Behavioral health

Graphic of the week

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Last week, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio released a new Data Snapshot detailing trends in mental health among Ohioans.

Among the data findings in the Snapshot are that while Ohioans receive mental health treatment at rates higher than the U.S., one in four Ohio adults report they did not receive mental health care (as displayed in the graphic above).

The Snapshot also includes data that shows the percent of Ohio adults reporting frequent poor mental days increased 20% from 2011 to 2020 (click for news coverage from Ohio Capital Journal).

 

The new HPIO Data Snapshot includes visualizations on mental health prevalence and trends in Ohio (frequent poor mental health days and depression), access to mental health care and quality and trends in suicide in Ohio. It also includes a list of resources to improve mental health in Ohio. 

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Early COVID lockdowns not tied to worse mental health, study finds

New research from the American Psychological Association shows that state restrictions and lockdowns imposed during the first six months of the pandemic were not related to worsening mental health (Source: “Study: Early state lockdowns not tied to worse mental health,” CIDRAP News Scan, Oct. 18).

The study, published in Health Psychology, was based on data collected from a survey of more than 6,500 participants at the start of the pandemic from March 18 to April 18, 2020, and answers were compared with the same survey given to 5,600 of the same participants about 6 months later: from Sept. 26 to Oct. 16, 2020.

Though loneliness and symptoms of distress increased for participants during the first six months of the pandemic, those feelings were not related to state lockdowns, and instead were correlated with knowing someone who had the virus, and consuming pandemic-related media, researchers found.

"There were robust significant relationships between personal direct experiences with the pandemic—that is, knowing someone who got very sick or died or getting sick oneself—and increased global distress, loneliness, and traumatic stress symptoms," the authors concluded.


Ohio bill aims to boost mental health workforce

As the demand for mental health services grows — and with many psychologists aging and near retirement — Ohio lawmakers are sponsoring a bill aimed at increasing the number of mental health care providers (Source: “Ohio lawmakers propose a new way to increase the number of mental health providers,” Statehouse News Bureau, Oct. 13).

State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) said her bill would create more access to mental health professionals by allowing colleges to offer specialized master's degrees.

"It creates a new licensed professional in the state of Ohio who has the ability to prescribe and work under the supervision of a medical professional and just creates greater access for individuals in need of mental health services," Gavarone said.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Ohio estimates one in five people experience mental illness each year. Many times, people who need help for a mental health problem cannot get in to see a provider because there aren’t enough of them. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services shows between 2013 and 2019, there was a 353% increase in demand for mental health services.

Gavarone said she doesn’t expect this bill to be taken up before the end of this year but added she wants lawmakers to start considering the proposal soon.


Firearm-related suicides, homicides continued to rise in 2021, CDC finds

Homicides and suicides involving guns, which soared in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, continued rising in 2021, reaching the highest rates in three decades, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday (Source: “Gun-Related Suicides and Killings Continued to Rise in 2021, C.D.C. Reports,” New York Times, Oct. 6).
 
The increases in homicides were particularly stark among Black and Hispanic men, while suicides involving firearms rose among all adults.
 
Firearms caused 47,286 homicide and suicide deaths in 2021, up from 43,675 in 2020, according to the CDC’s research, which is based on provisional data. Rates of gun-related homicide and suicide each rose by 8.3% last year.

Suicide is preventable and help is available. If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. If you don’t like talking on the phone, consider using the Crisis Text Line at www.crisistextline.org or text “4HOPE” to 741-741.


Graphic of the week

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At the conclusion of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, new analysis from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio details the changing demographic trends in suicide deaths in Ohio (as illustrated in the graphic above).

According to data from the Ohio Public Health Data Warehouse, between 2007 and 2021 (the most-recent year in which data is available), suicide deaths increased for both male and female Ohioans, with a greater increase among males. Suicides among Black Ohioans have increased 56% over the past 14 years, compared to a 34% increase for white Ohioans. In terms of age groups, Ohioans ages 25-64 remain the most likely to die by suicide, although rates have increased for all ages since 2007.

