Instead of using ‘mental health’ as a catch-all, spending should focus on those with serious mental illnesses

Secretary Price distilled the problem down to its essence by instructing committee members to focus on the “ten, ten, ten problem”: Ten million people have serious mental illness, they die ten years earlier than others, and “ten times more Americans with serious mental illness are in prison than in psychiatric hospitals. . . . We replaced an imperfect and sometimes cruel system of institutionalization with a system that is in many cases even more cruel.” Bingo!

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7 Surprising Symptoms of Dementia

While the below signs are by no means a guarantee of dementia, if you or a family member are experiencing them, it may be worth talking to a doctor.

1. Difficulty finding words

2. Trouble with planning and following instructions

3. Mood changes

4. Sleeplessness and tiredness

5. Problems with driving

6. Food tastes may change

7. Falls and difficulty walking

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Why ‘High Functioning’ Autism Is So Challenging

The autism spectrum is very large. If you think of it as a rainbow (or a bell curve), you’ll note that there’s an awful lot of the spectrum that is at neither one end nor the other—but somewhere in the middle.

At this point in history, we don’t have good information to tell us whether most people on the autism spectrum are “somewhere in the middle,” but it is clear that the lion’s share of media attention goes to folks at the high and the low ends of the spectrum—that is, the profoundly disabled and the very high functioning.

 The fact is that life with severe autism is extraordinarily difficult. And logic would suggest that people on the high end of the spectrum have it easy—as do their families and teachers. But the reality is quite different.

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Concealed Depression

In America today, roughly 19 million people suffer from depression. It is estimated that at any given time, three to five percent of adults are experiencing a major depressive episode, and 2 of every 100 kids and 8 of every 100 teenagers have severe depression. All of these statistics exist despite depression being a very treatable mental illness. Why? Because many people’s struggle is invisible, even to the people who are closest to them. This is known as concealed depression

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Psychologist warns parents about repeated violent behavior

“If you see some violent action or threatening action that reoccurs, then you can trust that you’ll see more of it,” Farrenkopf said.

Parents, he told KATU News, need to show tough love to their adult children, even though they have a mental illness. He said parents need to clearly communicate what isn’t acceptable.

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New Book Looks At Involuntary Psychiatric Care

The authors of “Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care,” Dinah Miller and Annette Hanson, show both sides of the argument over involuntary treatment in the book but conclude that involuntary commitment is not the best solution.

Hanson said that although a small number of studies suggest that involuntary treatment decreases hospitalization and increases compliance with care, there is no indication that it decreases the violent crime rate. But she said people with serious mental illness commit fewer than 4 percent of all violent crimes and are more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator.

In the book, the authors tell the stories of people who have had both bad and good experiences with involuntary treatment. But, Hanson said, that it is hard to find people who feel grateful for involuntary care.

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Managing the Change that Nobody Wants

I’m an organizational development consultant who specializes in helping business leaders achieve transformational change — it’s my life’s calling.

But not all change is wanted. My dear husband Richard lives with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy-body dementia. It’s costly, time consuming and emotionally draining. No currently-available drug will cure him, although there is hope for future generations.

There’s an irony to unwanted change happening to the change expert. Though my background provides helpful skills and experience, I’m in uncharted waters. I learn every day. And I’ve got a lot more to go.


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Mental-health issues can’t be solved by psychologists alone—city design can help, too

The world’s cities aren’t very mentally healthy.

People who reside in cities are more likely to develop depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia than those living in the countryside. No matter where you live, at least one in four people will have a mental illness in their lifetime, and everyone suffers from mental-health problems such as low mood, loneliness, stress, and anxiety at some time or another. These kinds of problems can affect everything from our relationships and housing to our social capital and resilience.

But mental health is not just an individual issue: It affects the whole city.

Mental-health issues can’t be solved by psychologists alone—city design can help, too

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Autism detectable in brain long before symptoms appear

Brain scans can detect autism long before any symptoms start to emerge, say scientists.

The earliest that children tend to be diagnosed at present is at the age of two, although it is often later.

The study, published in the journal Nature, showed the origins of autism are much earlier than that – in the first year of life.

The findings could lead to an early test and even therapies that work while the brain is more malleable.

One in every 100 people has autism, which affects behaviour and particularly social interaction.

The study looked at 148 children including those at high risk of autism because they had older siblings with the disorder.

All had brain scans at six, 12 and 24 months old. Continue reading

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Friendship Bench’ program proves effective at alleviating mental illness symptoms

Their offices are simple wooden seats, called Friendship Benches, located in the grounds of health clinics around Harare and other major cities in Zimbabwe.

But the impact, measured in a ground-breaking study, shows that this innovative approach holds the potential to significantly improve the lives of millions of people with moderate and severe problems in countries where access to treatment is limited or nonexistent.

Funded by the Government of Canada through Grand Challenges Canada, the randomised controlled trial was conducted by the University of Zimbabwe, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and King’s College London. The study is published today in JAMA, the world’s most widely-circulated medical journal.

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