significantly expand the scope of a federal law (known as ERISA), that exempts self-insured employer health plans from state regulation. By expanding ERISA, HR 525 would encourage employers that currently offer health plans for their workers (and their families) to switch away from coverage that meets a parity standard, i.e. plans that cover mental illnesses the same as all other illnesses..."  
comment []  permalink  


2003 Survey Found Teens Hear Prevention Messages SAMHSA press release - "The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today released data showing that youth who reported seeing or hearing media messages on preventing drug and alcohol use are significantly less likely to report substance use. While 10.3 percent of youths who reported seeing or hearing media prevention messages in the past year reported binge alcohol use in the past month, 12.5 percent of youth who were not exposed to media prevention messages engaged in binge drinking. Similarly, 10.8 percent of youth who saw or heard media prevention messages reported past month illicit drug use compared to 13.7 percent who received no messages. In 2003, 83.6 percent of youth (20.8 million) reported seeing or hearing an alcohol or drug prevention message. SAMHSA extracted the data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003, which asked youth ages 12-17 if they had seen or heard any alcohol or drug prevention messages from posters, pamphlets, radio, TV or other sources. The survey also asked about alcohol and drug use." See also the full report (in HTML and PDF formats) and related resources at the OAS site.  
comment []  permalink  


Clinical Support System Available to Assist Physicians who Treat Patients Dependent on Opiates  SAMHSA press release - "The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced the availability of the Physician Clinical Support System (PCSS) to assist physicians who prescribe or dispense buprenorphine to their patients dependent on heroin or prescription drugs containing opiates. SAMHSA, in collaboration with the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and other specialty addiction medicine, psychiatric, pain and general medicine societies, created the support system to assist physicians in the appropriate use of buprenorphine, and to promote improved patient care, research and education."  
comment []  permalink  


Mental health policy 'is dead' (Australia)Story in The Australian - "Australia's peak mental health body has withdrawn its support for a new national plan, which is still under wraps, arguing the policy of deinstitutionalisation is 'dead' and a new model is needed. The move follows a series of articles in The Australian that revealed a growing national crisis of 'revolving door' psychiatric care in hospitals and a push by leading psychiatrists for a radical review of mental healthcare across the country. John Mendoza, chief executive of the Mental Health Council of Australia, yesterday launched a blistering attack on the states for their lack of action, which he said 'fed the revolving door' in psychiatric wards across the country."  
comment []  permalink  


Critics blast veterans' mental health care Science Daily story - "Several Members of Congress blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pentagon this week, saying the agencies not doing enough to aid soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder. 'All I hear is we're doing everything right. All I hear is everything's fine. Everything's not fine - we have suicides,' Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., told a panel of witnesses from the VA and the Army at hearing of the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday. He went on to call government claims about proactive treatment of PTSD in soldiers 'demonstrably false' ..."  
comment []  permalink  


State Faults U.S. Report on 2 Mental Hospitals (California) LA Times story - "A standoff between the U.S. Justice Department and the California mental health department escalated late last week, as a key state official accused federal regulators of unfairly exaggerating problems at two of the four major state-run mental hospitals. Stephen W. Mayberg, director of the California Department of Mental Health, said in an interview Friday that he was surprised when the Justice Department posted a report on an investigation of Napa State Hospital on its website last week that included wide-ranging allegations of improper care at the 1,146-patient hospital ... The report alleged that suicidal patients were not receiving prompt intervention, that patients didn't get prompt medical or psychiatric care, and that employees were dealing drugs to patients." [Viewing Los Angeles Times stories requires registration, which is free]. See also Report Criticizes Calif. Mental Hospital (Washington Post) - "Patients at a state mental hospital overdosed on illegal drugs, were improperly restrained for hours on end and were forced to spend 12 hours in soiled diapers, according to a scathing report issued by the U.S. Justice Department. The report said the problems were among 'widespread and systematic deficiencies' at Napa State Hospital, including suicide and inadequate medical care. ... State officials were given until Aug. 15 to implement 'minimum remedial measures' at the mental hospital, which has about 1,100 patients." [Viewing Washington Post stories requires registration, which is free.]  
comment []  permalink  



Copyright 2003 © Bill Davis.

IIMHL Update is a project done in collaboration with MHCA and the Centre for Community Change International. IIMHL Update is powered by Radio Userland.