Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of April 14, 2014 | Mental Health America

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Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of April 14, 2014






Week of April 14, 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.


May is Mental Health Month—Mind Your Health.

Mental Health America Testifies on Mental Health Bill; Urges Changes to Legislation.     

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

Paul Gionfriddo Named President and CEO of Mental Health America.

Help Us Fund Mental Health America’s Exciting Documentary on the Consumer/Survivor Movement.

Patrick Hendry of Mental Health America Wins 2014 Reintegration Lifetime Achievement Award.

The MHA Career Center matches the best employers with the best talent in the mental health field.  Find your employment match at


Mental Health America Capitol Hill Day—May 7: Mental Health America is partnering with the National Council for Behavioral Health for Capitol Hill Day ’14 on May 7—the biggest behavioral health advocacy event of the year. This year, Hill Day will be held in conjunction with the National Council’s 2014 Conference, which is taking place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just outside of Washington, DC.  Registration for Hill Day is free and includes Public Policy Track sessions and workshops held on May 6, including leadership lessons from Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For more information on hotel accommodations, a schedule and to register, go to

APRIL 24—Text, Talk, Act is back! Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health is an hour-long event that uses text messaging to get people talking about mental health and encourage them to take action. Through this event, young people can have a conversation with their peers and give voice to an issue that can otherwise be difficult for them to speak about. This event is geared toward young people, but people of all ages can participate and benefit from it. It's simple: At any time on April 24, gather 3-4 of your friends, family, classmates, students, and/or colleagues; Text "start" to 89800; and Receive polling and discussion questions via text messaging while having a face-to-face dialogue with your group. ​To learn more and to register, go to


Study—Just One Season of High School Football Can Affect Brain: Even among high school football players who've never had a concussion, a small study suggests that changes can still occur to their brains within the course of a single season. The study involved 45 members of a 2012 varsity team. Players underwent two brain scans—one before and one after the season—with a special type of MRI. Throughout the season, each player wore a helmet fitted with a device that can then be used to figure out what forces have been applied to the head. Although none of the players suffered a concussion, the more total hits a player received to the head, the more changes that were measured in the white matter of the brain. The study doesn't show whether the brain changes are temporary or permanent, or how they might affect players' lives. (HealthDay News, 4/8/14)

Civilians in War Zones Also Suffer Mental Health Problems—Study: Mental health problems are common among civilians who work for the U.S. military in war zones, according to a new study. Among the war zone-based civilian workers in the study, one-third said they felt their lives were threatened a few times a month, through events such as rocket or mortar attacks on military bases and the threat of improvised explosive devices. Workers who experienced a higher number of life-threatening events had more frequent symptoms of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and anger, according to the study published in the journal Social Psychology Quarterly. The study also found that civilian workers' mental health became progressively worse as they faced an increasing number of threats. (HealthDay News, 4/10/14)

Quality Early Childhood Programs Help Prevent Chronic Diseases In Later Life: Early, intensive education aimed at preparing at-risk children for school may also translate into better health in middle age, researchers report. The findings come from the latest examination of the long-running Carolina Abecedarian Project, one of the first tests of early childhood education. Beginning in the 1970s, researchers enrolled 111 children from low-income, black families in North in a special day care program. Half of the children received nearly constant attention from trained caregivers for 6 to 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. In addition to carefully supervised nutrition and medical care, the children were constantly picked up, played with, and talked to. Researchers have continued to check on the kids as they've aged, and the early attention appears to have paid off. Kids who received the special day care scored better on tests of intelligence than their peers who didn't get the intensive attention. They also had better reading and math scores throughout their schools years, and were more likely to go to college and to hold skilled jobs. And those who had participated in the early education classes were less likely to be teen parents and less likely to have been involved in criminal activity. They were also less likely to smoke cigarettes or to report using marijuana, the investigators found. (The New York Times, 3/27/14)


Stateline reports on the failure of states to expand Medicaid, which results in 3.7 million Americans with remaining uninsured.

Slate examines “Violence is not a Product of Mental Illness. Violence is a product of anger.”

Kaiser Health News reports on access to substance use treatment under health reform.

AP reports on “Police Taught to Spot Signs of Psychiatric Crisis.”

Medscape looks at “Experts Move to Tackle On-Campus Mental Health Crisis.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer examines “Revisiting a debate: Does psychiatry overmedicate” looks at “The Many Problems with the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.”

Latest Research

Men with Eating Disorders Often Ignore Symptoms: The widely held belief that only women experience eating disorders delays men with these conditions from getting treatment, according to a new study. Researchers interviewed 29 women and 10 men, aged 16 to 25, who had been diagnosed with eating disorders. The men said it took them a long time to realize that they even had the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. Those warning signs included obsessive calorie counting, exercise and weighing, and going days without eating. One of the main reasons why it took the men so long to understand that they had an eating disorder was the belief that only women developed such problem. None of the men was aware of the symptoms as an eating disorder, and their family, friends and others around them were also slow to recognize the symptoms. It was only when they suffered a crisis or required emergency medical help that they realized they had an eating disorder, researchers report in the online journal BMJ Open. (ABC News, 4/9/14)


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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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