Many diseases, injuries, and maladies are associated with psychological or physical impairment that affect mental health. RAND research covers a broad range of mental health and illness topics, including autism spectrum disorders, teen depression, disparities in mental health care, and post-traumatic stress (PTSD) among military veterans and survivors of natural disasters.
Private contractors who worked in Iraq, Afghanistan or other conflict environments over the past two years report suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression more often than military personnel who served in recent conflicts. Relatively few get help either before or after deployment.
To make an impact on patient care within a 20-year timeframe, biomedical research funders and policymakers should focus resources on clinical rather than basic research, and support individuals who work across disciplinary boundaries and are motivated by patient need.
Improving care for depression in low-income communities — places where such help is frequently unavailable or hard to find — provides greater benefits to those in need when community groups such as churches and even barber shops help lead the planning process.
The monetary cost of dementia in the United States ranges from $157 billion to $215 billion annually, making the disease more costly to the nation than either heart disease or cancer.
Spouses, family members, and others who provide informal care to U.S. military members after they return home from conflict often toil long hours with little support, putting them at risk for physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Despite the recent drawdown in Iraq, the high operational tempo of the past decade that has included longer and more-frequent deployments has resulted in significant mental health problems among some service members. More than 200 programs are available to help treat psychological health and traumatic brain injury issues, but better coordination of those efforts is needed.
Treating U.S. veterans with mental illness and substance use disorders is more expensive than caring for those with other medical conditions but the quality of mental health care offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is as good as or better than that reported by privately insured, Medicare, or Medicaid populations.
Evidence supports the effectiveness of some atypical antipsychotics in reducing symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and behavioral symptoms in elderly patients with dementia. There is insufficient evidence that the medications are effective for treating eating disorders, substance abuse and insomnia.
People who are depressed are less likely to adhere to medications for their chronic health problems than patients who are not depressed, putting them at increased risk of poor health.
Psychological problems experienced during childhood can have a long-lasting impact on an individual's life course, reducing people's earnings and decreasing the chances of establishing long-lasting relationships.
U.S. military officials should improve efforts to identify those at-risk and improve both the quality and access to behavioral health treatment in response to a sharp rise in suicide among members of nation's armed forces.
Military veterans from New York state who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are at high risk for mental health problems. Outreach to connect veterans with services and better coordination among government and community agencies is needed.
A first-of-its-kind study examining the long-term economic consequences of childhood psychological disorders finds the conditions diminish people's ability to work and earn as adults, costing $2.1 trillion over the lifetimes of all affected Americans.
Inmates released from California prisons have a high need for drug treatment, health care and mental health services, but they face barriers to accessing such aid because many return to communities where health care services are severely strained.
Nearly 20 percent of military service members who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan — 300,000 in all — report symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or major depression, yet only slightly more than half have sought treatment.
Despite strong initial efforts to support the mental health needs of students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many schools have not been able to fulfill students' mental health needs over the long term.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the RAND Corporation a $1.2 million grant for a two-year project to help develop improved, culturally appropriate mental health services in New Orleans.
Most patients with depression who are treated by primary care physicians do not receive care consistent with quality standards.
March 1, 2007 news release: Mental Health Courts Have the Potential to Save Taxpayers Money, RAND Study for CSG Justice Center Finds.
October 24, 2006 News Release: RAND Toolkit Identifies Programs for Long-Term Recovery Among Children Exposed to Significant Traumatic Events.