One of the major constraints for the promotion of overall wellness is the acceptance of mental health as an important factor in quality of life and the prevalence of physical conditions. National healthcare attitudes to date have been more apt to address bodily illnesses and overlook the fact that mental health does play an integral part in wellbeing. Although Congress acknowledges measures for diagnosed mental illnesses, there is less of a focus on intervention, prevention, and disability support that can be proactive.
In any relationship, the idea of full disclosure can be a terrifying situation. For most individuals, the outcome of this honesty can have an impact on self-image and self-esteem. In people who are coping with emotional disorders, or who discover that symptoms are indicators of a developing mental condition, the act of communicating this to a loved one can become even more daunting.
Occupational counseling and organizational programs that address mental health issues in the workplace are receiving greater attention as the concern over rising instances of emotional imbalance affect the population. One of the greater recognitions for affective work assistance programs comes not through the ADA , but rather through companies realizing that investing in employees not only promotes productivity, but is also reflective of company ethics. Some organizations are also taking the approach that the hierarchy of the workplace itself is a contributor to mental health concerns.
Adolescents face a number of stressors that are often a result of social and psychological development. Many people consider emotional outbursts and mood shifts as part of this transitional age, but some youths are experiencing emotions that could be signs of deeper issues. In truth, many conditions that may become apparent during adolescence are manageable, but the longer they are left unaddressed, the harder it may become for the individual.
NAMI of Merced County has a long history of providing educational resources, assistance, and more to those who need mental health assistance. And after the annual meeting held on May 28th, entertainment was also provided thanks to a screening of the film "Call Me Crazy". The screening was presented to attendees in a 'theater' style setting including candy, popcorn, and sodas, and it played to a full house.
Depression is one of the most serious issues affecting the country today. With anywhere between 15 and 18 million Americans affected by it, depending on the study you look at, it's almost an epidemic. And it can lead to more serious issues including doubling the risk of heart disease and increasing the chance of committing suicide significantly. But unlike other health issues like obesity or diabetes, there are no simple solutions to the problem. You can't just eat less or take insulin to chase clinical depression away.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that, while rare, is still well-known enough so that most people have some kind of vague understanding about what it is. However, it's one of the most misunderstood illnesses in the world. Today, those suffering from this mental illness are treated far better than they were just a few decades ago, but there's still an incredibly strong stigma attached to the disease.
California has one of the most culturally and racially diverse populations in the entire country, with an especially high number of Latinos living within its borders. Of those Latinos, about 80% of all of them in the state are from Mexican descent, making it a very large subset of the population. But for many of them, gaining access to health care – especially mental health care – is difficult.
Television programs have had a long history of shining a light on misunderstood aspects of the health care world, and the new show 'Black Box' on ABC is doing just that. The program, which debuted on April 24th on ABC, concerns a brilliant physician who also happens to be bipolar.
Last week, thousands of UC Davis students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered in the evening twilight, burning candles in tribute to the six fellow University of California students slain by an emotionally disturbed young man on May 23.
Elliot Rodger’s shooting rampage in Isla Vista that Friday night took the lives of six UC Santa Barbara students and left 13 others injured. The massacre, like others before it, has fueled discussion about what families, schools and society at large can do to identify and address mental health issues among young adults.
In the past, mental illness of any kind was a shameful thing, something that was swept under the rug or treated with barbaric methods. Thankfully, today's medical community has begun to take great steps forwards in understanding and combating mental illness. And for some of us, it's something that is a daily issue.
While the medical community has made huge strides in helping to understand mental illness, and while a portion of the stigma associated with mental illness has dissipated over the years, there are still plenty of misconceptions and misunderstandings related to mental health. One of the biggest is that the mentally ill are violent, and this is a myth that the media has helped perpetuate in a big way.
Modern medicine has done great things not only for our physical health and wellbeing, but also for our mental health. As we've come to understand more about mental illnesses and how to treat and manage them, the lives of millions of Americans have been improved significantly. There's no question that we've come a long way over the last couple of decades, and we'll likely continue to move forward with our understanding of the field of mental health.
Out of all of the different types of mental illness, schizophrenia is one of the most dreaded, most detrimental, and the most misunderstood. This is because of a couple of things – the first of which is simply that there are several different types of schizophrenia that one could suffer from.
