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CMHA, National Supports Senate Report On Poverty, Housing And Homelessness: Report Addresses Mental Health Issues

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), National supports several of the recommendations of "In From The Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness", Report of the Subcommittee on Cities of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology tabled yesterday in Ottawa. "We are very pleased that the Senate Sub-Committee recognized CMHA's contributions to the report", says Dr. Taylor Alexander, CEO, CMHA National Office. "Income support and other measures to reduce poverty can play several roles with regard to those persons living with a disability associated with mental illness. Many of these measures were identified in the report.

Radical Overhaul Of Support For People With Mental Health Conditions, UK

New specialist coordinators and dedicated advice lines for small businesses are part of a radical overhaul of support for people with mental health conditions. Increasing job opportunities for people with mental health conditions and improving the wellbeing of workers is part of a wide-ranging new Government vision to enhance mental health services and boost the wellbeing of the whole population. From today people with mental health conditions can rely on new support to help them manage their conditions so they can stay in work or get back to work as quickly as possible if they lose their job or have never worked. The new support includes: The launch of a new network of mental health coordinators in every Jobcentre Plus district to better coordinate health and employment support at a local level and improve the employment chances of Jobcentre Plus customers;

New Horizons: Psychologists Call For Fewer Drugs, More Therapy For All Depressed People, UK

The British Psychological Society has welcomed the announcement of the government's New Horizons strategy to combat depression. Ms Sue Gardner, the President of the Society, says: 'the Society fully supports the New Horizons initiative and is proud to be involved in the prevention and treatment of distress as well as the enhancement of psychological well-being. 'However, much work remains to be done to ensure that everyone has access to psychological therapies, which the evidence base shows to be effective in the treatment of depression. Too often, people are offered only drug therapies when psychological therapies, or a combination of drug and psychological therapies, would produce a better outcome.

New Horizons Heralds A New Era For Mental Health And Wellbeing, UK

This week the government has launched New Horizons, a new cross-governmental strategy into how mental health and mental wellbeing can be incorporated into every aspect of our daily lives. The National Service Framework for Mental Health, which set out the ten-year plan for the development of mental health services in the UK, came to an end this autumn, and New Horizons will lay down the vision for mental health and wellbeing provision over the coming years. Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said: New Horizons has broken new ground by setting out irrefutable evidence that improving mental health lies in considering the impact of every aspect of our physical and social environments, and is the responsibility of government both locally, nationally, and across all departments.

Brain Scans Show Distinctive Patterns In People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder In Stanford Study

Scrambled connections between the part of the brain that processes fear and emotion and other brain regions could be the hallmark of a common anxiety disorder, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The findings could help researchers identify biological differences between types of anxiety disorders as well as such disorders as depression. The study, which was published Dec. 7 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, examined the brains of people with generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, a psychiatric condition in which patients spend their days in a haze of worry over everyday concerns. Researchers have known that the amygdala, a pair of almond-sized bundles of nerve fibers in the middle of the brain that help process emotion, memory and fear, are involved in anxiety disorders like GAD.

With Amino Acid Diet, Mice Improve After Brain Injury

Neurology researchers have shown that feeding amino acids to brain-injured animals restores their cognitive abilities and may set the stage for the first effective treatment for cognitive impairments suffered by people with traumatic brain injuries. "We have shown in an animal model that dietary intervention can restore a proper balance of neurochemicals in the injured part of the brain, and simultaneously improves cognitive performance, " said study leader Akiva S. Cohen, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The study appears today in the online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If these results in mice can be translated to human medicine, there would be a broad clinical benefit.

Nurses Welcome New Strategy For Mental Health

Responding to the launch of the cross-government strategy on mental health and wellbeing, New Horizons, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), welcomed the breadth of vision contained in the strategy. He said: "Organisations and people often shy away from dealing with mental health issues, however this strategy makes it everybody's business. Bringing mental health and wellbeing into the mainstream is the right thing to do and will help thousands of people each year. This historic and ambitious announcement means that all government initiatives, whether it is building new homes or employing school nurses, must pay attention to the consequences for mental wellbeing.

Loneliness Can Spread Through Social Networks

A new US study of social networks found that a person's loneliness can spread to others, in that when they become lonely they move to the edge of the network and transmit feelings of loneliness to their few remaining friends who also become lonely, leading to an effect that the researchers described as an unravelling at the edges of our social fabric. The study, which was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, is the work of John T Cacciopo of the University of Chicago, James H Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and Nicholas A Christakis of Harvard University and is about to be published in the December issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Psychologists Support APHA Call For Allied Health Involvement In Health Reform, Australia

The Australian Psychological Society (APS), Australia's largest allied health representative body, strongly supports the call from Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) for the allied health sector to be involved in the design, governance and delivery of the Government's new primary health care system. "The Government has committed to reforming the primary health care system, " said Professor Lyn Littlefield, Executive Director of the APS, "however, to this point, there hasn't been any significant detail about how this will be done. Reform must include allied health professionals as equal partners with nurses and medical practitioners, and the allied health sector needs to be involved at inception to achieve a primary health care system that is effective, well-designed, and adequately funded and resourced.

Veteran Mental Health Problems On The Rise

Recent survey results reveal that the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has increased( )4 to 7 times following the invasion of Iraq. The study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of California, San Francisco, also found that more than one in three veterans enrolled in the veterans health system has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. But despite the increase in mental health problems, veterans are still hesitant to seek help. Past research has shown that, of service members who display symptoms of PTSD and other mental health issues, only 4 out of 10 have sought help from a therapist or other mental health professional.

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