We at the Network are always proud of our Advisory Council members so we can't pass on this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Mario Hernandez for his re-appointment as Chair of the Department of Child & Family Studies, University of South Florida. Dr. Hernandez is nationally recognized for his 30 years of local, state and national experience in the field of children’s mental health and systems of care. While in California in the 1980s, he was one of the founders and later the leader of the “Ventura Project” which was the nation’s first county-based system of care. In this historically significant system of care Dr. Hernandez and the Ventura team cut the path to eliminating the placement of children into California’s state mental hospitals and substantially reduced the placement of children outside of their homes and communities. The impact of the “Ventura Project” was large by reforming how children’s mental health services were funded and organized through California. In his leadership position at USF, Mario continues to push the field to expand the thinking of best practice approaches to meeting the needs of youth with mental health challenges and their families.
Congratulations Mario. We at the Network love you and applaud the wisdom of the leadership of the University of South Florida in ensuring a forward thinking leader at the helm of the Department of Child & Family Studies. Since those who know you are aware of your passion for fishing, we think it only appropriate to honor your re-appointment with the classic Brad Paisley fishing song - I'm Gonna Miss Her.
Two million more children in the United States (U.S.) have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and one million more U.S. children were taking medication for ADHD over an eight year period (2003-2004 to 2011-2012), according to a new study led by CDC. According to CDC scientists, children are commonly being diagnosed at a young age. Half of children diagnosed with ADHD are diagnosed by six years of age. Children with more severe ADHD tend to be diagnosed earlier, about half of them by the age of four, based on reports by parents.
Hospital emergency department visits related to the dangerous hallucinogenic drug phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP or “angel dust,” increased more than 400 percent between 2005 and 2011 (from 14,825 to 75,538 visits), according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The report, entitled Emergency Department Visits Involving Phencyclidine (PCP), is based on findings from the 2005 to 2011 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN). DAWN is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related hospital emergency department visits and drug-related deaths to track the impact of drug use, misuse, and abuse in the United States. Key findings from the report include:
- The largest increase in PCP-related emergency department visits was seen among patients aged 25 to 34, who accounted for an increase of more than 500 percent from 2005 (5,556 visits) to 2011 (34,329 visits). In 2011, people in this age group represented nearly half (45 percent) of all emergency department visits involving PCP.
- PCP-related emergency visits overwhelmingly involved males. In 2011, approximately two thirds (69 percent) of PCP-related ED visits were made by males.
- The complete survey findings are available on the SAMHSA Web site.
- Read the SAMHSA announcement here.
Here's a stat worth knowing: In the UK, 63% of men who finish short-term prison sentences are back inside within a year for another crime. Helping them stay outside involves job training, classes, therapy. And it would pay off handsomely -- but the government can't find the funds. Toby Eccles shares an imaginative idea for how to change that: the Social Impact Bond. It's an unusual bond that helps fund initiatives with a social goal through private money -- with the government paying back the investors (with interest) if the initiatives work. Toby Eccles has created a radical financial instrument that helps private investors contribute to solving thorny public problems.
- Interesting ideas that Network faithful should consider on this side of the Pond!
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) recently released a toolkit for college students titled "Raising Mental Health Awareness." NAMI created the Raising Mental Health Awareness toolkit with all of the resources needed for a successful educational presentation and discussion about mental health. The toolkit provides presenters with an interactive presentation to better educate and inform college students about mental health, promotes student awareness and gets students talking. The toolkit includes a presentation guide, slides, fact sheets, marketing and outreach materials and more. It can be easily downloaded and there are USB drives preloaded with the toolkit while supplies last. The best part is that the toolkit, presentation and resources can be used by college students with their peers or by other community members interested in raising the mental health dialogue on college campuses. More than 200 toolkits have already been distributed to students, faculty, faith-based communities and others interested in joining the national dialogue.
At the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland a research study is being conducted that describes, over time, the moods and behavior of children using specialized testing and brain imaging to learn about specific brain changes associated with bipolar disorder.
This study seeks children and adolescent bipolar participants, ages 6-17, who have bipolar disorder. Participants must be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, currently being treated by a physician, medically healthy, and not currently hospitalized, psychotic or suicidal.
All clinical evaluations, research procedures, and outpatient visits are free of cost. Both parent and child must agree to the child’s participation. Children and parents are compensated for participation. Travel and lodging expenses are paid by NIMH. Participants from across the country may be eligible to participate.
Non-Treatment Descriptive Study
Research study participation involves 1-3 outpatient visits, and may involve a phone interview at 6 months and repeat face-to-face evaluations every one to two years until the child turns 25. Those eligible to participate must be ages 6-17, and be able to perform research & computer tasks, neuropsychological testing, and MRI brain imaging.
Okay Network faithful, when in doubt about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act we turn to America's most trusted resource... Cosmopolitan. Say what? Yep, you read it right. Phil Galewitz has a most helpful and succinct article in Cosmo about how the ACA benefits young women.
The Children's Mental Health Network sends a big shout out of thanks to Network faithful in the United Kingdom who have directed us to a great organization that is tackling the stigma that comes with mental health challenges head on. Time to Change is an anti-stigma campaign in England that was founded in 2007. Since that time their campaign has reached millions of people across England. One of the many things we love about the work they are doing is their focus on educating journalists about the type of language they should use when reporting on a mental health related story.
- Watch the video below and be sure to visit their website to learn more about them. Great work UK Network faithful!
As we near the end of month two of open enrollment and HealthCare.gov continues to improve, we have seen a surge in the number of people enrolling in high-quality, affordable health insurance. But concerns remain over the issue of terminated plans in the individual (non-group) market, how consumers are dealing with these terminations, and whether they will have to pay more for new coverage.
Families USA has prepared a report to address these concerns that focuses on exactly how many people are affected by plan terminations as well as how they are affected. In their most recent report, they use national and state-level data to provide concrete answers to these questions.
The bottom line: Less than 1 percent of Americans under the age of 65 face the situation where they would not be offered the same individual market plan and would also not qualify for financial help to buy a new plan. And even this small percentage of people will still benefit from the many consumer protections made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
athenahealth launched its pediatric mental health study to determine if pediatrician feedback about increased clinical and operational practice complexity was growing in line with, and perhaps related to, the number of children being treated with behavioral health problems. To shed light on this trend, athenaResearch analyzed claims data from 2.8 million visits, by children between 6 to 17 years of age, to 431 pediatricians who have been part of the athenahealth network from July 2009 through June 2013. This study yielded the following observations:
- In the year ending June 30, 2013, 10.5 percent of all visits contained a mental health diagnosis.
- The rate of mental health diagnoses has increased 29 percent over the last four years.
- The five most common mental health diagnostic categories are: Attention Deficit Hypertension Disorder (ADHD), which accounted for more than half of all diagnoses, followed by anxiety, autism, depression, and eating disorders.
- The number of ADHD diagnoses increased by almost 8 percent each year, while other, less common diagnoses increased at much higher rates. As an example, eating disorder diagnoses increased 30.5 percent per year, more than doubling from 2009 to 2013.
"Today's report captures trends in pediatric mental health diagnoses across a national sample of pediatricians through midyear of 2013," said Josh Gray, Vice President of athenaResearch at athenahealth, Inc. "We're seeing growth in ADHD beginning to moderate, after years of steep increases, with very high and concerning growth rates for anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Mental health diagnoses are now running about a third higher for children with Medicaid insurance compared with commercial coverage. As clinicians and researchers continue to seek a deeper understanding of mental illness among children, we're happy to contribute timely data to the national dialogue."