Dually Noted from around the web

June 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

Articles, commentary, research, and more from the past week

Community respite centers: a national perspective
As we know at Commonwealth Care Alliance, community respite facilities are an effective and cost-effective alternative to psychiatric hospitals for individuals with severe mental illness. A recent article in the Washington Post looks at the community respite movement from a national perspective. In the piece, Sita Diehl, director of state policy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, says “(c)ommunity-based mental health services are particularly vital at a time when the number of beds in state psychiatric hospitals has shrunk sharply.” Deihl reports that, across the country, “state psychiatric beds decreased from roughly 51,000 in 2005 to 43,000 in 2010 and the number continues to dwindle.”

The role of doctors in end-of-life decisions
Most Americans would prefer “to die at home with less invasive treatments” but seldom get their wish. Why? A recent study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests that doctors “have outsized influence in shaping how patients spend their final days.” The study’s lead researcher reports that patients often do not have a conversation about hospice care with their doctor, and he urges physicians to “have these conversations earlier.”

For more on the role of doctors in end-of-life decisions, listen to the Dually Heard podcast featuring Dr. John Loughnane, Commonwealth Care Alliance’s Senior Vice President of Medical Services.

Can you eat your way to better mental health?
A scientific review published in Lancet Psychiatry stated “(e)vidence is steadily growing for the relation between dietary quality [and potential nutritional deficiencies] and mental health, and for the select use of nutrient-based supplements to address deficiencies.” What foods work best? Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, complete proteins, folate, Vitamin D, zinc, and iron have been shown to help.

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