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Latest News Around the Web

Some Physicians Referring Patients With Chronic Diseases To Support Groups

The Los Angeles Times (5/8, Karlamangla) reports some physicians are referring to their patients to peer support groups to help them cope with chronic diseases that can affect their lifestyles. The article highlights one such group in Los Angeles for patients with diabetes, and points out that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recommends peer groups as a way to address concerns that might not be given adequate attention during a short visit with a physician.

Related Links:

— “Doctors turn to the power of peer groups to help diabetics,” Soumya Karlamangla, Los Angeles Times, May 8, 2017.

Proposed 2018 Budget Would All But Eliminate Funding For ONDCP

Healio (5/5, Polhamus) reported that President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget “would all but eliminate funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy [ONDCP], the agency spearheading the fight against the national opioid epidemic, according to a report from Politico.” As it stands now, “the White House’s budget proposal allots $24 million for fiscal 2018, a 95% decrease from the $388 million in federal funds the office received in 2017.”

Related Links:

— “White House budget proposal slashes funding for drug control office by 95%,” Andy Polhamus, Healio, May 5, 2017.

Children Bullied In Fifth Grade May Be More Likely To Abuse Drugs In High School

HealthDay (5/8, Miller) reports that research suggests “a child bullied in fifth grade is more likely to show signs of depression in seventh grade, and abuse substances like alcohol, marijuana or tobacco in 10th grade.” Investigators came to this conclusion after studying approximately 4,000 children. The findings were published in Pediatrics.

Related Links:

— “Bullied in 5th Grade, Prone to Drug Abuse by High School,” Gia Miller, HealthDay, May 8, 2017.

Percentage Doubles Of Kids Ages 5 To 17 Hospitalized For Suicidal Thoughts & Actions

In continuing coverage, the Washington Post (5/8, Andrews) reports in “Morning Mix” that “from 2008 to 2015, the percentage of children ages 5 to 17 hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or actions more than doubled,” researchers found after examining “data on suicidal or self-harm diagnoses from 32 children’s hospitals across” the US. Included in the study were data on some 118,363 instances. The findings were presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting.

Related Links:

— “Percentage of teens and young children hospitalized for suicidal thoughts doubled from 2008 to 2015, study finds,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, May 8, 2017.

Updated Quality Care Measures Issued For Care Of Patients With Dementia

Medscape (5/8, Brooks) reports, “Updated quality measures for the care of patients with dementia encourage physicians to disclose the diagnosis to patients and” those who provide their care. In a press release, the American Psychiatric Association acknowledged, “This is an ‘especially important and potentially controversial’ new addition to the measures on high-quality dementia care.”

The article quotes Robert Paul Roca, MD, MPH, “chair of the APA Council on Geriatric Psychiatry and co-chair of the working group that updated the dementia quality measures,” who said, “There is reluctance on the part of physicians to have this conversation because we really have no definitive disease-altering treatments, so physicians are concerned about the impact of the diagnosis on patients and caregivers.”

He added, “But we know that people want to know what ails them. They don’t want diagnoses withheld from them, so we felt it was important to include a measure that would prompt people to disclose the diagnosis,” he said.

The updated quality care measures were published online May 1 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Related Links:

Medscape (requires login and subscription)

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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