End the stigma of mental illness

May 29, 2014 § 1 Comment

Did you know that over the course of a year, one in four adults will experience a mental illness? Or that mental illness and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability around the world?

Since 1949, May has been designated Mental Health Awareness Month, giving psychiatrists, psychologists, clinicians, government officials, patients and advocates from across the nation an opportunity to come together to bring attention to behavioral healthcare needs.

Earlier this month, Dr. Peggy Johnson, Commonwealth Care Alliance chief of psychiatry, authored an op-ed entitled, “End the stigma of mental illness,” which ran in the MetroWest Daily News. In the article, Dr. Johnson describes the need for better integration of primary care and behavioral health, and she calls for an end to the stigma associated with mental illness.

An excerpt of the op-ed is featured below, and the whole article is accessible on the MetroWest Daily News website.

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Month – “Mind Your Health” – seeks to make people aware of the important connection between mental health and overall health. This month and its corresponding theme provide a great opportunity to emphasize how our mental health has a bearing on our total wellbeing.

There is a fundamental connection between the two. People who suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases are much more likely to also suffer from depression; meanwhile, people who suffer from behavioral health problems often experience medical complications, particularly when their mental conditions are left untreated. In fact, people with severe mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than the general public, largely due to treatable and preventable medical conditions. This is according to “Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illness”, a report from the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Council.

View the full op-ed here: http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20140525/OPINION/140527394/2011/OPINION?Start=1

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§ One Response to End the stigma of mental illness

  • […] New data on duals demonstrations The Kaiser Family Foundation is out with interesting data on the new financial alignment demonstrations for dual eligibles.  According to Kaiser, delaying enrollment start dates has given participating states the time they needed to “develop and implement the many policies and procedures needed to facilitate enrollment and deliver services through managed care arrangements.” In addition, Kaiser reports that the demonstrations have shown the potential to better integrate and coordinate long-terms services and supports (LTSS) and behavioral health care with physical health care – something we care a lot about at Commonwealth Care Alliance. […]

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