News & Announcements

Puerto Ricans More Likely to Need Treatment for Illicit Drug Use (posted 6/10)

Posted: June 10, 2010

A subset of data from SAMHSA's Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) shows that while alcohol was the most common substance of abuse among other Hispanic admissions (36.9 percent), heroin was the most common primary substance of abuse among Puerto Rican substance abuse treatment admissions (43.5 percent). SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies (OAS) recently released a Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Report entitled "Puerto Rican Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment" that highlights and discusses this data. The TEDS collects information on the race/ethnicity of substance abuse treatment admissions, and on the ethnic origin of those who report that they are Hispanic. Using 2007 data from TEDS (including admissions in 44 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico), this report examines the characteristics of Puerto Rican admissions and compares these with all other Hispanic admissions not identified as Puerto Rican:

  • In 2007, heroin was the most common primary substance of abuse among Puerto Rican substance abuse treatment admissions (43.5 percent), while alcohol was the most common substance of abuse among other Hispanic admissions (36.9 percent)
  • Among Puerto Rican admissions reporting primary abuse of heroin, more than two thirds reported secondary or tertiary abuse of other substances (68.6 percent), including 47.0 percent that reported secondary or tertiary abuse of cocaine
  • Most Puerto Rican admissions to treatment (70.5 percent) had at least one prior treatment episode, but most other Hispanic admissions (41.7 percent) did not

To download the TEDS report click here.

Mental Health Apps: Like A ‘Therapist In Your Pocket’ (posted 6/8)

Posted: June 08, 2010

New mobile technologies are allowing smart phone users to track their moods and experience throughout the day, week and month, NPR reports. These new technologies can serve as supplemental tools for psychiatrists and psychologists:

"'It gives me an additional source of rich information of what the patient's life is like between sessions,' says University of Pennsylvania researcher Dimitri Perivoliotis, who treats patients with schizophrenia. 'It's almost like an electronic therapist, in a way, or a therapist in your pocket.' Here's how one of the apps, called 'Mobile Therapy,' works: Throughout the day at random times, a "mood map" pops up on a user's cell phone screen. 'People drag a little red dot around that screen with their finger to indicate their current mood,' says Dr. Margaret Morris, a clinical psychologist working at Intel Corp. and the app's designer. Users also can chart their energy levels, sleep patterns, activities, foods eaten and more, she says."

To read the full NPR report click here.


Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month 2010 (posted 6/7)

Posted: June 07, 2010

On May 28, 2010 President Barack Obama issued a proclamation celebrating Gay Pride Day, and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month in June. Celebration of this month became official in June of 2000 when former President Bill Clinton proclaimed June as Gay Pride Month. LGBT Pride Month is celebrated in June to honor the anniversary of the Stonewall riots that took place in Manhattan in 1969 and are commonly recognized by many as the beginning of the gay and lesbian pride movement in the United States. In his proclamation, President Obama highlighted the policies and programs that his organization has implemented to enhance the lives of LGBT individuals:

"My Administration has advanced our journey by signing into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which strengthens Federal protections against crimes based on gender identity or sexual orientation.  We renewed the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides life saving medical services and support to Americans living with HIV/AIDS, and finally eliminated the HIV entry ban.  I also signed a Presidential Memorandum directing hospitals receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds to give LGBT patients the compassion and security they deserve in their time of need, including the ability to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions.

In other areas, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a series of proposals to ensure core housing programs are open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  HUD also announced the first ever national study of discrimination against members of the LGBT community in the rental and sale of housing.  Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a National Resource Center for LGBT Elders." To read the full proclomation click here.


LGBT Behavioral Health Resources:

Putting Data and Innovation to Work to Improve Health (posted 6/4)

Posted: June 04, 2010

On Wednesday, June 2nd HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Institute of Medicine President launched a national initiative to share a wealth of new community health data that will drive innovation and lead to the creation of new applications and tools to improve the health of Americans.  At the Community Health Data Forum on June 2 federal and community leaders were joined by developers and technology pioneers who demonstrated 16 innovative applications that make use of publicly available health data. The Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) will make federally generated health data available to communities in accessible and easy-to-use innovative ways.  Sebelius stated, “Our national health data constitute a precious resource that we are paying billions to assemble, but then too often wasting,” Secretary Sebelius said. “When information sits on the shelves of government offices, it is underperforming. We need to bring these data alive. If made easily accessible by the public, our data can help raise awareness of health status and trigger efforts to improve it. The data can help our communities determine where action is most needed and what approaches might be most helpful. As a nation, we can and should harness the exploding creativity in our information technology and media sectors to help us get the most public benefit out of our data investments.”

To help citizens, clinicians and local leaders use data to improve health and value of health care, the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI) is turning to Web application developers, mobile phone applications, social media, and other cutting-edge information technologies to “put our public health data to work.” Demonstrations at the Community Health Data Forum included web tools that allow citizens to easily understand health performance in one county versus another, dashboards that allow civic leaders to get a detailed understanding of their community’s health status and how they might improve it, an online game that enables players to learn local health status facts, enhanced web search that integrates hospital performance data into hospital search results, and mobile phone-based tools that put exciting new health information at consumers’ fingertips. To read the full press release click here.

Watch the Community Health Data Forum event:

New Data Book on Well-Being of Latino Children (posted 5/21)

Posted: May 21, 2010

A new data book produced by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) entitled America's Future: Latino Well-Being in Numbers and Trends offers a comprehensive overview of the state of Latino children by integrating a range of key factors and outcomes in the areas of demography, citizenship, family structure, poverty, health, education, and juvenile justice. It provides an overview of current national and state-level trends for Latino children under age 18 relative to non-Hispanic White and Black children, documenting both regional variations and changing trends since the year 2000.  To download the data book click here (4.6MB). In addition to the data book, NCLR has produced a downloadable database that allows users to view data on Latino children in all 50 states. Data includes population trends and geographic distribution, nativity status and citizenship, family structure and income, education and language, health, and juvenile justice. To access these databases click here (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Read these news articles about the America's Future: Latino Well-Being in Numbers and Trends:

To read more news articles on the NCLR data book click here (scroll to the bottom).

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