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Letter to the Editor: Mental Health

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This post is one that is very personal to me, in that I am posting a letter I wrote to the editor of the Warren Times-Observer in response to this linked article I had read on their site.

The letter is one that tries to shine a positive light on the mental health community, while also touching on a prominent myth about people with mental health issues. I also share a story about a personal encounter I had while shopping to help show how the myth impacts the mental health community.

Peace be with all who read my letter!

Jenn

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“Trump’s Call for Mental Institutions Could Be Good: Bringing back asylums isn’t actually the worst idea.”

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This article discusses reasons not only why re-opening asylums could be good, but includes some of the history behind those that have been downsized or closed.   The article appropriately points out that even though opening asylums could be good, it would likely do nothing to prevent mass shootings or other forms of violence and points to the access to guns as being the issue that is feeding gun violence.

“How Gaps In Mental Health Care Play Out In Emergency Rooms”

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This October 17, 2016 article by Shefali Luthra, talks about the differencees in going to the Emergency Room for Physical health reasons compared to mental health reasons and indicates that a person with a mental health issue is likely to stay in the ER longer or more likely to be admitted to the hospital directly from the ER than someone with physical health issues is.

“Faulty assumptions behind persistent racial/ethnic disparities in behavioral health care”

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This June 9, 2016 article found on the Medical Xpress website talks about some of the assumptions made regarding minorities and behavioral health treatment and explains some of the things that could be done to improve the situation so that minorities receive equal care comparable to what is received by other populations.

“Take This: Where Gaming Meets Mental Health”

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This June 10, 2016 by Chloi Rad on the IGN website, talks about efforts being made to raise awareness of mental health issues to gamers.  One effort includes working on providing an “AFK Room” (for the non-gamers AFK means “Away From Keyboard” and is often used by gamers when they need to step away from their console or computer briefly or to explain a lack of response to someone who didn’t know they wandered away from their computer or console)  In the case of the AFK Rooms, the article indicates that they are meant to be a quiet place staffed by clinicians where attendees at some of the gaming conferences can step away from the noise and chaos they are experiencing.  These rooms have been known to help people who were suicidal, as well as those who are having anxiety issues.   Take This wants to remind gamers that they are not exempt from ever being in need of mental health support, and want to decrease the stigma among gamers towards those who do need support.

I think I would sum this up as simply saying it is an example of gamers helping gamers since the AFK rooms were created by a well-known game company.

“PA Coalition Supporting Insurance Parity Will Hold Press Conference to Announce Introduction of Bill to Enforce Federal Law”

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This June 10, 2016  article talks about a gathering in Harrisburg, PA to be held on June 13, 2016 on the Capital Rotunda where State Representative Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery County) will be joined by providers, family members and mental health Consumers to advocate for a bill being introduced to better enforce the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 here in Pennsylvania.

“Recovery Works Summit 2016”

Resource Link   (Summit Exhibitor link)

Upcoming Recovery Works Summit 2016 the above link takes you to the site containing all the nitty-gritty details.

The Summit is to be held…

Sept. 27, 2016 in Harrisburg, PA

Click here for more details

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