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Global News

May 30, 2013 Mental Health Action Plan final draft (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) presented a final draft of a “Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020” at the World Health Assembly which took place in Geneva from May 20-28, 2013. The draft plan, in consultation with Member States, follows the adopted resolution of May 2012 to consider a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level to address the global burden of mental disorders.

May 16, 2013 Middle-aged suicide rates increase dramatically (USA)

A recent report released by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicide rates for middle-aged Americans have increased dramatically over the past decade. Citing increases of 28 per cent overall, the increase is 32 per cent for women and 27 per cent for men between the years 1999 and 2010.

May 2, 2013 Working with Schizophrenia: Pathways to employment, recovery and inclusion (United Kingdom)

In a recent report titled, “Working with Schizophrenia: Pathways to Employment, Recovery and Inclusion”, The Work Foundation (UK) identified barriers (individual, attitudinal and structural) and interventions that could increase the number of workers with schizophrenia working in the UK labour market.

April 18, 2013 Immediate time after hospital discharge poses high suicide risk (England)

A recent study published in Psychiatric Services found that people with psychiatric illnesses are at extremely high risk for suicide in the immediate weeks post-discharge from hospital. In fact, a retrospective study conducted by researchers from the Centre for Mental Health and Risk at the University of Manchester found that fifty-five per cent of completed suicides happened within the first week after discharge.

March 21, 2013 Postpartum depression may be the tip of the iceberg (USA)

The March online issue of JAMA Psychiatry contains the results of a large-scale study revealing that more than one in five women with postpartum depression also experience other mental disorders. These can include bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and self-harm ideation. In some cases, these illnesses may actually have been the underlying cause of postpartum depression, but remained undetected until the birth of a child.

March 7, 2013 Homicidal death greatly increased amongst those with mental illness (Sweden)

In this month’s issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Swedish researchers reveal that mortality rates due to homicide are more than doubled if an individual has a mental illness or substance use disorder, irrespective of age, sex or other sociodemographic factors.

February 21, 2013 Insomnia and feelings of hopelessness can be deadly (USA)

In a small but interesting study out of the USA, researchers have found a link between insomniacs who experience despair over getting a good night’s sleep, and a higher risk for suicide.

February 21, 2013 FDA warns sleeping pills may impair driving next morning (USA)

The most recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA), contains a warning from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the use of the sleep medication zolpidem and its prolonged effects, even after eight hours, in some individuals.

January 25, 2013 Depression warning sign for dementia in elderly women (USA)

Researchers in the Department of Mental Health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland recently released the results of their study of more than 300 women, ages 85 years of age or more, with depression. Their results showed an association between higher depression scores and a three-fold increase in the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia, compared to women with lower depression scores.

January 25, 2013 Depressed older men have more hospital admissions, longer stays (Australia)

A recent Australian study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that older men with higher depressive scores were more likely to visit hospital emergency departments for non-psychiatric conditions, more likely to be admitted and more likely to have longer lengths of stay, than non-depressed men.