Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of August 22, 2011MENTAL HEALTH IN THE HEADLINES
Week of August 22, 2011
Mental 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.
Nearly one in 10 children in the United States has been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new government study…more
IN THE NEWS
Advocates Concerned About Threats to Medicaid from Super Committee
Advocates say Medicaid is still at risk in deficit reduction talks. The group Families USA noted that all six Republican members of the super committee established to find spending cuts voted for Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget proposal, which would have made deep cuts to Medicaid by converting it into a block grant. "As the super committee moves forward on deficit reduction proposals, we must continue to fight for the preservation of Medicaid," the group said. (The Hill, 8/19/11)
1 in 10 Children Have ADHD: Study
Nearly one in 10 children in the United States has been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new government study. That’s an increase of more than 2 percentage points in ADHD diagnoses compared to a decade ago, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. But the researchers say the findings don’t necessarily mean that more kids are developing ADHD. “It probably indicates that children have a better opportunity to get diagnosed now, rather than a huge change in the numbers of children with ADHD,” said lead author Dr. Lara Akinbami, a medical officer at the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. (USA Today, 8/18/11)
Psychiatric Admissions for Children Rose from 1996 to 2007
A new report finds inpatient psychiatric admissions for children between the ages of five and 13 years increased by 82 percent between 1996 and 2007. During that same time period, the number of inpatient days per admission more than doubled, from 1,845 days per 100,000 in 1996 to 4,370 days in 2007. The proportion of inpatient days paid by private sources decreased from 36 percent to 21 percent over the decade. Admissions for adults aged 20 to 64 increased by 8 percent, the study found, but acute psychiatric hospitalization for people aged 65 or older fell by 17.5 percent. The fact that the rise occurred despite pressures toward minimizing hospitalizations for psychiatric illness suggests that rising hospitalization rates for youth more likely correspond to clinical need rather than overuse, researchers say. (HealthDay News, 8/15/11)
Group Says Addiction is a Chronic Brain Disorder
Addiction is a chronic brain disorder that should be treated like any other chronic disease, according to a new definition from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. In a public policy statement, the group emphasized that neurological mechanisms are the key drivers of addiction. The statement describes addiction as a primary disease and not the result of other emotional or psychiatric problems. Addiction takes over the brain's reward system and stifles areas of executive functioning, such as impulse control, the statement says. Genetic factors account for half of the likelihood that a patient will develop addiction. (Medpage Today, 8/16/11)
Amusement Park to Rename Attractions Criticized by Advocates
An Ohio amusement park says it will have new names this year for two Halloween attractions that drew complaints from mental health advocates. “Dr. D. Mented's Asylum for the Criminally Insane,” a haunted house, and a music show dubbed “The Edge of Madness: Still Crazy,” at Cedar Point in Sandusky drew criticism when they opened last September. Cedar Point now says it'll rename the music show “The Edge of Madness: Six Feet Under.” Dr. D's asylum will be renamed “ Eternity Infirmary.” A few people were offended (by the names) and so we're changing them," Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes said Thursday. "We certainly weren't trying to disrespect." (USA Today, 8/18/11)
Kaiser Health News examines criticisms of the federal Supplemental Security Income program for severely disabled children.
VOICES AND VIEWPOINTS
A “Perspective” article in the The New England Journal of Medicine examines mental health and substance use care under the health care reform law.
Stay at Home Moms at Higher Risk of Depression that Working Mothers: Women who stay at home raising children are more likely than working mothers to have symptoms of depression, according to a new study. But mothers who work and have unrealistic expectations about balancing work and family have higher levels of depression than those who expect difficulties in achieving both. Researchers analyzed survey results from 1,600 married U.S. women who had children at home and were participating in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. The findings on stay-at-home mothers support other research that find working outside the home is good for a woman's mental health. (Los Angeles Times, 8/20/11)
Head Injury May Increase Risk of Schizophrenia: People who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, a new study asserts. Published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin, the study found that people with TBI are 1.6 times more likely to develop schizophrenia and the risk was particularly high in those with a family history of the psychiatric condition. Researchers analyzed nine previous studies that included participants who had suffered TBI and participants from the general population that had not suffered TBI. While the new findings suggest the link does exist, they don't prove that brain injuries cause schizophrenia. And it could be that patients were already developing the psychiatric condition when their injury occurred, the researchers said. (Msnbc.com, 8/19/11)
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