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Mental Health Program - Articles by Carter Center Experts

Jan. 24, 2014
Befriend Your Monsters: Mental Health Lessons from Eminem and Rihanna
Published in Everyday Health.
Author: Rebecca Palpant Shimkets. What if, as 2014 continues, we instead resolved to make peace with ourselves as we are now, whether we have a physical disability, mental illness, or significant loss? More than likely, if we all did this, the communities we live in would also be more accepting of our differences. Hope can propel positive change.

April 8, 2013
Editor's Choice: Addressing Stigma Through Social Inclusion
Published in the May 2013 edition of the American Journal of Public Health. Authors: Rosalynn Carter, David Satcher, and Tony Coelho.
In the past few decades, the mental health community has accomplished much through tenacity. The same dedication that has brought us this far must be applied to decreasing stigma and promoting social inclusion in its place. It will require a devoted, concentrated effort, but we know from past successes that
by working together we can achieve great things.

Nov. 7, 2012
Liberia's Landmark Commitment to Mental Health Inspires Carter Center Program
Published by Health Affairs GrantWatch Blog. Author: Shelly Terrazas.
The Carter Center, in partnership with the Liberian government and foundations, including Focusing Philanthropy and the John P. Hussman Foundation, is helping post-conflict Liberia dramatically expand mental health services with the goal of reaching 70 percent of its population.

March 5, 2012
Georgia Learning Collaborative Advances Local Integrated Care (note: article begins on page 5)
Mental Health Weekly, Volume 22, Issue 10, 5 March 2012, DOI: 10.1002/mhw.20320. Author: John Bartlett, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Project Adviser, Primary Care Initiative.
The successful integration of primary care and behavioral health care may sometimes seem unattainable. Only a handful of pioneering organizations have mastered it to date. Yet it's clear that safety net providers, who treat America's most vulnerable populations, would greatly benefit from the long-term cost-savings and enhanced quality of care that integration offers. Georgia is one state trying to build more collaboration between the primary and behavioral care safety net providers.

Dec. 15, 2011
Fixing Ailing System Achievable
Published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Author: Rosalynn Carter.
I became involved in mental health issues in 1966, campaigning for my husband for governor. A newspaper exposé had revealed terrible conditions in our large mental hospital, Central State in Milledgeville, and families of the patients there were frustrated and almost beyond hope that anything could be done to help their loved ones.

Feb. 28, 2011
Stigma Research to Build Better Mental Health (PDF)
Published in the Winter 2011 issue of Global Health.
Author: Rebecca Palpant. Today, we can map the course of a seizure as it travels across the brain or pinpoint where memories exist in the inner recesses of the mind. We have medicines that are so technically advanced they target specific types of neurons. The genetic and biological causes of some mental illnesses have been identified after decades of research. Despite all of this progress and the tremendous growth in availability of cost-effective treatments, we still know so very little about how to prevent or reduce the stigma against mental illnesses, which can be as damaging to a person's health and well-being as the illness itself.

July 2, 2010
The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health.July 2010. Author: Rebecca Palpant.
Shrouded in myth and mystery, mental illnesses are among the most serious, unrecognized, and underreported health problems in the United States-affecting one in four Americans in a given year. In today's information age, there are more opportunities than ever for media outlets and journalists to shape public understanding and attitudes toward mental health, for public good or ill.

June 1, 2010
Commentary on "I don't know how to find my way in the world" : Contributions of User-Led Research to Transforming Mental Health Practice. An Argument for Collaboration in Methods to Help People with Mental Illness
Psychiatry. Summer 2010; 73(2) Copyright Guilford Press. Reprinted with permission of The Guilford Press. Authors: Jennifer Bornemann and Thomas H. Bornemann.
Summary: The consumer movement in America has been evolving over the last 30 years from one primarily focused on advocacy, particularly protection for people served by the mental health system, to a much broader agenda including direct involvement in the public policy arena.

May 28, 2010
Attitudes Toward Mental Illness - 35 States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, 2007
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 28, 2010 / 59(20);619-625. This article also appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Associationin the July 14, 2010 issue.
Authors: R Manderscheid, PhD, National Assoc of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors. P Delvecchio, MSW, C Marshall, Center for Mental Health Svcs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Svcs Admin. RG Palpant, MS, J Bigham, TH Bornemann, EdD, Carter Center Mental Health Program. R Kobau, MPH, MAPP, M Zack, MD, G Langmaid, W Thompson, PhD, D Lubar, MSW, Div of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC.
Overview: This is the first state-specific study of attitudes toward mental illness treatment and empathy toward persons with mental illness. The study sought to assess attitudes related to the course of mental illness (i.e., treatment prognosis and possibility of recovery; and perception of supportive behaviors) that might directly influence seeking treatment or recovery and might reflect stigmatizing attitudes amenable to public health intervention. In the 37 jurisdictions surveyed, most adults believed in the effectiveness of mental illness treatment, but fewer agreed that people are caring and sympathetic toward persons with mental illness. These results have public health implications because adverse attitudes about mental illness can lead to stigmatization of persons with mental illness.

May 27, 2010
Helping Our Vets Here at Home
This op-ed by Thomas Bornemann was published May 27, 2010, by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On Memorial Day, families across Georgia recognize the bravery and sacrifices of men and women in the armed forces. Yet, as we remember the fallen, a disturbing trend has become apparent - more and more of our military heroes are losing their lives not in combat, but from the often hidden, emotional wounds of war.

