December 2017
National Institute of Mental Health
Monthly Update
MAMH is proud to partner with the National Institute of Mental Health to disseminate knowledge about science-based mental health each month. With each update, we offer emerging research, important dates and publications to be aware of, and opportunities to get involved in research.
Emerging Research and Updates
  • An NIH study of World War II evacuees suggests that mental illness associated with early childhood adversity may be passed from generation to generation. Participants in the study were adults whose parents evacuated Finland as children during WWII.
  • The FDA has granted marketing authorization for the NSS-2 Bridge, a small electrical nerve stimulator placed behind a patient's ear that helps to reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal by emitting electrical pulses to the brain. Patients can use the device for up to five days during the acute physical withdrawal phase.
  • The Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) has released their first report, The Way Forward: Federal Action for a System That Works for All People Living with SMI and SED and Their Families and Caregivers. The report was submitted to Congress on December 13. Read more about the findings here.
  • Using new methodology, scientists at the National Institute on Aging calculated that approximately six million adults in the United States have Alzheimer's Disease or mild cognitive impairment. They also forecast that these numbers will reach 15 million by 2060. The full report will be released in January, read more here.
  • In a study published in PLOS Genetics, scientists with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute identified differences in a group of genes they say might help explain why some people need a lot more or less sleep than most. This research could lead to new ways to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia and narcolepsy.
  • The Indian Health Service announced eight grants for the Zero Suicide Initiative. The program supports projects that promote implementing a comprehensive and culturally-informed approach to providing suicide care in the Indian health system.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs and the HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced the inaugural Mayor's Challenge to Prevent Suicide among service members, Veterans, and their families. The goal is to eliminate suicide by using a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention. The seven cities participating will be announced by late December.
New Publications and Resources
  • In a thoughtful message following a Thanksgiving visit to the emergency room, the Director of NIMH Joshua Gordon reflects on treatments for injury versus psychiatric conditions.
  • This NIDA Drugs and Health blog post describes what scientists who study the brain and behavior have discovered about the similarities between those who tend to be aggressive and hostile and those with substance use disorders.
  • The FDA is expanding "The Real Cost" public education campaign to include advertising about e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems. New messages focus on how nicotine can rewire the developing brain to crave more nicotine.
  • A new brief from the CDC provides the latest prevalence estimates for diagnosed autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and other developmental delay among children 3-17 years old. Notably, there was a significant increase in the prevalence of children who had ever been diagnosed with a developmental disability. Read the brief here.
  • SAMHSA has released a kit with information and resources for behavioral health among college students. It discusses the consequences of substance misuse among college students and explores various causational factors such as peer pressure, stress, social norms, and advertising messages. Download your copy here.
  • Watch the archived webisode hosted by SAMHSA focused on addressing the mental health needs of children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness.
  • This SAMHSA Surveillance Success Story details how the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation accesses and analyzes data on suicide deaths and self-harm, and uses that data to strengthen its prevention efforts.
  • Learn more about the SAMHSA Project LAUNCH initiative that provides grants to states, tribes, and local communities to support behavioral health integration into primary care settings, among other activities. Read the issue brief here.
  • SAMHSA has released a resource called Words Matter: How Language Choice Can Reduce Stigma. It examines the role of language in perpetuating substance use disorder stigma and strategies we can use to deliver messages that are positive, productive, and inclusive.
Get Involved
  • SAMHSA's Homeless and Housing Resource Network announced the first webinar in its Persons with Lived Experience Spotlight Series. It will feature two special guests who were able to transform their lives with assistance from SAMHSA's SOAR program and secure access to SSI/SSDI benefits. Learn more and sign up here.
  • The SAMHSA Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy is hosting a conversations with experts about gender responsive approaches to supporting behavioral health recovery. Register here.
  • Operation Prevention, an initiative of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education that aims to combat the growing opioid epidemic through education on addiction and its impact on the brain and body, is accepting applications for their video challenge. The challenge closes on March 20, 2018. Learn more here.
  • The AHQR's Effective Health Care Program is seeking comments from the public to help focus its research and ensure that the final comparative effectiveness reviews answer the most important questions that stakeholders have about treatment. They are currently seeking comments through December 28, 2017 on Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults with PTSD: A Systematic Review Update. Comment here.
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