The Weekly MashUp is a recurring segment on Hear Me Out, the Young Minds’ Blog, highlighting the most pertinent local and national news for children’s mental health advocates. If you haven’t already, sign up to be on our email list to get the Weekly MashUp delivered to your inbox automatically, every Friday!
Yesterday, the Federal Parity Task Force issued a final report that announced a series of actions and recommendations to better ensure increased implementation of mental health parity; to support consumers, providers, and plans in understanding how parity works; and to guarantee appropriate oversight and enforcement of parity protections. These efforts are founded on input the Task Force received through sessions with consumers, providers, employers, health plans, and State regulators. They are also based on the input of over 1,100 public comments received from individuals experiencing mental health and substance use disorders and their families, as well as their providers, advocates, and other stakeholders.
States See Peer-Recovery Coaches As A Way To Break The Addiction Epidemic
California Healthline – 10.26.16
The article highlights programs that promote the use of peer-recovery coaches to support patients who are in the emergency room because of an overdose. Experts suggests that these coaches are more relatable and that patients often trust them because of shared experiences with substance abuse. Peer-recovery coaches are also living proof that recovery is possible. Furthermore, coaches are able to stay in contact with patients after they have been discharged, whereas an emergency doctor may have very limited time to discuss treatment. Coaches are encouraged to meet patients regularly to support them with sobriety and issues around housing, food stamps, court obligations, or employment. With millions of people in the United States estimated to abuse opioids, an epidemic resulting in billions towards hospitalization costs, this model is gaining traction across the country. The article highlights challenges around sustaining this model, including hospitals’ strict rules around employing anyone with a criminal background and recruitment.
Can Mental Illness Be Prevented In The Womb?
NPR – 10.22.16
Researchers believe that giving pregnant mothers a supplement of B vitamin choline could help prevent mental illness in children. In the study, published in 2013 by Robert Freedman, psychiatrist at the University of Colorado, and his colleagues, researches investigated the effects of B vitamin choline on the brain development of a fetus. Expectant mothers were either given a placebo or phosphatidylcholine, a form of choline. This continued after birth with the infants receiving either liquid phosphatidylcholine or a placebo. To test the impact of choline, researchers exposed children at 5 weeks old to a series of clicking sounds and monitored brain activity for “inhibition,” a sign that the brain identifies a familiar tone and is unmoved by it. In some kids this inhibition does not occur, a finding linked with an increased risk for attention issues, social withdrawal and, later in life, schizophrenia. Freedman’s group found that 76% of newborns whose mothers received choline supplements had normal inhibition to the sound stimuli, while only 43% of those born to mothers who didn’t receive choline had normal inhibition. Freedman notes that “it occurred to us that just as folic acid can help overcome defects in brain and spinal cord development, perhaps supplementing mothers with choline could help prevent mental illness…And now that the children in our study are over 4 years old, we can see that those given the supplement appear to be on a different developmental track, one with fewer mental problems.”
STUDY: Mental and Physical Health of Children in Foster Care
The American Academy of Pediatrics – October 2016
Conference Marks Growing Aspirations for ACEs Movement
The Chronicle of Social Change – 10.27.16
Mental Illness Is Not a Horror Show
The New York Times – 10.26.16
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