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By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Each and every day, SAMHSA works to ensure that substance misuse is prevented in America’s communities and that our nation’s mental health is strong. May marks Mental Health Awareness Month and this week, marks National Prevention Week.
The value of prevention cannot be overstated. Particularly, in these difficult times, we know that many may turn to substances to cope with the new stressors we are all now faced with. I have been inspired by community prevention efforts across this country. Preventionists who have already dedicated themselves to this cause have redoubled their efforts to create innovative solutions to provide prevention services while observing social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

Each and every day, SAMHSA works to ensure that substance misuse is prevented in America’s communities and that our nation’s mental health is strong. May marks Mental Health Awareness Month and this week, marks National Prevention Week.
The value of prevention cannot be overstated. Particularly, in these difficult times, we know that many may turn to substances to cope with the new stressors we are all now faced with. I have been inspired by community prevention efforts across this country. Preventionists who have already dedicated themselves to this cause have redoubled their efforts to create innovative solutions to provide prevention services while observing social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

By: Neeraj Gandotra, M.D., Chief Medical Officer

On World AIDS day, SAMHSA is privileged to work with our federal, state, and local partners in our collective effort in Ending the HIV Epidemic. SAMHSA’s role in this effort is critical as the link between mental and substance use disorders and HIV is prominent. Addressing the mental and substance use disorders of individuals is critical in addressing the eradication of HIV.

By: Neeraj Gandotra, M.D., Chief Medical Officer

By: Roslyn Holliday Moore, Public Health Analyst, and Victoria Chau, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity

By: Roslyn Holliday Moore, Public Health Analyst, and Victoria Chau, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity

By: Johnnetta Davis-Joyce, M.A., Director, SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention 

By: Johnnetta Davis-Joyce, M.A., Director, SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention 

By: Victoria Chau, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity and Roslyn Holliday-Moore, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing population in the United States, representing numerous cultures, histories, languages and socio-demographic characteristics. While recognizably diverse, Asian and Pacific Islanders are not so different when it comes to their attitudes about mental health. Stigma associated with mental health problems is common in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Shaming related to mental health problems is a cultural norm in some Asian communities, leading many who have mental health problems to avoid seeking help despite the need. 

By: Victoria Chau, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity and Roslyn Holliday-Moore, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing population in the United States, representing numerous cultures, histories, languages and socio-demographic characteristics. While recognizably diverse, Asian and Pacific Islanders are not so different when it comes to their attitudes about mental health. Stigma associated with mental health problems is common in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Shaming related to mental health problems is a cultural norm in some Asian communities, leading many who have mental health problems to avoid seeking help despite the need. 

By: Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA, Director, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services

Our population is aging. Approximately 75 million Americans will be over age 65 by 2030.  Additionally, a 2012 study from the Institute on Medicine found that approximately one in five older adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness, substance use disorder, or both.  That ratio, should it still exist in 2030, equates to approximately 15 million people.
 

By: Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA, Director, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services
Our population is aging. Approximately 75 million Americans will be over age 65 by 2030.  Additionally, a 2012 study from the Institute on Medicine found that approximately one in five older adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness, substance use disorder, or both.  That ratio, should it still exist in 2030, equates to approximately 15 million people.
 

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

This week marks the first full week of Mental Health Awareness Month.  I am pleased to share that we have started this week with SAMHSA’s 14th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The focus of this event was on suicide prevention in our youth.  We chose to focus on this issue because of the disturbing and unacceptable rate of suicide in young Americans. Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States and the numbers who die by suicide have only increased in recent years. The rate of youth suicide increased by 49% from 9.7 per 100,000 in 2007 to 14.5 per 100,000 in 2017. 

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

This week marks the first full week of Mental Health Awareness Month.  I am pleased to share that we have started this week with SAMHSA’s 14th Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The focus of this event was on suicide prevention in our youth.  We chose to focus on this issue because of the disturbing and unacceptable rate of suicide in young Americans. Suicide is one of the ten leading causes of death in the United States and the numbers who die by suicide have only increased in recent years. The rate of youth suicide increased by 49% from 9.7 per 100,000 in 2007 to 14.5 per 100,000 in 2017. 

By: Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA, Director, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services

 

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

I write this today not to provide a listing of programs that my agency has funded nor an update on how we are doing in addressing the opioid crisis. I write this as a physician seeking the help of my fellow physicians and healthcare colleagues around the country.

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

I write this today not to provide a listing of programs that my agency has funded nor an update on how we are doing in addressing the opioid crisis. I write this as a physician seeking the help of my fellow physicians and healthcare colleagues around the country.

By: Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA, Director, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services

Bipolar Disorder is a condition that includes episodes of disabling depression and periods of uncontrollable energy.  It is common for all of us to have some changes in mood; Bipolar Disorder however is a brain disorder that includes extreme depression and periods of mania. Symptoms of the disease can vary, but it is important to know that this disorder can be treated with mood stabilizing medication as a foundation. Psychotherapy is often an important component of full recovery and ability to manage the illness over time.  

