Patients Need to Be Involved in Policy-Making

Photo of Tony Coelho

Editors’ Note: With Congress in recess for the 4th of July holiday, we get a brief reprieve from the Senate’s consideration of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” From where we sit, this legislation severely undermines gains that we have made in access to and quality of mental health care.

In the spirit of citizen engagement, we offer an encore post from former Member of Congress Tony Coelho on the need for patients – and we would add families, too – to be involved in policy-making. We hope it will inspire you to share your concerns about the proposed changes to the healthcare system and to tell your elected officials how this bill would impact you and your family’s health and wellbeing.

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

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Reducing the Suicide Rate Among Middle-Aged Men in Massachusetts

MassMen, Massachusetts Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program

Of the more than 44,000 Americans who die by suicide each year, the vast majority—79%—of those who are taking their lives are men.

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Are Treatment Myths Keeping Men from Seeking Help for Depression?

John Ogrodniczuk

John Ogrodniczuk, PhD, Professor and Director of the Psychotherapy Program in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world, yet men are notoriously reluctant to reach out for help with depression. A number of roadblocks can get in their way, not the least of which are myths or concerns about treatments for depression.

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Five Myths that Prevent Men from Fighting Depression

Joshua R. Beharry

Joshua R. Beharry, Project Coordinator, HeadsUpGuys

Depression is a difficult topic for many men to discuss, yet it’s one we need to talk about during this year’s Men’s Health Week (June 12th-18th).

Unfortunately phrases like “be strong,” “don’t cry,” “suck it up,” and “be a man” shape how young men think about their emotions and health, and discourage them from talking to others when things might not be going so well.

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Peer Support Receives Much Needed Recognition from Congress

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Last year, Congress gave mental health advocates a year-end present during the lame duck session by passing mental health reform legislation as part of the 21st Century Cures Act and sending it to President Obama for signature. Implementation began in earnest on May 24, 2017, with the call for nominations for non-federal appointments to the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee. Read about this and other wins in this legislation in this post from the CFYM archives.

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Mental Health Advocates Share Their Lived Experience with Congressional Staffers

Denise Camp

Denise Camp, ALWF, CPRS, RPS, and Mindy Goodman, Parent Volunteer

Peer support received a big boost from the last U.S. Congress and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) took the opportunity to thank Congressional supporters at a recent U.S. House Mental Health Caucus panel event. Held as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, “Peer Support Across Generations” was supported by Representatives Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM).

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Helping My Son to Plan Ahead

Kristin Olbertson

Kristin Olbertson

My teenage son has bipolar disorder. My husband and I want him to be ready to manage his care and treatment decisions, so we’re engaging him now.

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Elements of the ACA that We Need to Preserve

Susan Weinstein, Co-Executive Director
Families for Depression Awareness

For families affected by a mental health condition, what elements of health insurance are necessary?

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