New York City Finds One in Five Adults has Mental Health Problems November 12, 2015

New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene expects to release the plan, known as NYC Thrive, by the end of next month. It is aimed at preventing and treating psychological disorders among the city’s 8.4 million residents.

To read the complete article on PharmaLive website, please click here.



Emergency Department Visits Related to Schizophrenia Among Adults Aged 18–64: United States, 2009–2011

A new NCHS report describes the rate and characteristics of emergency department (ED) visits related to schizophrenia among adults aged 18–64.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • During 2009–2011, an estimated 382,000 ED visits related to schizophrenia occurred each year among adults aged 18–64, with an overall ED visit rate of 20.1 per 10,000 adults.
  • The overall rate for ED visits related to schizophrenia for men (26.5 per 10,000) was approximately double the rate for women (13.8 per 10,000).
  • Public insurance (Medicaid, Medicare, or dual Medicare and Medicaid) was used more frequently at ED visits related to schizophrenia compared with ED visits not related to schizophrenia.
  • About one-half of ED visits related to schizophrenia led to either a hospital admission (32.7%) or a transfer to a psychiatric hospital (16.7%); these percentages were higher than for ED visits not related to schizophrenia.

Click here to view the full report.


Schizophrenia Treatment: How does your state rank?

Clozapine is an antipsychotic medication used to treat the 20 to 30 percent of Schizophrenic patients who do not respond to other medications. This medication is referred to as the “gold standard” of Schizophrenia medications and, according to an expert on Schizophrenia, should be prescribed to at least 10% of people with Schizophrenia. A report by the Treatment Advocacy Center’s Office of Research & Public Affairs  shows how each state in the U.S. ranks for Clozapine subscriptions. States with the highest percentage of prescriptions for Clozapine include South Dakota, Connecticut, and Colorado, while the states with the lowest percentages include Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. The report suggests that the reason psychiatrists are not prescribing the medication is due to the blood tests and monitoring required with use of the drug. Similarly, patients are reluctant to agree to ongoing blood tests and monitoring associated with the drug. Compared to the recommended 10%, less than half of US States prescribe Clozapine 10% of the time or more.

How does your state rank? Click here to view the full report.

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by Brian D.

On May 15, 1980, I graduated from The University of Connecticut School of Law.  I had no worries, except my studies, as my parents paid virtually all my bills until I was 25 years old. In college at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, I had a work study job, and for one year of law school, I worked at the West Hartford Public Library.  The second year of law school I did title searches for a real estate attorney.  After graduating from law school, I spent that summer studying for the Connecticut Bar exam.

Back on April 14TH of 1980, I was involved in a head on car crash, which happened while I was in an alcohol induced blackout.  I tell you this now because it might have contributed to my suspicious thinking, which eventually led to full-blown paranoia.
I quit that job in February of 1981 without having another job.  Eventually I went to live with my parents who suggested that I see a psychiatrist.  I met with the doctor for no more than one-half hour, and he prescribed 10 milligrams of Stelazine. This was a shock to my body and in February of 1984, I signed myself into the John Dempsey hospital in Farmington, Connecticut.  For the first week there I was not well.  The doctor recommended Thorazine.  This med worked well enough to have me discharged from the hospital to atransitional living facility in Hartford, Connecticut.

For the next 8-9 years. I repeated what would become a pattern.  I would do well on a new med, then decompensate and have to be hospitalized.  Throughout this time I was also drinking beer, off and on.  I had a total of 19 admissions, with stays lasting 2 months to 2 years. In 1992, while at the Norwich State Hospital, a doctor suggested that I try a new med called Clozaril.  With an adjustment to take it all at bedtime, that turn out to be my last hospitalization until a 4-day stay for anxiety in 2013.

During that same hospital stay at Norwich State, I stopped drinking beer.  I continue to bea recovering alcoholic with 23 years of sobriety.  In March of 1995 I secured a full time position with the Western Connecticut Mental Health Network (WCMHN) in Torrington, Connecticut.  I continued to work there until my disability retirement in December of 2014.

