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Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of May 19, 2014

 

Week of May 19, 2014


Mental Health in the Headlines is a weekly newsletter providing the latest developments at Mental Health America and summaries of news, views and research 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.

[NOTE: Mental Health in the Headlines will not publish the weeks of May 26 and June 2.]

NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA

Mental Health America 2014 Annual Conference, September 10-12, Atlanta, Georgia—Parity and the Affordable Care Act: Bridging Gaps to Advance Mental Health. Don't miss this unique opportunity to discuss what we have learned in the process of implementing the Affordable Care and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Acts, and to collaborate to identify next steps and opportunities for action. 

Statement of Mental Health America on “Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act of 2014.”

May is Mental Health Month—Mind Your Health.

May 18-24 is National Prevention Week.

A Look at the Gaps in Mental Health Care—An Interview with Dr. David Shern of Mental Health America.

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.

IN THE NEWS

Bullying Linked to Increased Inflammation: A new study finds that bullying results in an increase in low-grade inflammation throughout the body. Kids who are bullied tend to be sick more often than their peers and may have stomach aches, sleep problems and headaches and lose their appetites, researchers write in the journal PNAS. In the new study, they found that bullied kids had higher inflammation levels as young adults than their uninvolved classmates. For the study, researchers followed 1,420 kids from aged nine to 21, interviewing the kids and their mothers along the way about bullying involvement and taking blood samples from the kids every year or two. They measured the level of C-reactive protein, a marker often used to gauge body-wide inflammation levels, in the blood samples. C-reactive protein levels went up for all kids as they got older, but kids who had been repeatedly bullied saw more of an increase in inflammation than a group that was not involved at all in bullying. The more often kids reported being bullied, the more the inflammation marker increased over time. The study also found that kids who were bullies but were never bullied themselves had less of an increase in inflammation over time than the group of kids not involved in bullying in any way. (Reuters, 5/12/14)

Suicide Rate Rose as Foreclosures Increased—Study: A new study finds a correlation between rates of foreclosures and suicides. For the study, the researchers analyzed foreclosure and suicide rates from 2005 to 2010. During those five years, the U.S. suicide rate increased nearly 13 percent, while annual home foreclosures hit a record 2.9 million in 2010. Recently, a related study published in the journal Circulation had reported that living near a foreclosed property increases high blood pressure risk. Published in the American Journal of Public Health, the study found the effects of foreclosures on suicides were strongest among adults 46 to 64 years old, who also experienced the highest increase in suicide rates during the recessionary period. (PsychCentral.com, 5/18/14)

Large Number of Children, Aged 2 and 3, Receiving ADHD Medication—CDC: More than 10,000 American children 2 or 3 years old are receiving medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) outside established pediatric guidelines, according to data presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, which found that children covered by Medicaid are particularly prone to be put on medication, is among the first efforts to gauge the diagnosis of ADHD in children below age 4. Doctors at the Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, where the data was presented, strongly criticized the use of medication in so many children that young. Because off-label use of methylphenidate in preschool children had produced some encouraging results, the most recent American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines authorized it in 4- and 5-year-olds — but only after formal training for parents and teachers to improve the child’s environment were unsuccessful. Children below age 4 are not covered in those guidelines because hyperactivity and impulsivity are developmentally appropriate for toddlers, several experts said, and more time is needed to see if a disorder is truly present. (The New York Times, 5/16/14)

IN DEPTH

The New York Times looks at “Stories as a Window Into Schizophrenia.”

USA Today begins a series on the mental health system.

The Texas Tribune reports on the revelation a lieutenant governor candidate had received treatment for depression in the 1980s.

LATEST RESEARCH

People with Mental Health Conditions More Likely to Use E-Cigarettes: People with mental health conditions were twice as likely to use electronic cigarettes, according to a new study. They were also three times more likely to be current users of e-cigarettes than people without mental health conditions. About 15 percent of people with mental health conditions had tried e-cigarettes and about 3 percent were currently using them, compared with 6.6 percent and about 1 percent, respectively, among those without mental health conditions. More than 10,000 Americans were surveyed by the study authors, who found that nearly 28 percent of current smokers said they had mental health conditions, compared with about 13 percent of nonsmokers. More than 60 percent of smokers with mental health disorders said they were likely or very likely to try e-cigarettes in the future, compared with about 45 percent of smokers without mental health conditions, according to the findings published online in the journal Tobacco Control. (HealthDay News, 5/13/14)

MORE NEWS AND VIEWS

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Mental Health in the Headlines is produced weekly by Mental Health America. Staff: Steve Vetzner, senior director, Media Relations.

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