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Feb 10 2023
Research has shown that social determinants of health such as environmental quality influence a person’s health outcomes. A longitudinal, cohort study of 8.9 million Medicare recipients sought to understand the association between long-term exposure to common air pollutants and a diagnosis of depression in older adults (aged 64 and older). When accounting for other environmental factors, exposure to fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone was associated with an increased risk of depression – with the risk increasing the longer the exposure. To learn more, see the study in JAMA Network Open.
Jan 19 2023
A national poll of more than 700 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 found that recent anti-LGBTQ policies and debates cause anger, sadness, stress and fear. Overall, seven in ten LGBTQ youth reported that debates about state laws restricting LGBTQ youth rights have negatively impacted their mental health, with trans and non-binary youth most likely to indicate a negative impact (86%) of all reported groups. Additionally, youth reported experiencing online harassment, problems with family and friends, and not feeling safe seeking medical care as a result of anti-LGBTQ policies and debates. Advocating for laws protecting the rights of LGBTQ youth can help prevent negative mental health impacts. To learn more, see the report from The Trevor Project.
Jan 18 2023
Continuing outpatient mental health services after a psychiatric hospitalization is critical to prevent readmissions or involvement with the criminal justice system. However, a retroactive analysis of Medicaid claims data for approximately 18,000 patients who were hospitalized in psychiatric units found racial disparities in receipt of follow-up care. While 60% of patients overall attended outpatient mental health services within 30 days of discharge, Black (55%) and Native American/Alaska Native (56%) patients were significantly less likely than white (64%) counterparts to receive follow-up care. Community factors including county poverty levels and urbanicity were found to have the most significant impact on variation in follow-up care. To learn more, see the article in Psychiatric Services.
Jan 04 2023
This month, SAMHSA released results from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual nationwide survey on mental health, substance use, treatment rates, and more. Approximately 1 in 5 U.S. adults (22.8%) experienced mental illness in the past year. A third of young adults ages 18-25 (33.7%) experienced mental illness in the past year – the highest rate of any age group. Although new data collection methods limit the comparability of the 2021 NSDUH data to previous years, the data show just how common experiences of mental health conditions have become, particularly among young people. To learn more, see the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Dec 07 2022
Much of the available information about psychosis comes from a medical perspective, which can make those experiencing psychosis feel misunderstood or invalidated by the mental health care system. Two researchers, both diagnosed with schizophrenia, began “Psychosis Outside the Box” to provide an alternative. “Psychosis Outside the Box” is an ongoing project that compiles first-person accounts of psychosis in an online repository. The researchers hope the stories can be shared with other researchers and clinicians to better identify and serve individuals experiencing psychosis, particularly during the early stages when engagement is critical. To learn more, see the article in Psychiatric Services.
Nov 22 2022
NAMI Provider is a no-cost training program designed to help mental health professionals understand the lived experience of mental illness and promote a collaborative model of care. To assess the effectiveness of different delivery methods, 325 medical students were assigned to participate in either a traditional, community-based program (Cohort 1) or an online, active learning program (Cohort 2). Both cohorts showed reduced anxiety interacting with patients with mental illness, decreased stereotyping attitudes, and improved confidence incorporating psychiatry into routine care, with stronger effects among students receiving the online format. The findings highlight the potential benefits of the NAMI Provider program, even when adapted to a virtual learning environment. To learn more, see the article in Medical Education Online.
Nov 15 2022
Social determinants of health (SDoHs) are the conditions present in a person’s life that impact health outcomes and quality of life. A recent analysis of Medicaid claims data of 245,000 youth with a psychiatric diagnosis examined the relationship between SDoHs and self-harm. Controlling for demographic characteristics and clinical diagnoses, adverse SDoHs such as abuse and neglect, child welfare placement and parent-child conflict were significantly associated with self-harm. Researchers advocate for collecting SDoH data in medical records to help identify and intervene in cases of youth at risk for self-harm and suicide. To learn more, see the article in Psychiatric Services.
Nov 15 2022
This month, the American Psychological Association released results from its third annual COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey in which it surveyed nearly 63,000 active, licensed psychologists in the U.S. In 2022, 79% of psychologists reported an increase in patients with anxiety since the pandemic began, 66% in patients with depression, and 26% in patients with severe mental illness. Despite the increased need for mental health care, 60% of psychologists report having no openings for new patients.Telehealth has been critical to providing treatment as 31% of respondents report exclusively using telehealth and 58% report using a hybrid approach. To learn more, see the report from the American Psychological Association.
Nov 09 2022
Mindfulness is a popular technique for addressing stress and anxiety. However, less is known about how it compares to first-line medication treatment for diagnosed anxiety disorders. A randomized clinical trial of 208 adults compared the effectiveness of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to a flexible dosage of the antidepressant escitalopram in treating anxiety disorders. After an 8-week treatment period, adults in the MBSR group reported similar improvements to the escitalopram group on a severity scale of symptoms. Participants in the MBSR group were also less likely to report an adverse event and therefore less likely to drop out of the study. To learn more, see the article in JAMA Psychiatry.
Nov 01 2022
Researchers from the University of California Irvine surveyed over 5,500 adults representative of the U.S. population during the spring of 2020 and later in the fall of 2020 about their experiences with mental health, COVID-19, isolation, loneliness, and distress. Researchers identified exposure to the COVID-19 virus, knowing someone who passed from COVID-19, and consuming hours of media related to COVID-19 as risk factors for experiencing psychological distress and loneliness. State-level mitigation practices, such as stay-at-home orders and public information campaigns, did not appear to affect mental health outcomes. The findings can help inform future public health responses designed to prioritize limiting loss of life, exposure to disease, and psychological distress. To learn more, see the study in Health Psychology.