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!

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/newsevents/news/newsrecords/2017/06-June/Queens-Birthday-Honours-2017.aspx?TaxonomyKey=0/1/2/17

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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.

https://www.rockefeller.edu/news/25634-pioneering-neuroscientist-nobel-laureate-paul-greengard-dies-93/

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San Francisco's Fragmented Mental Health Services Are Literally Killing Its CitizensSan Francisco’s fragmented city services are harming – and killing – the most vulnerable,S.F. Chronicle, Michael Cabanatuan Sep. 27, 2022 “A small number of San Franciscans — almost all of them unhoused — are responsible for overly heavy use of both the city’s medical and legal systems — but the systems’ fragmented approach is failing, according to a new study. The study, from the nonpartisan California Policy Lab and the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative at UCSF, shows that a small group of people are repeatedly cycling in and out of both the county’s health and criminal legal systems each year and represent a disproportionately high amount of utilization of these systems.The systems provide fragmented care that fails those who use it, the study’s authors said, and one finding backs that up: Nearly one in four of the people with heavy use of both systems in 2011 were dead by 2020, “reflecting how vulnerable these individuals are and how high the stakes are for improving the systems that support them,” said co-author Dr. Hemal Kanzaria, medical director at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and an associate professor of emergency medicine at UCSF.The study underscores what health care workers and public hospital officials told city leaders in July — that far too many people struggling with severe mental illness and addiction cycle through San Francisco’s overburdened emergency rooms, failing to get long-term help, and at a high cost to the city. For instance, just five people in the past five years accounted for 1,781 ambulance transports, possibly up to 2,000, at a cost of $4 million.The study’s authors called for a more coordinated approach, such as connecting people released from the emergency room or jail with housing and continued care. “Our research highlights the need for coordinated, evidence-based interventions to address these individuals’ complex needs, promote stable housing, and prevent poor health outcomes including untimely death,” said co-author Dr. Maria Raven, chief of emergency medicine at UCSF Medical Center and co-lead of the Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative program on adults with complex needs.The study looked at 10 years of data from 270,000 people who used the city’s acute medical care or legal systems between 2011 and 2020. It narrowed its focus to two groups of people who had interactions with both systems in the same year, one from 2011 and one from 2020, to investigate trends among frequent users of city services.The study is unusual, researchers say, because it links data from multiple agencies to see how people are using critical city services including mental and physical health care and housing over a several-year period.Among the study’s findings, according to the Policy Lab:• About 24% of the 2011 group continued their high use of both systems the following years but their use declined each of the following years. • Between 80% and 90% of the people in the 2011 and 2020 groups had substance use problems and many also had chronic mental and and physical health issues. • More than 90% of the individuals in both groups had been booked into jail for a felony and a misdemeanor. • The research team determined that many of the people in the 2020 group were in San Francisco in 2011 and had contact with both health and criminal legal systems in the prior 10 years. For example, 30% of the 2020 cohort was booked into jail in 2011.” Michael Cabanatuan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer, email: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com ... See MoreSee Less
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