Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of May 5, 2014 | Mental Health America

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Mental Health in the Headlines: Week of May 5, 2014






Week of May 5, 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.

Presidential Proclamation on Mental Health Month.

May 8 is National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2014; National Launch Day is May 6.

Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Are Preventable. Letter to the Wall Street Journal Signed by 23 Leading Prevention Scientists

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.

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 5 and 6, including leadership lessons from Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. For more information, go to


Partner Abuse Increases Risk of Postpartum Depression: New research links a history of intimate partner abuse to postpartum mental health problems and suggests providers should heighten monitoring of new mothers. Investigators examined associations of psychological, physical, and sexual abuse experienced by 100 English-speaking mothers in British Columbia, aged 18 years and older, in the first three months of their postpartum period. Even though the abuse was typically minor in nature, such as name-calling, any type of intimate partner abuse—before or during pregnancy—was linked to higher than normal levels of postpartum mental health problems. Forty-seven percent of all women who participated in the study experienced at least moderate mental health symptoms. (, 4/29/14)

News Coverage of Teen Suicides May Play Role in Copy-Cat Cases: Graphic newspaper accounts of a teenager's suicide may play a role in copy-cat cases, a new study finds. In looking at several dozen teen suicide "clusters" that struck various U.S. communities, researchers found evidence that local newspaper coverage might have contributed in some cases. Reported in The Lancet Psychiatry, the study found that the initial suicide in those clusters garnered more newspaper stories—with more explicit details—when compared with isolated teen suicides. Experts said the findings do not prove that the newspaper stories were to blame. But the study adds to evidence that certain types of media coverage of a suicide can sometimes create a ripple effect. For the study, researchers state death data to find 48 teen suicide clusters that occurred across the United States between 1988 and 1996. Each cluster involved a community where between three and 11 teenagers took their own lives within a six-month period. (HealthDay News, 5/1/14)

Exposure to Violence Declining Among Children: The amounts of violence U.S. children are exposed to have fallen considerably during the past decade, according to a new study. Researchers conducted telephone surveys in 2003, 2008, and 2011. They asked if children and teens between the ages of two and 17 had been either victims or perpetrators of assorted violent behaviors.  Children 10 years old and older were able to answer the questions themselves, while children under 10 had their parent answer on their behalf. Researchers measured 50 types of violence and found that 27 declined during the study. The study did not show why exposure to violence has decreased. Researchers suggested a few possibilities such as anti-violence campaigns, fewer face-to-face interactions thanks to social media, and more widespread use of psychiatric medications by both youth and adults. (Reuters, 4/28/14)


The Washington Post profiles candidate Doug Duncan on his struggle with depression and recovery.

The Boston Globe looks at “Suicide-attempt survivors go public in hope of aiding many at risk.”

NPR reports “Don't Count On Travel Insurance To Cover Mental Health.”

U.S. News & World Report examines “Mental Health Now Covered Under ACA, but Not for Everyone.”


Women Who Experience Infant Death Have High Rates of Depression, Anxiety: Women who experience stillbirth or infant death have extraordinarily high rates of depression and anxiety, according to a new study. The effects were particularly pronounced among African American women, according to researchers. At 9 months after delivery, the rates of positive screens for a number of mental health issues were dramatically and statistically significantly higher in 377 bereaved women who experienced stillbirth or infant death in the first month, compared with 232 control mothers with live birth who participated in the 2-year longitudinal population-based cohort study. The rates of these mental health issues were similar among mothers who experienced stillbirth and those who experienced infant death, suggesting that both losses can be powerful and traumatic experiences. Although bereaved African American women had similar levels of distress as other bereaved women, they were significantly less likely to have received treatment, researchers noted. The study is the first population-based study to look at mental health outcomes among women who experience perinatal death. (Clinical Psychiatry News, 4/25/14)


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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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