High Rates of Mental Health Discrimination, and Other News

A lone person stands on a misty beachNew 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.

Drop in Abuse and Overdose After Opioids Were Made Crush-Resistant

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. 

Heavy Snoring, Sleep Apnea May Signal Earlier Memory and Thinking Decline

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 Surge in Funding for Mental Health First Aid Could Make It as Popular as CPR

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. 

Psych Wards Not Covered by Medicaid Mental Health Rule

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. 

Hillary Clinton Promises to Tackle ‘Quiet Epidemic’ of Substance Abuse

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. 

Why ‘Amazon Mom’ Gets It Wrong

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.

How Successful People Work Less—and Get More Done

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.

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  • Dora


    April 25th, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    I know I’m old so a lot of these things don’t really register with me in the same ways that they would with someone a bit younger, but why would crush proof decrease the abuse? Unless they are using them by not swallowing? Is that what people were doing?

  • cate c

    cate c

    April 29th, 2015 at 4:55 AM

    When pharmaceuticals made Oxycontin uncrushable they did so by adding Narcan, an opiate agonist. The oxycodone in the pill is rendered ineffective, no buzz or high, because the Marcan blocks the opiate receptors in the brain. Hope this helps a little.

  • Timothy


    April 25th, 2015 at 1:31 PM

    Go Hillary! She is definitely the candidate I see who can get things done!

  • ellis


    April 26th, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    Although we all know that it isn’t right, you know that discrimination against those with mental health issues is way more prevalent that most of us would like to even admit. It could be blatant and it could be subtle, but it is there in many ways. How are we ever going to move past that when there is still so much non education about the subject and people just be willing to believe what they are hear without ever taking the time verify whether it is actually correct information or not?

  • George


    April 27th, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    I really hate to read that about snorers seeing as how I am a pretty heavy duty one myself. That scares me because I thought that apnea was the thing to be worried about but now hearing that it could also be memory loss is even scarier.

  • glynna


    April 28th, 2015 at 5:20 PM

    Most people who are a success have figured out a way to be more efficient, more organized and in general get more done with less effort.

  • Brea


    April 29th, 2015 at 11:02 AM

    I know that there are those who are fortunate and grateful for the Medicaid coverage that they do have, but when you start to break it apart piece by piece you begin to see that there are some very real holes int that coverage. There are people who need this kind of long term care that Medicaid does not offer coverage for, and in situations like this it feels like not only are we doing a disservice to this individual for denying this type of care that they need, but it is also leaving a huge hole in the healthcare of our society as a whole. Me personally, I find this to be unacceptable.

  • Janette


    May 11th, 2015 at 5:53 PM

    Counseling, when it was researched and found so effective (1986 or so), was offered without all the bells-&-whistles of drugs, diagnostic labels, and heavy middle-management. It was after 1990 here in Seattle (which to that time was an unregulated city, without licensing) when the insurance companies drove the road back to the pathology model (versus a pro-active mental health approach including education, enrichment sessions, etc). Clearly, insurance companies are not strong proponents of proactive health, physical or mental. However I would think they have had some role in pushing mental health disciplines away from pro activity, and encouraging their insured to symptom-manage.
    Does that work any better with the intellectual/emotional realm than with the physical? Think it over.
    The aim of insurance companies presence in the field of healthy attitudes and balanced lives

  • Janette


    May 11th, 2015 at 6:07 PM

    Re insurance company roles re: healthy attitudes & relationships is to limit pro activity as much as possible.
    While many m. h. professionals still have a focus on such proactive goals, it is perhaps made more lucrative to go the way of the pathology model.

    Certainly, then, that leaves a role for the coaching and peer-counseling sectors to pick up the slack.
    From my view, in regard to supporting the general public of predominantly well-balanced people, generalising a pathology approach is wrong. It underserves those who, paying high premiums, hope to get reasonable aid in leading increasingly complex lives, without wearing a DSM pathology-manual label.

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