Navigation Links
U-M Health Minute: Today's Top Health Issues and Medical Research
Date:1/5/2009

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Lamont Christian returned from war, he often felt angry, afraid and unworthy. Years later, Christian found himself living in a homeless shelter, a sign that time had not healed his emotional wounds.

He went to the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System for help, and there, he learned the root of his problems: he was suffering from depression, post- traumatic stress disorder and anger management problems. Now, he wants others to learn from his experience.

"If I had a message to give to veterans who are coming out of the military now or even veterans who have been out for a long period of time, it's that nothing is going to happen in your life unless you go and get the help you need," he says.

Christian is a veteran of Vietnam, but his experience holds true for soldiers returning from current battlegrounds as well.

Nearly a third of veterans who are treated at Veterans Affairs health care centers have significant depressive symptoms, and about 13 percent have clinically diagnosed depression, says Marcia Valenstein, M.D., clinical psychiatrist with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and associate professor of psychiatry with the University of Michigan Health System.

Depression is a "very potent" risk factor for suicide among people receiving treatment for depression at the VA, she notes, with a suicide rate that is three times higher than that of the overall VA patient population.

Such high rates led Valenstein and her colleagues to study the best time to provide intensive interventions to veterans with depression to prevent suicide. In a study just published by the Journal of Affective Disorders, the researchers found that veterans with depression were at highest risk for suicide in the 12 weeks after they were hospitalized for psychiatric conditions.

"This finding highlights the need for very close follow-up for patients who are discharged from our inpatient services because this is a particularly vulnerable time for them," says Valenstein, a core investigator with the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Current government recommendations have focused on providing intensive follow up for patients following all new antidepressant starts. More attention needs to be paid to the highest-risk periods that follow psychiatric hospitalization, Valenstein says. "Health systems with limited resources should focus their efforts on this time period to have the greatest impact on suicide prevention."

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made mental health issues a priority, Valenstein notes. VA health centers have received more than $300 million for expansion of suicide prevention and other mental health services from the Veterans Health Administration.

Note: The views expressed in the study are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Authors: In addition to Valenstein, authors of the paper were Hyungjin Myra Kim, Dara Ganoczy, John F. McCarthy, Kara Zivin, Karen L. Austin, Katherine Hoggatt, Daniel Eisenberg, John D. Piette and Frederic C. Blow, all with affiliations at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, the University of Michigan Medical School, and/or the University of Michigan School of Public Health; and Mark Olfson of Columbia University.

Funding: The research was supported by grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Service, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Resources also were contributed by the Serious Mental Illness Treatment Research and Evaluation Center, Ann Arbor, Mich. The sponsors provided funding but otherwise were not involved in the study.

Reference: Journal of Affective Disorders, Jan. 2009, "Higher-risk periods for suicide among VA patients receiving depression treatment: Prioritizing suicide prevention efforts."

    For more information:
    --  Depression symptoms and treatments:
        www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/depression.html
    --  Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan:
        www.psych.med.umich.edu/care/
    --  VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System: www.annarbor.va.gov/

'/>"/>
SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Staying Healthy in a Tough Economy
2. SXC Health Solutions announces contract with PharMerica
3. Staying Warm with the Help of Equal Health
4. Taking 20 Years Off Her Health and Looks, RealAge Member Flaunts It on Oprah Show
5. New Initiative Urges Women to Address Mens Health this New Year
6. Santa Gets a Little Help from Equal Health
7. Department of Health Recognizes January As Cervical Health Awareness Month
8. Joan Lunden Inks Three-Year Deal to Host Health Corner(R) Television Series
9. ViroPharma to Present at the 27th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference
10. New Years Resolution for Illinois Lawmakers: Fix Broken Health Care System
11. Dubious Drugs, Tainted Foods Top 2008s Health Stories
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Guruji Mahendra Kumar Trivedi is ... 11th, 2016 in honor of his birthday on February 10th. During this time, ... Trivedi is known by over 250,000 people from over 40 different countries as an ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... According to research by the ... dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase patient awareness ... In Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists and patients about the possible lack ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... Birmingham, Lake Orion, Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... February 07, ... ... women on Friday in recognition of National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red ... heart disease and stroke in women. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Dr. Todd Hobgood , certificated in ... surgical expertise. Technically known as deoxycholic acid or previously as ATX-101, Kybella® ... for reduction of fat below the chin (aka the “double chin”). Medication side ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... 2016 , ... US Sports Camps is proud to sponsor the Bay Area ... top non-profit leaders, ultimate organizations, and coaches from around the US. The theme for ... Program Director of Youth and Education, describes this year YUCC as “an important conversation ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 ... the addition of the "Label-Free Detection ... Forecasts to 2020" report to their ... announced the addition of the "Label-Free ... Global Forecasts to 2020" report to ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Unilife Corporation ("Unilife" or "Company") ... of injectable drug delivery systems, today announced that it will ... ended December 31, 2015 after market close on February 9, ... conference call to discuss these financial results.    ... --> About Unilife Corporation ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... (IND) application for SB-318, a single treatment strategy ... Type I (MPS I). The SB-318 IND application ... a Phase 1/2 clinical study (SB-318-1502) designed to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: