Posted by: karemyr10 | November 11, 2010

The Medicated Child

A good friend of mine recently suggested that I watch the Frontline documentary regarding the over medication of children. The documentary tried to be as objective as possible however, it wasn’t very hard to see how little knowledge we have on the medications given to children. Since the 1900’s the amount of children on psychotropic medications has tripled. Some 6 million children in the US are currently on some form of prescription medications. Most if not all of the medications prescribed to children have never been tested on children. Psychiatrists find themselves making educated guesses on the dosage they prescribe to children. Some of the medications have not even been found to work on adults yet, they are still being used on children. On the other hand are the despair parents of children and teens who no longer know what to do with their children’s behavior and want help. They go to a doctor who gives them a prescription and then there is a negative side-effect. Therefore, another medication has to be given to treat that side effect. The cycle goes on from there. Soon many children find themselves on multiple medications. The CDC states that 4.5 million children 5-17 years of age have ever been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2006. Making ADHD the number one mental health problem among children in America. The numbers just keep rising. This is a must watch! Watch the preview on my video’s link. More research is definitely needed in this area because so far a lot of experimenting on children is going on. I must say however, that some children need the medications because there is simply no other way. However, more research should be done.

Food for thought:

Is it ethical to test medications on children to see the side-effects and effectiveness of the drugs if they will help other children?

How many prescription drugs is too much for child to be taking at time?

The Medicated Child

Posted by: karemyr10 | November 9, 2010

Alcohol is a common form of “self-medication”


For years I was aware that in songs often times alcohol was associated as the drug of choice of the lonely, heart-broken and depressed.  However,  you don’t need to do much research today to find that people often use alcohol as a way to “self medicate.” This drug offers people an escape from the tradegy their life is or the tradigey they believe it is. In many societies across the global it is acceptable for people to drink and to “maybe drink a little bit more than normal.” According to American Journal of Epidemiology, in men drinking precedes depression whereas in women depression precedes drinking.

Too often Beer companies as well as many other organization simply say “don’t drink and drive” when we should be telling people simply “don’t drink.” Here is why. Every 17 minutes there is Suicide in the US.  Alcohol  may be related or increasing many of these suicides because alcohol increases depression in individuals. In Norway drinkers are 6.9 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Acorrding to the WHO’s Global Status Report about 2 million people world-wide consume alcohol that is about 1/3 of the world’s population. Granted there are many factors that are involved when dealing with mental illness however, alcohol plays a big role.

The best thing to do is to help family, friends and ourselves stay away from such a drug!

Food for thought:

1. Do you think that Alcohol plays a huge role in mental illness or is it going out on a stretch?

2. Are we doing a good job here at home to help youth from staying away from Alcohol?

Posted by: karemyr10 | November 7, 2010

Daughtry: What about now?

Well its not surprise that I cried during this video. I am sure many of your know about Daughtry he was on American Idol and got kicked off towards the end. Well he went on to do pretty good for himself. I really enjoy his music. What in the world does he have to do with mental health. I recently saw their music video for their song “What about now?” They choose to talk about a range of Public Health issuse and all the people throughout the world that are doing things to help those in need world wide. Among the people featured is the guy from Charity Water, who Emily showed us in class. In a pervious post I talked about the relationship between poverty and mental illness. I don’t have to say much it is logical that there is a relationship between the two. However, I can’t say enough about it. I thought this video was appropriate in that it speaks about the issuse of poverty in the world in a way that is catchy and reaches a lot of people in a short amount of time. Also it encourages the viewer to get up and do something to help his/her neighbors. In class we speak about using social media to get the message through to people all the time. I wish we, in public health, would get in touch with Hollywood more often to get out agenda out there. And in fact we are! The CDC does a great job of getting in touch with Hollywood to get the right information out to the public. What if more celebrities would do this kind of promotion. Kids would be receiving good information and receiving encouragement to act. Mental health and other public health issuse are fun, interesting and rewarding. Enjoy the video and if you would please comment! 🙂

Food for thought:

Is this an effective way to educate people and motivate them to do something about health issues?

What is something that you have seen done that is similar to this?

Posted by: karemyr10 | October 22, 2010

Rescued Miners Face many Physical and Mental health Challenges

I recently heard a brief part of a news story on NPR about the miners in Chile who may not have mental health care as part of their promised health care package for the next 6 months. So of course I hop on the website to read more on this. The story spoke about all the health challenges that the miners are facing. Dr. Holland, a psychologist for NASA who dealing with mental health struggles that astronauts may face due to confinement and isolation traveled down to Chile to help doctors know how to deal with the things that may arise among the miners. Also they are encouraging them to do some counseling sessions together where they can discuss their feelings about the situation. Dr. Holland stated the following: “I’m sure the physicians down there are looking for any signs of anxiety reactions or depression or even PTSD.” He says that the families and friends will have to learn to deal with anything of the things that may come up. Although he said that they all seemed so happy and connected with the people there. The miners I guess sent back the peaches that were given to them during their first meal and that is a really good sign because that shows that they are not disconnected with society. Some may go on to be perfectly fine and some may have a hard time so only time will tell.

