CA Access News

May 2011


In this Issue: Features | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information | Contact Us


May Is Mental Health Month

By Brendan McLean, Communications Coordinator, NAMI

Mental illness can strike anyone at any time. One in four American families is affected by mental illness every year, and one in eight children will experience a mental health condition every year. Serious mental illness, left untreated, can shatter lives and rock communities. It is important that we continue efforts that keep mental health issues at the forefront of the media and on the minds of policymakers; this will ensure that all people living with mental illness get the tools and support needed to achieve recovery.

This May marks the 61st year of Mental Health Month, a time when we, as a nation, raise awareness around mental illness, educate our communities and help fight stigma. Across the United States, events are getting underway to help raise awareness about mental health. Every effort -- no matter how small -- helps shed light on the fact that more than 54 million adult Americans live with a diagnosable mental health condition.

Read more

Partner Spotlight

NAMI - Westside Los Angeles

NAMI - Westside Los Angeles

Mission Statement: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - Westside Los Angeles is a grassroots education, support and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of families who have relatives with mental illness.

About: NAMI was founded in 1979 by 254 caring people and now has grown to more than 210,000 members in over 1,200 affiliate groups in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.



Check out our CPAT partner events occurring this month!

Would you like to see your organization's event listed? Contact Jason Dumont at to help advertise your upcoming event.

Welcome New Partners

Join Now

Do you know a group who would be interested in joining CPAT? Please send your referrals to:

Northern California - Contact Jason Dumont at

Southern California - Contact Brandon Stephenson at

In the News

Pre-deployment mental woes make combat stress more likely
Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2011

Civilians who don the uniform and march into war carrying the psychological burden of previous trauma -- or of afflictions such as depression or anxiety disorder -- are far more likely than their mentally healthy comrades to suffer battle-related stress following deployment, new research has found.

A study published this week in the Archives of General Psychiatry also found that women, African Americans and those with less education were slightly more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following their return from a war zone. Less surprisingly, sustaining a battle injury also boosted the odds, as did the length of time an individual spent in a wartime theater of operations. Read more

May Is Mental Health Month; Focus On Youth, Social Connection
Medical News Today, May 4, 2011

Mental health remains a top public concern, often misunderstood and difficult to diagnose. However, since 1949 May has been officially recognized as Mental Health Month. That's more than 60 years of helping people better understand mental illness, how to take care of their own mental health and act as caregivers for others, and busting mental health stigma.

The focus for this year's awareness campaign is the mental health of young people and an essential component of maintaining and protecting mental health and wellness: social connectedness.

Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 22.1% of Americans ages 18 and older, about 1 in 5 adults, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. Mental disorders can also affect children. According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), mental health problems affect one in five young people as well. Read more

Most adults don't know they suffer from autism
Times of India, May 5, 2011

A study has found that most adults, who were identified with autism or asperger's syndrome, did not know they had the condition.

Researchers led by the University of Leicester conducted a community survey in England and made the discovery.

According to Dr Traolach Brugha, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Leicester, "the research has already revealed that autism was commoner in males, those without higher educational qualifications, and those living in social (government financed) housing."

The findings emerge from the first ever general population survey of autism in adulthood. Read more

Interesting Information

Questionnaire could lead to earlier autism screening
Boston Globe, May 02, 2011

A simple three-minute questionnaire filled out by a parent in a pediatrician’s waiting room may soon become a standard tool to screen for autism in babies as young as 12 months. Such a screening tool was validated in a new study that involved nearly 10,500 California children who were screened at their one-year checkup.

"The earlier we can identify a child with autism, the earlier we can intervene with treatment, and the better off the child will be in the long run," says study leader Karen Pierce, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego.

In the study, which was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, parents were asked to answer a series of questions about their 1-year-old to determine any developmental delays: Can you predict when your baby is likely to be happy or upset? Does baby use gestures? Make babbling sounds? Look to see if you're watching her play?

Read more


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