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.

Source
 
 

 

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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



Bipolar Disorder at work

Bipolar Disorder Exacts Twice Depression’s Toll in Workplace

Productivity Lags Even After Mood Lifts

Bipolar disorder costs twice as much in lost productivity as major depressive disorder, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has found. Each U.S. worker with bipolar disorder averaged 65.5 lost workdays in a year, compared to 27.2 for major depression. Even though major depression is more than six times as prevalent, bipolar disorder costs the U.S. workplace nearly half as much — a disproportionately high $14.1 billion annually. Researchers traced the higher toll mostly to bipolar disorder’s more severe depressive episodes rather than to its agitated manic periods. The study by Drs. Ronald Kessler, Philip Wang, Harvard University, and colleagues, is among two on mood disorders in the workplace published in the September 2006 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Their study is the first to distinguish the impact of depressive episodes due to bipolar disorder from those due to major depressive disorder on the workplace. It is based on one-year data from 3378 employed respondents to the National Co-morbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative household survey of 9,282 U.S. adults, conducted in 2001-2003.

The researchers measured the persistence of the disorders by asking respondents how many days during the past year they experienced an episode of mood disorder. They judged the severity based on symptoms during a worst month. Lost work days due to absence or poor functioning on the job, combined with salary data, yielded an estimate of lost productivity due to the disorders.

Poor functioning while at work accounted for more lost days than absenteeism. Although only about 1 percent of workers have bipolar disorder in a year, compared to 6.4 percent with major depression, the researchers projected that bipolar disorder accounts for 96.2 million lost workdays and $14.1 billion in lost salary-equivalent productivity, compared to 225 million workdays and $36.6 billion for major depression annually in the United States.

About three-fourths of bipolar respondents had experienced depressive episodes over the past year, with about 63 percent also having agitated manic or hypomanic episodes. The bipolar-associated depressive episodes were much more persistent — affecting 134-164 days — compared to only 98 days for major depression. The bipolar-associated depressive episodes were also more severe. All measures of lost work performance were consistently higher among workers with bipolar disorder who had major depressive episodes than those who reported only manic or hypomanic episodes. The latter workers’ lost performance was on a par with workers who had major depressive disorder.

“Major depressive episodes due to bipolar disorder are sometimes incorrectly treated as major depressive disorder,” noted Wang. “Since antidepressants can trigger the onset of mania, workplace programs should first rule out the possibility that a depressive episode may be due to bipolar disorder.”

Future effectiveness trials could gauge the return on investment for employers offering coordinated evaluations and treatment for both mood disorders, he said.

Also participating in the study were: Dr. Kathleen Merikangas, NIMH; Dr. Minnie Ames and Robert Jin, Harvard University; Dr. Howard Birnbaum, Paul Greenberg, Analysis Group Inc.; Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, University of Texas; Dr. Hagop Akiskal, University of California San Diego.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and John W. Alden Trust provided supplemental funding.

In a related NIMH-funded study in the same issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Drs. Debra Lerner, David Adler, and colleagues, Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts-New England Medical Center, found that many aspects of job performance are impaired by depression and that the effects linger even after symptoms have improved.

The researchers tracked the job performance and productivity of 286 employed patients with depression and dysthymia, 93 with rheumatoid arthritis and 193 healthy controls recruited from primary care physician practices for 18 months. While job performance improved as depression symptoms waned, even “clinically improved” depressed patients performed worse than healthy controls on mental, interpersonal, time management, output and physical tasks. The arthritis patients showed greater impairment, compared to healthy controls, only for physical job demands.

Noting that 44 percent of the depressed patients were already taking antidepressants when they began the study and still met clinical criteria for depression — and that job performance continued to suffer despite some clinical improvement — the researchers recommended that the goal of depression treatment should be remission. They also suggest that health professionals pay more attention to recovery of work function and that workplace supports be developed, perhaps through employee assistance programs and worksite occupational health clinics, to help depressed patients better manage job demands.

 

 

© 2001-2007 National Institute of Mental Health. All Rights Reserved



Book Recomendation

hurrydownsunshine_adv

Hurry Down Sunshine

by Michael Greenberg (Other Press 2008. 238 pages.)

An excellent memoir—written by the father of a 15-year old daughter about her onset of bipolar disorder and its impact on their extended, blended family. His description of life on a psychiatric ward is exceptional: marked by critical insight and occasionally dark humor. He describes the uncertainty that marks the process of treatment and recovery, which will recur throughout his daughter’s life.



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

houseadv

 

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.



A therapeutic resource…

AbuseConsultants.com
Kathy Broady, LCSW

3630 North Josey Lane, Suite 100
Carrollton, TX 75007

972-395-2110

  • AbuseConsultants.com has been developed as an innovative site for the online treatment of trauma, sexual abuse, dissociative disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar, anxiety, and self injury. Our depths of understanding and creative approaches to healing are truly unique.
  • AbuseConsultants.com offers in-person office-based sessions with a licensed clinical social worker in Carrollton, TX, a northern suburb of Dallas, Texas.  Telephone sessions are also available.  Email consultations and IM sessions are available online.
  • AbuseConsultants.com provides assistance, comfort, treatment, and information for adults, teenagers, and children who are or have been devastated by the long-term effects of abuse.
  • AbuseConsultants.com addresses the needs for support peoples who are, even though they may be totally overwhelmed, genuinely interested and invested in the recovery of their loved one from the effects of abuse.
  • AbuseConsultants.com addresses the needs for support peoples who are, even though they may be totally overwhelmed, genuinely interested and invested in the recovery of their loved one from the effects of abuse.
  • AbuseConsultants.com addresses a variety of related mental health issues, works to learn more about “what really helps”, and researches the contributions of other areas of expertise, specifically as they relate to trauma recovery.
  • The information provided on this blog and on AbuseConsultants.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.

www.AbuseConsultants.com

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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.