Global News

Financial Times (of London), the world‘s #1 international business paper, yesterday wrote about the need for depression treatment in its highly-regarded Lex column. The world’s business firms understand the global prevalence of depression as a mental health condition needing treatment and that their employees need access to effective depression treatment in the place where they all go for care: primary care. NHMH commends the Financial Times for its putting a deserved focus on depression for the business and employer community world-wide.

March 19, 2019

“Depression Drugs: Battling the Blues”
Financial Times of London March 2019 Article

Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development Issues New Report

The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development is a comprehensive synthesis of knowledge on global mental health, designed to catalyse worldwide action. It builds on the 2007 and 2011 The Lancet series on global mental health that helped make mental health care a greater priority worldwide.

However, it remains a grim reality that the vast majority of people affected by mental health problems globally still do not receive adequate care. The burden of these problems in terms of their direct health consequences, is very large and increasing: but their impacts on social and economic well-being, on family functioning, and on diverse sectors of society is colossal and almost incalculable.  The Commission’s latest Report was issued October 10, 2018 in London.

Mental Health Care is a Global Problem! When it comes to mental health, EVERY country is developing!

The Man Trying To Universalize Mental Healthcare

Most people in the developing world have no access to mental healthcare. By training locals to do basic interventions, Dr. Vikram Patel is making a big difference.

World’s Leading Global Media Publish NHMH Letter

In the August 22, 2018 edition of the Financial Times, the world’s #1 global newspaper, print and online, the Editor published a letter from NHMH regarding the FT’s recent reporting on mental health in the workplace.  The Financial Times has a worldwide readership of over one million people.

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your piece in the August 20, 2017 FT edition on Working Life – Mental Health (“I Felt Numb But Did Not Share My Feelings with Anybody”).  What we in NHMH – No Health without Mental Health most appreciated was the writer’s emphasis on hope, recovery, and the existence of effective treatments (medications, therapy, etc) for mental disorders out there.  The key is accessing those treatments.  It is through these person-to-person “contacts” of people sharing their own stories, that we open the public to accepting that mental health conditions are a part of the overall human condition from time to time, and when they crop up, part of our total health needs.  It is not only acceptable to seek mental health care, but a normal part of taking good health care of ourselves.

That said, the fields of medicine and behavioral health still have a long way to go to ensure that effective mental health services are widely available in all medical settings (GP/primary care clinics, general hospitals, specialty medical settings, post-acute care facilities, etc) … i.e. the places where people go for their care, and not just in specialty psychiatric offices and clinics where access and affordability are limited for most, and where most people, data shows, feel too stigmatized to go for help.

(signed) NHMH – No Health without Mental Health

NHMH Letter To Editor Published in Financial Times, Leading International News Daily/Online, on April 10, 2018

Dear Editor,

Might FT Health focus future special reports on the vital topic of mental health treatment in primary care?  Specifically, innovative new ways that         effective mental health care services are coming into the medical settings (esp primary care, but also emergency rooms, inpatient hospitals, skilled nursing facilities etc).

Over the past 15 years, WHO has consistently identified depression as the leading cause of global disability in rich, mid-level and low income       countries. Untreated mental health conditions are not only a huge unnecessary financial burden on society causing lost business productivity, criminal justice system costs, they also importantly impede the improvement of physical conditions … thereby significantly increasing total health care costs.  Untreated mental health leads to increased medical costs.

Across national boundaries, patients with behavioral conditions do not go to specialty mental health settings due to the pervasive social stigma surrounding mental illness.  They do go to primary care, to a GP or PCP they know and trust and seek coordinated medical-behavioral care.  But those very primary care doctors have not been trained in treatment of mental illness nor in medication management for such illnesses.  They only refer to mental health specialists, and patients won’t go to referral or wait time to see them is too long. The nub of the issue now is to make effective mental health care available in primary care by bringing both the medical and mental health fields together to create new inter-disciplinary team-based care models, and to develop new consultative arrangements (e.g. hub-and-spoke, store-and-forward) of indirect psychiatric consultative cooperation and care, that allow mental health specialists to assist the GP/PCP in their primary care clinics.

