News for the Week of October 12, 2015
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!
Federal Report Calls For End To ‘Conversion Therapy’ For LGBT Youth
Huffington Post – 10.15.15
Last Thursday, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a report calling for the abolition of “conversion therapy” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth (LGBT). In their report, SAMHSA concludes that “none of the existing research” can support the belief that homosexuality is a mental disorder that can be treated. This practice can have negative consequences on the mental wellness of a young person, since “directing the child or adolescent to conform to any particular gender expression or identity, or directing parents and guardians to place pressure on the child or adolescent to conform to specific gender expressions and/or identities, is inappropriate and reinforces harmful gender stereotypes.” Special expert on LGBT affairs at SAMHSA, Elliot Kennedy, acknowledges the mental health disparities faced by these youth, “in particular, issues related to suicide, depression, substance abuse and homelessness, among many others — often relate to experiences of family rejection due to their sexual orientation, their gender identity or their gender expression.” Moving forward, SAMHSA reinforces the importance of reducing discrimination toward LGBT individuals, educating behavioral health providers on working with this population, and taking legal action against ‘conversion therapy’, which “can cause significant physical and psychological harm.”
The U.S. Faces A Shortage Of Mental Health Providers. This Is One Way We Could Solve It
Think Progress – 10.13.15
The shortage of child psychiatrists in the United States has led primary care physicians to step up to provide care for children and adolescents. A recent study has shown that one in three children seek outpatient mental health care services from a primary care provider, rather than a specialist. Dr. Jeanne Van Cleave, the author of the study, suggests that more input and effective collaboration with child psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers could help meet the demands of the one in five adolescents suffering from a mental health condition. This approach is known as the collaborative care model–“an integration of specialized mental health services and primary care.” While more than 10% of adolescents develop a depressive condition before reaching 18, the number of psychiatrists in the nation continues to shrink, with 60% of those in the field nearing retirement age. The collaborative care model has been successfully applied in Washington state. Since 2008, more than 200 community health centers in Washington have applied mental health integration programs, with more than 35,000 individuals receiving care.
SLO County Lacks Inpatient Mental Health Care Facilities For Seniors, Children And The Privately Insured
The Tribune – 10.12.15
The Tribune takes an in-depth look at San Luis Obispo’s (SLO) only inpatient Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF), which opened in 2003 after the county’s General Hospital and its psychiatric unit, closed. The 16-bed facility serves primarily low-income individuals “in their worst stages of mental health crisis.” Four of the 16 beds, if available, can be used for children between ages 8 and 18. However, the county can only use these beds to stabilize kids for “a day or two” before they are transferred to a psychiatric hospital. The lack of other inpatient care facilities in the county can mean that children, senior citizens, and people with private insurance may travel hundreds of miles to receive treatment, creating significant barriers to accessing care. While the PHF is the only inpatient facility in the county, SLO has developed outpatient mental health services at five clinics and through partnerships with local nonprofit groups, as well as a county mobile crisis team.
Sarah Silverman Opens Up About Her Battle With Depression and Her Gutsiest Career Move Yet
Glamour – 10.14.15
An Open Letter to a Person With Mental Illness
Huffington Post – 10.14.15
The Way People Talk About Mental Health Is Crazy
Huffington Post – 10.12.15
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**News stories shared in the Weekly MashUp do not necessarily represent the views of Young Minds Advocacy Project.