Author: Screening for Mental Health

Alcohol Use and Early Intervention

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3.5% of US adults have been dependent on alcohol in the past year and 10.2% of those who drink in excess are considered dependent on alcohol. Excessive drinking includes binge drinking and heavy drinking and is responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-aged Americans ages 20-64. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks on one occasion for men or four or more drinks on one occasion for women. For men, heavy drinking is defined as consuming 15 drinks or more per week and for women, 8 drinks or more per week. Excessive drinking can put individuals at risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD) in addition to other health problems. The National Institute on Alcohol abuse and Alcoholism reports that approximately 17 million adults in the United States, ages 18 and older, had AUD in 2012. This includes 11.2 million men and 5.7 million women. To be diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder, individuals must meet certain diagnostic criteria. Some of that criteria includes: Problems controlling intake of alcohol Continued use of alcohol despite problems resulting from drinking Developing a tolerance Drinking that leads to risky situations mental health screenings were created in recognition of the need for individuals to identify early symptoms of alcohol and substance use, as well as, mental illness....

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It’s Time to Change the Conversation About Suicide

Conversations about suicide usually include misinformation, myths, assumptions and accusations. And it can be difficult to know the right thing to say. There are many reasons you might decide to put off a conversation with someone about mental health or suicide. You may think it’s not your place to say something. If someone mentions suicide to you, you may think it’s a joke or the person was angry and didn’t really mean it. Maybe the person was drinking or you don’t know them well enough so you don’t take it seriously. But you should take every mention of suicide...

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Why Eating Disorder Awareness is Important

The Need for Eating Disorder Awareness Too often we forget that eating disorders aren’t simply about food, appearance, or beauty. Eating disorders are complex medical conditions that cause serious physical and emotional problems for people, and require treatment. Many misconceptions exist about eating disorders. It is important to dispel these myths to decrease stigma and encourage treatment. Thirty million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point during their life. The majority of individuals struggling with an eating disorder also have a mental or behavioral health disorder such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse. The eating disorder...

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Eating Disorders and Suicide: What You Need to Know

In a culture obsessed with dieting and weight loss, eating disorders often go undetected or are dismissed as simply a focus on diet. Eating disorders are serious mental health disorders that affect 30 million Americans (20 million women and 10 million men), and require treatment. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder. Individuals with anorexia nervosa are eight times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population and suicide is the leading cause of death for those with the disorder. In addition, eating disorders often co-occur with other mental illnesses. Approximately 50-75 percent of those with an eating disorder also suffer from depression. However, because of the stigma surrounding eating disorders and mental health, only one in 10 will seek treatment. Seeking treatment for an eating disorder is a sign of strength. If you or someone you love is struggling, it’s important to know the warning signs for both eating disorders and suicide. Eating disorder warning signs: Constant adherence to increasingly strict diets, regardless of weight Habitual trips to the bathroom immediately after eating Secretly bingeing on large amounts of food Hoarding large amounts of food Exercising compulsively, often several hours per day Avoidance of meals or situations where food may be present Preoccupation with weight, body size and shape, or specific aspects of one’s appearance Obsessing over calorie intake and calories burned...

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Give the Gift of Positive Mental Health

The holiday season is a great reminder about the spirit of giving and helping to those in need. Whether you donate a toy to a child, volunteer at a shelter, or participate in a giving campaign, you are making a difference in the lives of others. mental health is a growing need in this country. Today, 25 percent of Americans have a diagnosable mental illness and in some regions, such as Philadelphia, that rate increases to 30 percent. Fewer than half of those will seek treatment. mental health stigma is prevalent and often hinders individuals from seeking help. Although...

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