Archive for the ‘mental health’ Category

Bloomberg: “No NYC Veteran Will Be Homeless”

February 13, 2009

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Jim Nicholson, and Homeless Services (DHS) Commissioner Robert V. Hess today announced an historic agreement between the City of New York and the VA to help end veteran homelessness in the City. Under the agreement, the City will place 100 veterans into permanent housing in 100 days. Veterans Affairs and the City will also convene a Task Force that will report back in 100 days with a strategic plan to end veteran homelessness in New York City. The Task Force, whose inaugural meeting was held following the announcement, will develop long-term plans for new joint VA-New York City street outreach teams, a new joint VA-New York City homeless intake center, and additional health care, mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment for eligible veterans. The announcement was made at the Borden Avenue Veterans Residence in Queens, the first veterans-only shelter established in the United States. 

From New York City

“No veteran should be sleeping on the streets or in shelters in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our City and our country owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans, and those who have had the misfortune to become homeless deserve our help to get back on their feet. I hope our new partnership with Veterans Affairs will become a national model.”

 “This agreement represents another positive step forward in our fight to eradicate the scourge of veteran homelessness from our streets,” said Secretary Nicholson. “Our veterans have served us all by taking the oath to preserve liberty and protect our way of life, and we must and will continue to work together to repay our grateful nation’s debt to these valiant defenders. I appreciate Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership in combating veteran homelessness, and we at VA look forward to working with the City of New York on this initiative and others that serve America’s veterans.”

“No one who has served and fought for our country should have to live on the streets,” said Commissioner Hess. “With the VA’s help and support along with its valuable resources, we can make sure that doesn’t happen in New York City. That’s why we’re making 100 permanent housing slots immediately available for our veterans.”

“Housing 100 homeless veterans in 100 days is a great step toward the City’s goal of ending veteran homelessness,” said Office of Veteran Affairs’ Executive Director Clarice Joynes.  “I commend Mayor Bloomberg, Secretary Nicholson, and Commissioner Hess for their bold commitment. We are all grateful for the sacrifices made by our veterans in service to our City and our country, and we are committed to assisting those who have fallen on hard times.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dhs/html/press/pr122106.shtml

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Gaza: Lasting Images of War May Make Children Adult Terrorists

January 6, 2009

Psychiatrists in Gaza say the experience of bolldshed and war at the hands of an oppressive army could be responsible a frightening future.

The violence the children of Gaza children are witnessing now can one day spark future violence.

Nic Robertson from CNN has a report.

Having studied and reported upon illnesses and irregularities  of the mind including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the Robertson report should cause us all pause and alarm.

There is sometimes a seemingly endless progression of violence and war that gets into the psyche and can take generations to die away or fester….

From CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
meast/01/05/gaza.children/index.html

Military veterans’ mental traumas

December 28, 2008

More that ever before, the wounds of war are of and in the mind and the Veterans Administration has been learning how best to provide treatment…

“Wars are supposed to end when the last shots are fired, but some of our new veterans will unfortunately have to cope with internal demons that may last their lifetime,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General ... 
President-elect Barack Obama (L) introduces retired General Eric K. Shinseki as nominee for Veterans Affairs secretary during a news conference in Chicago, December 7, 2008.REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

Service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq increasingly are suffering from mental trauma that dampens their homecomings, hobbles their re-entry into civilian life and imperils their continued military service – a situation the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has sought to address with treatment, counseling and even drug experimentation.

But even as the VA has worked to provide quality health care for millions of veterans at its facilities across the country, it has endured a series of failures – from not notifying test subjects about new drug warnings to ignoring safeguards during experiments. Those failures have damaged the reputation of the agency charged with supporting vulnerable veterans.

But it also has compromised the speedy recovery of those vets.

By Audry Hudson
the Washington Times

President-elect Barack Obama, who has named retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki as incoming VA secretary, will have to deal with those long-standing discrepancies in the agency, as well as seek out new solutions to remedy the mental health problems plaguing an ever-growing population of veterans.

“Wars are supposed to end when the last shots are fired, but some of our new veterans will unfortunately have to cope with internal demons that may last their lifetime,” said Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200
8/dec/28/va-grapples-returning-veterans-mental-traumas/

Celebrity Health Advice: Not What’s Good For You

December 27, 2008

From Madonna’s quest to “neutralise radiation” to Tom Cruise’s dismissals of psychiatry, celebrities are seldom shy about expressing their views on health and science – even when they appear not to know what they are talking about.

A roll call of public figures such as Cruise and Delia Smith have offered bogus advice or “quackery” this year, according to scientists and doctors. The charity Sense About Science is concerned that celebrities mislead the public when they endorse theories, diets or health products while misrepresenting the science involved.

By David Rose
The Times(UK)

Some – such as Oprah Winfrey and Kate Moss – espouse “detox” regimes, while others, such as Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, believe (mistakenly) that the Pill can cause cancer.

Nor are politicians exempt from lending credence to health myths. The US President-elect is among several American public figures who continue to suggest that the MMR vaccination is a potential cause of autism, despite an overwhelming weight of scientific evidence to the contrary.

