Category Peer Support Services

Fixing Not Forcing Services

harvey2Harvey Rosenthal
Executive Director, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS)

In the wake of several recent mass shootings, many are calling for an overhaul of the nation’s systems of mental health care. A national debate has been renewed over whether legislation is needed to force local officials and mental health providers to be more responsive to those with more profound mental health needs, and whether those groups should, in turn, force such individuals to accept some form of treatment. In this post, Harvey Rosenthal argues we should reframe the debate and focus on reforms that significantly increase the range and raise the bar for community outreach and supportive services.

Fixing Not Forcing Services

Over the past year, we’ve seen an intensified focus on our nation’s and state mental health systems that has drawn a broad array of advocacy groups to weigh in on the merits of two legislative proposals put forward by House members Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania) and Ron Barber (D-Arizona).

Central to Congressman Murphy’s bill is a provision that would require states to adopt or expand court-mandated outpatient commitment programs like New York’s Kendra’s Law in order to access federal block grant dollars. These and several other provisions have generated much controversy. While it now appears that contentious provisions like these will not be moved by the House GOP leadership this year, it is imperative that we address a number of challenges that the bills present.

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Say Hello to the National Network of Depression Centers: Part II

Dr. John Greden. M.D.greden
Executive Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center

Today we continue our interview with John Greden of the National Network of Depression Centers. NNDC is a 21 member institution representing the top academic medical centers in the country focused on providing excellence in the advancement of treatment for depression and bipolar disorder. We ended our previous post with Dr. Greden identifying issues that can be barriers to innovation.

Say Hello to the National Network of Depression Centers: Part II

CFYM: Dr. Greden, you’ve shared with us some pretty radical ideas on how to shake up the way mental health services are delivered. However you also explained that current methods of research and funding can be barriers to implementing these ideas. How does the existence of NNDC help address these issues?

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Say Hello to the National Network of Depression Centers

gredenDr. John Greden. M.D.
Executive Director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center

Can you imagine 21 leading institutions collaborating on diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders? That’s the National Network of Depression Centers, affecting and advocating for mental health care. What does the NNDC mean for people living with depression or bipolar disorder and their families? Dr. John Greden met with CFYM to talk about the NNDC’s role, concerns, and impacts.

Say Hello to the National Network of Depression Centers

CFYM: Tell us about the NNDC and why it was formed.

JG: The NNDC is a national network of mood disorder specialists from psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, etc. To make real progress in the understanding and successful, sustainable treatment of mood disorders, we must

  • initiate a more robust approach on how we diagnose, study and treat patients and,
  • influence the policies put in place on researching and treating mood disorders

To do all that, a national collaborative network with the resources for widespread, longitudinal follow-up that has the ability to bring research findings into the community is required. At the NNDC we seek to model the collaborative networks for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes care, and emphasize why the same level of effort and funding is necessary to improve the lives of people living with mood disorders.

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Eating Disorders Awareness Week

alison_malmon_2_websiteAllison Malmon
Founder and Executive Director of Active Minds

According to NCBI there is strong comorbidity between eating disorders and mood disorders. Read today’s CFYM post, by Alison Malmon, founder and executive director of Active Minds, Inc., to learn more about Eating Disorders Awareness Week and how these complex mental health disorders affect college students.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

When discussing mental health issues, especially on college campuses, I’ve noticed that we often bypass one of the most life-threatening: eating disorders. Knowing that 40 percent of all people are struggling with or impacted by eating disorders, Active Minds launched its Eating Disorder Awareness Week in 2011 and will begin its fourth observation on February 23, 2014. The week is devoted to educating the public—and especially our student chapters—about the prevalence of eating disorders, the many ways they affect college-aged students, and how young adults can support one another in prevention, treatment, and recovery.

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What’s the Most Neglected Topic of 2014?

In his Sunday column of the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof offers his suggestions for the “Most Neglected Topic” of 2014. There is certainly a lot to choose from: political battles that shut down the government, ongoing war in the Middle East, lack of functionality of the ACA website.

In the opinion of Kristof, however, we aren’t paying enough attention to mental health issues in this country. And he shares similar views to comments I observed in Tuesday’s CFYM post. Both Kristof and commenters suggested that the media bears some responsibility for the problem...

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Yes, It is OK2Talk About Your Mental Health Condition

Sen_Smith_hi In today’s CFYM post Gordon H. Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters and former U.S. Senator from Oregon (1997 to 2009) informs our readers about the innovative OK2Tallk campaign aimed at young adults. This program provides broadcasters with PSA’s to air on their network and features young adults as role models to support peers living with a mental health condition.

Yes, It is OK2Talk About Your Mental Health Condition

How are you doing?” This simple question is one of our most often used phrases, but rarely do we listen to the answer.

It’s our nature to say “fine, thanks” and go on with our day. You rarely – if ever – hear someone say “not well, I’m having a really tough time and would like to talk about it.”

But We Should

One in four Americans will experience a mental health condition this year. That’s more than 78 million people – or a few million more than the populations of California, Texas and Pennsylvania combined. Mental illness doesn’t care if you are tall, short, rich or poor. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

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Do Gratitude and Mental Health Go Together?

Food for Thought This Thanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving, all of us at CFYM offer our thanks to people who we have engaged with and have supported this unique advocacy blog. It was our vision when we launched the blog in May to provide a forum to bring peers, families, policy and legislative experts together to participate in dialogue around the issues that matter most to us – access to quality mental health care.

We have much to be thankful for this year, and in the spirit of what CFYM is all about, we’d like to share a sampling of messages from our expert contributors. Read below what they’re thankful for as they reflect on the holiday.

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Ensure the Peer Voice Is Heard in D.C. September 16-17

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Hill Day

The lived experience of a mood disorder must be represented everywhere decisions are being made that affect mental health care. To that end, DBSA is pleased to join NAMI, MHA, and other national behavioral health organizations as a National Council Hill Day 2013 partner. We are indeed stronger together and by joining forces and voices, we can make the most impact.

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