This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and it’s a good time to remember that millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness each year. Whether we are dealing with our own diagnoses or helping take care of someone else who might be struggling with mental illness, the impacts are social, financial, and physical. It’s important to know that we are not alone and that help is available.
Can you help with some context around the millions of people affected by mental illness? How common is it?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, around 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness every year. That’s about 48 million people. The group also says that 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness, or 11.4 million people. A mental illness is classified as serious when it affects a person’s ability to be successful in their life at home, work, or school. And speaking of school, kids and teens also experience mental illness — 1 in 6 youths ages 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year. So even if you are not counted among those numbers, chances are very high that someone you know, or love, is. Continue reading
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is extremely pleased to announce that construction will begin Wednesday, May 8, on the new Syringa Chalet Nursing Facility at State Hospital South, 700 East Alice, Blackfoot.
A groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen and State Hospital South Administrator Jim Price will be in attendance, along with Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot, Blackfoot Mayor Marc Carroll, and Idaho Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds. Light refreshments will be served afterward.
“The nursing home serves as a safety net for the residents, many of whom can’t be treated in other nursing homes around the state and cannot return to their communities,” said Jim Price, administrator for State Hospital South, which operates the skilled nursing facility. “The new facility will be safer and have more capacity as it also preserves a feeling of home for our residents, who are mentally ill and gravely disabled and require skilled nursing care.” Continue reading
Boise – Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 12 into law today during a bill signing ceremony to highlight the benefits of a medication called naloxone in saving the lives of people experiencing opioid overdose. He also reminded Idahoans of his forthcoming executive order to address opioid addiction in Idaho.
“My administration is fully committed to fighting the scourge of opioid abuse head on,” Gov. Little said. “We look forward to coordinating with all public and private entities to reverse this epidemic.”
There were 116 known opioid overdose deaths in Idaho in 2017, up from 44 just more than a decade ago – a 163 percent increase.
If an individual has an opioid overdose, a quick administration of naloxone can reverse the overdose and bring the patient back to life. A study found when access to naloxone is enhanced there is a 9 to 11 percent decrease in opioid-related deaths. Continue reading
Medication-assisted treatment is the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. In Idaho, the two primary medications used in medication-assisted treatment are methadone and buprenorphine [suboxone].
To prescribe buprenorphine/suboxone, qualified physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners must complete a training and apply for a DATA 2000 Waiver, also called an X-license, to treat Opioid Use Disorder with approved products in any setting in which they are qualified to practice. This required training is currently being offered for free in Idaho. Continue reading
Drug-induced deaths have increased in Idaho since 2010, but an updated report shows that the state remains slightly lower than the national average for this number. In 2016, the most recent year for which confirmed data is available, Idaho ranked 36th in the age-adjusted rate of drug-induced deaths by state, according to the Idaho Opioid Needs Assessment, which was released today by the Division of Behavioral Health.
A couple other highlights from the report include:
- Since reaching a peak in 2010-2012, several indicators appear to show a modest decrease in non-heroin opiate/synthetic use in Idaho over recent years.
- However, in 2016 Idaho was above the national average for the rate of opioids dispensed per 100,000 population and many indicators suggest that Idaho has experienced a significant increase in heroin use over the past decade.
September is National Recovery Month, and it’s a good time to talk about substance use disorders (commonly referred to as “drug or alcohol addiction”) and mental health so we can help fight the stigma associated with these diseases. The more comfortable people are about talking about these conditions, the more likely they will seek treatment. Continue reading
IDHW Director Russ Barron welcomes the audience at the May 4, 2018, Idaho Mental Health Awareness Month Award and Proclamation event, prior to reading a proclamation from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
During the month of May, IDHW’s Division of Behavioral Health joins with Regional Behavioral Health Boards across Idaho to recognize people who have worked to overcome mental illness, support others on the road to recovery, and end the stigma that prevents many more from seeking treatment.
On May 4, the division hosted the annual kick-off for national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Idaho Mental Health Awareness Month Award and Proclamation event. The event featured IDHW Director Russ Barron reading the proclamation of May as Mental Health Awareness Month from Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Division of Behavioral Health Administrator Ross Edmunds awarding the 2018 Voice of Idaho Award to Clark Richman of Kootenai County. Continue reading