Urgent global mental health needs
global health.jpgInsufficient resources for global mental health impedes economic development and shortens life expectancy. The link between mental health and other non-communicable diseases has led stakeholders to speak out about rededicating energy to making this a central priority in global health. []
Solitary confinement reformed in New York
MHASC.jpgReform of solitary confinement for mentally ill prisoners took place in New York this month. A milestone for the state -- the first in the nation to lead with law and not follow the courts -- it also falls short of the goal to end a practice that in some parts of the world is called torture. "Solitary confinement reformed in New York" is accompanied by an exclusive podcast, and interview with one of the activists. []
PTSD Coach -- an iTunes app helps vets
PTSDapp.jpgThe Veterans Administration (VA) has gone digital. A free app can be downloaded from iTunes to smart phones and walk someone through exercises to reduce stress, find help, and maintain a self-reported profile to assess PTSD. . . []
Suicide was 11th highest cause of death overall, 3rd highest for teens and young adules.
A study from the CDC shows a 2.7% increase in suicide as a leading cause of death. Based on information from 2008, data suggest there were 35,933 intentional deaths for all age groups.To read more, you can download a pdf of Preliminary Data for 2008, submitted by the Center for Disease Control's Division of Vital Statistics in December, 2010.... []
Veterans Day -- a reminder of mental health prioirities
salute-flag.jpgWith Veterans Day comes a salute to soldiers. And a reminder of the obligations to meet the inner wars many bring home. From a selection of articles addressing the mental health scars of battle, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and suicide. . . []
106,000 Soldiers are prescribed some form of pain, depression or anxiety medications.
Read Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention from the United States Army.... []
Congress Questions Military Leaders on Suicides, Traumatic Brain Injury
Reprinted from ProPublica WASHINGTON, D.C.--Senators pressed senior military leaders last week to improve their efforts to address traumatic brain injuries, suicide and other wounds suffered by soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Responding to what he called "disconcerting" reports by NPR and ProPublica, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military needed to better address the wide range of medical and behavioral problems affecting troops. . . []
Sol Wachtler's essay, "When the Scars of Battle"
. . .a recurring theme []
Sol Wachtler's essay, "When the Scars of Battle"
. . .a recurring theme []
Crisis of college suicides
The suicide of a Yale University student has left the community mournful and in shock. The Yale junior who took his life in New York City last week is the latest in a rash at colleges in recent months. Suicide on college campuses is the second leading cause of death. Cornell University, which reports six this year, has taken steps to erect barriers at various bridges over the gorges. The student paper also knows this is a temporary solution. . . []
Youth suicide epidemic worries lawmakers
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You never forget a suicide, said Sen. Byron Dorgan, describing the lasting impact of a friend who took his own life. "It's something you never, ever, ever forget. It's as if it happened 10 seconds ago " Dorgan said during Senate hearings about the suicide epidemic among Native American teens. Last week, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs heard descriptions . . . []
Witnesses spar at hearings over anti-depressant -- suicide risks
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Calling PTSD and Traumatic brain injury "the signature wounds of the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Rep. Bob Filner who opened House committee hearings about military suicides. . . []
New depression studies raise questions
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A study in Journal of the American Medical Association about the effectiveness of anti-depressants has been widely reported. The conclusions, that drug therapies are most beneficial for people with the most serious symptoms, but are no better than a placebo for those with mild symptoms, does not square with the clinical observations of doctors. . . []
Requiem for Rene: a suicide lament
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One year after attending the funeral of a defendant who took his own life, Judge Matthew J. D'Emic writes movingly of how he was affected by this young man and of the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, over which he presides. []
Mental health professionals needed by military
Despite dramatic need, evidenced by suicide rates and a rise in substance abuse, the armed services remain short staffed, according to Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli. []
Soldier suicides prompts senator's inquiry
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Alarmed by the Wall Street Journal's report about 16 active-duty military committing suicide in October, Pharmalot reports Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) asked Sec.of Defense Robert Gates for numbers of soldiers taking anti-depressants. []
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). []
Diet affects depression
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The Mediterranean diet, rich in nuts, legumes, vegetables, cereals, fish, and olive oil, may affect depression according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. []
Preventing Indian youth suicide (S 1635)
Suicide rates among Native Americans range from 3 1/2 to 10 times greater (depending on the state) than for other youth in America, said Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND). The Indian Affairs Committee heard testimony on behalf of the "7th Generation Promise: Indian Youth Suicide Prevention Act of 2009 (S 1635)" discussing the epidemic of suicide pointing to the mental health needs of the Indian Health Service. Dr. Yvette Roubideaux explained services are inadequate and fragmented, stitching together a combination of... []
Military shifts ideas about mental health
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The military is preparing soldiers to anticipate the mental health impact of combat and multiple deployments, writes Benedict Carey of the New York Times.. . . []
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.... []
Deaths from suicide and substance use during arrest
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More than one in five deaths during arrest were caused by suicide, alcohol, or substance use, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. []
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... []
Depression is a risk factor for suicide in the elderly.
Read more from the National Instutitue of Mental Health.... []
Montana considers hospital diversion
Three proposals to divert people experiencing a mental health crisis from Warm Springs, the state hospital, into community treatment have widespread support but face a veto from Gov. Brian Schweitzer, reports the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. The debate is positioned between those who want to hold the line on spending money for programs for people with mental illness while other budget items have been held in check, versus potential future savings in a state with consistently high suicide rates. ... []

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