By: Anita Everett, M.D., DFAPA, Director, SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services

Bipolar Disorder is a condition that includes episodes of disabling depression and periods of uncontrollable energy.  It is common for all of us to have some changes in mood; Bipolar Disorder however is a brain disorder that includes extreme depression and periods of mania. Symptoms of the disease can vary, but it is important to know that this disorder can be treated with mood stabilizing medication as a foundation. Psychotherapy is often an important component of full recovery and ability to manage the illness over time.  

By: Roslyn Holliday-Moore, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity and Victoria Chau, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity

Most people know that physical activity can reduce risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases, but fewer know that it is also important for mental health. Research suggests that exercise and physical activity can help to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. People of color, particularly youth, are less likely to be physically active compared to Whites and, in general, as people get older they exercise less. Since the U.S. population is becoming more racially diverse, more people are at risk for inactivity. April is National Minority Health Month, led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Recognizing the risks of inactivity, the theme this year is “Active and Healthy.”

By: Roslyn Holliday-Moore, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity and Victoria Chau, Public Health Analyst, SAMHSA Office of Behavioral Health Equity

By Luis Vasquez, LICSW, Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

During Alcohol Awareness Month each April, the nation takes note of the progress in reducing rates of underage drinking and celebrate the efforts of communities across the country who are working together to prevent underage alcohol use.

 
By: Luis Vasquez, LICSW, Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
During Alcohol Awareness Month each April, the nation takes note of the progress in reducing rates of underage drinking and celebrate the efforts of communities across the country who are working together to prevent underage alcohol use.
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we have seen a dramatic decrease over the past 15 years in the percentage of 12- to 20-year-olds who report any lifetime alcohol use: 56.2 percent in 2002 down to 41.0 percent in 2017.

By: Jon Berg, M.Ed., Senior Public Health Advisor, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

By: Jon Berg, M.Ed., Senior Public Health Advisor, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

By: HIV.gov 
Cross-posted from HIV.gov Blog

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) through its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to support substance use treatment service delivery to racial/ethnic minority individuals at risk for or living with HIV. The grant opportunity is supported by Minority AIDS Initiative resources that are appropriated to SAMHSA.

By: HIV.gov 
Cross-posted from HIV.gov Blog

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) through its Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) to support substance use treatment service delivery to racial/ethnic minority individuals at risk for or living with HIV. The grant opportunity is supported by Minority AIDS Initiative resources that are appropriated to SAMHSA.

 

 

By: Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Cross-posted from HHS Viral Hepatitis Blog

Summary: 
SAMHSA chief urges grantees and partners to address infectious diseases as integral part of the response to the substance use disorders epidemic.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to grantees of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) late last year, Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, put a spotlight on HIV and viral hepatitis – the often hidden consequences of the substance use disorder epidemic – and called on the public health and substance abuse disorders communities to strengthen coordinated efforts to address them. She stated,

By: Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health
Cross-posted from HHS Viral Hepatitis Blog

Summary: 
SAMHSA chief urges grantees and partners to address infectious diseases as integral part of the response to the substance use disorders epidemic.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to grantees of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) late last year, Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D., the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, put a spotlight on HIV and viral hepatitis – the often hidden consequences of the substance use disorder epidemic – and called on the public health and substance abuse disorders communities to strengthen coordinated efforts to address them. She stated,

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on the ten leading causes of death in the United States recently. Tragically, suicide—too often a consequence of untreated mental illness and substance use disorders, and as such a preventable condition—remains on that list as the 10th leading cause of death for adults and the second-leading cause of death in our youth.1 Suicide rates increased from 29,199 deaths in 1996 to 47,173 deaths in 2017.2

By: Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on the ten leading causes of death in the United States recently. Tragically, suicide—too often a consequence of untreated mental illness and substance use disorders, and as such a preventable condition—remains on that list as the 10th leading cause of death for adults and the second-leading cause of death in our youth.1 Suicide rates increased from 29,199 deaths in 1996 to 47,173 deaths in 2017.2
What are the contributors to the state of mind that ends in a person taking their own life? What can government do about this? What responsibility do we have to each other to take actions that will alter this course? These are questions of great importance, because rising deaths by suicide say something about the conditions under which our people live and die and about our society at large.

By: Anne M. Herron, M.S., Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

It can be overwhelming and confusing to know where to start if you need to find treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction. Addiction touches nearly everyone in some way, yet, like all health care, effective treatment must be tailored to the needs of the individual. With many addiction treatment options, finding a program that will provide the quality care you or your loved one needs to address the specific addiction issues can be challenging. These steps will help you know what to look for to find a treatment program that is high quality and tailored to your needs.

