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mental health

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Food is supposed to nourish us, both body and spirit.

But what happens when someone's relationship to food  - and to their own body - spirals out of control? 

An eating disorder not only interferes with someone's quality of life. It can also be fatal if it's not treated. 

Paula Reeves
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Last week, a 17-year old student opened fire at Santa Fe High School. He left 10 dead and 10 more injured.

With every mass shooting in the United States comes a cry to address the issue of mental health. Lawmakers say we need to identify these troubled kids — and get them mental health resources before something terrible happens.

anxiety
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Feeling anxious or unsettled? You're not alone. An online poll from the American Psychiatric Association finds 39 percent of American adults reported themselves as more anxious today than they were in 2017.

Hand holding
User: Mrs. Logic/flickr

 


The world is still reeling from the recent deaths of designer Kate Spade and chef and writer Anthony Bourdain. These tragedies have drawn the country's attention as rates of suicide continue to climb.

 

grand hotel on mackinac island
David Ball / creative commons

 

Michigan’s decision-makers are gathered this week on Mackinac Island for the annual Detroit Policy Conference. 

State House Speaker Tom Leonard is among those attending. He spoke with Stateside about a number of upcoming ballot measures being discussed in the state legislature. Once a voter-driven initiative is certified to be on the ballot, the legislature has 40 days to do one of three things: They can amend and pass it, offer a competing proposal, or do nothing and let it go to the ballot. 

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay.com / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

There are few moments more stressful than witnessing your child in the grips of a mental health crisis.

In Kent County, parents who are in the middle of that situation can turn to the Children's Crisis Response Team operated by network180, the community mental health authority in Kent County.

Andrew Boekestein manages the team made up of mental health clinicians. He spoke with Stateside about the need for more services for kids experiencing a mental health crisis. 

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If certain health providers and legislators get their way, Michigan's mental health system could soon be privatized.

Pretty much everyone agrees that closer coordination of mental and physical health care would be a good thing for patients.

After all, the mind is connected to the body, but just how to get there has been up for fierce debate going on two years now.

Cynthia Canty / Michigan Radio

When do you know the time has come to seek mental health care? Then, where do you go? To whom do you turn?

It's a critical question in the quest for mental health and wellness, and we don't tend to think about it until there's a crisis.

TaxCredits.net / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Mental health agencies around the state say the Department of Health and Human Services refuses to acknowledge a funding shortage that’s leaving some of those agencies in serious deficit.

Tens of thousands of people eligible for Disabled, Aged, and Blind (DAB) Medicaid assistance have been transferred to the Healthy Michigan Plan. According to the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan, the problem with that is this: The base rate paid to agencies to serve those people through Medicaid is $267. Under Healthy Michigan, it’s $29 plus another $15 under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Yoga mats set out and ready for the class to begin
Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

After what is often years of waiting and paperwork, some refugees from desperate situations around the world are fortunate enough to be accepted into the U.S. But then what? If you’ve been in a war-torn area or are a victim of torture, you’re glad to be safe.

But you’re in a strange country. You might not speak English. You might be confused by government bureaucracy or an unfamiliar medical system. Then there’s a chance you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or other mental health issues. 

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Minding Michigan is Stateside’s ongoing series exploring mental health and wellness issues in our state. Today, the focus turns to suicide.

One person in Michigan dies by suicide around every six hours, and according to the CDC, men are four times more likely to die by suicide.

The state is making a concerted effort to reach out to men through a project called Healthy Men Michigan. The goal is to promote mental wellness among men in our state aged 25-64.

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Last month's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida prompted the President to call for more attention to mental health.

That's a common response to these violent events – Sandy Hook, Columbine, Las Vegas, the theater shooting in Colorado, and so many more.

So how should we think about mental health in the wake of tragedies like these?

Michigan Radio

Growing up in Alabama and Kalamazoo, Calvin Greene always felt different. He thought his hyperactivity couldn't simply be a product of an energetic personality. But it wouldn’t be until after he was awarded parole in his mid-twenties, though, that he would receive a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Bipolar Disorder.

But Greene’s treatment process would come with unique challenges due to the stigma attached to issues of mental health within the African-American community.  

Courtesy of Matinga Ragatz

Students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School today in Florida – their first time back after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting two weeks ago.

The Parkland shooting has seemed to galvanize students, citizens, corporations, and politicians into action. Most everyone agrees something must be done to make our schools safer.

The progression of a cleanup of a room of someone with hoarding disorder.
Hoarding Task Force of Washtenaw County

For a while, the show Hoarders was popular on cable.

A show about people who just can’t stop hoarding things in their homes. Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms are piled high with paper, dishes, clothes, food. Doors can’t open. Sometimes there are too many animals in the house. People with hoarding disorder put themselves – and sometimes others – in danger.

