Help NIMH Raise Awareness for Clinical Research on Social Media

Please join NIMH’s Thunderclap to help raise awareness about the importance of clinical research for understanding and treating mental illnesses through social media. After you sign up for the Thunderclap, the following message will automatically be sent to your social media accounts at 7:00 PM ET on February 21, 2016:

“Clinical research is our best hope for understanding and treating #mentalillnesses. Spread the word

The result will be a “thunderclap” of simultaneous Twitter and Facebook posts from everyone who signed up.
Sign up for the Thunderclap by February 21 at:


Team-based Treatment for First Episode Psychosis Found to be High Value

NIH-funded study shows early intervention is more cost-effective than typical care.

New analysis from a mental health care study shows that “coordinated specialty care” (CSC) for young people with first episode psychosis is more cost-effective than typical community care. Cost-effectiveness analysis in health care is a way to compare the costs and benefits of two or more treatment options.  While the team-based CSC approach has modestly higher costs than typical care, it produces better clinical and quality of life outcomes, making the CSC treatment program a better value. These findings of this study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will help guide mental health professionals in their treatment for first episode psychosis.

To read more, please click here.

Want to Help the FDA? Become a Consumer Representative on an FDA Advisory Committee

Have you ever wanted to be part of the food and drug regulatory process? Do you have a history of public interest or a passion for consumer advocacy? Do you have experience analyzing scientific data?

If you answered “Yes,” here’s your opportunity to become an advocate for consumers! The Food and Drug Administration continually seeks input from consumers on scientific and medical issues by including Consumer Representatives on Agency advisory committees.

Participation as a Consumer Representative requires a modest time commitment. Travel expenses are paid and representatives receive reasonable compensation.

To read more, please click here.

RESEARCH WEEKLY: How RAISE Models Work in Early Psychosis

The goal of the NIMH-funded project called RAISE – Recovery After Initial Schizophrenic Episode – was to develop and test a “real world” early-intervention approach that would work in the fragmented US health care system to change the course and prognosis of psychotic disorders. Other countries had been using coordinated first-episode models with good results for decades. Could the US replicate their results with its far-flung, multi-payer system?

The answer, according to authors of several papers in an issue of Psychiatric Services devoted largely to first-episode treatment, is a virtually unqualified “Yes.” Authors describing both of the RAISE-funded models and an independent early intervention program in Connecticut declare that the core components can be carried out in a variety of non-academic community settings.

If successful early intervention models are to become widely available to the mostly young adults at risk for first psychotic episodes, this transferability is essential. The following is a summary of reports in Psych Services’ special section on first-episode response describing how RAISE-like programs work across multiple settings and what is still to be learned about them.

To read more, please click here

Opening schizophrenia’s black box Broad Institute

Looking for more with SARDAA Health Storylines? Add a tool!

Did you know that there are more options to enhance your SARDAA Health Storylines app? Make it your own by personalizing your app to best meet your care needs. Add the tools to your dashboard that help you improve your daily life.

Simply go on to your SARDAA Health Storylines app, and click on the circular red plus-sign button in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. Once in the tool library, scroll through numerous categories to find the tools that will help enhance your care. Then click on the tool and press the orange add button. Now you can use these tools as a part of your daily care routine!

We are here to help you where you need assistance. Feel free to contact us at(844) 475-4637 to let us know how we can help you with SARDAA Health Storylines.

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, facilitate dialogue with the advisory committees on scientific issues that affect consumers. Learn about current and upcoming vacancies on FDA advisory committees.

To read more, click here to visit the FDA Voice website.

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