Related:
 Rich, Famous Lead World’s Scientific Illiteracy

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/lif
e_and_style/health/article5401129.ece

Sex No Longer Taboo In Nursing Homes

December 23, 2008

When Kansas State University sent researchers into nursing homes to find out how the topic of sex was being addressed, they initially found silence.

“Nobody was talking about it; it was a really hush-hush subject,” said Gayle Doll, director of the university’s Center on Aging. “I guess it’s hard enough for people to think about their parents having sex, let alone their grandparents.”

In response, the researchers have produced seminars and training aids to encourage nursing home caregivers to discuss and accommodate sexual desires.

The effort brings Kansas into a national discussion that advocates say will only grow as baby boomers age and take their beliefs about sexual freedom and civil rights into the nation’s nursing homes.

By MARGARET STAFFORD, Associated Press Writer

One of the first Kansas seminars was held at Schowalter Villa in Hesston, where many staff first reacted with, “We’re going to talk about WHAT?” said Lillian Claassen, vice president of health services at the villa.

Claassen said residents’ sexuality had always been a difficult subject for nursing homes and the Kansas State training affirmed her earlier efforts to address the topic.

“It wasn’t like we hadn’t cared for these needs in the past, but it was liberating to some folks to have an open discussion with university researchers,” Claassen said. “It empowered people to think about how they could help folks.”

Doll said the training focuses on explaining what sexuality means for older adults, identifying barriers to fulfilling the sexual needs, finding strategies to help residents and how to discern appropriate from inappropriate sexual behaviors.

Solutions can be as simple as providing “do not disturb” signs or making sure staffers don’t barge into residents’ rooms without knocking. Claassen said her nursing home provides a discreet room for residents and has staff work through possible scenarios they may encounter.

Related:
Dear President-elect Obama: America’s
Healthcare Nightmare — 90% Failure Rate Sector

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081
222/ap_on_he_me/nursing_home_sex

Drink and Drug Too Much? Treatment Rarely A “Cure”

December 22, 2008

Every year, state and federal governments spend more than $15 billion, and insurers $5 billion more, on substance-abuse treatment services for some four million people. That amount may soon increase sharply: last year, Congress passed the mental health parity law, which for the first time includes addiction treatment under a federal law requiring that insurers cover mental and physical ailments at equal levels.

By Benedict Carey
The New York Times

Many clinics across the county have waiting lists, and researchers estimate that some 20 million Americans who could benefit from treatment do not get it.

Yet very few rehabilitation programs have the evidence to show that they are effective. The resort-and-spa private clinics generally do not allow outside researchers to verify their published success rates. The publicly supported programs spend their scarce resources on patient care, not costly studies.

And the field has no standard guidelines. Each program has its own philosophy; so, for that matter, do individual counselors. No one knows which approach is best for which patient, because these programs rarely if ever track clients closely after they graduate. Even Alcoholics Anonymous, the best known of all the substance-abuse programs, does not publish data on its participants’ success rate.

“What we have in this country is a washing-machine model of addiction treatment,” said A. Thomas McClellan, chief executive of the nonprofit Treatment Research Institute, based in Philadelphia. “You go to Shady Acres for 30 days, or to some clinic for 60 visits or 60 doses, whatever it is. And then you’re discharged and everyone’s crying and hugging and feeling proud — and you’re supposed to be cured.”

He added: “It doesn’t really matter if you’re a movie star going to some resort by the sea or a homeless person: The system doesn’t work well for what for many people is a chronic, recurring problem.”


Hollywood veteran of “the system”:
Gary Busey

Related:
France abuzz over alcoholic ‘cure’

Heath Ledger’s Legacy: Thinking About Mixing Drugs Like a Movie Star During Holidays?

Read it all:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/23/
health/23reha.html?_r=1&hp

As Budgets, Economy Shrink; Little Money for Mental Illness

December 14, 2008

Sometimes it seems as though all Doreen Tiseo does is care for her 87-year-old father, who has memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease. She supervises him in the shower and gives him reminders, such as “pick up the soap” and “wash your face.” In the morning, she helps him dress and slips a handkerchief into his pocket. At night when he wanders, she tells him, “It’s dark out, time to sleep.”

 

By Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 14, 2008; Page A02

But during the day, she gets a respite to go to her job as her father attends a city-funded program. It offers people with dementia and Alzheimer’s art and music therapy, lunch, physical activities, and guided discussions and socializing — critical, Tiseo says, to keeping her father alert, happy and relatively healthy.

Now, because of a budget crisis, New York City plans to eliminate funding for all 12 of these adult day-care programs at the end of this month, saving $1.2 million before the next fiscal year begins in July. The programs, which receive most of their funding from the city, are facing immediate closure unless they can raise fees dramatically or find new donors — in a climate in which other government agencies, corporations and individuals are also cutting back. Even then, they may be able to remain open only a few days a week.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said Tiseo, an office manager and single parent of 51 who also supports her 20-year-old son, a college student. She said she pays $40 a day for her father to attend the program and could not afford $15 an hour for in-home care. “If he was to stay home, he would spend all his time in front of the TV,” she said. “That would probably further the progression of the disease.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20
08/12/13/AR2008121301773.html?hpid=moreheadlines