Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and Foundation

Recovery Update

Recovery Update features the most recent articles from throughout the field of psychiatric rehabilitation. Stay up to date on all the latest mental health news through this weekly newsletter.
 

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Recovery Update features the most recent articles from throughout the field of psychiatric rehabilitation. Stay up to date on all the latest mental health news through this weekly newsletter.

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Distressing world events, whether near or far, can take a toll on mental health. Violent clashes at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12 and the threat of nuclear missile launches by North Korea leader Kim Jong Un are just two of the latest developments that — in addition to their direct harm — addle our daily lives.
New research suggests that some mothers' and fathers' psychological well-being may suffer when their work and family identities - and the amount of financial support they provide - conflict with conventional gender roles.
School-based mental health programs can reach large numbers of children, with increasing evidence of effectiveness in improving mental health and related outcomes, according to a research review in the September/October issue of the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer. "This review provides evidence that large-scale, school-based programs can be implemented in a variety of diverse cultures and educational models as well as preliminary evidence that such programs have significant, measurable positive effects on students' emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes," write J. Michael Murphy, EdD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and colleagues.
A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and reported by Emotion Researcher surveyed nearly 1,300 American adults to better understand the relationship between accepting our emotions and mental health. Iris Mauss, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and principal investigator in the study explained: "We found that people who habitually accept their negative emotions experience fewer negative emotions, which adds up to better psychological health."
Limited scientific evidence exists to support the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabinoid products for patients with either chronic pain or PTSD, according to data from two reviews published in Annals of Internal Medicine. "Physicians will increasingly need to engage in evidence-based discussions with their patients about the potential benefits and harms of cannabis use," Shannon M. Nugent, Ph.D., from VA Portland Health Care System and Oregon Health & Science University, and colleagues wrote.
The stigma of attorneys seeking help for mental health disorders needs to be eliminated, according to a report released recently by various groups, including the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. "To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer. Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to well-being," states the report (PDF) from the the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.
Dan Blackman's father was a well-known man in the community of his small Pennsylvania town. He was a lawyer, ran a good business and everyone liked him and liked drinking with him. His dad died a few years ago from a combination of liver and lung cancer. His dad was what they call a functioning alcoholic. "It wasn't until I started talking to my family a bit more that I realized my dad never got the help he needed," Blackman told me.
Three congressional Democrats have asked a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine to consult with them about forming an expert panel to offer the legislators advice on assessing President Trump's mental health. Yale's Dr. Bandy Lee told STAT that over the last few weeks members of Congress or their staff have asked her to discuss how members might convene psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals "to review the president's mental health, and review it on a periodic basis."
The federal government has named the public members who will serve on a new panel charged with coordinating the response to serious mental illness in the United States. The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) was established by the 21st Century Cures Act. Senior leaders from ten federal agencies, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Labor, Veteran Affairs, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, Education, and Labor, as well as the Social Security Administration, will sit on the panel.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Aug. 16 said she wants a special session to fill a $215 million shortfall in several agencies' budgets, but she now must wait for lawmakers to strike a deal. Four agencies lost that expected cash after the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a cigarette "fee" this month, the Departments of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Human Services, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the commission that enforces alcohol and tobacco laws.
Since the horrific shooting of children and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, Connecticut has made significant investments in school mental health services and specifically in identifying and treating victims of trauma. But with no state budget and school beginning in less than a month, many Connecticut districts may have to cut back on recently expanded mental health services or make room for them in their own budgets.
Researchers continue to search for evidence regarding the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In 2 reviews recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers analyzed ongoing studies aimed at plant-based cannabis' medicinal benefits, including use in chronic pain and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).