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:

60 Minutes Segment on Mental Health Parity

This past Sunday 60 Minutes aired a segment on how many people are denied treatment for their mental health issues.  It’s important to know that your rights with mental health parity allow for coverage for mental health issues.

Denied

When insurance companies deny the mentally ill the treatment their doctors prescribe, seriously ill people are often discharged, and can be a danger to themselves or others

You can read the full script and/or view the segment at 60 Minute’s site here. It is the very first segment of the show.

Youth Pastors Regularly Encounter Mental Illness, Yet Feel Ill-Equipped to Help, Study Finds

Almost all pastors who deal with adolescents will encounter a mental health and/or substance abuse issue among their congregation and can serve as a valuable source of guidance, yet only a quarter of them feel that they are qualified to recognize problems and help these troubled youth.

This finding comes from a study carried out by researchers at Baylor University who surveyed a broad scope of youth and college pastors across Texas.

The survey found almost 80 percent of youth pastors worked with at least one adolescent a year whom they knew or at least suspected had a mental health issue. However, fewer felt prepared for these situations; about 50 percent reported having some training related to mental illness, while only 26 percent felt qualified to work with young people dealing with a mental problem.

Many of these pastors did refer their adolescents to other professionals; 76 percent referred people to Christian counselors, 51 percent to a psychologist, and 34 percent to a psychiatrist. The pastors felt that a lack of connections was the biggest barrier in preventing them from working with mental health professionals with more frequency.

“Youth and college pastors want to get involved, which is a very positive sign,” said lead author Matthew Stanford, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor. “They could be a key group that can help build a bridge between the psychiatric and religious communities.”

To read about APA’s efforts at bringing together psychiatry and faith, see the Psychiatric News article “APA Hosts Meeting to Build Bridges Between Faith, Mental Health Communities.” You can also read APA President Paul Summergrad, M.D.’s column, “Psychiatry and the Faith Community.”

Leadership of the Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership gather after last month’s Steering Committee meeting at APA headquarters. From left: Paul Summergrad, M.D., Annelle Primm, M.D., Ginny Thornburgh, Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, M.Div., Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., and Paul Burke.

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County 2014–October 11 at Grand Park

NAMIWalks Los Angeles County 2014 will be held on Saturday, October 11 at Grand Park. Pedestrian entrances are located at 200 N. Grand Av and 201 N. Hill St.

The 5K Walk route begins at 10 AM after a Pre-Walk Program at 9:15 AM. Those who wish to walk a shorter distance can turn back when they wish, or walk the perimeter of beautiful Grand Park itself. Walkers will enjoy the fantastic urban art and architecture of downtown Los Angeles and end back at beautiful Grand Park with music and activities such as a best designed NAMIWalks t-shirt contest, best-dressed NAMI dog, face painting, hula hoops and bubbles for the children, raffle prizes, and more!

Join thousands of Angelinos in the county’s largest event to support mental health and fight the stigma people affected by mental illness and their families face every day. Proceeds fund NAMI’s no cost support and education programs for families and individuals living with mental illness.

Sponsor NAMIWalks LAC 2014!
Mental health is a vital part of overall health. You can show your company’s leadership role in the fight for better mental health awareness and care by becoming a NAMIWalks LAC sponsor. Join leading organizations by being part of our effort to address the mental health crisis in Los Angeles County and beyond.

NAMIWalks LAC is a unique opportunity to reach a vast community of Angelinos impacted by mental health conditions. People of all ages, races, and backgrounds come together each year in a powerful and inspiring demonstration of compassionate action. As a sponsor of NAMIWalks LAC, your company will benefit from a high level of acknowledgment, receiving media impressions and exposure to a diverse audience of participants.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6-MGc_FbSg]

Join NAMI Walks on October 11, 2014

Save the Date: October 11, 2014

Please join us this year for our NAMI Walks in Los Angeles at the Grand Park to help spread mental health awareness and to fight stigma!

Last year more than 3,000 people participated in NAMI Walks and NAMI Walks LA County raised more than $380,000, which will help fund all of the FREE services that NAMI affiliates offer their communities!