Chilean Miners

Posted by: karemyr10 | October 19, 2010

Suicides on BYU Campus

Well over 6 months ago a group of 3 other public health students and I began preparations to start an Active minds chapter here on campus since there isn’t one already. Active minds serves college students but help to remove the stigma about mental health, helps to start conversation within peers about what they are going through and it serves as a liason between the counsouling centers and students. They also work to raise awareness and help those thinking about committing suicides. We went through BYUSA to make sure all the paper work was done, they told us we had to be a Student Assoication.  Long story short we had to obtain a signature from the dean of a college, have an advisor from that college and so forth. We did everything they asked us when we spoke with Micheal Barnes (assiant dean of the life sciences college overseeing public health) he informed us that he wasn’t that interested. First opinion, why not if this is a public health issuse? We spoke with some others who also told us they weren’t intersted ethier.

Turns out that BYU doesn’t want to be associated with any clubs (Active Minds) that are dealing with the topic of suicide. WHY? I don’t know that is the question I am asking myself. The Daily Universe wrote a story on suicides on campus back in 2004 but since very little amount of articles have been written on the topic. Yesterday I was informed (by the roommate) that a female student BYU attempted suicide in her apartment, she is in the hospital. An employee of the counseling center informed on of members of club we are trying to get going that one of her clients killed himself Oct. 13 of this month. She also told him that during the Summer another student committed suicide in the Tanner building. And this semester alone 3 people have attempted to take away their lives.

So my gosh why won’t they let us help? We decided to become an indepent club and leave the Active Minds name behind however, BYUSA has so far taken 3 weeks and still don’t have our approval ready?

2  Questions:

1. Why would BYU not offer this information to the general student population? (they don’t have to tell us who did it but that it is happening)

2. What can we do to help those who may be thinking about taking their lives away?

Posted by: karemyr10 | October 19, 2010

Global Mental Health Awareness Day!

World health day

Well it turns out  I am a little late for this celebration but like Thanksgiving you don’t need just one day to be grateful. Like wise global mental health awareness was Oct. 10, 2010. The day was developed by the World Federation for Mental Health to promote mental health education throughout the world. With so many days and months dedicated so many people and causes this is one of those that gets lost amidst all the calendars in the world. I don’t know about you but I didn’t know about this as an awareness day until 2 months ago. Once again because mental health isn’t taken seriously. Just on campus within the last few weeks there has been a suicide and an attempted suicide. However, news of this natures goes unnoticed.

Nonetheless, there were several activities through the world being done to raise awareness about this issues here are some of them.

In Jordan, health officials have added a unit to their general health services to reach more people suffering from mental health illness and also to reach those that don’t want to go seek help due to stigma. The health officials there are excited to have added this new component as part of an ongoing effort to place mental health as a priority.

In Rwanda the National Association of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry Services in Rwanda (NAUSPR), an organization which advocates for the rights of the victims of psychiatry, is calling upon the government to scrap all forms of legislation that prohibit people with mental problems from enjoying their full rights. Although not all the legislations discriminating against people will mental illness has been done away with the government has promised to continue working toward helping their people. They had planned several celebrations planned for Oct. 10.

Posted by: karemyr10 | October 19, 2010

Helping to end poverty will help Mental Health

With so many people in developing countries bearing the burden of mental illness, you can’t help but wonder why this is.  Although, genetics may play a role in the amount of mental illness, poverty however, tops the list as the major contributor to mental illness.  Persons who live in poor housing, who lack enough food to sustain their families, with very little education are burdened by the stresses of what maybe a hopeless situation. If governments were to place an importance on helping those who are most at risk of developing mental illness. By helping I mean the following:

  • Improving education to children, providing transportation to come to schools, providing school lunches so as to lessen the burden from the families and to motivate children to be sent to school.
  • Creating recreational facilities for families, elderly persons and single people to be able to go and interact with others and be active to help improve mental well-being.
  • Providing programs to improve the amount of jobs that are available to individuals.
  • First and foremost spending more of the health expenditure on mental health. This can be done by creating programs and writing grants through their health departments.

Nothing is easy especially in many countries where people are dying everyday from infectious diseases.  Nonetheless, improving people mental well-being will lessen mental illnesses such as depression that will beneficial to the person and community. The person will be able to have the right focus to improve his/her life, becoming a productivity within their community.  The CDC has recently published the reports that state that 9% of all Americans suffer from depression, many of these cases are clustered among the Southeast.  The news articles states that those who were experiencing the worse were those of low socio-economic status. All over the world the poor feel the worse burden of disease.

Posted by: karemyr10 | October 4, 2010

A Call to Action!

This first post is mine opinion more so than anything else about the topic of Global Mental Health. I have cried as the Youtube videos describing the conditions in which many of these individuals living with mental illness are confined to. There is no medical help they are deemed crazy and left to die. They are chained to poles so as to not hurt others. Clearly, if no medication is give some individuals may try to hurt themselves and others. However, the problems cannot be addressed by the families simply because they don’t have the training or resources but rather it should be done by the health officials in charge of the area. Training should be given to know how to effectively treat this patients. Families should seek information to help family members with mental illness. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints offers resources for free online to all people dealing with mental illness in their families.  The governments of many developing countries are so busy filling their pockets with money that they forget to place an importance on the issues that accompany mental health.  At the same time I understand that there are various problems which every country has to face at a single time that mental health may seem the least of those problems.  I am so impressed with the lady in the video below who is going out and shinning light on this problem. I will write more on her story in another post. My call to action today is: think about these individuals dealing with all of these issues and pray so that governments across the Earth will take action. The first step is realizing there is a problem.