Police missed an opportunity to thwart Elliot Rodger’s plans before he killed six people.
When a mad man goes on a killing spree, a few questions immediately bubble to the surface. Who’s to blame? What should we do now? Could this have been prevented?
While the field of mental health has made huge strides forward in recent years, there are still gaps in health coverage that exist within some patients who suffer from mental illness. Closing these gaps has become a top priority for the California Department of Health Care Services, which is now working hard to close the gaps and ensure that everyone in need of help is able to receive it.
The Baby Boomer generation is growing older, and by next year they'll all be at least 50. And like anyone, as they age numerous issues may end up occurring ranging from heart disease to cancer and beyond. Health is important for everyone, and that includes the Boomers. But while their family will be able to help in many cases, there are overlooked aspects of their health that are often ignored.
Physical health problems are often easy to spot, whether you're experiencing them or a loved one is. But mental health is a different beast entirely, and in many cases it's common for those suffering from mental illness to not even realize that they're dealing with a problem. And for their loved ones, understanding the signs can be difficult as well. Sometimes, people may just be having an 'off day' or be in a temporary 'funk'.
The research and understanding of mental illness has progressed incredibly far over the last decade. Today, aspects of mental health that were once mysteries have become clear. But there's still a tremendous amount left to learn, including the causes and triggers of some mental illnesses.
Thanks to the human mind, we go through a wide range of emotions – joy, anger, excitement, and more. Because of that, we all end up feeling a little melancholy or 'blue' from time to time. But there's a big difference between being depressed for a day or two and suffering from clinical depression, and at NAMI California we want to ensure that everyone understands this serious, dangerous mental illness.
Tens of millions of people in this country suffer from some form of mental illness. Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common, but more serious illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are also very real and have a very negative impact on the lives of those who are affected by them – the person suffering from the illness as well as those who care about them. At NAMI, we believe that understanding the best ways to go about finding the right help for mental illness is one of the most important things you can do to combat it. Here's a look at some of the keys to doing just that.
In the past, mental illness was an issue that was swept under the rug – patients suffering were often locked away and forgotten or subjected to horrible treatments. Modern medicine has helped progress the understanding of mental illness, and today it is more understood than ever. But it's still filled with mysteries, and understanding more about it is a constant quest for those in the field.
Suffering from depression is a serious health issue – one that affects between 15 and 17 million Americans every day. Thankfully, a number of different treatment options are now available that can help those suffering from depression overcome their problems and get their life back to where it should be. While medication, healthy lifestyle options, and counseling can all have an influence on one's depression, one of the most important things for anyone looking to combat their depression is to have a solid support system in place.
There are numerous mental illnesses that the medical field recognizes today, ranging from anxiety issues to depression and beyond. Two of the most serious problems are schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They're also two of the most confusing issues, largely due to the fact that they share a number of similar symptoms. Because of this, it's often difficult for even professional psychiatrists to make an accurate diagnosis between the two.
Mental illness is a serious problem that affects as many as 17 million Americans in one form or another. From depression to anxiety to schizophrenia, there are numerous mental health issues that can confront someone. One of the most common, but most frustrating and even frightening, is panic disorder.
Ever get a case of the 'winter blues' when the skies stay grey and the weather is cold? Or feel melancholy when a summer day should be making you happy to be alive? For most of us, it's a feeling that will pass quickly – just our temporary blues being made worse by the weather. But for others, it's a very real problem known as seasonal affective disorder, and understanding more about it is important if you've noticed that your mood seems to be diminished greatly during a certain time of the year.
Of all the different types of mental illness out there, perhaps the most frightening and most misunderstood is schizophrenia. This mental illness creates a total breakdown of one's life if left untreated, and can cause social problems, work difficulty, and much more. It's one of the leading causes of disability among those with mental illness, and can cause delusions, hallucinations, and much more.
The need for mental health treatment in California should be an overriding concern for all of us. About 1 in 5 adults in California need mental health support.
A national effort now underway draws attention to the role mental health plays in our overall wellness as individuals and communities. In California, a growing community is working hard to end the stigma surrounding mental health and to increase access to treatment and services.
