Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of April 21, 2014 | Mental Health America

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Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of April 21, 2014






Week of April 21, 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 responds to a Washington Post editorial on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act.

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


Eight Million Enroll Under ACA: Eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama announced last week. The White House said the figure includes a sufficient number of young, healthy adults. The total number of enrollees exceeds by a million the target set by the administration for people to buy insurance through government-run health care exchanges. Although more young people signed up for health insurance, the number remained below the level that some analysts believe is optimal for keeping premiums low in the insurance marketplaces. The administration said Thursday that 28 percent of those who bought policies were between the ages of 18 and 34, but some analysts said the optimum level would be 40 percent. The administration did not release two other statistics: the number of people among the eight million who bought insurance for the first time and the number who paid their initial premiums. (The New York Times, 4/18/14)

Suicides Among Special Forces at Record High: Suicides among U.S. special operations forces, including the elite Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, are at record levels, the Pentagon said last week. Officials point to sustained combat over the last several years for the figure. The number of special operations forces that have taken their own lives has held at record highs for the past two years, said Admiral William McRaven, who leads the Special Operations Command. Kim Ruocco, director of suicide prevention programs for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an advocacy group for military families, said members of the closely knit special operations community often fear that disclosing their symptoms will end their careers. Additionally, the shrinking size of the U.S. armed forces has put additional pressure on soldiers, whose sense of community and self-identity is often closely tied to their military service, said Ruocco. (Reuters, 4/17/14)

Childhood Bullying Can Lead to Depression, Poor Health into Adulthood: Childhood bullying can continue to damage mental and general health long into adulthood, a new study finds. Researchers say victims are more likely to suffer from depression, poor health and even joblessness up to 40 years later. It is the first study of its kind to look at the effects of childhood bullying beyond early adulthood. The findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, come from the British National Child Development Study, which includes data on all children born in England, Scotland and Wales during one week in 1958. It included 7,771 children whose parents gave information on their child's exposure to bullying when they were aged 7 and 11. The children were then followed up until they reached 50. More than a quarter of children in the study—28 percent—had been bullied occasionally, and 15 percent were bullied frequently, rates that the researchers said were similar to the situation in Britain today. The study, which adjusted for other factors such as childhood IQ, emotional and behavioral problems, and low parental involvement, found people who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and experiencing suicidal thoughts. Victims of bullying were also more likely to have lower educational levels, less likely to be in a relationship and more likely to report lower quality of life. Men who had been bullied were also more likely to be unemployed and earn less. (Reuters, 4/18/14)

Language Problems Common for Kids with ADHD: Children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are nearly three times more likely to have language problems than kids without ADHD, according to researchers. Published online in Pediatrics, the study looked at children ages 6 to 8 with and without ADHD in Australia. It found that 40 percent of children in the ADHD group had language problems, compared to 17 percent of children in the control group. The study included 179 children diagnosed with ADHD and 212 without the attention disorder. Fewer than half of the children with ADHD were taking medications to help control their symptoms. (HealthDay News, 4/21/14)


Psychiatric News reports “Advocates Urge More Cooperation Among MH Organizations.”

Latest Research

Young Fathers May be At Increased Risk of Depression: Young fathers may be at increased risk of depression symptoms after their baby arrives, according to a new study. Researchers used data from a long-running project that began following more than 20,000 U.S. teens in the 1990s. Every few years, the participants completed a 10-question screening tool on depression symptoms. Of the more than 10,600 young men in the study, one-third had become fathers by the time they were aged 24 to 32. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that among fathers living with their children, depression scores rose by an average of 68 percent over the first five years of their child's life. Fathers who weren't living with their children showed a different trend: Their depression symptoms rose after high school, and then started to decline after they became fathers. Researchers found that for men who become fathers in their 20s and live with their children, depression symptoms tend to rise during the first five years of the child's life. (HealthDay News, 4/14/14)


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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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