The TV show resolves the issue with a lot of drama and tears, and the problem, at least what the viewer sees, is all taken care of in one or two episodes.

But life doesn’t work that way, and for a long time, there just wasn’t a lot of help available for people with hoarding disorder.

Michigan's mental health care shame

Feb 20, 2018
Patients at the Eloise Psychiatric Hospital in the early 1950s.
Friends of Eloise

When I was a child growing up in the Detroit area in the 1960s, all the kids knew what happened if you became mentally ill, or as we so nicely put it, went nuts. You would be taken to Eloise, which we vaguely knew of as a huge mental institution somewhere.

MDHHS
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The state says it’s taking new steps to fix Michigan’s serious lack of inpatient psychiatric care, in hopes of jump-starting a more comprehensive fix.

Michigan largely shut down its inpatient psychiatric facilities in the 1990s. Rather than picking up the slack, community hospitals cut back too.

That means there’s now a serious shortage of beds for people who need care for an acute psychiatric crisis.

Courtesy of Chris Andrews

Chris Andrews, a native of Suttons Bay, walked 3,200 miles across the United States back in 2016.

His motivation, he said, was to spread “a simple message about finding balance in how we use our digital devices.”

Willie Brooks
Oakland County

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority has named Willie Brooks its new CEO.

This is actually the second time Brooks has been offered the job as head of the state’s largest community mental health services provider.

Shredded dollar
TaxCredits.net / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The community mental health provider in Kent County wants the state to expedite the process of figuring out how to adequately fund its mental health programs.

Scott Gillman, the CEO and Executive Director of Network 180, the community mental health authority in Kent County, says that people switching to the state’s Healthy Michigan program is the cause for the lack of funds.

Network 180 lost about $9.7 million over the last two years because several people switched from having Disabled, Aged and Blind status on their insurance to the Healthy Michigan program.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Lansing has put Michigan’s biggest mental health agency on notice that its state certification may be in jeopardy.

That agency is the Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority. This year, it doled out over $700 million to community mental health service providers serving about 80,000 people.

The warning came in a December 18th letter from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to DWMHA leaders, after Michigan Radio reported on concerns about how the Authority conducts business.

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How does loneliness impact your mental and physical health?

Dr. Farha AbbasiMichigan State University psychiatrist, believes loneliness is one of the greatest challenges we face as a society. She joined Stateside to share her work.

An uncorrected summary of benefits for a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO plan showing language requiring prior authorization for mental health and substance abuse outpatient treatment.
Dr. Lou Feurino

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is apologizing for a significant error in its benefits plan documents for 2018.

 

The error related to mental health and substance abuse treatment. Benefits summaries for some plans said they required prior authorization for mental health or substance abuse outpatient treatment.

That sent some patients--and their doctors--into a panic. A requirement for prior authorization could mean that some patients would not be able to continue their treatments, or might be required to change providers.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette hasn’t hesitated to launch investigations into a number of agencies whose behavior he’s found questionable.

So he might want to seriously consider looking at potential corruption at the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority, where there are indications some board members may be putting their own private interests ahead of the needs of those they are supposed to help.

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College campuses are filling up with students again, which means all the associated stress is returning to campuses too.

Mental health administrators Nicole Lawson, Christina Nicholas, and Jillian Trumbell demonstrate at the Michigan Capitol
Rick Pluta / MPRN

More than 300 thousand people in Michigan depend on public mental health care, and the state is wrestling with the question of who should oversee and administer those services.

Michigan is debating whether mental health funding will be taken away from community mental health groups and transferred instead to private insurers in Michigan’s Medicaid Health plans.

brain scan
NIH IMAGE GALLERY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

State lawmakers have formed a task force to look for ways to improve mental health treatment in Michigan.

It’s called the House C.A.R.E.S task force. C.A.R.E.S stands for Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety.

The committee was formed by House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-Dewitt. Late last year, Leonard said a mental health overhaul was one of his top priorities.

Now he has appointed over a dozen state lawmakers to serve on the bipartisan task force.

brain scan
NIH IMAGE GALLERY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Plans to change Michigan’s mental health system would take a step forward under a budget plan moving through the Legislature.

The legislation calls for a pilot program in Kent County that would integrate Medicaid's mental and physical health services under private insurers.

A Health Blog / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A controversial proposal to integrate behavioral healthcare with physical healthcare under management by private insurance companies is moving ahead, under a budget plan making its way through the state Legislature.

The new budget would require a pilot program  in Kent County, and allows the state to conduct up to three more pilot programs. 

Robert White holds a picture of his sons Fred, 46, and Michael, 32, who are both on the autism spectrum.
Joe Linstroth / Michigan Radio

Major changes could be coming tomorrow in the services for people living with a mental illness or a developmental disability in Michigan.

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