Take a look at the history of mental illness and its treatment, and if you go far enough back you'll find some terrifying treatments. Everything from electroshock therapy to lobotomies have been used to try to treat mental illness, and today's patients are able to enjoy a much greater level of care than in the past. While those more barbaric methods of treatment are well in the past, those with loved ones who are receiving inpatient care at psychiatric facilities have long had to simply assume that their loved one is getting the kind of quality, compassionate care that they deserve.
WASHINGTON, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is calling for nationwide expansion of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) to reduce fatal events involving police and people living with mental illness.
As families and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness, NAMI California has long been dedicated to breaking down the stigma and discrimination that can stand in the way of people with mental health challenges accessing support and living full and rewarding lives. For three years, we have been proud to partner with the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) to empower people with lived experience of mental health challenges to break down barriers. Together we are using our voices to shatter misconceptions about mental illness, create supportive environments where people with mental health challenges feel comfortable seeking and receiving help, and create resources to reach California’s diverse communities with stories of recovery and resilience.
The California Administrative Office of the Courts reported that in jails nationwide, 15 percent of male inmates and 31 percent of female inmates have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other severe forms of depression. “The Los Angeles County jail,” the report notes, “is often cited as housing more people with mental illness than the largest psychiatric treatment facilities in the country.”
Twenty-four California counties have created a total of 32 mental health courts for adults and juveniles to address the problem.
California lacks a sufficient amount of psychiatric beds for individuals with severe mental health issues, according to a report released last week by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs' Association, HealthyCalreports. The report said that 26 of the 58 counties in California have no inpatient psychiatric beds available. Of the counties that do have psychiatric beds, many often are reserved for individuals who have been charged with crimes.
The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church drew 3,300 attendees on March 28th, half of whom were family members. Over 30,000 more people accessed the event through a live internet webcast. Faith and community leaders, family members and consumers, government workers, elected officials, college students, clinicians, hospital officials, and others, all joined forces at this historic event held at Saddleback Church, in Southern California.
Tens of thousands of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD, but only a small minority commit violent acts. It is extremely difficult to predict those who are likely to explode into violence, according to experts in mass shootings and mental illness.
Lawmakers, patient advocates and the millions of Americans living with a psychiatric diagnosis agree that the nation’s mental health care system is broken, and on Thursday, Congress will hear testimony on the most ambitious overhaul plan in decades, a bill that has already stirred longstanding divisions in mental health circles. The prospects for the bill, proposed by Representative Tim Murphy, Republican of Pennsylvania, are uncertain, experts say, given partisanship in both the House and the Senate and the sheer complexity of the mental health system. And its backing of the expanded use of involuntary outpatient treatment has drawn opposition from some advocacy groups.
Researchers have taken a huge step towards solving some of the disorder’s complex mysteries. Through groundbreaking stem cell research, scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School and the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Researcher Fund transformed skin cells from people with bipolar disorder into neurons that mimicked those found in their brains. They were then able to compare these nerve stem cells with cells derived from people without bipolar disorder – and study how the neurons responded to medications for the condition.
Utilizing funds from Proposition 63, which requires counties to become more effective and innovative in treatment, the effort enlists patients to work alongside professional mental health staff. The patients guide their own recovery and that of their peers.
Mary Giliberti, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, offered the following statement in conjunction with a House of Representatives oversight hearing: "Hospital beds for individuals with mental illness who experience acute crisis are a necessary element for America's mental health care system, but there are not enough beds. Supply does not meet demand. It is not just patients who are in crisis; it is the system as well."
Schools are uniquely poised to lead a revolution in prevention-based mental health care, with 50 percent of chronic mental illness beginning by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24.
While there are disparities between Caucasian and racial-minority patients in the use of psychotherapy, when it is used, there are no racial differences in effectiveness, new study says.
The study raises questions about the military's screening of recruits. Another study looks at rising suicide rates among soldiers.
Nearly one in 10 hospitalized children have a primary diagnosis of a mental health condition, and depression alone accounts for $1.33 billion in hospital charges annually, according to a new analysis led by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The study is the first to examine frequency and costs associated with specific inpatient mental health diagnoses for children, and is a step towards creating meaningful measures of the quality of pediatric hospital care.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today issued the following statement by NAMI Executive Director Mary Gilibertiin response to the announcement by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that it will not move forward to "finalize" proposed rule changes under Medicare Part D that would have restricted access to antidepressant and antipsychotic medications.
