mental health

This blog post is part of a weekly series focusing on different aspects of public health leading up to Public Health Thank You Day on Monday November 23, 2015. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #PHTYD and visit http://www.publichealththankyouday.org (link is external) for more information. Dr. Carrie Bearden, clinical neuroscientist at UCLA seeks to understand the underlying biology of mood disorders in teens The rate of mood disorders nearly doubles when children enter adolescence. Dr. Carrie Bearden, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Psychology at UCLA, seeks to understand why. She uses interdisciplinary approaches to examine the role of circadian...
Dear Research Advocate, Former VP candidate and Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI-01) appears poised to become the next Speaker of the House. This turn of events improves the outlook for a budget deal, potentially including FY16 funding, sequestration relief for one or two years, and a new debt limit. See our letter with United for Medical Research and two major defense industry associations on the negative consequences of sequestration. Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) made news this week reaffirming his willingness to consider mandatory spending for NIH in his Innovation Initiative. To turn “maybe” into “yes,” advocates must be heard. Earlier this week, a...
This blog post is part of a weekly series focusing on different aspects of public health leading up to Public Health Thank You Day on Monday November 23, 2015. Join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #PHTYD and visit http://www.publichealththankyouday.org for more information. Psychologist Dr. Mary Ellen Weissman discusses the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of learning disorders in children to the public health All parents want their children to reach their potential and experience success within the home, school and community. But what happens when a child fails to thrive in one or more of these areas and a mental health issue is suspected? While estimates vary...
Dear Research Advocate, Throughout its 26-year history, Research!America has been fortunate to attract extraordinarily gifted and dedicated national leaders to its Board of Directors. One such leader, the Honorable Louis Stokes, passed away on Tuesday . A powerhouse lawyer, founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, skilled appropriator, and able chair of the House Ethics Committee, Lou was also a stalwart advocate for medical research and promoted efforts to address health disparities; in so many ways, Lou created a better future for all of us. Our fight for medical progress is, and will continue to be, part of his legacy. Current board member Dr. Herb Pardes wrote a compelling...
By Marilyn Flynn, dean of USC School of Social Work As one of the nation’€™s first schools of social work, the USC School of Social Work is widely recognized as a top-tier graduate program that offers rigorous career preparation for academic, policy, and practice leaders and provides an innovative and supportive environment for research on critical social problems. Researchers at the school are dedicated to exploring the social and behavioral determinants of physical and mental health issues, in addition to translating research findings into real-world strategies to improve the health and well-being of individuals and society. Because medical research is a critical component of this...
Excerpt of a blog post by Dr. Tom Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. (From NIMH blog) The Research!America awards dinner is like a lot of DC galas, complete with members of Congress, celebrities, and speeches to honor those who have contributed to a cause. For Research!America, the cause is biomedical research and this year, as in each of the past 25 years, there were honors bestowed on advocates for cancer and rare diseases. Kathy Giusti, diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1998, spoke passionately about the lack of research on this blood cancer and her singular fight to create a registry and clinical trials, leading to new treatments that have extended her own life...
Dear Research Advocate: Here’€™s a holiday surprise! I am not referring to the budget deal, but to the fact that Merriam-Webster’€™s 2013 word of the year ’€” determined via the greatest increase in online searches ’€” is “science.” I find this to be refreshing news, providing evidence that interest in science is growing, which in turn is an indication of substantial room for researchers and research advocates to contribute to public understanding and support of science. We appear to have an opportunity ready for the taking to overcome the “invisibility” problem that contributes to holding decision makers back from assigning a higher priority to science. And speaking of those decision...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America, in partnership with the American Society of Hematology, released a new poll on Tuesday, revealing strong feelings about the consequences of recent fiscal debacles. A majority (57%) of Americans, across party lines, believe that the government shutdown in October caused significant harm to programs like medical research, defense and education, programs that Americans value. It is not difficult to connect the dots between fiscal dysfunction and the future of our nation: More Americans than ever believe that our nation’€™s global leadership in science, technology and research will soon be a thing of the past,with 73% saying we will lose global...
Dear Research Advocate: Just in time for the World Series, a national campaign to make evidence-based government spending decisions has been announced. Moneyball for Government , a project of Results for America, advocates prioritizing limited taxpayer dollars by investing strategically in what works, eschewing ’€œgut level’€ instinct for metrics-driven decision-making. Stakeholders in medical and health research sometimes have difficulty measuring or agreeing on metrics that matter; it’€™s time to work through this challenge so that when stakeholders talk about research accountability ’€” in the current budget conversations or in any context ’€” we can speak with one metric-driven voice...
Dear Research Advocate, The two-month reprieve from sequestration agreed to as part of the ’€œdeal’€ to avert the fiscal cliff is a partial victory for all who worked hard to save research, giving us much-needed additional time to make our case. We need be smart in using that time well, because the delay was paid for through a combination of new revenue and spending cuts that could further drain the pool of dollars used to fund research. The fact that many conservative members of Congress expressed outrage that the fiscal cliff deal didn’€™t include larger spending cuts underscores this point. The debt ceiling will need to be raised within the next two months, adding fuel to the fire. And...

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco