2010 NAMI Convention to Address Youth Mental Health; Pediatricians Call for Routine Screening

2010 NAMI Convention to Address Youth Mental Health; Pediatricians Call for Routine Screening










Arlington, VA (PRWEB) June 23, 2010

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will address concerns for child and adolescent mental health at the 2010 NAMI National Convention in Washington, D.C, July 1-3.

The 2010 NAMI Convention also will honor journalist Judith Warner with an award for the book, We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication, which explores difficult decisions parents face in finding help for children who “suffer enormously” from mental illness.

Only one in five children who has a diagnosable mental illness receives treatment, yet children who receive earlier treatment interventions have better outcomes.

On June 1, an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) mental health task force called for pediatricians to perform mental health screenings for children at each doctor visit. The AAP also underscored a need for more child psychiatrists and mental health professionals in communities—to overcome critical shortages.

NAMI maintains a Child & Adolescent Action Center that focuses on child and adolescent mental health..

The 2010 NAMI Convention full schedule offers many symposia and presentations, including:

Friday, July 2


Financing and Expanding Children’s Mental Health Services (10:45 a.m.)

Despite state budget crises, state governments and local communities can invest in a full array of mental health services, including home and community-based services for children.

Crisis Intervention in Schools (3:45 pm.)

Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) can help schools, mental health providers, police and the juvenile justice system provide safer, more effective help to youth experiencing psychiatric crises.

Understanding and Treating Kids’ Behavior Challenges (7:30 p.m.)

Ross Greene, Ph.D., author of The Explosive Child, will discuss “why challenging kids are challenging,” child behavior as development delays and how caregivers improve relations and communications through collaborative problem-solving.

Saturday, July 3

StrengthofUs: A Social Networking Community for Young Adults (8:45 a.m.)

Learn about StrengthofUs.org, NAMI’s new online resource center and social networking website for young adults working to overcome mental health issues.

“Ask the Doctor Session” on Children and Adolescents (3:15 pm.) with Michael Houston, M.D.

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.

http://www.nami.org

twitter.com/namicommunicate

facebook.com/officialNAMI

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to Offer Health Risk Assessments for Employers and Individuals

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to Offer Health Risk Assessments for Employers and Individuals











Chapel Hill, NC (Vocus) March 13, 2007

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina today announced an extensive new program aimed at helping employers and individuals understand and act on their health risks.

Your Health Profile, BCBSNC’s confidential health risk assessment (HRA), helps employers quantify the health risks that exist in their employee population. Using an aggregate summary report that comes from the HRA, employers can design and promote programs that target the specific needs of their workers — such as managing diabetes or increasing physical activity.

“Employers tell us they want more information to help them take specific, measurable actions toward containing rising medical costs,” said Bob Greczyn, BCBSNC president and CEO. “Your Health Profile can be one of the first and most important steps to creating a healthy workforce. A healthy workforce not only affects direct health costs such as medical claims, it also cuts down on the indirect costs of absenteeism and disability.”

Your Health Profile helps individuals who fill out the HRA to better understand their own health risks. Upon completion of the confidential questionnaire, BCBSNC members receive personalized assessments of their health status, complete with tips on developing an action plan for maintaining and improving their health.

BCBSNC is offering Your Health Profile through an agreement with Summex Corp., a unit of WebMD Health Corp. that provides comprehensive health and wellness programs to employers. The HRA becomes available to BCBSNC employer groups in early June.

Cook Endoscopy in Winston-Salem offered Your Health Profile to employees in January as part of a pilot program. “The HRA is a big part of our plans to promote workplace wellness,” said Maryann Atkins, Human Resources Benefits Specialist at the maker of medical devices. “It’s giving us some insight into the health issues our workforce is facing that we couldn’t have gained through any other means.”

How It Works

Your Health Profile consists of an online or paper questionnaire designed by Summex and administered by BCBSNC. Questions involve such health behaviors as physical activity, eating habits and tobacco use, as well as self-reporting of height, weight and medical history. The questionnaire takes about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Upon completion, individuals receive their personalized health report outlining health status and risks. The report may suggest actions to take to improve health. Individuals are encouraged to share their report with their physician.

Individuals whose reports show risks for certain health conditions — and who indicate a willingness to improve their health — will be enrolled in BCBSNC’s Member Health Partnerships. The program offers customized support and education to members with one or more health conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, asthma or unhealthy weight. Also, members taking the HRA may access BCBSNC’s Online Healthy Living program for help with such lifestyle issues as weight loss and stress reduction. These tie-ins with existing BCBSNC programs enhance Your Health Profile, extending its reach beyond information and giving members the support they need to maintain and improve their health.

Employers with 50 or more employees completing the survey receive an aggregate summary report that includes suggested steps for addressing health issues within their employee population. The employer does not receive individual questionnaire results.

Who Is Eligible

Employer groups with coverage from BCBSNC, including self-funded employers who pay a fee to BCBSNC to administer their health plan, may use Your Health Profile. Workers at those employers who have chosen a BCBSNC plan will be given the opportunity to take the HRA. BCBSNC is offering Your Health Profile at no additional charge to employers and individuals when the survey is taken online.

Customers of BCBSNC’s Blue Advantage individual coverage also may take the HRA and receive a confidential health report. Blue Advantage customers should visit http://www.bcbsnc.com and click on “Member” to log into My Member Services, where Your Health Profile is available.

About BCBSNC:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.4 million members, including approximately 749,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 73 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at http://www.bcbsnc.com

Contact: Kyle Marshall or Heidi Deja

BCBSNC Media Line: 919-765-3005    

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Major National Occupational Health & Medicine Conference Invites General Public to Attend and Learn of an Unfolding Crisis

Major National Occupational Health & Medicine Conference Invites General Public to Attend and Learn of an Unfolding Crisis











Toronto, ON (PRWEB) June 6, 2006

Asked the nature of the crisis to be addressed at the OEMAC conference, conference chair Dr. Noel Kerin stated that it is both a human crisis and a looming economic crisis for industry. “Currently, one third of manufacturing costs are devoted to human capital” said Dr. Kerin, “and mismanagement of human capital can drive that figure to 40+% of total costs. At that point, trying to manage a profitable business in the global market is a downhill slope. From the human aspect, the impact of chronic diseases on workers, families and employers is a legacy which modern industry must address effectively.”

Dr. Kerin noted that this conference is of particular importance to all parties involved in Human Capital Management. “By opening the conference to non-medical people and industry” Kerin said, “we can bring all the workplace stakeholders together—unions, management, insurance, and WSIB—with a forum where they’ll be heard on issues.”

Topics on the conference agenda, to be delivered by an international who’s who of occupational medicine, include Occupational Asthma, Beryllium—the ‘new’ chronic lung disease, and Mental Health in the workplace. “Economics of Occupational Health” will look at Benefits for the Workplace, The Cost of human Capital, and Examples of Best Practices in Industry.

Dr. Kerin said that the overarching purpose of the Conference was to build answers to three key questions and bring them to the front of mind of business. “How can we help our employees stay at work and be healthy? How can we help our employees return to work in a timely manner? How are we doing in this regard?” Dr. Kerin said. “If we can start to share and understand the different perspectives, Canadian Industry will be in a better position to make sound human capital management decisions—particularly in relation to chronic diseases’ huge toll on employees and industry.”

OEMAC sees the Conference as a unique opportunity to develop consensus. “We—all parties—need to learn how human capital can be better managed.” said Dr. Kerin. “And we need to learn quickly, if Canadian industry wants to continue as global competitors. The statistics are grim, and they don’t lie.”

Contacts:

Dr. Noel Kerin

Chair, Conference Planning Committee

The Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada

Cell: 416-618-7716

Office: 416-488-2900

Dr. Howard Hamer

Conference Planning Committee

Phone: 416-248-5539

The Occupational and Environmental Medical Association of Canada

1-866-513-9925

OEMAC.org

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Health Facts for World Salt Awareness Week: How Salt is Good for You

Health Facts for World Salt Awareness Week: How Salt is Good for You











Salt adds flavor to vegetables, making even spinach and broccoli appealing to kids and other finicky eaters.


(Vocus/PRWEB) March 24, 2011

Salt not only tastes good, it’s good for you. In fact, salt is essential to human health, according to the latest medical research and practice. What’s more, while salt reduction may be medically advised for some patients, recent studies suggest population-wide salt reduction efforts could lead to negative health consequences.

With World Salt Awareness Week March 21-28, the Salt Institute, the world’s foremost authority on salt, is highlighting the myriad health benefits of salt.

“Salt is a no-calorie health food that adds flavor to other health foods, like green vegetables,” said Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute. “It’s not an exaggeration to say salt is an essential nutrient because without it we die. With it, we enjoy so many health benefits we can’t list them all.”

Whether it’s the saline solution used in a hospital emergency room or dietary therapy to treat or prevent health threats, medical experts have long recognized the important role of salt for life and good health.

Some of the most common health practices involving salt include:

Iodine Deficiency: Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) are the major cause of preventable mental retardation. Fortifying salt with iodine is the most cost-effective solution to this global challenge. Iodine deficiency also can lead to hypothyroidism, infertility, thyroid cancer, goiter, poor cognition, lethargy, and decreased labor productivity in adults. Restricting salt intake could increase risk of iodine deficiency, particularly among women, according to a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Oral Rehydration Therapy: Scientific studies have confirmed the importance of a balance of electrolytes: sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. After exercise it is necessary to replace not only the water lost through perspiration, but the electrolyte sodium. When diarrhea dehydrates the body, medical professionals use a combination of salt, sugar and water called oral rehydration therapy (ORT). The British Medical Journal called ORT potentially “the most important medical advance of [the 20th] century.”

