Long-Term Study Assesses Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Outcomes in Adults

From Psychiatric News Alert: A Swedish population study finds that that many of the educational, employment, health, and other outcomes for 79 adults diagnosed as children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) were different from those of a matched comparison group of 3,160 people, said Jenny Rangmar, Ph.L, a doctoral candidate at Gothenburg University, and colleagues in the January Pediatrics.

Rates of criminal conviction were slightly but not significantly higher for the FAS group and were actually lower than a subset of the comparison group that had been placed in state care. Of those who did receive special education, about 60 percent completed high school, suggesting some disabilities “may be ameliorated by protective factors like special education and assistance in school.”

To read more about studies of fetal exposure to substances of abuse, see the Psychiatric News article “How Do Abused Drugs Affect Fetus, Newborn?

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CBT For Children With Anxiety May Confer Long-Term Suicide Prevention Benefit, Study Suggests

CBT for childhood anxiety disorder may confer long-term suicide prevention benefits. Credit: nenetus | DPC

CBT for childhood anxiety disorder may confer long-term suicide prevention benefits. Credit: nenetus | DPC

Successful cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for childhood anxiety disorder may confer long-term benefits for suicide prevention, according to a report in the Journal of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Evidence for an independent relationship between anxiety and suicidality has been mixed. Researchers from the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine examined the relationship between response to treatment for an anxiety disorder in childhood and suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts at a follow-up interval of seven to 19 years. In the study, 66 adults were assessed, having completed CBT treatment for anxiety as children. Information regarding suicidality at follow-up was obtained via the World Mental Health Survey Initiative Version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the Beck Depression Inventory.

The follow-up data indicated that participants who responded favorably to CBT during childhood were less likely to endorse lifetime, past-month, and past-two-week suicidal ideation than were treatment nonresponders. This was consistent across self-report and interview-report of suicidal ideation.

“Results suggest more chronic and enduring patterns of suicidal ideation among those with anxiety in childhood that is not successfully treated,” the researchers stated. “This study adds to the literature that suggests successful CBT for childhood anxiety confers long-term benefits and underscores the importance of the identification and evidence-based treatment of youth anxiety.”

For more on research into suicide prevention, see the Psychiatric News article, “Novel Suicide-Prevention Treatment Targets Poor Sleep.”

NAMI Discussion Group on LinkedIn

For those of you on LinkedIn, there is a NAMI discussion group open to any and all who are interested. The discussion topics vary a great deal, from very specific to very general, and there are posting from NAMI members and non-members alike. It is a good source of unedited information and open dialogue. One recent general discussion started with a simple question about NAMI’s role. The question makes sense, and the responses from people and places across the nation were very good. LINK.

Primary Care Provider Training May Improve Prescribing for Children

Researchers compared an intervention group of 176 PCPs who volunteered for PT training with a stratified random sample of 200 PCPs who did not receive PT training; Photo: Syda Productions | DPC

Researchers compared 176 PCPs volunteers for PT training with random sample of 200 PCPs; Photo: Syda Productions | DPC

FROM Psychiatric News Alert: A New York state initiative to provide psychiatric consultation to pediatric primary care providers about prescribing psychotropic medication shows promise for enhancing providers’ comfort with prescribing, according to the report “Detection and Treatment of Mental Health Issues by Pediatric PCPs in New York State: An Evaluation of Project TEACH” published online in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

Researchers in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine and colleagues at other institutions evaluated Project TEACH (PT), a statewide training and consultation program for pediatric primary care providers (PCPs) on identification and treatment of mental health conditions. The project is part of a collaboration between the REACH Institute (Resource for Advancing Children’s Health) and five academic departments of psychiatry. The curriculum consists of 15 hours of in-person training, a tool kit, and Web-based learning tools, along with a six-month distance learning program that includes 12 one-hour consultation calls with child psychiatrists.

“Our findings suggest potential benefits of training PCPs to identify and treat children’s mental health conditions. Provider training and consultation may be a meaningful way to help reduce the number of children who do not receive treatment for mental health conditions, but further research is necessary to determine whether this type of model will be useful as the responsibility for mental health care and outcomes shifts under health care reform.”

For more about this program, see the Psychiatric News article, “New York Child Psychiatry Divisions Fill Gap in Collaborative Care Model.”

NAMI CA Regional Meeting Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 in Mountain View

NAMI California will be holding a regional meeting scheduled on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at the El Camino Hospital Mountain View at 2500 Grant Road, Mountain View, CA.  The meetings are held from 9:30 am until 3:05 pm and will include Santa Clara and surrounding counties.

The NAMI Regional Meetings are an effort we make, with the support of the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association, to facilitate cooperation between area affiliates and county mental health departments. These meetings have two parts: first, a NAMI Smarts for Advocacy Training open to affiliate members and county partners who may be interested, second, a panel presentation from county mental health departments, followed by a facilitated discussion between counties and NAMI affiliates.

The morning session trains NAMI affiliate members and other interested parties in “Telling You Story”. “Telling Your Story” guides the participant through writing and delivering a concise and compelling version of their story that will serve as the springboard for local advocacy.

This is followed by a panel presentation from county mental health departments on the successes and challenges of service delivery under the MHSA. Counties are offered the opportunity to share what their strategies are for addressing mental health services in their areas, what future programs are being developed, and how NAMI affiliates and NAMI CA can contribute.

This panel is followed by a facilitated discussion between county representatives and NAMI affiliates. Together they address what needs are being met, what needs are not being meet, and how they both can collaborate. These sessions are vital for building relationships and enhancing communication.

Breakfast, lunch and all materials will be provided.

We are currently working with NAMI Santa Clara as your host for the event. Please consider attending the regional meeting, and explore with your county mental health department as to whether they might participate as well.

Please mark your calendars now and R.S.V.P. to david@namica.org to reserve your seat at this important, informative meeting!

Students Are Invited to Submit their Films to Help Others and Win Prizes!

Students throughout California are invited to Direct Change by submitting 60-second films in two categories: “Suicide Prevention” and “Ending the Silence about Mental Illness”. The winning teams and their associated schools will win prizes, receive mental health or suicide prevention programs for their schools, get to participate in a meeting with state legislators on these topics, and attend the award ceremony at the end of the 2014-15 school year. Visit the campaign website for contest rules and information: www.directingchange.org .

Submission Deadlines: February 1, 2015.

Want to stay updated with all things Directing Change?  Subscribe to The Advocate: Directing Change Newsletter! The Newsletter features updates about Directing Change and monthly educational films about topics on mental health and suicide prevention.

DVDs of the 2014 finalists and promotional flyers are available upon request.  Please contact Lauren Hee at lauren@namica.org or 916-567-0163.

Each Mind Matters 7th International “Together Against Stigma” Conference Feb. 17-20 in San Francisco

The 7th International “Together Against Stigma” Conference will be held February 17-20, 2015 in San Francisco. This conference will be the first to be hosted in the United States and underscores the fact that stigma of mental health challenges is not exclusive to any one country or culture: it is pervasive, encountered at all levels of society, institutions, among families and within the healthcare profession itself.

Follow this LINK for more information: