According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 40-percent of adults with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and severe depression received no treatment in the previous year. This comes at an enormous cost to the sufferers and their families, as well as to society at large, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
In a world where there seems to be an app for anything and everything, smartphone technology may now be expanding into the realm of mental health treatment. A team of University of Michigan researchers is developing a smartphone app that would help people living with bipolar disorder.
As enrollment in the state’s Healthy Michigan program continues, many of the state’s Community Mental Health officials have been sounding the alarm that they do not have sufficient funds to treat everyone who comes to them for help. In fact, there have already been scattered reports of people being cut off from state mental health services due to the shift in funding caused by the Medicaid expansion.
For decades, organizations like the American Red Cross and local fire departments have offered courses in basic first aid. Many Americans who are not in the medical field have a working knowledge of how to perform CPR. But few people are trained to give mental health first aid. That’s the aim of an ongoing training series being held this summer in Lansing.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and to commemorate, Current State’s Joe Linstroth speaks with longtime Lansing resident Jerri Nicole Wright about what it’s like to live with a severe and persistent mental illness.
Later this week in Dearborn, doctors, psychologists, social workers, and religious leaders from around the world will gather for the Sixth Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference. According Dr. Farha Abbasi, an MSU assistant professor of psychiatry and a founder of the conference, this is one of the very few of its kind in the world, if not the only one.
Earlier this year, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow introduced a bill proponents say would better serve Americans with mental disorders. Her "Excellence in Mental Health" measure would expand access to community mental health centers, in part by making more of them eligible for payments under Medicaid.
Across the nation, more and more people who are suffering from a severe mental illness are likely to wind up in prison than in a treatment facility. Here in Michigan, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, estimates that more than four times the number of people with mental illnesses are in prisons than in hospitals.