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Your Guide to Mental Health

Over the past 65 years, Mental Health America and its affiliates have observed Mental Health Month each May by raising awareness in communities through the media, local events, and screenings. We have centered this month’s Stakeholder Health E-Zine issue around the theme of mental health in support of their efforts. Below, you will find articles, case studies, and toolkits highlighting ways in which stakeholders across the health system are promoting mental health at the individual and community levels.

 

64px-Noun_project_566.svgARTICLES

David Mechanic (2014), “More People Than Ever Before are Receiving Behavioral Health Care in the United States, but Gaps and Challenges Remain,” Health Affairs 33(8).  “Examines the development and status of the behavioral health services system, gaps in access to and quality of care, and the challenges to implementing aspirations for improved behavioral and related medical services.”

Rachel L. Garfield (2011), “Mental Health Financing: A Primer,” The Kaiser Commission on the Uninsured.  “This primer provides an overview of behavioral health care, reviews the sources of financing for such care, assesses the interaction between different providers, and highlights recent policy debates in mental health.”

USA Today “Mental Illness: The Cost of Not Caring” Series.  A selection of long-form articles highlighting different aspects of mental health in the United States.

 

CASE STUDIES

Les Gura, “Memorial Hospital Becomes ‘Trauma-Informed’ to Improve Health,” Stakeholder Health, Jul. 8, 2014.  Margo DeMont and her team at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Indiana train dozens of care providers and social workers to provide therapy to individuals in the community who have suffered adverse childhood experiences.

  • Watch Margo’s September 2014 Stakeholder Health Forum here
  • Read an interview Margo did with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation here
  • View a list of relevant materials here

Amy C. Watson & Anjali J. Fulambarker (2012), “The Crisis Intervention Team Model of Police Response to Mental Health Crises,” Best Practices in Mental Health 8(2).  “In 1988, following the fatal shooting of a man with a history of mental illness and substance abuse by a Memphis police officer, a community task force comprised of law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals, and mental health advocates collaborated to develop what is now internationally known as the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model. The primary goals of the model are to increase safety in encounters and when appropriate, divert persons with mental illnesses from the criminal justice system to mental health treatment.”

  • View a factsheet by the National Alliance on Mental Illness on the Crisis Intervention Team model here

Jenny Gold, “San Antonio Police Have Radical Approach to Mental Illness: Treat It,” Kaiser Health News, Aug. 19, 2014.  “The effort has focused on an idea called ‘smart justice’—basically, diverting people with serious mental illness out of jail and into treatment instead. It is possible because all the players in the system that deal with mental illness . . . pooled their resources to take better care of people with mental illness.”

Laura Landro, “Hospitals Help Families Cope: The Psychological Toll of a Child’s Illness,” The Wall Street Journal, 14601014695_30cfe1972d_mApril 13, 2015.  Discusses how Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE is helping families cope with a child’s illness through screenings and referrals to mental health services.

Tracie White (2014), “Peer Support Program Helps Veterans Combat PTSD,” Stanford Medicine News.  “Through phone calls and on-site support groups, [peer support providers] give advice on how to survive the day-to-day challenges of readjusting to civilian life based on their personal experience. Their role isn’t to provide psychiatric treatment, but to help break down the barriers that are blocking other veterans from getting the care they need.”

Adelle M. Banks, “No longer behind the curve: Black churches address mental illness,” The Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2014.  Discusses how African-American churches are utilizing the “Mental Health First Aid” Program to help people learn how to spot symptoms of mental illness

  • More about the “Mental First Aid” Program here

Elizabeth L. McGarvey et al (2014), “Effectiveness of A-CRA/ACC in Treating Adolescents with Cannabis-Use Disorders,” Community Mental Health Journal 50.  Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) and Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) are community-based outpatient treatments for adolescents with substance use disorders. This study describes how the treatments are implemented and depicts promising results in both urban and rural settings.

 

6984844254_df286c4529_mFOOD FOR THOUGHT

Richard Lamb et al (2002), “The Police and Mental Health,” Psychiatric Services 53(10).  The police are typically the first and often the sole community resource called on to respond to urgent situations involving persons with mental illness . . . This responsibility thrusts them into the role of primary gatekeepers who determine whether the mental health or the criminal justice system can best meet the needs of the individual with acute psychiatric problems.”

Ethan Watters (2010), “The Americanization of Mental Illness,” New York Times Magazine, Jan. 8, 2010.  “When we undermine local conceptions of self and modes of healing, we may be speeding along the disorienting changes that are the very heart of much of the world’s mental distress.”