I was introduced to Schizophrenics Anonymous by Jim Cronin.  I refer to Jim as my SA mentor as he helped me to start the Torrington area SA meeting in 2004.  Today it is aclosed meeting.  It is a class within the Recovery & Wellness program at WCMHN.  I have been involved as the paid staff person from 2004 until December 2014, when I retired.  Along with Jim Cronin, I was one of the first moderators of the SA group calls.  In 2014 I was elected to the SARDAA Board of Directors.  SA has been a very important part of my life and recovery.

Can playing video games improve your health?

A new study posted in Psychiatric Services has linked playing video games to better health. In the study patients with Schizophrenia participated in a 12 week program where they exercised for 1 hour, three times a week. The study found that the patients, who were given multiple choices of aerobic exercise options, chose active-play video games more than any other option. The study also reported that patients’ heart rates while playing the games was similar to other aerobic exercises. The patients reported that they enjoyed the games and were willing to recommend them to others. People with Schizophrenia are more likely to be sedentary than most of the population. The study shows promising evidence that active-play video games, such as Xbox 360 with Kinect are a good way to get schizophrenic patients to be more active and may improve neurocognition.

To learn more, click here to read the study.

Largest Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder Caregiver Survey Reveals Overwhelming Burden and Inadequate Assistance

In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced results of “A Large-Scale Survey of Caregivers of Persons with Schizophrenia and/or Schizoaffective Disorder Designed to Identify Unmet Needs” that showed caregiving is a significant burden and caregivers lack sufficient support and assistance. The study was recently presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s NEXUS 2015 Congress.

The survey assessed caregiving burden for patients with schizophrenia and/or schizoaffective disorder in a community sample of more than 1,100 caregivers. For many, caregiving was a constant or almost constant demand. Caregivers performed multiple caregiving tasks from providing help in tasks of life (shopping, transportation, laundry) to involvement in more complex responsibilities, such as monitoring illness-related behaviors and suicidality. The survey found that,

 The majority of caregivers reported providing assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) on a weekly basis or more often. Specifically, 61 percent of the caregivers assisted with finances while 59 percent and 54 percent provided assistance with meals and social activities, respectively.

 Most caregivers (63 percent) reported not being able to find substitute caregivers when needed.

 More than half of the caregivers (60 percent) reported having little to no information to guide them in their responsibilities, including financial (66 percent), legal advice (65 percent), community services (62 percent) or medical advice (49 percent).

To read the complete press release by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., please click here.

Investigational Antipsychotic Eases Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia Caripraszine

Cariprazine, a novel antipsychotic being developed by Hungarian drug maker Gedeon Richter Plc, proved more effective than risperidone for negative symptoms of schizophrenia in a phase 3 randomized controlled trial, company researchers have reported.

To read the complete article by Reuters, please click here.

Join the photo collage/movement with SARDAA on NoFearNow portal

SARDAA is supporting a photo collage/movement to inspire people to have no fear regarding their mental health issues.

We are looking for people who have or have loved ones who have lived with a brain disorder/mental health issue to share their experience for a new #NoFearNow anti-stigma campaign.

Participating is simple. Simply email to
– A photo of you with a person in your life (feel free to hold up a sign saying #NoFearNow)
– A short paragraph of what this person means to you and why you/they have No Fear Now sharing your/their story on experience with a brain disorder/mental health issue.

The photo and paragraph submitted will be featured on

Study Finds SGAs Do Not Substantively Increase Risk of Major Birth Defects

The use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) during the first trimester does not appear to substantively increase the risk of major birth malformations, according to a report published in AJP in Advance.

Given that discontinuation of medication during pregnancy can lead to relapse or worsening of illness in patients with psychiatric disorders, the results challenge the clinical practice of abruptly stopping maintenance treatment for psychiatric disorders during pregnancy, the study authors said.

To read the complete article on Psychiatric News Alert of the American Psychiatric Association, please click here.