SSI Program For ADHD, Other Disabled Kids Under Scrutiny
Kaiser Health News.jpgChildren with mental health problems, who are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are at risk for the loss of these benefits. Kaiser Health News explains how access to these services which often provide turn-around opportunities, are threatened by backlash owing to reports of abuse in the system. []
in-patient admits nearly doubled for youth
A study in the current issue (August, 2011) of Archives of General Psychiatry indicates that the use of inpatient hospitalization increased nearly 100% for youth between 1996 and 2007. The study was based on hospital discharge data. ... []
In Some States, Incarcerated Kids Get Drugged to Alter Behavior, Despite Risks
The excessive use of antipsychotic medication in juvenile facilities is the focus of a ProPublica story about findings from a recent study indicating most states are not monitoring how these drugs are used, often off-label. []
ADHD -- genetic link
ADHD, like other mental illnesses, has often been subjected to stigma through lack of understanding. Because it runs in families, there has been a suspicion that it was genetic, but until recently a direct genetic link had not established. Research in Britain has changed that. . . []
As economy takes toll, mental health budgets shrink
Writing in, staff writer Christine Vestal assesses how states have met mental health budgets and what this means for people needing psychiatric services in today's fiscal crisis. "The drop-off is translating into a reduction in the number of psychiatric hospital beds, as well as fewer services for mental health emegencies and longer waiting lists for housing," says Vestal. . . []
Therapy or torture? Shocking children in Mass. school
ABC's Nightline airs a program (tonight) about aversive punishments including shock treatments at the Judge Rotenberg Center, a school for children with behavioral and emotional disabilities in Mass. . . []
Restraints and seclusion debated in states
While the nation waits for congressional action on bills eliminating seclusion and restraints as a form of discipline, states are acting independently while educators, and staff in residential treatment facilities, continue to respond to unruly youth with physical, chemical, or manual force. []
FDA says Pfizer study overdosed kids
Consistent overdosing of seven children in a clinical study conducted by Pfizer was described in a warning letter posted on the FDA's website. []
Passing health reform energizes advocates
Historic, jubilant, transformative were among the adjectives enunciated in the on-going celebrations of Sunday's historic pass of health reform in America. Recalling his mother who battled insurance companies on her deathbed, Pres. Barack Obama said passing this law represents the "core principles that everybody should have security." . . []
Move over Zyprexa, Seroquel, trial on Risperdal
Bloomberg News obtained company documents in a Louisiana trial seeking reimbursement of public funds paid to Johnson and Johnson for Risperdal. The drug was initially marketed to treat schizophrenia but its reach expanded. . . []
Preventing restraints of children -- HR 4247 -- gets bi-partisan committee support.
House Committee on Education and Labor passed HR 4247, a measure opposing restraints and seclusion of children in schools. The bill had widespread support and passed with a bi-partisan vote of 34 to 10 including 5 Republicans. Rep. George Miller (D-CA) has been shepherding this issue. A report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) about abuses in residential treatment programs was issued in 2008 and you can download it here. ... []
More children in Pennsylvania had access to mental health care than in any other state.
Click here to find your state. The average nationwide was 60 percent, with a low of 42 percent in Texas and a high of 82 percent in Pennsylvania. The 2007 statistics were compiled by the National Survey of Children's Health. ... []
Psychiatric Solutions: pay raise, lawsuits and a new military contract
Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., a national chain of psychiatric hospitals plagued with state and federal investigations and share-holder lawsuits has received a military contract for serving vets in eight hospitals.. . . []
Sex abuse in childhood is suicide risk
Sexual abuse during childhood is a risk factor for suicide say the authors of a study of more than 8,500 people, drawn from Britain's extensive data base on psychiatric illness. The study appears in the October issue of theAmerican Journal of Psychiatry (subscription required). []
Mental health team in pediatric clinic
Making behavioral health a seamless part of the visit to a pediatrician is leading to early screening for emotional problems and access to easy follow-up. []
Safety of atypical antipsychotics
Atypical antipsychotic drugs are used widely beyond the original group of mental disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for which they were initially approved. []
Childhood depression after parental death
All children who lose a parent are at greater risk for depression than their peers who do not suffer this loss. But the risk of those whose parent dies because of suicide continues to increase while that for the others (i.e., natural causes or accident) levels off sooner, say the authors of a report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.... []
ADHD stimulants and cardiac deaths
A first-of-its-kind study about ADHD and stimulants asked whether the medications contributed to the "rare event of sudden unexplained death in children and adolescents." The authors found that 10 of the 564 (1.8 percent) children were taking stimulants for ADHD.... []
FDA green lights pediatric antipsychotic meds
An FDA review panel approved drugs, saying they met safety standards for treating bipolar and schizophrenia in children. AstraZeneca's Seroquel and Pfizer Inc.'s Geodone were approved; Eli Lilly's Zyprexa was given back-up status should the others fail. All have been the subject of controversial court cases involving allegations of withholding information and dangerous side effects. An FDA report indicates children already account for something between 5 percent and 11 percent of these drugs, bringing the total to five for the... []
June in the journals
Children of war carry the trauma long after power has shifted and the ink has dried on peace treaties. An editorial in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine laments PTSD, a long-term consequence of trauma for children has received little attention. . . []
Cuts threaten chaos in Calif.
Closing a California deficit now estimated at $24 billion has led to charges that the governor is using nickle and dime strategies to avoid raising taxes to plug holes and has failed to lead during a growing fiscal crisis. Among the cuts to health care the governor has proposed: mental health ($92 million); AIDS reduction program ($55 million), and eliminating health care to 1 million poor children that will save the state $247.8 million. But it will lose nearly three... []
New York's Timothy's Law for kids
New York's governor David Paterson announced support for making access to mental health treatment permanent for kids by extending Timothy's Law. The law is named after Timothy O'Clair, a 12 year-old who committed suicide and whose family ran into insurance barriers for mental health treatment. Paterson announced his support on what would have been Timothy's 21st birthday and on the heels of a report citing how effective the temporary law had been in getting kids services. The state subsidizes businesses... []
Cal. voters consider retrenchment
California lawmakers have been called "cowardly" for asking voters to undo decisions they previously made to fund programs for children or for people with a mental illness. They represent two of five items for an unusual May 19 ballot that will help plug a budget deficit. As the election nears, citizen editorials are lambasting Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger for targeting programs vulnerable people while sparing taxes for owners of yachts and planes. Mental health advocates worry that the governor's aggressive campaigning... []
The doctor isn't in
. . .shortages in psychiatry []
Awards for stories about mental illness
The Association of Health Care Journalists announced five of its annual awards will go to reporters who have written about mental illness. They are: •Mary Carmichael of Newsweek for a story detaiiling how bi-polar disorder dominates the life of one youngster and his parents. •Randy Dotinga, of Voice of San Diego, for a story about the bridge in San Diego which has been used by people intending suicide since 1973. •Sharon Salyer and Alejandro Dominguez, of the Daily Herald in... []

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