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Grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Mural Art

August 20th, 2010

Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program has received a $500,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The money will be used to engage people with mental health issues in public art making.

It’s called “The Porchlight Initiative” and it will engage people receiving mental health services in nine public art projects in North Philadelphia neighborhoods. Mural Arts staff will work closely with the city’s department of behavioral health, as well as mental health providers. Jane Golden, executive director of the mural arts program, says public art projects help people struggling with issues like mental illness and addictions.

Full article here by Maiken Scott

Increase In Mental Illness Among College Students

August 19th, 2010

Data presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association showed that the number of college students with a serious mental illness is rising, reported the Los Angeles Times.

John Guthman, lead author of the study, and his team analyzed 3,265 students who sought college counseling between September 1997 and August 2009. Students were examined for mental disorders, suicidal thoughts and self-injurious behavior.

Read the full article here.

Mental Health Gets My Vote!

August 18th, 2010

Election Day Countdown: ‘Mental Health Gets My Vote’; Voting Rights of People with Mental Illness are Protected

“Election Day is less than three months away,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. “Elections this year at every level are critical ones for mental health. Strong, non-partisan dialogue is urgent.

“State budget crises across the country have led to massive cuts in mental health services that have put lives at risk. At the national level, congressional actions also affect hopes for recovery.

“Everything from Medicaid to the nation’s economic crisis to recovery from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico involves mental health concerns,” Fitzpatrick said.

“Americans concerned with unemployment, for example, need to recognize that unemployed persons are four times as likely to report symptoms of mental illness. This is no time to cut mental health.”

Check out the entire post here from PR Newswire and remember to vote!

Army Looks at Mental Health Issues

August 9th, 2010

In an article entitled “Army Strives to Reduce Suicide, Mental-health Issues“, Donna Miles from the American Forces Press Service reports that:

…the Army is striving to reduce soldier suicides and mental-health problems by giving troops more dwell time between deployments, identifying tell-tale symptoms more quickly and eliminating the stigma of seeking help, the Army vice chief of staff said today.

I really, really hope it’s true. I spent 7 years as a military wife and experienced an environment that was very hostile to any soldier willing to admit any mental strain. Kudos to the Army if they are willing to embrace those men and women and help bring them up mentally and emotionally. I hope the other armed forces take note and follow.