Bed Shortages, Budget Cuts Create Lethal Crisis For Mentally Ill Across U.S.
Patients are being held in emergency rooms, hospitals and jails for weeks before receiving proper treatment. In other news, researchers have identified 15 locations in DNA that are associated with depression, a woman finds help with her PTSD through eye movement therapy and a look at mental health laws 50 years after the University of Texas shooting.
Amid Shortage Of Psychiatric Beds, Mentally Ill Face Long Waits For Treatment
Across the country, a critical shortage of state psychiatric beds is forcing mentally ill patients with severe symptoms to be held in emergency rooms, hospitals and jails while they wait for a bed, sometimes for weeks. Mental health advocates, attorneys and judges say the practice, known as psychiatric boarding, prevents patients from getting the care they need. Instead, such patients are sometimes strapped down or held in isolation, and often receive little or no mental health services. (Ollove, 8/2)
The Washington Post:
Large DNA Study Using 23andMe Data Finds 15 Sites Linked To Depression
Scientists announced on Monday that they had pinpointed 15 locations in our DNA that are associated with depression, one of the most common mental health conditions and one that is estimated to cost the world billions in health-care costs and lost productivity. Although gene association studies — which link DNA inherited from our parents to particular diseases, conditions or even habits such as vegetarianism — are published practically every week, this is a particularly important one. (Cha, 8/1)
The Washington Post:
She Found Relief For PTSD With A Different Kind Of Therapy. But Does It Work?
Brynne Henn, 26, leaned back onto a pristine white couch and settled white-and-red headphones over her ears. She picked up a handset, grasping one buzzer in each hand, closed her eyes, and the session began. The room was quiet. Through the headphones, Henn heard an alternating tone — first in the right ear, then the left, back and forth. The handset buzzed in synchrony, right-left-right-left, part of a trauma treatment that also involves recalling painful memories. She turned her thoughts to the day her brother, Nate, died. (Schreiber, 8/1)
Kaiser Health News:
Gun Violence And Mental Health Laws, 50 Years After Texas Tower Sniper
For some people, the attack on police officers by a gunman in Dallas this summer brought to mind another attack by a sniper in Austin 50 years ago – on Aug. 1, 1966. That's when student Charles Whitman stuck his rifle over the edge of the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin and started shooting. Ultimately, he killed 16 people — and wounded more than 30 others. For decades, people have struggled to figure out why. There have been theories about abuse, a brain tumor and, of course, mental illness. (Silverman, 7/29)