Report by NAMI on State Mental Health Legislation 2015 – Trends, Themes & Effective Practices

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) report, State Mental Health Legislation: Trends, Themes and Effective Practices, highlights the good and bad news in states’ approaches to mental health. The good news is that in 2015, 35 states adopted one or more measures that NAMI applauds with a Gold Star—and five states passed model legislation. The bad news is that, at a time when public awareness of the need for mental health reform continues to increase, funding for mental health services fell in more states than it grew. This is the third year in a row the number of states willing to increase spending on mental health shrank. Fewer than half of states increased their mental health budgets this year. The rest reduced funding, including three states that have been in steady decline over three years—Alaska, North Carolina and Wyoming.  Only eleven states have steadily increased investment from 2013 to 2015: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and Washington.

To read more, please click here to visit the NAMI website.

High Benzodiazepine Use for Schizophrenia Increases Risk of Death

Chronic, high-dose use of benzodiazepines among patients with schizophrenia appears to be associated with a markedly higher overall mortality rate than is seen in patients with schizophrenia who have not been exposed to benzodiazepines, according to a report in AJP in Advance. The report also found a lower overall mortality rate among patients with schizophrenia who received antipsychotics and/or antidepressants.

To know more, read the complete article High Benzodiazepine Use for Schizophrenia Increases Risk of Death by AJP in Advance

Want to help the FDA? Become a consumer representative on an FDA Advisory Committee

The FDA continually seeks input from consumers on scientific and medical issues by including Consumer Representatives on Agency advisory committees. The role of Consumer Representatives is to: represent the consumer perspective on issues and actions before the advisory committee; serve as a liaison between the committee and interested consumers, associations, coalitions, and consumer organizations; and,Read More

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Guide for incarcerated parents who have children in the child welfare system

HHS in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice released this new guide for parents involved in the criminal justice system on working with the child welfare system to stay involved with their children and understand the reunification process. For more information, read the COIP-Parent-Guide-508 Print PDF

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Bipolar Disorder (Pediatric) Research Study: Treatment of Severe Mood Dysregulation

Join a Research Study: Bipolar Disorder This study tests the efficacy of different treatments for decreasing irritability in children with severe mood and behavioural problems. Participants have symptoms of severe irritability and are not doing well on their current medications. The child must be currently in treatment with a physician, medically healthy, and not currentlyRead More

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Ready to set up your medication reminder?

Never forget to take your medication again. Here’s How: Go to the app store on your iPhone or iPad Click on the Updates button in the bottom right-hand corner Find your SARDAA Health Storylines App and press Update Once updated, go into your SARDAA Health Storylines App and click on your Medication Tracker Press UpdateRead More

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Scientists open the ‘black box’ of schizophrenia with dramatic genetic discovery

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For the first time, scientists have pinned down a molecular process in the brain that helps to trigger schizophrenia. The researchers involved in the landmark study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature, say the discovery of this new genetic pathway probably reveals what goes wrong neurologically in a young person diagnosed with the devastating disorder.Read More

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Study in mice shows how brain ignores distractions; NIH-supported scientists map out circuitry that may be involved in autism, ADHD, and schizophrenia

In a study of mice, scientists discovered that a brain region called the thalamus may be critical for filtering out distractions. The study, published in Nature and partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), paves the way to understanding how defects in the thalamus might underlie symptoms seen in patients with autism, attentionRead More

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Medicaid to Cover New Treatment for First Episode Psychosis Based on NIMH-Funded Research; Coordinated specialty care may become more readily available

On October 16, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted an informational bulletin to State Medicaid Directors about covering treatment for first episode psychosis. A key feature of this bulletin is CMS’ support for coordinated specialty care, the evidence-based treatment approach tested in the NIMH RAISE initiative. To read the informational bulletin,Read More

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Tragic Results when Individuals with schizophrenia-related brain disorders are left to deteriorate until their actions provoke a police response

People with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter than other civilians approached or stopped by law enforcement, according to our new study. “Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fatal Law Enforcement Encounters” urges lawmakers to reduce loss of life and the manyRead More

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