mental health

Dear Research Advocate, This week was chock-full of federal appropriations activity bearing on the future of research, and ultimately, the future of health. While agency funding for Fiscal Year 2020 is far from resolved, some very positive and not-so-positive steps were taken by Congress. First, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its long-awaited Labor/HHS bill. The exciting headline is that NIH received a vital $3 billion increase, which, if enacted, would bring its total funding to $42.08 billion. The CDC, meanwhile, would receive an increase of only $180 million for a total budget of $7.46 billion. This increase is woefully insufficient to enable CDC’s 24/7 vigilance and...
National Suicide Prevention Day is September 10, 2019. 800,000 individuals die worldwide due to suicide every year, and suicide costs Americans an estimated $50.8 billion in lifetime medical and work-loss cuts annually. The total economic burden from suicide and self-inflicted injuries was estimated to be over $70 billion annually. ( Fact Sheet ) Research!America explored the issue of suicide prevention in its January 2019 national public opinion survey. A strong majority (68%) agreed that it was "very important" or "somewhat important" for the U.S. to invest public dollars in the prevention of suicide. This is consistent with our survey data from 2015, although it is down from 2006, when...
“The richest Americans live an average of 15 years longer than the poorest Americans,” said Martine Powers of the Washington Post as she kicked off a Washington Post Live forum on “The Future of Health” on June 4, 2019. The panel discussion focused on correlations between income and health featuring Dr. Georges Benjamin , president of the American Public Health Association and Research!America board member, and Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika of Drexel University . “We have to go upstream and look at how we got here,” to understand the implications of social factors and health disparities, Dr. Kumanyika explained. For example, regarding the homeless population, she suggested, “Why do we have policies...
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...

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