NHMH Collaborator Receives UK Knighthood

Dr. Graham Thornicroft a psychiatrist at King’s College London has received a Knighthood on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for 2017 awarded June 19, 2017.  This is a well-deserved recognition and for a physician and researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the field of behavioral health research and clinical care services not only in the United Kingdom but globally.  NHMH has had the honor to work with Dr. Thornicroft for many years and we extend our warmest congratulations!


National News

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NHMH Salutes the Passing of American Scientist Dr. Paul Greengard, a Pioneer in Brain Research and Mental Health Treament. We owe Dr. Greengard a great debt for his incredible, break-through work, and his amazing life of service.

Schizophrenia Second Only To Age as Greatest Risk Factor for COVID-19 Death25-Jan-2021 7:00 PM EST, by NYU Langone Health Contact Patient ServicesNewswise — People with schizophrenia, a mental disorder that affects mood and perception of reality, are almost three times more likely to die from the coronavirus than those without the psychiatric illness, a new study shows. Their higher risk, the investigators say, cannot be explained by other factors that often accompany serious mental health disorders, such as higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and smoking.Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the investigation showed that schizophrenia is by far the biggest risk factor (2.7 times increased odds of dying) after age (being 75 or older increased the odds of dying 35.7 times). Male sex, heart disease, and race ranked next after schizophrenia in order. “Our findings illustrate that people with schizophrenia are extremely vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19,” says study lead author Katlyn Nemani, MD. “With this newfound understanding, health care providers can better prioritize vaccine distribution, testing, and medical care for this group,” adds Nemani, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. The study also showed that people with other mental health problems such as mood or anxiety disorders were not at increased risk of death from coronavirus infection.Since the beginning of the pandemic, experts have searched for risk factors that make people more likely to succumb to the disease to bolster protective measures and allocate limited resources to people with the greatest need. Although previous studies have linked psychiatric disorders in general to an increased risk of dying from the virus, the relationship between the coronavirus and schizophrenia specifically has remained unclear. A higher risk of mortality was expected among those with schizophrenia, but not at the magnitude the study found, the researchers say.The new investigation is publishing Jan. 27 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers believed that other issues such as heart disease, depression, and barriers in getting care were behind the low life expectancy seen in schizophrenia patients, who on average die 15 years earlier than those without the disorder. The results of the new study, however, suggest that there may be something about the biology of schizophrenia itself that is making those who have it more vulnerable to COVID-19 and other viral infections. One likely explanation is an immune system disturbance, possibly tied to the genetics of the disorder, says Nemani.For the investigation, the research team analyzed 7,348 patient records of men and women treated for COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic in NYU Langone hospitals in New York City and Long Island between March 3 and May 31, 2020. Of these cases, they identified 14 percent who were diagnosed with schizophrenia, mood disorders, or anxiety. Then, the researchers calculated patient death rates within 45 days of testing positive for the virus.They note that this large sample of patients who all were infected with the same virus provided a unique opportunity to study the underlying effects of schizophrenia on the body.“Now that we have a better understanding of the disease, we can more deeply examine what, if any, immune system problems might contribute to the high death rates seen in these patients with schizophrenia,” says study senior author Donald Goff, MD. Goff is the Marvin Stern Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.Goff, also the director of the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research at NYU Langone, says the study investigators plan to explore whether medications used to treat schizophrenia, such as antipsychotic drugs, may play a role as well.He cautions that the study authors could only determine the risk for patients with schizophrenia who had access to testing and medical care. Further research is needed, he says, to clarify how dangerous the virus may be for those who lack these resources. Goff is also the vice chair for research in the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone.Study funding was provided by NYU Langone.In addition to Nemani and Goff, other NYU Langone researchers included Chenxiang Li, PhD; Esther Blessing, MD; PhD; Narges Razavian, PhD; Ji Chen, MS; and Eva Petkova, PhD. Another study investigator was Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, at Columbia University in New York. ... See MoreSee Less
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