Archives for September 2015

NIMH director leaves post to run Google mental health initiative

Dr. Thomas Insel, neuroscientist and Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will step down Nov. 1, after serving in that capacity for 13 years, to join Google Life Sciences (GLS) to spearhead a new effort focusing on mental health.
“The GLS mission is about creating technology that can help with earlier detection, better prevention, and more effective management of serious health conditions. I am joining the team to explore how this mission can be applied to mental illness,” Insel wrote, “That the life sciences team at Google would establish a major exploration into mental health is by itself a significant statement — recognizing the burden of illness from psychosis, mood disorders, and autism as well as the opportunity for technology to make a major impact to change the world for the millions affected. The Google philosophy has been to seek a 10x impact on hard problems. I am looking forward to a 10x challenge in mental health.”
Read entire article at ModernHealthcare.com.
More about the foray of Google Life Sciences (GLS) into mental health research at TechTimes.com.

Shed Stigma to Stop Suicides on College Campuses

Mental health needs on campus are real and serious. They’re also growing, which is why as the first weeks of classes get underway at colleges and universities across the country, institutions are ramping up operations to try to keep their students safe.
The statistics are alarming.
Nearly 31% of students — almost one out of three who sought counseling in the 2013-2014 academic year — have said they seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives. Five years ago, it was 25%,  according to the most recent annual report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State.
Equally concerning is the significant increase in the percentage of students who have purposely harmed themselves, such as engaging in cutting, hitting, burning and hair pulling, without intending to kill themselves. Almost 24% of college students who sought counseling in 2013-2014 had injured themselves at some point during their lifetimes compared to 21% five years earlier.
“When you put those two together, what they’re really reflecting is students are more willing than ever to articulate being overwhelmed and to take that out on themselves, either through self-injury or through talking about the possibility of suicide or thinking actively about that and that plays out in all areas of university life,” said Locke, who is also executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health.
Learn about NAMI’s NAMI on Campus program and make a difference at your school!
Read entire article at CNN.com.

Suicide Facts & Figures

An American dies by suicide every 12.95 minutes.
Americans attempt suicide an estimated 1 million times annually.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10-24.
Veterans comprise 22.2% of suicides.
90% of those who die by suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
Mental illness IS treatable. There IS hope. You are NOT alone.

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Suicide stats from AFSP.org
Help us fight the stigma associated with mental health disorders so people won’t be ashamed to ask for help. Join or support our NAMIWalk