Get involved with NAMI Walks

Participant Information- There is no registration fee for the Walk.  All participants are encouraged to collect donations from family members, friends, co-workers and business associates.  All walkers raising $100 or more receive a NAMIWalks event t-shirt.

Create Walk Teams and Participation- Companies, organizations and families are encouraged to organize teams of walkers made up of employees, organization members, relatives and friends.

To register as a participant or for a team, please visit www.namiwalks.org/losangelescounty.

Important NAMI Survey: How is Your Health Insurance Treating You?

From NAMI Blog. By Everly Groves, NAMI Policy Intern and Sita Diehl, NAMI Director of State Policy and Advocacy. Dramatic changes now taking place in our nation’s health care system should mean that people living with mental illnesses will have better access to mental health services. But will they? NAMI created a brief online Coverage for Care Survey to answer this very question. We need your help to find out how recent changes in federal law affect you and your family.

Over 11 million people with mental illness were uninsured as of 2010. Most are now eligible for mental health and substance use care because of changes to health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA requires Medicaid expansion and individual and small group private health plans to cover mental health and substance use services as one of the 10 Essential Health Benefits. This change will mean that millions of people will be getting access to private health coverage or Medicaid for the first time.

Even more changes to mental health and substance use coverage came July 1. Provisions to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 were put in place to ensure parity for mental health and substance use care. But what exactly is parity? Parity ensures that all plans cover mental health and substance use treatment on par with other types of care. That means fair and equal terms for what types of services are covered, the procedures necessary to get care and how much you pay out of pocket.

Coverage for Care Survey
Because these changes are so important, NAMI wants to understand how the ACA and the new parity rules affect you and your ability to get the care you need. We created the Coverage for Care Survey to learn from you.

We want to hear from everyone in need of mental health or substance use care. So if you or your family member uses these services, complete this survey! It doesn’t matter if you have private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, VA health benefits, student health, any other type of coverage or don’t have coverage at all.

Take this survey on behalf of you or your loved ones in need of mental health and/or substance use care. Spread the word to your friends, family, co-workers, and colleagues. It should only take 15-20 minutes. Post the link on your Facebook or Twitter! The more responses we get, the stronger our findings will be.

The deadline to complete the survey is 12 p.m. EST on Sept. 30, 2014.

Early Intervention Can Reduce Later Psychiatric Problems for At-Risk Children

FROM PSYCHIATRIC NEWS ALERT: Early and sustained intervention of children with conduct problems can lower the chances that those problems will extend into adulthood, reports a new study published in AJP in Advance titled “Impact of Early Intervention on Psychopathology, Crime, and Well-Being at Age 25.”

Known as Fast Track, this project enrolled kindergarteners who displayed aggressive or disruptive behaviors into a multi-component, 10-year, manualized program aimed at instilling social competencies that would extend throughout their lifetimes

“through social skills training, parent behavior-management training with home visiting, peer coaching, reading tutoring, and classroom social-emotional curricula,”

the researchers noted. The program took place in four communities: Durham, N.C., Nashville, Seattle, and rural Pennsylvania. A similar set of at-risk children receiving only the standard interventions in their community were followed as a control group.

There has not been much evidence showing that behavioral improvements in children translate into adulthood, but so far, the Fast Track study seems to suggests that such an intervention can have an impact, finding that while 69% of the adults in the control group displaying at least one psychiatric problem at age 25, only 59% of Fast Track participants displayed a psychiatric problem at the same age. Fast Track participants also displayed decreased rates of substance abuse crimes, violent crimes, and risky sexual behavior compared with controls, as well as higher levels of happiness and well-being.

“This shows that we can go a full eight years after last seeing these children and still see reductions in the rates of problem outcomes for this group as young adults,”

said study author Kenneth Dodge, Ph.D., director of the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University.

The improvements in behavior were consistent among each of the 13 subgroups assessed (including those defined by gender, ethnicity, study site, etc.), demonstrating that this approach has potential for a wide range of children and risk levels.

To read about a promising early-intervention effort with children in Australia, known as Headspace, see the Psychiatric News article “Australian Youth Get a ‘Soft Entry’ Into Mental Health System.”