Adam has a secret. He's shared it with his family and close friends. In fact, he would like to talk about it more openly. But he doesn't want to use his real name in this story because he fears that people at his new high-tech job will see it and think less of him. A few months ago, he considered allowing a reporter to mention his depression in a news story about a community project in which he was involved. His depression was one of the reasons he got involved: "I guess I was tired of feeling like I have to hide this piece of me," he says.
A year after his son’s suicide, popular evangelical pastor Rick Warren is taking on a new mental health ministry inspired by his personal tragedy. Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and a best-selling author, will team with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host a daylong event March 28 focused on helping church leaders reach parishioners who are struggling with mental illness.
Actress Halle Berry appears on the cover of the latest issue of The Advocate, the magazine of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), with an interview inside about her upcoming film, Frankie & Alice. Based on a true story, Berry plays Frankie Murdoch, an African American ’70s-era go-go dancer living with dissociative identity disorder (DID). She is challenged by two identities: a scared 7-year old girl named Genius and a bigoted, white southern belle named Alice.
Psychologists, counselors and other mental health professionals have a lack of understanding of African-Americans that leads to inaccurate diagnoses and harm to blacks with behavioral disorders, experts say. A symposium at UC Riverside, which featured editors of a state-commissioned report on black mental health, came as the California Department of Public Health is developing strategic plans to implement some recommendations of the statewide study.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule that would remove protected class status for antipsychotic and antidepressant prescription drugs from the Medicare Part D program. This is extremely concerning to NAMI and its members. Limiting access to medications for people who live with mental illness threatens treatment and lives.
On Tuesday, February 18th, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, introduced SB 1054—Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction (MIOCR) Grants, legislation that will renew funding for the MICOR program, which addresses recidivism reduction for juvenile and adult offenders with mental illness.
More than four years in the making, including pushback from the surrounding neighborhood, the VA Aspire Center opens Monday in San Diego to serve Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffering from invisible battle scars. It’s the first of its kind, officials say: A 40-bed center offering two to four months of residential care solely for young vets with post-traumatic stress disorder or mild brain injury.
Scientists from UCLA, UC San Francisco, Costa Rica and Colombia take steps to identify genetic component to mental illness. They have identified about 50 brain and behavioral measures that are both under strong genetic control and associated with bipolar disorder. Their discoveries could be a major step toward identifying the specific genes that contribute to the illness.
The Affordable Care Act aims to extend health coverage to almost everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions or job status, providing an estimated 5.3 million eligible Californians with prevention and wellness coverage through Covered California and an expansion of Medi-Cal to those living below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. About 625,000 people have signed up for insurance on the state exchange since it opened Oct. 1.
In the ruling on Monday, the panel of judges gave the state until Feb. 28, 2016, to reduce prison overcrowding. However, the judges said no additional delays will be granted. Under the ruling, the state will not be allowed to increase the number of California inmates housed in out-of-state correctional facilities.
Compelling outpatient treatment - although not medication - for the severely mentally ill remains a topic freighted with concerns about individual rights, effectiveness and potential misuse. Slowly, though, sentiment in some parts of the state appears to be shifting toward at least trying the approach, as stories mount from parents of seriously mentally ill adults who refuse treatment and often don't believe they need it. Only two counties - rural Nevada and Yolo - now implement Laura's Law as written.
The increasing stress isn't just afflicting children of Silicon Valley's affluent and educated, who attend top schools among driven, college-bound peers. Though not yet reflected in lagging and incomplete national statistics, the trend appears to cut across social class, income level, ethnicity and academic ability. What's behind the rise is uncertain. Theories include economic distress, dysfunctional families, absent and preoccupied busy parents, technology obsession, social media and extraordinary pressure on kids to excel.
Amanda Lipp is an IOOV and P2P facilitator who has served on the NAMI California Board of Directors since 2012. She’s youngest person to serve on a NAMI or NAMI State Board, and is a public speaker, artist, writer, and videographer. Ms. Lipp is scheduled to graduate with a B.S. from UC Davis in June, 2014. I'n this article, she recounts her release from a psychiatric hospital and introduction to NAMI California.
