mental health

Around one in five American adults lives with a mental illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Many of these people also have serious, often preventable, physical illnesses, but often don’t get the care they need for those problems. As a result, people with serious mental illnesses die on average 10 to 20 years earlier than others. These illnesses affect minority communities to a substantially greater degree than they do non-Hispanic white populations. Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, difficulty accessing effective treatments and qualified providers, and a lack of clear evidence to support...
Dear Research Advocate: In welcome news, Congress is making progress on FY19 appropriations. The Senate Appropriations Committee has completed work on all 12 bills and Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has said that the full Senate may consider a package containing the Defense and Labor-HHS bills during the week of July 23rd. We can’t count our chickens before they hatch, but this is good news indeed, considering the Senate has not passed the LHHS bill before fiscal year-end since 2007. Yesterday, the full House Appropriations Committee passed their version of the Labor-HHS spending bill, which includes $38.3 billion for NIH, an additional $1.25 billion over the FY18 level, an additional $427M...
Stigma remains a top barrier to treatment for mental illness among minority groups, said panelists during a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by Research!America, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and the National Medical Association on June 13, 2018. Panelists stressed the importance of stakeholder collaboration, increased minority representation in health care fields and patient advocacy to help overcome mental health disparities. Andrew Sperling, director of legislative and policy advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, moderated the discussion. Mental illness is generally considered a taboo subject in the...
Dear Research Advocate: The House Appropriations Committee released its FY19 Labor-HHS funding bill earlier today for subcommittee markup tomorrow morning . A few notes on the bill: NIH received $38.3 billion -- an additional $1.25 billion over the FY18 level -- and AHRQ received $334 million -- the same funding level as FY18. After accounting for anticipated, one-time changes to the total (including the transfer of the strategic national stockpile to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness), CDC received a $427 million funding increase. Given that the highly constrained dollars the “Labor-H” Subcommittee had to work with, the NIH, AHRQ and CDC results are definitely a...
Twenty-two percent of all U.S. injuries in the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs). If you or a family member were impacted, were you aware of the potential consequences of those injuries? The most common comorbid condition with a TBI is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Of soldiers with TBI, more than 40% have also been diagnosed with PTSD. The problem is that PTSD cannot be seen, and so we wait on individuals to report symptoms, but by then it’s often too late! According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as 22 veterans committed suicide per day in 2013. What if a blood test could tell you who is at risk? My research...
Mental health in this country is not getting the attention it deserves, says Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30). During Research!America’s 29th Annual Meeting of Members on March 14 in Washington, D.C., Rep. Johnson stressed the importance of early intervention and “assertive community treatment” to successfully address mental illness nationwide. “Each time we see massive incidents, we get concerned about [mental illness] again,” Rep. Johnson said. “But without those massive incidents, we still have the problem and don’t want it to be manifested in that fashion before we give it attention.” She was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting. Following Rep. Johnson’s remarks, a...
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30) will be the keynote speaker at Research!America’s 29 th Annual Meeting of Members on March 14 from noon to 2 p.m. ET at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. The annual meeting will include election of directors, reports from leadership and a panel discussion about mental health. Rep. Johnson, Ranking Member of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and a member of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, will share insights from Capitol Hill on issues relevant to our nation’s scientific enterprise. Experts from across the mental health and neuroscience research continuum will participate in a panel discussion...
Rethinking the ways in which we address mental health issues is critical in the development of new and innovative technologies, treatments, and strategies. Instead of simply providing a diagnosis, treatment strategies should focus on the entire community of individuals affected by mental illness, said Dr. Arthur Evans, CEO of the American Psychological Association. At the “Tackling Mental Health Through Innovation” forum hosted by CQ Roll Call on September 19 in Washington, D.C., Evans emphasized the importance of intervention strategies as a top priority to ensure at-risk individuals receive necessary care. “Let’s make sure that within the community we have the infrastructure, the...
There was a time when people didn’t know that suicide is preventable. Before suicide prevention research began in earnest, people were afraid to even talk about suicide, because they thought they could cause someone to die by suicide if they spoke the word: that it would put the idea in their head, and the person in distress would act on it. The only time the brain was even mentioned was if there was physical damage to the brain as the result of a suicide attempt. People placed social judgments on those with mental health conditions because they didn’t understand that the brain is an organ that can be remedied, just like other organs. Research, a guided process of inquiry, has led us to...
One in five Americans suffer from mental illness but less than half receive treatment. Teresa Pasquini, whose son was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 16, spoke about the difficulties in accessing treatment at a program about mental health at the Newseum in Washington D.C. on July 18 sponsored by The Hill . “He has fallen through every crack of our system,” Pasquini said. “We are dealing with a system of lucks and heroics rather than a continuous system of care.” Pasquini, an advocate for mental health, joined federal and state leaders, health officials, caregivers and academics for the discussion titled, The State of Mental Health: Challenges and Solutions, supported by Janssen...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America