Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of September 27, 2010
Mental Health in the Headlines offers summaries of the latest news and views 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Young victims of cyber bullying, which occurs online or through cell phones, are more likely to suffer from depression than their tormentors…more
Report Finds High Rate of Depression Among Virginia Vets
More than one in four Virginia war veterans say they have suffered a service-related head injury and two thirds reported depression, a new report finds. Author Mary Beth Dunkenberger of Virginia Tech University said the real numbers may be even higher because many vets of Iraq and Afghanistan told researchers they were afraid to admit they suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of fear it would hurt their careers or keep them from their families. The report found that 66 percent of veterans surveyed reported suffering from some form of depression, second only to Vietnam veterans. Ten percent cited a high level of depression. Thirteen percent said they had suffered PTSD and 26 percent said they had sustained a service-related head injury. (Reuters, 9/27/10)
Military Suicide Prevention Efforts Fail Because of Distrust, Officials Say
Prevention of suicides among war veterans is failing in part because of a lack of trust among troops with the military’s ability to help them, Pentagon officials say. Other factors include poor training, lack of coordination and a high demand for services. A team of experts spent a year interviewing troops who had attempted suicide, family members and others. In a report issued last month, they recommend that the secretary of defense coordinate prevention efforts. The report also calls for skills-based training for commanders, troops and their families. (Reuters, 9/24/10)
Nearly One in Three Adolescents Participated in a Violent Behavior
Nearly one in three adolescents age 12 to 17 (30.9 percent) participated in any of three violent behaviors over the past year, a national study finds. The study, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), showed that 22.6 percent of adolescents reported having participated in a serious fight at school or work; 16.1 percent reported involvement in group-against-group fighting; and 7.5 percent reported attacking others with intent to seriously hurt them. One of the key factors seems to be family income. Adolescents from families with higher annual incomes are less likely to engage in violent behaviors than those from lower income families. (UPI, 9/25/10)
Impact of Brain Disease on Football Players Receiving More Scrutiny
Scientists are examining the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on football players. Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy has revealed that many deceased NFL players—some of who completed suicide—had CTE. The symptoms include depression, erratic behavior and dementia. Although researchers do not say there is a definite link, they reported that a University of Pennsylvania player who completed suicide earlier this year had CTE. (NPR, 9/24/10)
Congress Considers Protections for Student-Athletes
Congress is considering a bill that would set standards for student-athletes who get concussions. The Protecting Student Athletes from Concussions Act would require evaluations of students who have suffered concussions before they return to play. Under the legislation, all U.S. schools would have to develop policies and methods for concussion education and training of school, parents, students and coaches. The legislation has the support of the National Football League. (CNN, 9/24/10)
HHS Awards $100 Million for Public Health
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary last week awarded nearly $100 million in grants through the new health reform law’s Prevention and Public Health Fund. The grants will support a variety of critical public health programs in states and local communities, including those addressing substance use and mental health conditions. “From providing tools to help people stop smoking to new HIV testing and prevention programs to a critical investment in mental health, these Affordable Care Act prevention grants will help people get what they need to stay healthy and live longer,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. (MHH Reporting, 9/27/10)
Sports Illustrated examines the depression among athletes.
CNN looks at how students with bipolar disorder are even more vulnerable in college.
Victims of Cyberbullying More Likely to Suffer Depression than Perpetrators: Young victims of cyber bullying, which occurs online or through cell phones, are more likely to suffer from depression than their tormentors, a new study finds. Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child and Human Health Development in the US looked at survey results on bullying behavior and signs of depression in 7,313 students in grades six through 10. Victims reported higher depression than cyber bullies or bully-victims, which was not found in any other form of bullying. Researchers say it unclear whether depressed kids have lower self-esteem and so are more easily bullied or the other way around. (ScienceDaily, 9/26/10)
Stress May Reduce Effectiveness of Cancer Therapy: Stress immediately before an individual begins cancer therapy may reduce the effectiveness of treatment, according to a new study. Researchers at Ohio State University zapped cultures of breast cancer cells with radiation and chemotherapy. They found that the presence of a stress-induced protein could inhibit the process that kills cancer cells. The protein, called shock factor-1, allows damaged cancer cells to repair themselves and continue dividing, according to the report published in the online edition of Molecular Cancer Research. (Los Angeles Times, 9/22/20)
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MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA Media Highlights
"Stress comes from uncertainty in the environment," said Dr. David Shern, president and CEO of Mental Health America, explaining the results of a recent survey that found people who had jobs but had experienced a change in their work situation were twice as likely as people who hadn't experienced any disruption to report symptoms that were consistent with severe mental health problems. MyNorthwest.com, “Are you suffering from recession related depression?” September 24, 2010
Stay Up to Date With More News, Views and Tools
- New national survey shows economic downturn taking toll on Americans’ mental health
- Survey reveals obstacles to health care for people who have schizophrenia
- New report reveals link between states’ depression status and access to treatment
- Join Mental Health America’s Advocacy Network
- Check out previous issues of Mental Health in the Headlines
Mental Health in the Headlines is produced weekly by Mental Health America. Mental Health America's Mental Health in the Headlines staff: Steve Vetzner, senior director, Media Relations; Robert Redpath, director, Web Technology.
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