May 19, 2010
Improving Health and Health Care for Persons With Serious Mental Illness: The Window for US Federal Policy Change
This article was published May 19, 2010, by The Journal of the American Medical Association (303(19):1972-1973). Authors: Benjamin G. Druss, M.D., M.P.H, Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; Thomas H. Bornemann, Ed.D., Director, Carter Center Mental Health Program.
The recent policy interest in morbidity and mortality in persons with serious mental illnesses, coupled with current efforts to reform the US health care system, have created what Kingdon7 called a "policy window": a critical but short-lived opportunity for policy action. Making effective use of that window, however, will require concerted efforts both within and outside of the formal health care system.

Nov. 16, 2009
Symposia Bring Attention to Mental Health Policy
When I began speaking about mental health issues in the early '70s, the stigma of mental illness kept many from seeking help, and treatment options were virtually nonexistent outside of institutionalization. This year, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, I pause to consider just how far we have come.

Dec. 19, 2008
Privatizing Mental Health Hospitals: Don't Rush to Hand Off Care of Patients in Need
Published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Author: Thomas Bornemann.
Georgia continues to experience the effects of a mental health system that is tragically broken. Georgia Department of Human Resources' (DHR) has responded with some new proposals, one of which is privatizing and downsizing state mental hospitals.

Sept. 19, 2008
Mental Health Legislation We Need
Published in the Washington Post.
The Sept. 8 news story "Kennedy Plans a January Return," regarding Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), mentioned an effort to pass legislation granting parity in insurance coverage for those suffering from mental illnesses.

July 10, 2008
A Leap in Mental Care for Children
Published by the Boston Globe. Author: Rosalynn Carter.
In the 31 years since I chaired the first presidential commission on mental health, medical science has made significant strides in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses. Living in recovery from a mental illness is now not only possible, but expected. Even children and adolescents diagnosed with mental disorders go on to lead healthy, productive lives.

Jan. 7, 2008
Addressing the Caregiving Crisis
Published in the January 2008 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease. Author: Rosalynn Carter.
This issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) focuses on a set of concerns that is likely to challenge the public's creative spirit and resourcefulness for the next 30 years. Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting physical and mental health. What we are beginning to see is that success in any one of these areas raises new challenges and presents new problems for us to solve in the other areas.

July 18, 2007
Rosalynn Carter and Betty Ford Op-Ed: Pass the Wellstone Act; Mental-health Parity Needed
Published by the Wall Street Journal.
If you were diagnosed with a brain tumor, would you seek treatment or would you ignore it and hope it goes away? Would your answer differ according to whether your health insurance covered treatment? A diagnosis such as a brain tumor, or Parkinson's disease, is a serious matter. Just as serious are the diagnoses of mental illnesses and addictions. But depending on the location of the illness in your body, the decision to seek treatment may be harder to make.

July 1, 2006
Editing and Education: The Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowships (PDF)
July-August 2006. Science Editor. Vol. 29 (4). pg.139. Palpant, Rebecca G. and Katie Hawkins. Mental health issues often do not receive the mass-media attention they deserve. Although mental illnesses are among the most serious and unrecognized health problems in the United States, affecting one fifth of people at some point in their lives, most Americans know little about them. Because of the lack of available information, however, the myths and mystery surrounding mental illnesses persist, perpetuating stigma and discrimination. Editors and reporters have unique opportunities to provide mental health information to the public.

May 22, 2006
Equal Time: Health Bill Plays Russian Roulette, Thom Bornemann Op-Ed
Forty million Americans do not have health coverage. Some analysts are quick to suggest that "basic health coverage" is the answer. That prescription, however, risks spreading a "virus" that now infects most commercial health coverage in this country and lurks in the fine print of most employer-provided health plans: singling out mental health care for rigid coverage limits.

April 1, 2006
The Carter Center Mental Health Program: Addressing the Public Health Crisis in the Field of Mental Health Through Policy Change and Stigma Reduction (PDF)
April 2006. Preventing Chronic Disease. Vol. 3(2). Rebecca G. Palpant, MS, Rachael Steimnitz, Thomas H. Bornemann, EdD, Katie Hawkins. This article examines the public health crisis in the field of mental health and focuses on The Carter Center Mental Health Program's initiatives, which work to increase public knowledge of and decrease the stigma associated with mental illnesses through their four strategic goals: reducing stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses; achieving equity of mental health care comparable with other health services; advancing early promotion, prevention, and early intervention services for children and their families; and increasing public awareness about mental illnesses and mental health issues.

May 1, 2005
A Survey of Mental Health Leaders One Year After the President's New Freedom Commission Report (Full text no longer available.)

May 2005. Psychiatric Services. Vol. 56, pgs.605 - 607. Silke A. von Esenwein, Thomas Bornemann, Lei Ellingson, Rebecca Palpant, Lynn Randolph, and Benjamin G. Druss. As part of the 19th annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, held in 2003, an anonymous online survey of symposium participants was conducted to gain insight into participants' perceptions of the impact on their organizations of the President's New Freedom Commission and its recommendations. The participants were national mental health leaders representing a broad range of mental health agencies and organizations. The results of the survey suggest that the New Freedom Commission has had a substantial impact on the organizations represented at the symposium. Findings on successes and challenges in implementing the recommendations suggest areas for ongoing efforts to transform mental health care.

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