Hyponatremia: When the body loses electrolytes, either from perspiration, diarrhea or over-rehydration with water, “water intoxication” or hyponatremia occurs. Severe hyponatremia is a medical emergency. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, confusion, seizures, coma or death. To avoid this condition, medical authorities advise marathon runners and others prone to hyponatremia to consume extra salt. At athletic events, doctors tell athletes showing the first sign of symptoms to drink a sodium sports drink or eat salty foods.

Diabetes: Our bodies need salt to maintain healthy levels of insulin. Low-salt diets can impair insulin sensitivity, reducing the body’s ability to metabolize glucose and leading, potentially, to Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A recent study from Harvard Medical School links reduced salt intakes to an increase in insulin resistance, the condition that is a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes. Two other studies just out of Australia showed that individuals with type I or type II diabetes die in much greater numbers when placed on a salt restricted diet.

Elderly Falls: Because of declining renal function in the aging body, the kidneys retain less sodium. Changes in the intestinal function sometimes also lead to reduced absorption of many nutrients. These changes expose the elderly to an increased risk of hyponatremia. Recent studies have shown that elderly people with hyponatremia have more falls and broken hips and a decrease in cognitive abilities. As one Canadian cardiologist put it, “Spending your golden years in a retirement home with a low-salt diet will convert your last years to a long, chronic illness.”

On Monday, March 28, at 7 a.m., The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television will feature Salt Institute President Lori Roman and Morton Satin, SI’s vice president of science and research, to discuss how salt is good for you.

For more information about the benefits of salt, go to Salt Health at http://www.salthealth.org.

About the Salt Institute

The Salt Institute is a nonprofit trade association, based in Alexandria, Virginia, advocating responsible uses of salt (sodium chloride), particularly to ensure winter roadway safety, quality water and healthy nutrition. The Institute was founded in 1914 and consists of the world’s leading salt companies.

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Give an Hour? Calls on Mental Health Professionals and Others to Honor Volunteer Month by Joining Network, Recruiting Colleagues

Give an Hour™ Calls on Mental Health Professionals and Others to Honor Volunteer Month by Joining Network, Recruiting Colleagues












Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 12, 2011

April is Volunteer Month. Give an Hour™, a national nonprofit organization providing free mental health services to members of the military, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, their loved ones, and their communities, is calling on mental health professionals to assist in the effort.

“No community is more needed to address the psychological and emotional issues faced by our military men and women and their families than the mental health community. We have the resources and, therefore, the power to save generations from potentially debilitating mental health problems,” says Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, founder and president of Give an Hour™. “It is my hope that more mental health professionals will join our network. Furthermore, it is my hope that the work we are doing to reduce stigma and educate families and communities will result in even more of our providers being connected with clients through Give an Hour™.”

Give an Hour™, founded in 2005, has created a network of volunteer mental health professionals pledging an hour a week of their services, free of charge, to members of the military—including active duty, reserve, and guard—veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, their families, and their communities. Give an Hour™ is also offering free services to parents, siblings, unmarried partners, grandparents—in short anyone who loves someone affected by the current conflicts. Their services range from one-on-one counseling to substance abuse treatment, addressing the many needs of the individuals and families of the armed services.

The approximately 5,400 licensed mental health professionals working with Give an Hour™ have contributed over 37,000 hours as of March 2011 to support our troops and their families. These volunteers include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, pastoral counselors, and other mental health professionals. Providers are located across the country—in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.

Give an Hour™ is helping to capitalize on the spirit of service that so many of our military men and women embody. Although it is not required, Give an Hour™ encourages those who have received help to give back in their own communities.

“We are proud of the opportunity to bring the military and mental health communities together as we strive to provide critical services to these deserving men, women, and families,” notes Dr. Van Dahlen.

Licensed mental health professionals agree to sign on for a minimum of one year, providing one hour of service per week. Mental health professionals interested in joining Give an Hour™ can complete an easy online form at http://www.giveanhour.org.

Give an Hour™ also utilizes volunteers in non-mental health capacities such as marketing, outreach, fund development and administration. Interested volunteers can contact info(at)giveanhour(dot)org for more information.

Visitors in need of services can log on and use the provider search to locate a mental health professional in their area who meets their needs.

Give an Hour™ (http://www.giveanhour.org) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. The organization’s mission is to develop national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Currently, GAH is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Give an Hour™ has more than 5,400 providers across the nation—in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam—and continues to recruit volunteer mental health professionals to its network.

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