Category Archives: Mental Health

A synthesis of direct service workforce demographics and challenges across intellectual/ developmental disabilities, aging, physical disabilities, and behavioral health

Source: Amy Hewitt, Sheryl Larson, Steve Edelstein, Dorie Seavey, Michael A. Hoge, John Morris, National Direct Service Workforce Resource Center, November 2008

From an abstract:
The Direct Service Worker Resource Center has released a white paper (pdf) that provides a first-ever overview of workforce challenges and practices across four critical service sectors:

intellectual and developmental disabilities
physical disabilities
behavioral health

Usually, each of these sectors is studied and written about separately, reflecting a fragmentation that is deeply rooted in the separate funding, policy, service, and advocacy worlds of each of these sectors.

But this paper-written by a team of workforce experts (including PHI’s Steve Edelstein and Dorie Seavey) who span these service systems-takes a different approach. It sets out to investigate similarities and differences across the sectors in job titles and tasks, workforce demographics, supply and demand, job conditions and compensation, codes of ethical standards, training requirements, turnover, and career paths.

Unclaimed Children Revisited -The Status of Children’s Mental Health Policy in the United States

Source: Janice L. Cooper, Yumiko Aratani, Jane Knitzer, Ayana Douglas-Hall, Rachel Masi, Patti Banghart, and Sarah Dababnah, National Center for Children in Poverty, November 2008

This report documents and assesses the effectiveness of mental health services for children and youth with mental health problems, those at risk, and their families. Our data demonstrate that states are still struggling to deliver adequate care, while federal leadership is lacking. Based on these findings, we propose key policy changes necessary to improving service delivery.
See also:
Press release
Executive summary

Future Funding For Mental Health And Substance Abuse: Increasing Burdens For The Public Sector

Source: Katharine R. Levit, Cheryl A. Kassed, Rosanna M. Coffey, Tami L. Mark, Elizabeth M. Stranges, Jeffrey A. Buck, Rita Vandivort-Warren, Health Affairs, Web Exclusives, Vol. 27, no. 6, October 6, 2008
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Spending on mental health (MH) and substance abuse (SA) treatment is expected to double between 2003 and 2014, to $239 billion, and is anticipated to continue falling as a share of all health spending. By 2014, our projections of SA spending show increasing responsibility for state and local governments (45 percent); deteriorating shares financed by private insurance (7 percent); and 42 percent of SA spending going to specialty SA centers. For MH, Medicaid is forecasted to fund an increasingly larger share of treatment costs (27 percent), and prescription medications are expected to capture 30 percent of MH spending by 2014.

Improving Responses to People with Mental Illness: The Essential Elements of a Specialized Law Enforcement-Based Program

Source: Matt Schwarzfeld, Melissa Reuland, Martha Plotkin, Council of State Governments Justice Center in partnership with the Police Executive Research Forum For the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs U.S. Department of Justice, 2008

The ten essential elements comprising a specialized law enforcement-based program are described. Elements are: collaborative planning and implementation; program design; specialized training; call-taker and dispatcher protocols; stabilization, observation, and disposition; transportation and custodial transfer; information exchange and confidentiality; treatment, supports, and services; organizational support; and program evaluation and sustainability.

Minnesota Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Initiative: Findings and Recommendations: Final Report

Source: Minnesota Dept. of Corrections, 2008

Services needed by youth with mental health disorders involved with Minnesota’s justice system are assessed. Sections of this report in addition to an executive summary include: introduction; the Minnesota Juvenile Justice and Mental Health Initiative; the process — the most critical issues to address involving collaboration, identification, diversion, and treatment; first-round Initiative issues to be tackled; summary of Task Force recommendations; and a comprehensive list of recommendations considered by the Initiative.

Web site helps employers with hiring vets

Source: Employee Benefit News, Industry inBrief, August 21, 2008

The U.S. Department of Labor rolled out a new online resource to help employers in their employment of veterans with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, two common battlefield-related conditions.

The new America’s Heroes at Work Web site offers information about TBI and PTSD, as well as tools and guidance on how to implement workplace accommodations and other services that benefit affected individuals.

Job-Worker Mismatch and Cognitive Decline

Source: Andries De Grip, Hans Bosma, Dick Willems, Martin Van Boxtel, IZA Discussion Paper No. 2956, July 2007

We have used longitudinal test data on various aspects of people’s cognitive abilities to analyze whether overeducated workers are more vulnerable to a decline in their cognitive abilities, and undereducated workers are less vulnerable. We found that a job-worker mismatch induces a cognitive decline with respect to immediate and delayed recall abilities, cognitive flexibility and verbal fluency. Our findings indicate that, to some extent, it is the adjustment of the ability level of the overeducated and undereducated workers that adjusts initial job-worker mismatch. This adds to the relevance of preventing overeducation, and shows that being employed in a challenging job contributes to workers’ cognitive resilience.

Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace

Source: U.S. Department of Labor
National Resources
Drug-free workplace programs do more than just rid the workplace of alcohol and other drugs they significantly contribute to the creation of alcohol- and drug-free families, schools and communities. A number of national organizations may provide assistance in learning about workplace substance abuse issues and developing drug-free workplace programs.
[This site LINKS to the key organizations in the U.S.]

Note: Drug-Free Work Week will be October 20-26, 2008