Mental Health Media Watch: January 2016

JAN. 27, 2016

By Bob Carolla



Each month a swirl of news stories, some involving mental illness generally, others with NAMI serving as a leading voice of authority, helping to shape the news, are published across the country. The first month of 2016 was no exception. Here are a few of the highlights.

“You Are Not Alone!” – Media icon Oprah Winfrey has helped expand discussion of mental illness by rolling out a feature for the February issue of O magazine. In the issue, mental health professionals and individuals share their powerful stories. [People]

Ask Amy: What to Do When a Neighbor Might Have a Mental Illness – Syndicated advice columnist Amy Dickinson, carried in hundreds of newspapers nationwide, spoke with NAMI medical director Ken Duckworth about how to best respond. Both agreed that the first step is to simply talk to your neighbor. [Detroit Free Press]

FOX Sports Supports Announces New Non-Profit Partnerships to be Represented in 2016 & 2017Over the next two years, FOX Sports Supports, the charitable branch of FOX Sports, will partner with to raise mental health awareness across the country. Together with the Positive Coaching Alliance, NAMI was selected by FOX Sports employees to be an organization of choice for its charitable resources. [FOX Sports]

16 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health in 2016 – If you’re going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year, make sure at least some focus on your mental health. The article included a recommendation from NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti: "It's important to get educated and empowered. Learn about the conditions and seek out assistance from a professional and other people.” [Huffington Post]

Obama Expands Gun Controls, What Does It Mean for Mental Health? In January, President Obama issued executive orders for gun control that increased debate over the linkage between mental illness and violence—which contrary to perceptions is relatively low. The President also proposed an increase of $500 million in federal funds for mental health services—a need that in fact exists independent of gun control. NAMI Senior Policy Advisor Ron Honberg and others were in thick of the discussion. [Wall Street Journal] [ABC News] [New York Times] [International Business Times] [WJLA]

NAMI Helps Set the Policy Agenda – In 2015, NAMI released two major reports which continue to get media coverage and influence policymakers. One, A Long Road Ahead, Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care, which discusses insurance discrimination, has led to legislation now pending in Congress. [Behavioral Healthcare]

The other report, on state mental health legislation and the continuing decline in the number of states investing in mental health services, caused a leading publication for state executives and legislators to include mental health spending as one of the top legislative issues to watch in 2016 under “trending.” [Governing

State media, such as MinnPost also used NAMI’s state report to help define the policy agenda for the New Year. [MinnPost]

Improving the Federal Response to Challenges in Mental Health Care in America – From an even an even broader perspective, Congress is currently considering comprehensive mental health reform legislation. On Jan. 20, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee convened a hearing on how to improve the federal response to mental health care. Hakeem Rahim of New York testified for NAMI and NAMI’s insurance report was also cited by Senators. [U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions]


FEB, 02, 2016 12:41:41 PM
Cathie Cecililani
I live and breathe the world of mental illness through my son. I am on egg shells and a roller coaster most of my days dealing with him. He doesn't want to cooperate with treatment, take his medication, etc. He denies me any access to his doctors so I am left in the dark and have to rely on him telling me what needs to happen. I have become his number one enemy in his delusional thinking, yet I am the only one to stand by him. The HIPPA act has got to go in mental illness. Privacy for a psychotic, delusional thinking person is not rational. And yes, there is definitely still a sigma, no matter how hard people try to pretend it's not there or say it's improving.

JAN, 30, 2016 09:23:27 AM
Joanne Ciborowski
When it was the function of the state to provide care for the mental health department, there was criticism. The state has now privatized these services. Unfortunately, when politics and nepotism, become involved in the hiring practices of non-profit organizations that care for the consumers of mental health services, too many people do not get the help even though it is needed and sought.
Personally, I always felt that it would take a celebrity of some sort to push the anti-stigma campaign through, however, a celebrity may have one thing that I and most consumers do not have. These include: money, physical health (due to side effects of psych medication), an acceptance in society, a safe place to live including clean air to breathe, and a host of other factors that a celebrity may not even think about in their daily lives.

JAN, 30, 2016 07:56:22 AM
Erica Wimbish
I have a response... My name is Erica wimbish I am bipolar 1,manic depressive, add, depression, post pardum depression, generalized anxiety, social anxiety.. I have struggled with mental illness along with a variety of other issues but most importantly the reason for the other issues is because there is a underlying condition/'s that are not being addressed state wide. I know first hand. The country is slowly starting to realize that mental illness is an epidemic that is killing the country of not on there own they are killing others. I have many beliefs on this subject and have my story that I think will be able to broaden the minds and thoughts of others. I am very well aware of my thoughts actions and how my disease works and runs. Most don't. Most deny to the bitter end that they have a mental illness. The process I am trying to convey is this. Why doesn't the government spend more money on treatment of the mentally ill? Why don't people all over listen to the people who need help? Is there alternative ways of dealing with mental illness besides prescribing hundreds of medications that don't work they actually make the illness worse? I have reached my breaking point with the eyes, and ears of blind individuals who don't know not one thing about the community, world etc. My thought is this.. More one on one understanding of mental illnesses will lessen the crime rate by providing for the mentally ill. The more options for mentally ill the less homeless rate, poverty rate. Which in turn will allow communities to to build off of economically, produce more jobs, believe it or not a individual with a mental illness has a higher IQ than the normally individual. Our thought pattern may seem insane and non coherent. But if someone who understands the illnesses enough to be able to understand what they are saying the better it is for both sides. Its hard for me to convey a message that I am trying to say. But better communication between people the better understanding there is I'm general..

JAN, 28, 2016 03:42:46 PM
robin fountain
Good job

JAN, 28, 2016 10:59:21 AM
Evelyn Agra
I would like to be updated with NAMI

JAN, 28, 2016 04:19:09 AM
If you are successfully managing a mental "disorder," please join the mission to shed light on the prevalence of mental “disorders.” Help eliminate the "stigma," which impedes so many from obtaining the treatment they need.

To fight the stigma of Mental Disorders, we must find a way to reflect on the experiences of those who are THRIVING subsequent to seeking treatment; rather than emphasizing those who remain at rock bottom. Stories abound from celebrities; but relatable individuals with long standing careers in other fields must be heard and considered.

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