Mental Health Awareness


The Patient As Advocate
March 22, 2009, 12:01 pm
Filed under: awareness, Education | Tags: , , , ,
Stand Up, Speak Up – Getting the Best Care for Yourself
Everyone has a role in providing the best health care for you – organizational executives, physicians, therapists, nurses and technicians. And, above all, YOU! You do this by becoming an active, informed, and involved consumer and member of the health care team. 

Medical errors are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with almost 98,000 occurring annually according to the Institute of Medicine. The more involved we are, the less likely we are to have an adverse reaction. Ways to do this include

Speaking up if you have any questions or concerns, and ask again if you still dont understand. It is your body and you have the right to know.

Pay Attention to the care you are receiving. Make sure you are getting the right medications, for instance. Don’t assume anything. 

Educate Yourself about your diagnosis, any medical tests or procedures you will have done, and be an active participant in determining your treatment plan.

Ask a trusted family member or friend to be an advocate for you that can ask questions you may not think of under stress, and may not remember the answers to.

Know what medications you take and why you take them. Know their side-effects, and how long the side-effects should last if you are just beginning a medication. Learn if there is anything you can do to alleviate the side-effects. Medication errors are the most common health care mistake.

Participate in all decisions about your treatment. You are the center of the health care team.

After following these general rules, more specifically, try to:

Inform your doctors about medications your are taking, including prescriptions, over the counter drugs, and herbal or dietary supplements.

Inform your doctors about your allergies any any adverse reactions you may have experienced

Inform your doctors of any dietary restrictions you may have

Ask your staff for written information about possible side effects to your medications

Be an advocate of your own care. Ask your friend or relative to also be your patient advocate

Question your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist if your medications look different from the way they looked before, or if the number of medications is different

Learn about your condition by asking your doctor, nurse, therapist, or any other reliable sourse any questions you may have regarding your illness

Make sure that your prescriptions are legible

If you are in the hospital, when you are discharged if you have any questions regarding your treatment plan to be used at home, ask your doctors or staff for an explanation.

Finally, discuss any concerns you have with your caregiver in an assertive (not aggressive) manner.

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Grading The States

NEW REPORT CARD: NATION’S MENTAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

 National Average is a D 14 States Improve Grades; 12 Fall Backwards State Budget Crises Threaten Ruin Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released a new report, Grading the States, assessing the nation’s public mental health care system for adults and finding that the national average grade is a D.

Fourteen states improved their grades since NAMI’s last report card three years ago. Twelve states fell backwards. Oklahoma showed the greatest improvement in the nation, rising from a D to a B. South Carolina fell the farthest, from a B to a D. However, the report comes at a time when state budget cuts are threatening mental health care overall.

“Mental health care in America is in crisis,” said NAMI executive director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. “Even states that have worked hard to build life-saving, recovery-oriented systems of care stand to see their progress wiped out.” “Ironically, state budget cuts occur during a time of economic crisis when mental heath services are needed even more urgently than before. It is a vicious cycle that can lead to ruin. States need to move forward, not retreat.”

This is the second report NAMI has published to measure progress in transforming what a presidential commission on mental health called “a system in shambles.” NAMI’s grades for 2009 include six Bs, 18 Cs, 21 Ds and six Fs, based on 65 specific criteria such as access to medicine, housing, family education, and support for National Guard members.

“Too many people living with mental illness end up hospitalized, on the street, in jail or dead,” Fitzpatrick said. “We need governors and legislators willing to make investments in change.”

In 2006, the national average was D. Three years later, it has not budged. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Full Grading the States report online at: http://www.nami.org/grades09



House and NAMI partnership
February 2, 2009, 7:36 am
Filed under: awareness | Tags: , , , ,

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FOX TV’s HOUSE & NAMI Renew Partnership

The hit FOX TV drama House has once again teamed with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise money and awareness in support of people with mental illness and their families.

T-shirts bearing the slogan (or “House-ism”) “Normal’s Overrated” went on sale Thursday, January 22 with proceeds benefiting NAMI.

