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“Pennsylvania prison system develops separate housing for mentally ill inmates”

Article Link

This January 6, 2015 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article talks about changes being made in how inmates in Pennsylvania’s correctional system are being managed.  Efforts are being made to divert them to treatment settings within the prison system as opposed to placing them into segregated housing (aka “The Hole”).

English: Lansing Correctional Facility

English: Lansing Correctional Facility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Mental Illness in America: Why the Affordable Care Act’s Parity Rule Marks a New Era in Mental Health Care”

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blog Post Link

This November 9, 2013 blog post on the Public Health Watch blog, talks about some of the changes to mental health care in the United States as a result of the Affordable Healthcare Act (also commonly called “Obama care” by the media). The post covers a variety of items including but not limited to statistics on the estimated number of adults with a diagnosable mental illness in the United States, and other information like funding for mental health services, access to treatment, and statistics about the number of untreated adults with mental illnesses.  The post packs a lot of information into it, but presents it in a way that I feel many of my readers could walk away from the post feeling like they gained a bit of knowledge without feeling too overwhelmed by the language used  in the post.  I recommend that folks read through the post in its entirety and even take time to follow the links throughout the text of the post to gain a deeper understanding of the topic.  I felt the post was well worth the time it takes to read it, and I felt like for myself I may need to revisit it to get a full grasp of everything covered in it.  Thank you to the folks who maintain the Public Health Watch blog for their post.

“‘Inexplicably Happy’ Column: Mental health”

English: A Psychiatric Service Dog In Training

English: A Psychiatric Service Dog In Training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Article Link

This February 18, 2013 article on the LehighValley.com website talks about the issues faced by folks who have Anxiety Disorders.  I face an anxiety disorder every day and felt that this article really summed up what it was like trying to meet new people while contending with anxiety.  I use a Psychiatric Service Dog to help with my anxiety, she alerts me to panic attacks before they get out of control so I can work to head them off before I have a total meltdown.  She also does medication reminders that help me control my anxiety and other mental health issues, since I have a hard time remembering to take my meds having an external cue from my service dog has been a huge help in getting them on time.

Even with the amazing help my Service Dog offers me, I’m always floored when people ask me what she does for me and I simply say “I have an Anxiety disorder and some other mental health issues that she helps me with”  and the person responds with “Everyone gets anxious”  as though telling me the obvious is going to be of help o me.  I know all to well that everyone has anxiety, but what people who don’t have an anxiety disorder don’t seem to realize is that those with an anxiety disorder have extreme anxiety that often impair many facets of life that those without the anxiety disorder often take for granted.  I have a really hard time in checkout lines in stores, because the confined space sends my anxiety through the roof, especially if there is a glitch with the way the register scans (or doesn’t scan) an item correctly and a supervisor has to be called in to correct the problem.  Most people seem to get annoyed at best with this, but for me, I start sweating profusely, my heart rate sky rockets, and it takes everything in me to keep from bolting out of the store because of the overwhelming fear I feel.  I know that the glitch isn’t anything I did, but for me, it’s like my brain hi-jacks me and I literally panic and begin to fear that the store will think I tampered with the item or something to cause it to not scan right.  Not something I’ve ever seen anyone get accused of in a checkout line, but with an anxiety disorder, this is the direction my mind heads and there isn’t a lot I can do about it other than to work with my service dog, take deep breaths, and pray that the situation is cleared up quickly so I can get out of there.

“Feeling SAD over the weather? You’re not alone”

Article Link

This February 7, 2013 article on the Philly Burbs website talks about Seasonal Affective Disorder and when it is most likely to occur. It’s not an indepth article, but it does offer a nice introduction to SAD for those who may not be familiar with it.

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (I...

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (Innosol Rondo) used to treat seasonal affective disorder. Provides 10,000 lux at a distance of 25 cm. Suomi: 30 kilohertsin kirkasvalolamppu (Innosol Rondo) kaamosmasennuksen hoitoon. Kirkkaus 25 senttimetrin päässä 10 000 luksia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“New standards of care implemented for mentally ill at Retreat State Hospital”

Main Entrance of Warren State Hospital in North Warren, PA

Main Entrance of Warren State Hospital in North Warren, PA


Article Link

This January 6, 2013 article on the citizenvoice.com website talks about the history of some of the state hospitals in Pennsylvania.  The focus is on facilities in Philly and Harrisburg, but other Pennsylvania facilities are mentioned as well.

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