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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’s Latest Radio Spot Tells How Common Mental Illness Is

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, Inc.’s latest public service announcement on local Maryland radio stations focuses on how common mental illness really is. It discusses how people avoid thinking about it and urges them to seek help when needed.

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.

Foundation’s Latest Radio Spot Examines Alcohol and Sports

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, Inc. recently began airing a new public service announcement on local Maryland radio stations. It focuses on the role alcohol can play as the fall sports season begins.

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.

Depressed Adolescents Often Struggle Alone

The Los Angeles Times (4/29, Healy) “Booster Shots” blog reported that although “some 2-million Americans adolescents experienced a bout of major depression last year,” only about one-third of them received help, according to a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to “kick off a month of national activity aimed at raising awareness of childrens’ mental health.”

Overall, about “8.1% of the population between 12 and 17 years old reported experiencing a period of depressed mood lasting two or more weeks in the preceding 12 months.” Depressive episodes increased with age; and adolescent boys were “consistently less likely to report depression.” Nearly 15 percent of “girls 15 to 17 years old” described a “major depressive episode in the preceding year, compared to an average of 6.4% of boys” of the same age “who did so.”

Related Links:

– “Depressed teens mostly struggle alone,” Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2011.

John Plaskon Wins 2011 Outstanding Merit Award

At the MPS annual meeting in April, the Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry presented its 2011 Outstanding Merit Award to John Plaskon, executive director of Crossroads Community, Inc. in Centreville, for his vision and leadership in opening a new mental health clinic in rural Queen Anne’s County during the height of the recession.

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry established the annual Outstanding Merit Award for a worthy program in Maryland that accomplishes one or more of the following:

  • Increases public awareness and understanding of mental illness
  • Enhances the quality of care for psychiatric illness
  • Reduces the stigma of mental illness

The award, open to the entire Maryland community, carries a prize of $500. Find information on nominating for the 2012 award here.

2012 Outstanding Merit Award Entries Open Now

Nominations are now being accepted for the Foundation’s 2012 Outstanding Merit Award.

The annual Outstanding Merit Award is given for a worthy endeavor in Maryland that accomplishes one or more of the following:

  • Increases public awareness and understanding of mental illness
  • Enhances the quality of care for psychiatric illness
  • Reduces the stigma of mental illness

Nominations for this award of $500 are being invited from the entire Maryland community. A short nomination form must be submitted with a cover letter by March 1, 2012, to the Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry, 1101 Saint. Paul Street, Suite 305, Baltimore, MD 21202-6405. The form is available as PDF or Word document.