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Latest News Around the Web

Op-Ed: Changes Needed To Reduce Police Shootings Of People With Mental Illnesses.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times (6/21, A21, Subscription Publication), Phillip Atiba Goff, president of the Center for Policing Equity, and Kim Shayo Buchanan, senior academic writer at that same center, write in wake of the recent Seattle police shooting of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman with mental illness, “People with untreated mental illnesses are disproportionately likely to attract police attention.” In particular, “the combination of mental illness, racial segregation and poverty is…likely to result in police contact, often leading to arrest.”

Over the past five decades, however, the US “has seen a stunning decline in resources devoted to public mental health.” Goff and Buchanan conclude, “The cure for these too frequent police-involved shootings must include serious changes within law enforcement” coupled with a recommitment “to changing how we manage mental health if we are to reduce the chances that illness will be treated with gunshots.”

Related Links:

— “Charleena Lyles Needed Health Care. Instead, She Was Killed.,” PHILLIP ATIBA GOFF and KIM SHAYO BUCHANAN, New York Times, June 20, 2017.

Opioid-Related Hospitalizations Increasing Faster Among Women

HealthDay (6/21, Preidt) reports, “Opioid-related hospitalizations among women in the United States increased far faster than among men between 2005 and 2014,” according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Data indicate “hospitalizations involving opioid painkillers or heroin rose 75 percent” among women versus 55 percent among men.

Related Links:

— “Opioid-Linked Hospitalizations Rising Fastest for Women: Study,” Robert Preidt, HealthDay, June 21, 2017.

Treating Depression, COPD In Patients With Both May Reduce ED Use, Hospitalizations

MedPage Today (6/21, Boyles) reports, “Treating depression and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients with both conditions reduced hospital emergency department (ED)” use “and hospitalizations,” researchers found in an analysis of Medicare data including some 16,075 beneficiaries. The findings were published in the August issue of Respiratory Medicine.

Related Links:

— “Study Looks at ‘Interplay’ of COPD and Depression Meds,” Salynn Boyles, MedPage Today, June 21, 2017.

Suicide Rate Among US Farmers Remains Much Higher Than Among Other Workers

HealthDay (6/21, Preidt) reports that about 20 years “after the US farm crisis, the suicide rate among American farmers remains much higher than among other workers,” researchers found. The study revealed that between 1992 and 2010, “230 US farmers died by suicide.” Farmers “in the West had the highest rate, accounting for 43 percent of all farmer suicides, followed by those in the Midwest (37 percent), the South (13 percent), and the Northeast (6 percent).” The findings were published online May 2 in the Journal of Rural Health.

Related Links:

— “Suicide Risk Especially High for U.S. Farmers,” Robert Preidt, HealthDay, June 21, 2017.

In Typical US Week, 25 Children Die Of Gunshot Wounds, Researchers Say

The New York Times (6/19, Bakalar, Subscription Publication) reports that “25 children die from bullet wounds” in an average week in the United States, according to “researchers writing in the journal Pediatrics” who “analyzed data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.” The Times says researchers found that African-American children had “nearly 10 times” the annual rate of firearm homicides found among whites, and white children had “almost four times” the suicide rate found among blacks. The article quotes lead author and CDC behavioral scientist Katherine A. Fowler as saying, “There isn’t a single issue in isolation that increases the likelihood of gun death.”

USA Today (6/19, Rossman) reports that, in an average day, the study revealed that “19 children in the United States are either killed or injured by a firearm.” In addition, the CDC found “a 60% increase in kids aged 10 to 17 committing suicide with a firearm” from 2007 to 2014. The article says Fowler recommends street outreach programs and school programs to reduce street gun violence and help children manage emotions that lead to gun violence.

Related Links:

— “A Dire Weekly Total for the U.S.: 25 Children Killed by Guns,”Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times, June 19, 2017.

Foundation News

Foundation Establishes Anti-Stigma Advocacy Award

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry has established the Anti-Stigma Advocacy Award. It is designed to recognize a worthy piece published in a major newspaper that accomplishes one or more of the following:

  • Shares with the public their experience with mental illness in themselves, a family member, or simply in the community.
  • Helps others to overcome their inability to talk about mental illness or their own mental illness.
  • Imparts particularly insightful observations on the general subject of mental illness.
  • A Maryland author and/or newspaper is preferred.

The award carries a $500 prize, and has its own dedicated page here.

The winner for 2016 is Amy McDowell Marlow.

My dad killed himself when I was 13. He hid his depression. I won’t hide mine.
Published February 9, 2016 in the Washington Post

In this piece, Ms. Marlow gives a very poignant description of dealing with her own depression and emotional experiences beginning in childhood while dealing with a parent’s depression and eventual suicide.

New PSA Examines Prisons, Inmates and Mental Health

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, Inc.’s latest public service announcement on local Maryland radio stations focuses on mental health care in the United States prison system. It examines the problem of mental illness being the reason for incarceration in the first place, and the lack of care once a person is behind bars.

Prisons, Inmates and Mental HealthPrisons, Inmates and Mental Health

You can listen to the ad using the player in the upper right of the website’s homepage. All past public service spots are also available for listening or to download on our Radio Advertisements page.

Follow the Foundation on Twitter!

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, Inc. now has it’s very own Twitter account. You can follow us there to get the latest news about what we’re doing as well as be notified of the psychiatric news we mention here and when a new radio spot goes online. Just click the button below or in the left column to add us to your Twitter feed!

New MFP Public Service Ad Looks at Civil Unrest Effects on Children

Sadly, the civil unrest in Baltimore this spring has psychologically harmed some of our children. Our latest public service advertisement looks at the effects of civil unrest on young minds, not just from seeing or experiencing actual violence, but also to being exposed to it through the media.

Civil Unrest Effects on ChildrenCivil Unrest Effects on Children

Our full collection of advertisements is online for you to

Dr. Leon Levin, Honorary Director of the Foundation, Passes

[The following obituary is from Cremation and Funeral Alternatives as posted on Legacy.Com. You can find it there as well as a guest book to sign.]

Leon Levin, M.D.: A Life of Meaning May 22,1930-October 18, 2014

For Dr. Leon Levin, 84, finding the meaning in life, relationships, people, literature and film was synonymous with breathing. How could he do otherwise? A psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst, a scholar, a community servant, a film lover, a friend and a quintessential family man – it was the lens through which he looked. He had a natural sensitivity for depth, emotion, conflict, fear, hope, pain and was always curious and empathic. The close relationships with his family, Psychoanalysis and film served as his foundation. Many have echoed that Leon’s belief in them, inspired them to be their best selves. He touched generations in the most understated and gentle manner.
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