21 May, 2010

MU Public Health Week- Mental Health Day-

Masters in Public Health students at MU 

Every journey begins with that first step......


Every journey begins with that first step. - May 29th   NAMI Walks or NAMI-STL

NAMI St. Louis

We're almost there...The 2010 NamiWalks for the Mind of America will be here before you know it! We have 72 teams so far, but there is still time to come join us and help this be our best WALK ever. Our goal is $175,000 and we don't want to disappoint. There are lots of people counting on us for help. The money raised goes to help pay for education classes, support groups and our advocacy efforts to reduce stigma and ensure treatment is available to anyone who needs it. If you're interested in being a Team Captain and want more information, or simply would like to make a donation, it's not too late. Either use the links in boxes to the right or feel free to contact Beth at bethbowsky@current.net or call 314-489-3331. We're looking forward to our best ever WALK Day yet and would love for you to join us!

If you're interested please donate to/join with this team here and click on Pam Boelhauf's link. Thanks!!

17 May, 2010

Bring Change 2 Mind PSA

Bring Change 2 Mind

I saw the PSA for this site just a few days ago and was really impressed.I'll try to find it to post as well.  I think it's a great program and site as well as an important cause to support. Take a look!!! Bring Change 2 Mind

25 March, 2010

Prescription Privileges For Psychologists

I came across this blog entry of Dr.Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. while doing working on a legislative history of the subject. It's well thought-out, informative, and most importantly (to me) easy to read. A quick glance at other postings of his showed quite a bit of interesting material on a number of mental health topics His blog entries are listed here but I'm not positive on how to follow/subscribe/etc to just his blog entries on that site, still kind of a rookie at this. Anyway, for those interested in the topic I thought it was a pretty good primer on it, if a few years old.

PS- Just an FYI, you can click on my fish at the bottom of the page to feed them. They will swim around an react to the food dropped in to their 'pond'. Juvenile yes, but hey, it's the little things in life, right? :) 

03 March, 2010

Managed Care at the Pearly Gates

Three health care professionals find themselves at the Pearly Gates.

Saint Peter asks the first, "Why do you belong here?"
The first replies, "I was a great surgeon. I have saved countless lives."
"Welcome," says Saint Peter, "We've been expecting you."

Saint Peter then asks the second, "Why do you belong here?"
The second answers "I was a family practitioner. I treated young and old alike. I made them well again."
"Welcome," says Saint Peter, "We've been expecting you."

Finally, Saint Peter asks the third, "Why do you belong here?" The third says, "I ran an HMO. I helped allow for thousands to receive medical care."
"Okay," replies Saint Peter, "But you can only stay a day and a half."


The Short Life of a Diagnosis

Thought this article brought up a few interesting points for contemplation. First, with the latest version of the DSM in the works this article gives a glimpse of the problems with diagnosing and labeling of disorders. Second, bearing in mind the healthcare reform debate, mental health coverage depends largely on the existence of a diagnosis and specifically a diagnostic code to determine how MUCH coverage one can receive. Or rather, how much the insurance company will pay for (how many sessions @ '$x' rate).
Looking at the mental health side of healthcare it's hard to believe that anyone can accurately say how long or how many visits you can expect results in. Depressed? Oh, you should be able to clear that up in 3 weeks, tops. One session per week. Not likely. And should you be of the millions dependent on Medicaid you are limited even further by who will even take you as a patient, much less provide quality treatment/therapy. Sure, a psychiatrist could write you a script for whatever the happy-pill-du-jour is, but that treats the SYMPTOMS, not the CAUSE of the depression. And to paraphrase Dean Wormer, "Dependant upon anti-depressants is no way to go through life, son".  True, they may make life manageable in the short or even fairly long-term, but ultimately it's paying to trade one problem for another.
Veering back on topic, it's important to be aware of the potential changes in the DSM in regards to mental health diagnosis and how easily people could be left without help should their condition fail to be included in this latest edition.

-Question for the masses: Should coverage be dependent on having a 'classifiable' condition?-

And now, for no particular reason......Ty Webb's thoughts on the college experience.

02 March, 2010

Mental Health Anti-Stigma PSA

I wanted to post this as a comment under the SLOtheStigma post but it wouldn't let me. Need to figure this blog thing out a bit more. Either way, here's an anti-stigma PSA from a few years back that always stuck out to me for some reason.

Parity law requires mental health benefits comparable to physical care benefits

Great quote at the end of this article:

"Mental health is just as important as physical health," she said. "You don't have one without the other."


Campaign seeks to dispel myths about mental illness - Local - SanLuisObispo.com

Campaign seeks to dispel myths about mental illness - Local - SanLuisObispo.com

23 February, 2010

HIPAA guidelines regarding mental health information

from Wikipedia:

"The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 (P.L.104-191) [HIPAA] was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996. It was originally sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.). According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) website, Title I of HIPAA protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs.

Title II of HIPAA, known as the Administrative Simplification (AS) provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers. This is intended to help people keep their information private, though in practice it is normal for providers and health insurance plans to require the waiver of HIPAA rights as a condition of service."

Most everyone is aware to some extent how HIPAA protects our personal health information (PHI) from being disclosed without out expressed consent.
Should these guidelines be the same for mental health issues as they are for physical ailments? Do employers have a right to know if a potential/current employee has a history of mental health issues that could potentially affect their job performance or the interests of the company? Should mental health treatment/diagnoses be available to background checks for handguns/firearms?