By: Anne M. Herron, M.S., Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
It can be overwhelming and confusing to know where to start if you need to find treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction. Addiction touches nearly everyone in some way, yet, like all health care, effective treatment must be tailored to the needs of the individual. With many addiction treatment options, finding a program that will provide the quality care you or your loved one needs to address the specific addiction issues can be challenging. These steps will help you know what to look for to find a treatment program that is high quality and tailored to your needs.
How do you Find a Treatment Provider?

By: Luis Vasquez, LICSW, Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Alcohol continues to be the most widely used substance of abuse among America’s youth. Recognizing the power of community to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of underage alcohol use and mobilize local action to prevent underage drinking, SAMHSA supports the Communities Talk: Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking initiative. This round of Communities Talk events will launch in January 2019.

By: Luis Vasquez, LICSW, Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

By: Doug Tipperman, MSW, Tobacco Policy Liaison, SAMHSA Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

By: Doug Tipperman, MSW, Tobacco Policy Liaison, SAMHSA Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs

By: Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, Acting Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Cross post from HIV.gov Blog

World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on those we've lost to HIV/AIDS, as well as on how much progress we've made in the national response to HIV. It's also an important opportunity to assess where we need to improve and what our next steps should be.
Our Successes
We continue to make progress toward achieving our goals of reducing new HIV infections, improving health outcomes among people living with HIV, and reducing some HIV-related disparities. Reaching these goals will require that we sustain the progress we have already made and accelerate efforts, efficiently and effectively, across HIV prevention, treatment, and care services and programs. Today, we have highly effective tools to help us continue and accelerate that trend. For example:

By: Tammy R. Beckham, DVM, PhD, Acting Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Cross post from HIV.gov Blog

World AIDS Day is a time to reflect on those we've lost to HIV/AIDS, as well as on how much progress we've made in the national response to HIV. It's also an important opportunity to assess where we need to improve and what our next steps should be.
Our Successes
We continue to make progress toward achieving our goals of reducing new HIV infections, improving health outcomes among people living with HIV, and reducing some HIV-related disparities. Reaching these goals will require that we sustain the progress we have already made and accelerate efforts, efficiently and effectively, across HIV prevention, treatment, and care services and programs. Today, we have highly effective tools to help us continue and accelerate that trend. For example:

 
By: Anne M. Herron, M.S., Acting Director, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Treatment for opioid use disorder is a process that should be carefully managed by a patient and their health care team. This is especially true for women who are pregnant or have newborn children. Fortunately, medication-assisted treatment can be provided during pregnancy and after childbirth and this is often the safest treatment with the best outcome for baby and mother. To assist patients and care provides with learning about options and planning the treatment that is best for other and baby, SAMHSA has published Healthy Pregnancy Healthy Baby fact sheets. 

By: Ramon Bonzon, M.P.H., Public Health Advisor, Target Populations Branch, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

November is National Native American Heritage Month. During this time, we celebrate and pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. We also shine a spotlight on some of the unique needs of their communities and some of the health disparities they face. Health outcomes for these communities are worse than the larger U.S. population in many ways. Whether it is from a higher rate of unintentional injuries, suicide or chronic liver disease, the life expectancy of American Indian and Alaskan Natives is five and a half years less than the larger U.S. population. SAMHSA is partnering with tribes and tribal organizations to reduce health disparities and promote better overall health.

By: Ramon Bonzon, M.P.H., Public Health Advisor, Targeted Populations Branch, SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment

November is National Native American Heritage Month. During this time, we celebrate and pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. We also shine a spotlight on some of the unique needs of their communities and some of the health disparities they face. Health outcomes for these communities are worse than the larger U.S. population in many ways. Whether it is from a higher rate of unintentional injuries, suicide or chronic liver disease, the life expectancy of American Indian and Alaskan Natives is five and a half years less than the larger U.S. population. SAMHSA is partnering with tribes and tribal organizations to reduce health disparities and promote better overall health.

By: Cicely K. Burrows-McElwain, LSCW-C, Military and Veteran Affairs Liasion, SAMHSA's Office of Policy, Planning and Development

In or out of uniform, many service members return home to communities where they continue to lead and contribute. For some military personnel, returning home can be challenging. And the impact of deployment and trauma-related stress not only affects military members and veterans but also their families and others who may provide support.
Many military personnel fear they will experience discrimination for seeking or receiving behavioral health treatment services. Our friends, family, and neighbors may be struggling and not recognize the signs, or they may not feel comfortable asking for help.

By: Cicely K. Burrows-McElwain, LSCW-C, Military and Veteran Affairs Liasion, SAMHSA's Office of Policy, Planning and Development

In or out of uniform, many service members return home to communities where they continue to lead and contribute. For some military personnel, returning home can be challenging. And the impact of deployment and trauma-related stress not only affects military members and veterans but also their families and others who may provide support.
Many military personnel fear they will experience discrimination for seeking or receiving behavioral health treatment services. Our friends, family, and neighbors may be struggling and not recognize the signs, or they may not feel comfortable asking for help.

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