Upcoming Events for May 2014

May is a busy month here at Federation of Families of SC! 

May 2nd and 3rd – Leadership Training – Winnsboro

May 4th-10th – Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week

May 16th-18th – Parent Support Provider Training – Columbia

Please let us know if you’re interested in attending any of these events!

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ADHD Diagnoses Increased More Than 50% in a Decade

In 2011, eleven percent of school-age children had been diagnosed with ADHD That’s sixteen percent more than in 2007 and 53 percent more than a decade ago, according to a New York Times analysis of new data from the Center for Disease Control.

This comes out to a grand total 6.4 million children in the US, up to 4 million of whom have prescriptions for Adderall, Ritalin, or other medication, a class of drugs that brings in an estimated $9 billion in sales annually. The Times found that boys, particularly teenage boys ages 14-17, have the highest rates of diagnosis, though no one knows why:


The New York Times

The director of the CDC told the New York Times that “The right medications for A.D.H.D., given to the right people, can make a huge difference. Unfortunately, misuse appears to be growing at an alarming rate.” The CDC estimates that we spend $31.6 billion annually in health care and work absence costs for children and adults with ADHD and their families.

Clearly, more and more kids are being diagnosed with ADHD. What the new study doesn’t tell us is whether more and more kids actually have it. Another recent CDC study, that both surveyed parents and screened children, suggested doctors are over-diagnosing ADHD in some kids while overlooking the condition in others. The survey, which focused on South Carolina and Oklahoma, found that of children taking ADHD medication, only 40 percent in South Carolina and 28 percent in Oklahoma actually met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

In other words, the current system for diagnosing kids with ADHD is probably not working very well. Meanwhile, as another recent story in the Times demonstrated, concerns over the potential side effects of ADHD medications—which can include addiction and anxiety—are mounting.


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Top Ten Takeaways from the 2014 Annual NIMH OPP Conference

10. The suicide rate (an adverse outcome of having a mental illness) remains unchanged in the past two decades, while other medical issues like stroke, AIDS, and heart disease have steadily declined.

9. We need to reframe our way of thinking about mental health as brain circuit disorders, rather than chemical imbalances or lesions on the brain.

8. Mobile apps are useful as a tool for wellness. Some to check out are PTSD Coach, Parenting2Go, Mindfulness Coach, and CBT-I Coach. These apps are for everyone from the VA.

7. Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) is an NIMH research project that seeks to fundamentally change the trajectory and prognosis of schizophrenia through coordinated and aggressive treatment in the earliest stages of illness.

6. Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) helps people make informed healthcare decisions, and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes, by producing and promoting high integrity, evidence-based information that comes from research guided by patients, caregivers and the broader healthcare community.

5. In a peer engagement study done by the NIMH surmises that the addition of peer support mentors decreased substance use and depression and increased hopefulness , self-care and well-being.

4. President Obama has called for a national dialogue on mental health. Creating Community Solutions, is an initiative designed to get people and communities talking about mental health. CCS is helping communities organize dialogues and has created resources to help event organizers and participants talk about mental health and take action in their communities.

3. Overall US rates of suicide deaths have not decreased appreciably in 50 years. Each year, over 650,000 individuals report that they received medical attention for a suicide attempt each year, more than 38,000 individuals die by suicide. The Research Prioritization Task Force (RPTF) goal is to develop on agenda for research that has the potential to reduce morbidity (attempts) and mortality( deaths) each, by at least 20% in five year, and 40% or greater in 10 years, if implemented fully and successfully.

2. Research is crucial for gaining a deeper understanding and better treatment of mental health issues. To learn more about community-engaged research, watch this video.

1.  The NIMH Outreach Partners Program is a valuable source for mental health information!

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