New research by RAND and the California Mental Health Services Administration points to an epidemic of discrimination against those with mental health issues. Researchers followed up with 1,066 Californians who indicated mild to serious psychological difficulties in the California Health Interview Survey. Just 41% of respondents believed that people are sympathetic and caring in response to mental health challenges, and 81% reported that people with mental health issues face high rates of discrimination.
Two-thirds said they would hide their mental health challenges from work colleagues or classmates, and a third said they’d keep a mental health diagnosis secret from friends and family. Almost 9 out of 10 participants said they had experienced mental health discrimination. Most reported discrimination within the context of close relationships, but discrimination at work or school, in medical settings, and by law enforcement officers was also common. Despite this dismal picture of how our society treats those with mental health issues, participants offered hope for recovery from mental health problems. Over 70% said they’re satisfied with life, and 80% reported having plans to get or stay well while meeting personal goals.
In 2010, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, a drug containing oxycodone, switched to crush-proof pills. The move yielded a 20% drop in overdose rates. However, this occurred at the same time that the prescription rate dropped by 19%, so it’s unclear which factor most strongly contributed to the drop in overdoses.
Sleep apnea and heavy snoring are common among seniors, with 56% of men and 26% of women experiencing symptoms. According to a study of 2,470 people ranging in age from 55 to 90, sleep apnea and snoring may also predict earlier memory and thinking challenges. Those with sleep apnea were, on average, diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment 10 years earlier than their peers.
A mental health crisis can be overwhelming both to bystanders and the person experiencing the crisis. Like medical emergencies, though, mental health crises are treatable—often with very simple interventions. Mental health first aid programs teach people to quickly and intelligently intervene when they encounter distressed or suicidal people. Funding for these programs are increasing, with the federal government, state and local governments, and private organizations offering a variety of grants. Learn more about mental health first aid or register to take a class here.
A 2008 mental health parity law endeavored to improve access to mental health care. A new rule clarifies that the law also applies to Medicaid providers, which may help boost access to mental health care for the most vulnerable citizens. Psychiatric hospitals, both private and public, still aren’t covered, which means those with the most severe mental health problems may be left with few or no options.
During a discussion with a group of New Hampshire voters, Hillary Clinton promised to make tackling substance abuse and mental health issues a priority. Clinton highlighted the drug-related HIV epidemic in Austin, Indiana, and argued for more treatment resources.
Moms aren’t the only people caring for children. According to the 2011 Census, about a third of dads are their children’s primary caregivers. But Amazon Mom, a program that offers 20% discounts on common purchases such as diapers, leaves fathers and other caregivers out of the equation. Using the hashtag #AmazonFamilyUS, advocates for equality are working to pressure Amazon to change the program’s name to Amazon Family, the same name the company uses in other parts of the world.
If you want to be more productive, the key is to work more efficiently, not to work longer hours. A study from Stanford University found that productivity sharply declines when a work week exceeds 50 hours. At the 55-hour mark, productivity declines so sharply that there’s no benefit to continuing to work. People who get a lot done, by contrast, take a number of steps to boost productivity, including exercising, leaving work at the office, pursuing hobbies, spending time with loved ones, and scheduling mini-adventures.
© Copyright 2015 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.