Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health

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 24th, gather three to four 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 the group.

Learn how to participate at - http://creatingcommunitysolutions.org/texttalkact

Severe mental illness tied to higher rates of substance use | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Read more at http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2014/01/severe-mental-illness-tied-to-higher-rates-substance-use

NATIONAL CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY 2014

MAY 8, 2014 is National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
Awareness Day 2014, taking place May 8th, seeks to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health and that positive mental health is essential to a child’s healthy development from birth. SAMHSA’s national launch event for Awareness Day 2014 takes place on May 6 in conjunction with the National Council for Behavioral Health’s annual conference in Washington, DC. The launch event will focus on the unique needs of young adults, ages 16 to 25 years, with mental health challenges, and the value of peer support in helping young adults build resilience in the four life domains of housing, education, employment, and healthcare access.

Learn more: http://www.samhsa.gov/children/national.asp

Pot and Schizophrenia - Treatment Advocacy Center

Marijuana “may push everyone a few feet closer” to the “cliff of sanity,” a resident physician from Yale University writes in a soul-searching essay for the Wall Street Journal. “As research accumulates, the emerging picture is that marijuana precipitates schizophrenia or related psychotic disorders in people whose brains are inherently vulnerable to psychosis,”

Learn more at: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog/69-no-state/2357-pot-and-schizophrenia

"What It’s Like to Have Schizophrenia" - Treatment Advocacy Center

Lisa Halpern’s “What It’s Like to Have Schizophrenia” is a don’t-miss article for all of us who live or work with severe mental illness and have yearned for hope when things seemed hopeless. “I was in high school when I started hearing the voices. I was picked to give a graduation speech, but I thought I heard people talking about how they didn’t want me to give the speech,” she writes ”

Learn more at: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog/69-no-state/2273-what-its-like-to-have-schizophrenia

NAMI Calls Mental Health Crisis a "Double Whammy," Shortages Exist for Both Beds and Services

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 — Mary Giliberti, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offered the following statement in conjunction with a House of Representatives oversight hearing titled “Where Have All the Patients Gone? Examining the Psychiatric Bed Shortage.”

"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.

There is also a double whammy.

Other mental health services are being starved. Community services that can provide cheaper, incremental alternatives and prevent acute crises and hospitalizations are under-funded or non-existent.

These are services that are cost-effective. They help avoid the cost-shifting that occurs when unmet needs from the mental health care system are imposed on hospital emergency rooms, schools and law enforcement. They include:

  • Mental health screening and early intervention.
  • Crisis response and stabilization programs.
  • Discharge planning.
  • Outpatient services.
  • Peer support.
  • Assertive community treatment (ACT).
  • Supportive housing.
  • Jail diversion.

Hospitals are important downstream elements in the continuum of care, but upstream measures must not be neglected.

It also is important to note that one of the single-most effective steps for prevention is Medicaid expansion. When timely care is available, fewer people require acute crisis care. At the same time, repeal of the Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD) exclusion under Medicaid for acute care as proposed by Committee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) would increase funding to meet the current hospital bed shortage.

The current crisis must be addressed along the continuum. One element alone will not be enough.

NAMI appreciates the leadership of Chairman Murphy and Ranking Member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) in continuing to conduct these House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on oversight and investigations hearings on the mental health care system.”

Best Kept Secret | POV | PBS

At a public school in Newark, N.J., the staff answers the phone by saying, “You’ve reached John F. Kennedy High School, Newark’s best-kept secret.” JFK provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs. In Best Kept Secret, Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission.

Click here to learn more