Transformation of Mental Health Care in America

Mental illness is a highly prevalent class of diseases with potentially debilitating affects. About 30% of Americans have a mental illness and almost half (46%) will have a mental illness at some time in their lives.  Examples of mental illness include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders. A paper by Glied and Frank (2016) summarizes the transformation…

Mental Health Stigma

In this day and age, does having a mental illness still carry a stigma?  According to research by Prashant Bharadwaj, Mallesh M. Pai, Agne Suziedelyte, the answer is yes. Comparing self-reports to administrative data records on diagnosis and prescription drug use, we find that survey respondents under-report mental health conditions 36% of the time when asked…

Patient adherence to antipsychotic medications

Patients with schizophrenia often require medication—such as antipsychotics—to control the symptoms of their disease. However, adherence to these medications has been poor. Valenstein et al. (2004) estimate that 40% of patients are non-compliant with therapy [i.e., mediation possession ratio (MPR)<0.8]. Why are schizophrenia patients likely to be non-complient to antipsychotic therapy? One key reason is…

Coordinating Federal Efforts for Patients with Serious Mental Illness

Following up a December 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, testimony last week Linda T. Kohn, Director of Health Care at the GAO describes how fragmented the federal government provides very fragmented support services care for individuals with serious mental illness.  Coordinate across agencies is lacking and few agencies have conducted evaluations of their programs. Agencies identified 112 federal programs…

Does poor mental health decrease your job prospects?

Conventional wisdom holds that individuals with serious mental illenesses will have more difficulty acquiring and retaining a job.  Measuring the magnitude of the effect of any mental illness on employment empirically is difficult because of a dual-causality problem.  People with mental illnesses may have difficulty gaining employment, but losing employment also has an adverse effect on…

Can you inherit a mental illness?

According to this JHE study by Johnston, Schurer and Shileds, the answer is ‘yes’. Importantly, we estimate an intergenerational correlation coefficient in mental health of 0.190, which means that a one-standard-deviation decrease in maternal mental health (measured when the cohort member was a child) is associated with a 0.19 standard deviation decrease in the child’s…