Madison Avenue TMS News

Mental Health in the News: July 21, 2022

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Welcome to Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry’s Mental health in the News weekly update. Below are some current news events relating to mental health and mental health treatments.

Cincinnati Schools Are Making Stronger Attempts to Address Mental Health

Deer Park Schools in Cincinnati are using a questionnaire developed by the Terrace Metrics company to educate students about behavioral health and to help the faculty assess the mental health of their students, more specifically, signs of depression and anxiety. The questionnaire takes just about 15 to 20 minutes and is administered to students in grades 6 through 12 twice a year. It is designed to help the staff learn about the challenges that students are facing and to identify behavioral health identifiers like ostracism, bullying, depression, and risk of self-harm.

One student at Deer Park High, daughter of Dave Conover, was flagged twice by the questionnaire for depression and anxiety. Conover expressed that he wouldn’t have thought there was anything the matter with his daughter without the help of the Terrace Metrics questionnaire. He says he is grateful and that his daughter has been able to get help.

Deer Park Schools have used the questionnaire for 3 years. Connie Pohlgeers, Director of School Improvement for Campbell County schools in northern Kentucky, who was the first to use Terrace Metrics’ questionnaire, says it gives them the insight they wouldn’t have otherwise. She also points out, in addition to identifying students at risk of mental health issues and self-harm, that the questionnaire offers a useful assessment of the student’s resiliency factors.

Dr. Rich Gillman studied school districts for 6 months in 2018, discovering that there isn’t one way to identify the struggles of students. The Terrace Metrics questionnaire is developed to be proactive, not reactive. Gillman says the traditional approach of schools has been to react to problems as they occur, “but what the data shows is that the time it takes between a problem that first emerges to when it is actually brought to a school’s attention is a decade, and that means that many students are struggling in silence.”

The Terrace Metrics questionnaire is now being used in the judicial system as well. Hamilton County Juvenile court is the first in the country to implement it.

To read the original news article, click here.

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Joe Biden and Selena Gomez Team Up for Mental Health Awareness

President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, actress and singer Selena Gomez, and US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy opened a discussion to raise awareness on mental health at the first-ever Mental Health Youth Forum at the White House on May 18, 2022, hosted by MTV Entertainment. 

Gomez spoke about her dedication to her platform and about her personal struggles with bipolar disorder. Gomez recently helped launch a mental health platform called Wondermind to educate people on mental illness and end the stigma. Biden expressed gratitude to Gomez for her efforts as an advocate for mental health, and for the validation and encouragement she brings to those suffering from mental illness.

Mental health stigma can make people feel ashamed to acknowledge that they need help and to find help for mental health struggles. Stigma can make mental health feel like an immense burden and can even reduce the likelihood that someone struggling with their mental health will seek treatment, which can lead to a worsening of symptoms. 

Mental health education and accessibility to treatment have been a focus of the Biden administration. In his recent State of the Union address, he called the US to action to “take on mental health,” address the “harms of social media,” and normalize mental health care. His administration has worked with multiple pop stars to get other messages out, about vaccination advocacy as well as Asian-American and Pacific Islander discrimination.

To read the original news article, click here.

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Is Mental Health to Blame for the U.S. Gun Death Rates?

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24th – Texas’s worst school shooting to date, where 19 children and 2 adults were killed – has spurred once more the political conversation around America’s extremely high rate of gun homicides, and republicans are pointing the finger at mental health. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke at a press conference in Uvalde, explaining that the town “has a problem with mental health illness.” His response was similar to a 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso with 46 victims, 23 dead.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer disagrees with the idea that mental health could be the sole cause of the U.S. death toll by gun, explaining that the U.S. is not the only country with significant rates of mental illness.

New York City nonprofit group, Commonwealth Fund, reports that in 2016 the U.S. had the highest rate of mental illness among developed countries worldwide. While the U.S. led Canada in these statistics by 3%, the CDC and Statistics Canada report that the U.S. led Canada in gun-related killings by 42%. U.S. gun deaths are also 66% higher than in Australia and 75% higher than in the U.K., but only 10% and 12% higher in mental health diagnoses respectively.

To read the original news article, click here.

Dr. Woo has been seeing patients in private practice since 2002, always with the goals of combining evidence-based medicine with psychodynamic psychotherapy and collaborating with other mental health professionals to ensure the best possible outcomes for his patients. He has been certified to administer TMS at his practice since 2017. His greatest clinical interests include helping patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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