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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The way a person's brain responds to stress following a traumatic event, such as a car accident, may help to predict their long-term mental health outcomes, according to research supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. The research, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, is part of the NIMH-funded AURORA study(link is external), a large-scale, multisite study that followed more than 3,000 people for up to a year after exposure to a traumatic event.
In October, Limbix, a company creating digital therapeutics for adolescents, released data from a trial on its new product: SparkRx. SparkRx is a self-guided therapy program for teens run entirely on a phone. Limbix was founded in 2016, and has about 30 employees, with plans to add 30 more by the second quarter of 2022.
Cases of psychosis have soared over the past two years in England as an increasing number of people experience hallucinations and delusional thinking amid the stresses of the Covid-19 pandemic. There was a 75% increase in the number of people referred to mental health services for their first suspected episode of psychosis between April 2019 and April 2021, NHS data shows.
Every day, Emily Herring meets with troubled kids: A boy who was tossed out of class after an angry outburst, a child whose parent died of COVID-19, another who is afraid of infecting her live-in grandparents. Sometimes she sits down with kids who just need to talk. Herring is one of 101 mental health service coordinators who are building a pilot program in Alabama public schools that launched in October 2020. She and an intern provide services to 1,600 kids from kindergarten through high school in four Fairfield City schools.
The Commission on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, established by the 2021 Legislature, is charged with making "recommendations on how to best provide and facilitate mental health and substance abuse services in the state." One of its specific duties is to make recommendations "regarding the establishment of a permanent, agency-level entity to manage mental health, substance abuse and related services statewide." It's notable that another Florida Commission on Mental Health and Substance created by the Legislature in 1999 found that "... no one entity is attending to the overall system."
More than a dozen behavioral health clinics across Michigan will now be able to turn to Medicaid to fund its services, the same way community health centers can do for physical care. The new avenue for funding will allow clinics that meet quality standards to expand access to services, including 24-hour psychiatric crisis services, which is expected to reduce unnecessary visits to jails and emergency rooms as a result of no community mental health services.
In September 2020, Congress passed bipartisan legislation creating a three-digit national suicide hotline: 988. Think of it as an alternative to 911 for mental health emergencies. The system is intended to make it easier to seek immediate help during a mental health crisis. Instead of calling 911 or the 10-digit national suicide hotline, Americans theoretically will be able to speak to a trained counselor by calling 988 from almost any phone line.
Greene County, Ohio, agencies and law enforcement will increase access to trauma-focused prevention services for children and families through a five-year, $2 million grant. The program, titled Community Health & Resilience Initiative, will provide screening, assessment and intervention for children at risk of a mental health crisis, training first responders and staff at Children Services, Juvenile Court, and Xenia and Fairborn police departments to help families when they need it.
Baltimore police and city officials will host an online forum Tuesday seeking public feedback on a plan to increase emergency counseling resources to reduce the number of interactions people experiencing a behavioral or mental health crisis have with police. The 52-page plan published last month comes after a city analysis in December 2019 stated that "community-based, mobile crisis response teams that are not led by the police should be greatly expanded" and that the city needs to make residents more aware of alternatives to calling 911 for various health crises.
As the coronavirus spread around the world, some 76 million people reported anxiety problems brought on by the pandemic, a 26 percent increase from 2019 to 2020, according to research published in the Lancet journal. Based on data from 48 studies, encompassing 204 countries and territories, the researchers determined that this pandemic-inspired increase brought the global total for anxiety disorders to 374 million people.
Dr. Mark Ragins, PRA's 2011 John Beard Lifetime Award recipient and recovery movement leader, has just written an inspiring and thoughtful new book, Journeys Beyond the Frontier: A Rebellious Guide to Psychosis and Other Extraordinary Experiences. Paperback and kindle editions are available on Amazon, where a full description and sample are available. Dr. Ragins recently described some of the content of the book as a keynote with panel discussion at the CASRA conference in October 2020; you may watch it here or through his website
Sleep problems are both symptoms of and modifiable risk factors for many psychiatric disorders. Wrist-worn accelerometers enable objective measurement of sleep at scale. Here, we aimed to examine the association of accelerometer-derived sleep measures with psychiatric diagnoses and polygenic risk scores in a large community-based cohort.