A similar partnership in 2007 raised over $130,000 for NAMI.

The 2009 partnership was announced to the media at an exclusive 100th episode party for the show last Wednesday in Los Angeles, where the NAMI logo was proudly displayed along the red carpet.  In addition, House cast and crew members each wore the special t-shirts to the event.

House is making an enormous contribution to public education by lending the show’s celebrity profile to raise funds,” said NAMI executive director Mike Fitzpatrick, who was in attendance at the event.

“NAMI thanks the producers, cast, and crew of House. You are making a difference in people’s lives.” Fitzpatrick added.

The event was covered by multiple media outlets including Entertainment Tonight which aired a piece featuring the cast of House discussing the relationship between the show and NAMI.

NAMI has created a special section on NAMI.org where visitors can purchase t-shirts, see highlights from the event, and even help NAMI by downloading a widget which can easily be added to social networking profile pages such as Facebook and MySpace. 

Join NAMI and House in celebrating this important partnership by purchasing your t-shirt today.



The Jed Foundation
January 16, 2009, 12:29 am
Filed under: awareness, Education, Resources, Site Recomendation

The Jed Foundation

The Jed Foundation represents the Jerry Greenspan Student Voice of Mental Health award for college students who have mental health issues.

The award is for a video on their experiences with mental health issues and how they are working to raise awareness and encourage their peers on the issue. The award includes a $2,000 scholarship, a trip to NYC to our annual gala in June 2009, recognition through our site and events and possibly appearing on MTVU.  

You can find more info on their site. (Linked above)



Schizophrenia Stigmas
January 15, 2009, 3:50 am
Filed under: awareness, stigma | Tags: , , , , , ,

Schizophrenia Stigmas

This is an informational video about Stigmas of Schizophrenia from the Health Channel. The purpose of this problem is to identify common stigmas of the disease, and raise awarness of the problem in believing these stigmas.



News from NAMI
January 12, 2009, 9:52 pm
Filed under: awareness, stigma

 PTSD’s Purple Heart

A Department of Defense (DOD) advisory group has recommended that current DOD policy not be changed to allow Purple Heart medals to be awarded to soldiers stricken with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The current policy bestows the medal only on soldiers who are “physically” wounded in the line of duty.

Read the story in the New York Times and an excellent editorial in the Kansas City Star. DOD’s current policy is as much an outrageous “slap in the face” to soldiers and veterans with PTSD as General George Patton’s slapping of a soldier with “shell shock” was in World War II.

DOD can still reverse its policy, despite the advisory group’s decision. Please contact the Secretary of Defense and tell him it’s time to end stigma and discrimination against soldiers with PTSD. Their wounds are real.

Mailing Address

The Honorable Robert M. Gates
Secretary of Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-1000

Contact DOD Online

DOD Online Question/Comment Form

Telephone Number

DOD Public Affairs “Leave a Recorded Message” Line
703-428-0711 (not toll-free)


Hi, Ho: Free Teleconference on January 27

The federal government’s “ADS Center” which supports the fight against stigma and discrimination is holding an online teleconference on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (Eastern Time) on how to promote acceptance of people with mental illnesses in the work place.

Registration is free. Anyone can submit questions in advance for speakers to consider. Not all questions will be used in the teleconference, but contact information for speakers will be available. The Center will email registrants further information before that date.



Paws For A Cause
January 12, 2009, 4:32 am
Filed under: awareness | Tags: , ,

paws-cause

THE MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION PRESENTS:

PAWS for a CAUSE

Dear PAWS for a CAUSE at the Plaza:
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND HOLD THE DATES.

We will be having many new attractions including a PAWS WALK on Sunday morning, April 5th stay tuned for more details about the walk. We are also looking to invite food vendors to participate, so if you know a food vendor who might be interested, please let them know about our event.Looking forward to seeing you at PAWS for a CAUSE at the Plaza next
April 3-5, 2009!! Have a wonderful and healthy winter and New Year!

Judy Burgess
Event Coordinator
518-426-7252

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