KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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New Programs Let Patients With Schizophrenia Take Charge Of Own Recovery

A number of states have set up programs with a new approach to treatment, one that emphasizes supportive services. Elsewhere, a couple who lost a son to cancer advocates for more psychological support for kids fighting the disease; in Mississippi a plan to improve mental health care for children falters; and Washington asks for more time to comply with how it evaluates mentally ill defendants.

The New York Times: Programs Expand Schizophrenic Patients’ Role In Their Own Care
Frank, who eight months earlier had received a diagnosis of psychosis, the signature symptom of schizophrenia, and had been in and out of the hospital, gradually learned to take charge of his own recovery, in a new approach to treatment for people experiencing a first psychotic “break” with reality. At a time when lawmakers in Washington are debating large-scale reforms to the mental health care system, analysts are carefully watching a handful of new first-break programs like the one that treated Frank in New York as a way to potentially ease the cycle of hospitalization and lifetime disability that afflict so many mentally ill people. (Carey, 12/28)

The Washington Post: How One Couple’s Loss Led To A Push For Psychological Care For Kids With Cancer
What has stuck with Vicki and Peter Brown for years, beyond the enduring grief of losing their only child, Matthew, are the emotional traumas they all suffered during his struggle with a rare form of bone cancer. ... The couple ultimately launched a years-long effort to try to ensure that children with cancer and their families get the help they need for the non-medical aspects of the disease. Last week, their hard work paid off with the publication of the first national standards for the “psychosocial” care of children with cancer and their families. (Dennis, 12/29)

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