Earlier this month, HPIO released a graphic illustrating how, between 2007 and 2021, the rate of suicide deaths in Ohio that involved a firearm increased by more than 50% and how, in 2021, suicides involving a firearm accounted for more than all other methods combined.

Suicide is preventable and the state’s 2020-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan includes evidence-informed strategies that both public- and private-sector leaders can implement to address the issue.

If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. If you don’t like talking on the phone, consider using the Crisis Text Line at www.crisistextline.org or text “4HOPE” to 741-741.


U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends anxiety screenings for all adults under 65

A panel of medical experts on Tuesday recommended for the first time that doctors screen all adult patients under 65 for anxiety, guidance that highlights the extraordinary stress levels that have plagued the United States since the start of the pandemic (Source: “Health Panel Recommends Anxiety Screening for All Adults Under 65,” New York Times, Sept. 20).

The advisory group, called the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, said the guidance was intended to help prevent mental health disorders from going undetected and untreated for years or even decades. It made a similar recommendation for children and teenagers earlier this year.

The panel, appointed by an arm of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, has been preparing the guidance since before the pandemic. The recommendations come at a time of “critical need,” said Lori Pbert, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, who serves on the task force. Americans have been reporting outsize anxiety levels in response to a confluence of stressors, including inflation and crime rates, fear of illness and loss of loved ones from Covid-19.


Firearms most common method of suicide in Ohio, HPIO analysis finds

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Firearms are the most common method of suicide in Ohio, according to analysis from the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (as illustrated in the graphic above).

Between 2007 and 2021 (the most-recent year in which data is available), the rate of suicide deaths in Ohio that involved a firearm increased by more than 50%. In 2021, suicides involving a firearm accounted for more deaths than all other means combined.

Suicide is preventable and the state’s 2020-2022 Suicide Prevention Plan include evidence-informed strategies that both public- and private-sector leaders can implement to address the issue.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. If you or someone you know is experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, please call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. If you don’t like talking on the phone, consider using the Crisis Text Line at www.crisistextline.org or text “4HOPE” to 741-741.


First month of new 988 crisis line leads to jump in calls, texts

The new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is already reaching more Americans in distress – and connecting them to help faster — than the old 10-digit suicide prevention line it replaced July 16 (Source: “New 988 mental health crisis line sees jump in calls and texts during first month,” NPR, Sept. 10).

New data released last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that in August – the first full month that 988 was operational — the Lifeline saw a 45% increase in overall volume of calls, texts and chats compared to August 2021.
 
The number of calls answered went up from 141,400 to 216,000 – a more than 50% increase, according to HHS officials. And texts answered went up by a whopping 1000% – from 3,400 in August, 2021, to 39,900 in August of this year. The number of chats on the Lifeline's website that were answered saw a 195% increase.
 
While the 988 Lifeline is accessible nationally, with a national network of call centers, it essentially functions as a state-run system. And states vary vastly in how much they have invested in the former 10-digit Lifeline and associated services. According to a recent analysis by the National Institute of Mental Illness, very few states have passed legislation to supplement the recent federal funds into 988 (Ohio has partial 988 implementation legislation pending).


Ohio to spend $84 million in federal funds on behavioral health for children

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that Ohio will spend $84 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to increase access to services and support for behavioral health care for children (Source: “Ohio investing $84M in initiative to improve behavioral health care for children,” Mahoning Matters, May 16).

The Pediatric Behavioral Health Initiative will use American Rescue Plan funds that were allocated in House Bill 168.

  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital
  • ProMedica Russell J. Ebeid Children’s Hospital
  • University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s
  • Appalachian Children’s Coalition — Integrated Services for Behavioral Health
  • Appalachian Children’s Coalition — Hopewell Health Centers