Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of May 2, 2011
MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES
Week of May 2, 2011Mental Health in the Headlines is a weekly newsletter produced by Mental Health America, 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.
NEWS FROM MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA
May is Mental Health Month 2011: Do More for 1 in 4. For information on this year's May is Mental Health Month activities, go to http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/may.
May 3 is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day-Building Resilience in Young Children Dealing with Trauma: More information, including how to watch a live webcast of a special event in Washington, DC, go to http://www.samhsa.gov/children/national.asp.Mental Health America's Annual Conference, June 9-11, in Washington, DC: Find out how health reform will be implemented; how to start a peer specialist program; and what new programs we are launching. Go to http://www.nmha.org/go/conference.
Although nearly two million American adolescents had an episode of major depression last year, only one-third got any help...more
IN THE NEWSCongress Returns, Deficit Issues at Forefront
Congress returns from a two-week recess on Tuesday and debate over the budget and deficit will dominate discussion. Lawmakers must soon decide whether to raise the federal debt ceiling beyond $14.3 trillion and determine whether changes should be made to Medicare and Medicaid. A group of six senators may also release their plan for reducing the deficit. (The Washington Post, 5/1/11)Simple Screening May Spot Autism in Babies
A simple screening in a pediatrician's office administered during a one-year baby checkup can detect autism-like symptoms in children as young as 12 months old, according to a new study. The test, reported in the Journal of Pediatrics, could possibly provide more effective treatment. The screening also has a relatively high rate of false positives, which can cause anxiety for parents. But early diagnosis and treatment of autism and other developmental delays are thought to improve outcomes, and researchers said the benefits of early intervention outweighed the downsides. (Medpage Today, 4/28/11)Few Teens Get Help for Depression
Although nearly two million American adolescents had an episode of major depression last year, only one-third got any help. The findings were compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service and are based on a national survey of drug use and health conducted in 2009. It shows that about 8 percent of Americans ages 12 to 17 reported a period of depression lasting two or more weeks in the previous 12 months. The likelihood of a depressive episode rises as a child grows older. Girls were more than twice as likely to report an episode of depression as boys. Teenage boys were also less likely to get help for depression. (Los Angeles Times, 4/29/11)Scientists Discover Genetic Risk for Major Depression
Scientists have discovered a gene linked to major depression, potentially paving the way for new treatments. Researchers compared DNA from more than 15,000 depressed and healthy patients. Altered letters in the genetic code were identified that were clearly associated with serious depression. The research, reported in the journal Neuron, showed that the DNA changes affected the gene's activity, especially in the hippocampus brain region which plays a vital role in memory. The research suggests a previously unrecognized mechanism for major depression and may guide future therapeutic strategies. (UPI, 4/27/11)Basketball Star to Receive Award for Mental Health Work
Los Angeles Lakers star Ron Artest will receive an award for his work to promote mental health awareness. Artest was selected for the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. Presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association, it honors a player or coach for outstanding service and dedication to the community. Artest has appeared before Congress to support the Mental Health in Schools Act and raffled off his 2010 NBA championship ring, raising more than $650,000 for mental health programs. (Sports Illustrated, 4/27/11)Films, TV Shows Recognized for Accurate Portrayals of Mental Health, Substance Use Issues
The films Black Swan and The Fighter were among those receiving Prism Awards, which honor accurate portrayals of substance use and mental health issues in film, television and music. Other winners included television shows Mad Men and Grey's Anatomy. The awards program is produced by the non-profit Entertainment Industries Council, in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The council aims to increase awareness and understanding of major health and social issues in the entertainment industry. (USA Today, 4/29/11)Court Rules Suit on Records of Deaths at Mental Health Facilities Can Go Forward
The Supreme Court ruled last month that Virginia's Office for Protection and Advocacy can sue to force state officials to provide records relating to deaths and injuries at state mental health facilities. The justices reinstated a lawsuit against Virginia's mental health commissioner and two other officials. (Associated Press, 4/19/11)
A column in The Capital Times (Madison, WI) explains how health reform is helping a family with mental health needs.
The New York Times reports on a geriatric psychiatrist and the need to integrate care.
Arthritis Affects Mental Health: Arthritis can affect a person's mental health and overall quality of life, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from several national health surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They found that people with arthritis, which includes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, rate lower than their peers on measures of overall health. People with arthritis experienced an average of five "mentally unhealthy days" per month, compared to three per month among those who were arthritis free, according to the study, which appears in Arthritis Care & Research. (HealthDay News, 4/28/11)
Parental Involvement May Prevent Bullying: Children whose parents are more involved in their lives are less likely to become bullies, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed two national surveys from 2003 and 2007 and found there was a particular pattern of parental involvement that associated with kids who bullied. Children ages 10 to 17 who bully had higher rates of parents who feel angry with them, have greater rates of emotional or behavioral problems, and reported doing things that "bothered" parents a lot. Researchers also found that parents of children who weren't bullies talked with their children and knew the children's friends. (ABC News, 5/1/11)
Antidepressants May Miss Some Depression Symptoms: Antidepressants may not improve all symptoms of depression, according to a new study. Researchers, who reported their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, analyzed data from a study of depression treatment, which involved more than 4,000 people with major depression around the country. While antidepressant medications generally worked, all the patients reported certain other symptoms such as insomnia, sadness and problems with concentration. However, the researchers found suicidal thoughts discontinued in all cases. (Medpage Today, 4/25/11)Stay Up to Date with More News and ViewsRead our blog: Chiming In
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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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