Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of June 21, 2010
mental health in the headlines
Week of June 21, 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
*DID YOU KNOW?
Traumatic sexual incidents may cause serious mental health problems in the years following the event…more
Medicaid Funding Increase Remains In Limbo
It is unclear whether the Senate will move this week to pass a “tax extenders” bill that includes an increase in Medicaid funding for the states. The bill would extend through June of next year a boost in funds that was originally included in last year’s stimulus bill. Many states are factoring in the increase into their budgets, but the legislation is meeting resistance because of a demand from some Senators for fiscal restraint. (MHH Reporting, 6/21/10)
Rise in Number of Older Americans Abusing Drugs
A new government report shows a rise in the number of older Americans who are struggling with cocaine, heroin and marijuana. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that the proportion of people aged 50 or over who were admitted to treatment for drug abuse nearly doubled between 1992 and 2008. The data was gathered from treatment centers across the country. While alcohol abuse is still the leading cause for admissions, the study also shows a sharp rise in the proportion of older Americans who were admitted to treatment centers because they were struggling with illegal drugs. (msnbc.com, 6/16/10)
ER Visits for Misuse of Prescription Medication Same as for Illegal Drugs
Emergency room visits for non-medical uses of prescription drugs equaled the number of visits for illegal and over-the-counter drugs in 2008, federal researchers report. That marked the first time the number was the same for both categories. In 2008, emergency rooms saw an estimated 1 million visits from people abusing prescription or over-the-counter medicines, double the amount from 2004, according to data compiled by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Ranks of Uninsured Adult Americans Grow; Falls Slightly for Children
The number of uninsured Americans grew by 2.5 million in 2009, according to
government figures. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports
that 46.3 million people in the
Many Iraqis are seeking medical help for trauma and
related mental health problems, but there is a lack of services to meet the
demand. Only 100 psychiatrists are available to serve
Study: Pro-Eating Disorder Websites Send Harmful Messages
A new study examining pro-eating disorder websites finds that a vast majority provide "overt suggestions" on engaging in eating-disordered behaviors. Researchers examined 180 websites and the messages that users may be exposed to online. Although the majority of sites recognized eating disorders as a disease, 83 percent provided overt suggestions on how to engage in eating disordered behaviors. Dina Borzekowski, lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Public Health, said: "Some of the reviewed sites present very dangerous ideas and disturbing material that serve to inform and motivate users to continue behaviors in line with disordered eating and exercise behaviors.” (NPR.org, 6/17/10)
Long Waits for Treatment in
The Gulf Oil Spill: The New York Times reports on the psychological toll of the BP oil spill on workers. Slate examines how the disaster will damage the mental health of those living in affected area.
Sports Illustrated looks at how baseball is taking the lead in pro sports in addressing depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Military suicides are examined in the latest in a series of reports by National Public Radio.
Variety of Factors Cause Anger in Soldiers: Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood that a soldier will express anger or hostility when they return home, a new study reports. Interviews by researchers with 676 veterans found that those who had difficulty controlling violent behavior were more likely than others to have witnessed family violence before they joined the military, fired a weapon during deployment, been deployed for more than one year or continued to experience symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Feelings of hostility can make it tough for veterans to try and adjust to civilian life, the researchers note. (HealthDay News, 6/15/10)
Men who Attempted Suicide When Young More Likely to Abuse Partners: Men who attempted suicide before age 18 are much more likely to abuse their girlfriends or wives, a new study asserts. Researchers annually assessed 153 males ages 10 to 32 from relatively high-crime neighborhoods. The men's romantic partners were added to the study when the men were aged 18 to 25. Reporting in the journal Psychological Medicine, researchers found that 58 percent of males who attempted suicide before age 18 went on to injure a girlfriend or wife, compared with 23 percent of males who didn't attempt suicide when they were youths. (HealthDay News, 6/14/10)
Depression May Cause Obesity, But Not the Reverse: Depression may help cause obesity, but obesity doesn't necessarily cause depression, according to a new study. Researches examined data from a longitudinal study of more than 5,000 men and women ages 18 to 30. Throughout the 20-year study, participants' waist circumference and body mass index were measured and they were asked about symptoms of depression. The study, which is reported in the American Journal of Public Health, found that while everyone gained weight over a 15-year period, those who had a high body mass index did not become more depressed over time. Those who reported more symptoms of depression, however, added about an inch more than the group that was not depressed. (The New York Times, 6/17/10)
Sexual Trauma May Cause Mental Health Problems: Traumatic sexual incidents
may cause serious mental health problems in the years following the event,
new research finds. Researchers in
*HEADLINES at Mental Health
Medicaid Extension Still in Jeopardy—Contact Your Senators Today! Take Action.
Pender McElroy elected new Chair of Mental
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Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) was honored last week
with a Legislator of the Year Award by Mental Health
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
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