What Role Do Patients Play in Improving Quality of Care? A Big One.

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David Katzelnick, M.D.
Chair, Division of Integrated Behavioral Health, Mayo Clinic

With a world of health information literally at our fingertips, patients are more informed and engaged than ever. Research indicates that patients who are actively involved in their own healthcare receive higher quality care and achieve better health outcomes.

Yet when it comes to mental health care, there is a lag in patient involvement, often because of the stigma attached to mental illness...

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Help Ensure Mental Health Services for Victims of Intimate Partner Violence

Robin Sabag

Part 1 of the series on the special mental health needs of victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) explained the relationship between IPV, depression, and an increased risk of suicide. In Part 2 CFYM provides actionable steps readers can take to address the disparity of services.

Robin Axelrod Sabag, LCSW, MFT
Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Even women in abusive relationships who do not have a pre-existing mental health issue may find it difficult to leave the relationship...

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Intimate Partner Violence Presents Special Mental Health Concerns

Robin Sabag

Research reveals there is a strong relationship between being a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV) – defined as physical, sexual or psychological harm and depressive disorders. This research conducted as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 showed that experiencing IPV nearly doubled a woman’s risk for subsequently reporting symptoms of depression. More alarming women reporting IPV incident depression were at a higher risk for attempted suicides. In a two-part series, CFYM examines IPV and provides recommendations for self and legislative advocacy.

Robin Axelrod Sabag, LCS...

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My Three-Part Call-to-Action: How We Can Fix Our Mental Healthcare System

Allen Doederlein
President, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

thehill
Photo Credit: The Hill

Last Thursday, February 26, I represented those with lived experiences at The Hill’s mental health briefing Fixing America’s Mental Healthcare System to an audience of nearly 100 leaders and activists in Washington, DC...

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Live! How to Fix Our Mental Health Care System

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Allen Doederlein
President, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

On this Thursday, February 26, I’m excited to participate as a panel member in a mental health policy briefing, Fixing America’s Mental Healthcare System, in Washington, DC, hosted by The Hill. At this important event, we’ll discuss how our nation’s broken system impacts those with a mental health condition, their families, workplaces, and broader communities. We’ll also discuss potential solutions to this crisis. I will be sharing my views as both a patient as well as a representative of all of our DBSA members and families.

Attend the event
For those in DC, register to attend the event! If you can’t be there in person, watch the livestream starting at 8:30 AM EST on Thursday, February 26.

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Now That You Understand Mental Health Parity Issues, How Will You Respond?

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TAKE ACTION

Since the first of the year, CFYM has informed and educated our readers  about the issues of mental health parity. Our guest bloggers have asked, “If we don’t have access, do we really have parity?” Others have revealed the tragic results that can occur when access is lacking. Still others have pointed out the disparity between states.

The one point they all have in common is a plea for you, the reader, to take action! Taking action means getting involved. Below are some suggestions:

  • Understand your insurance benefits
  • Challenge stigma
  • Contact your elected officials

While the words are simple on paper, actually taking steps is anything but. That is why CFYM, in partnership with the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), wants to make getting involved easier for our readers.

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Tragic California Case Exposes Failings in Our Mental Health Care System

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Rusty Selix
Executive Director, Legislative Advocate
California Council of Community Mental Health

In April 2012, Fred Paroutaud, a California man with no history of mental illness, experienced a psychotic episode. Mr. Paroutaud was hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Just 72 hours after he was admitted, and despite the fact that he was still experiencing hallucinations, he was discharged and referred to outpatient group therapy. Because his condition remained unstable he requested alternate therapy and one-on-one sessions with a psychiatrist. He was denied both by his health plan and his condition deteriorated.

Concerned by his worsening depression, his wife appealed to the health plan again and again. She pleaded that her husband required more supervised and personalized treatment. While waiting for an appointment with his psychiatrist, and just two months after his first psychosis, he died by suicide.

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Disparity, Not Parity, Describes Mental Health Status and Access in America Today

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Paul Gionfriddo
President Mental Health America

That’s the bottom line message in a recent report, entitled Parity or Disparity: The State of Mental Health in America 2015, released by Mental Health America (MHA).

But the good news is that there are plenty of things we can do to change that – if we’re willing to change the way we approach mental illnesses in general.

MHA produced this report because we aren’t satisfied with the narrowness of the policy debate we have been having. It has been too much about public safety and post-crisis intervention, leading to a focus on inappropriate, back end, post-crisis care. These interventions occur long after mental health concerns—if identified and treated early—could be eliminated or mitigated, avoiding crises and tragedies.

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