The California Office of the Patient Advocate has released the 2014 report card on statewide behavioral and mental health care services provided by HMOs. Grades reveal how successful each HMO was at helping members get the behavioral and mental health care they needed.
Since funding under the act the most recent data, from May 2012 to April 2013 comparing pre-treatment and post-treatment episodes, indicated a 64-percent decrease in the number of days of psychiatric hospitalization, a 21-percent decrease in the number of days in jail, a 94-percent decrease in homelessness and an 87-percent decrease in emergency interventions. Finally, the experience in Nevada County also highlights a net cost savings, primarily due to reduced hospitalizations and incarcertations.
The county’s Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services (ADMHS) has received an $8.3 million state grant that will pay for 23 new full-time employees — case workers, psychiatrists, and consumer and family peers — to work on crisis triage teams in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and Lompoc.
Gov. Jerry Brown spoke for about 17 minutes during Wednesday's State of the State speech. Read the text.
Life is about to get better for homeless veterans in Santa Clara County, thanks to two new contracts awarded to InnVision Shelter Network by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The InnVision Julian Street Inn facility is receiving funding for 12 mental health beds geared specifically for veterans.
Laura's Law is controversial, but many frustrated families, who despite their best efforts can't help seriously ill loved ones, believe it could literally be a life saver in some cases. But the law is aimed at only a small segment of the afflicted population, and there is still a critical shortage of services we know can work for the rest of those with serious mental disorders — outreach, intervention and supportive housing.
The name of Kelly Thomas should reverberate in our minds and ears for years to come. There are lessons to be learned here and it is incumbent on us to learn them.
A scholar’s comments in a January 2014 interview cast a spotlight on the phenomenon of smoking among persons with mental illness as among the very top current public health challenges. We should underscore, too, the point made by authors of a 2009 U.S.-Australia study: younger smokers had considerably higher rates of mental illness than older smokers. This year’s 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s warnings about cigarette smoking is a good time to renew our commitment to try to keep young people from starting in the first place.
On January 9 the Governor released his proposed budget for 2014-15. The budget proposal anticipates increased revenue, resulting in increased general fund revenue and an operating surplus for next year. Most programs will see no major gains in funding as a result of this increased revenue, as the bulk of additional revenue will be used for debt reduction and increased spending on education. This increase in revenue, however, did result in part in from higher than expected income tax payments, which will likely result in increased funding for the MHSA.
A new study finds substance abuse is higher among individuals with severe mental illness. Researchers discovered people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and similar conditions have a higher risk for substance use — especially cigarette smoking — and protective factors usually associated with lower rates of substance use do not exist in severe mental illness.
As part of its bid to become the least productive United States legislature ever, the current 113th Congress is managing to hold up yet another worthy piece of bipartisan legislation. Senate Bill 162, introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) as the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, would authorize grants to "improve the treatment of mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system" within state, local and tribal governments. The bill provides for $40 million in grants per year for five years, making its annual cost $10 million short of the amount set aside for new Transportation Security Administration uniforms a week before the sequester took effect.
The federal government on Friday announced it had drafted new rules aimed at keeping people who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment from buying guns. The Department of Health and Human Services said one proposed rule would "remove unnecessary legal barriers" to states reporting the names of patients involuntary admitted to psychiatric care. Those names would enter the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems -- NICS -- that would be used by most gun dealers as a condition of sale.
Veteran Pasadena police Officer and occasional Pasadena Weekly columnist Victor Cass has been elected president of the San Gabriel Valley chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Cass, a longtime mental health advocate, previously worked on the department’s Homeless Outreach Psychiatric Evaluation (HOPE) team and helped found the Pasadena Mental Health Advisory Committee, an organization he led from 2008 to 2011. Officer Cass was the recipient of NAMI California’s 2010 Criminal Justice Professional Award.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover mental health care just as they do physical care, but a new study shows only half of psychiatrists accept insurance. That means access to care for the millions of people with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health issues may be limited to those who can pay for treatment out of their own pockets, despite the law.