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5 Stories on Mental Health Every Health Care Provider Should Read

Published on 6/20/2018
Today, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives, and around 450 million people currently suffer from mental health conditions. Additionally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the nation from 1999 to 2016. (In 2016 alone, there were 45,000 suicides in the U.S. – more than double the amount of homicides.)

What does that mean? We’re at a critical point in the mental health narrative, not only in the United States, but across the globe. 

“In light of recent events that have called greater attention to mental illness and addictions, it is important that we never lose sight of prevention,” says Dr. William Stadler, director and solution executive for Behavioral Health at Cerner. “We need to do our part as support organizations and health care providers to highlight stories about behavioral health, educate the public, chip away at the stigma and help those who are in need.” 

Here, we’ve rounded up five stories that explore how health care organizations and clinicians can break the stigma around mental health and improve outcomes for patients. 

1. Mental health – It’s OK to talk about it

There are more than enough statistics that prove the prevalence of mental illness in our society, and yet mental health treatment and care is too frequently underrepresented – especially at a community level. In this post, Randy Callstrom, the president and CEO of Wyandot, Inc., discusses how community mental health centers cannot only help combat the stigma around mental illness but also help improve patient outcomes for those who need care most. 

“It’s important to recognize that a community mental health center can’t fight stigma alone. A community can do it in many ways – and one is just making it OK to talk about it. Employers can help by making sure mental health resources are available to their staff, and assuring that people are supported, rather penalized, regarding their mental health needs.” – Randy Callstrom 

Read the full post. 

2. MU Health Care, Tiger Institute receive AHA Innovator Award for behavioral health application

In 2017, the University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health Care) and the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation won the American Hospital Association’s Most Wired Survey Innovator Award for its MoodTrek™ smartphone application. MoodTrek lets users — typically adults with depression or other mood-related disorders — log their moods, activity and sleep and share that data with their providers, which helps providers ascertain a more accurate view of the user’s day-to-day life. This app is about creating convenience for patients, who can document moods anytime and anywhere in a secure fashion. In this story, learn how MU Health Care developed this app and the success they’ve seen. 

“Patients are at the heart of who we are, and we believe our patients deserve the very best in medical technology. Patients want options to receive care how and when they want. That’s why we strive to have an electronic health record that truly serves our patients.” – Jonathan Curtright, CEO of MU Health Care

Learn more about MoodTrek. 

3. Workplaces can benefit from a Mental Health First Aid program

Professional help for mental illness isn't always readily available, particularly in work settings. However, we're slowly starting to see employee mental health programs become more common, and that's because people are asking for it. In this post, Dr. William Stadler, the director and solution executive for behavioral health at Cerner, discusses various strategies for implementing workplace mental health education and support programs. One of these is Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a globally recognized program that teaches individuals to identify signs and symptoms, assess for risk and listen nonjudgmentally, without attempting to diagnose or clinically treat an individual.

“We live in both our bodies and our brains every day; we can't afford to think of mental health as an ‘extra’ piece that is often treated separately from physical health. Organizations and business leaders can foster mental health awareness by providing mental health education and supportive services as part of an open and accepting culture.” – Dr. William Stadler 

Learn more about MHFA. 

4. Rogers Behavioral Health saves more than 2.5 hours per patient in nursing admissions, social services assessments

In 2016, the clinical staff at Rogers Behavioral Health dealt with a lengthy admissions process that had a negative impact on time spent on patient care. The admissions assessments took on average 404 minutes to complete. One year later, through efforts led by Rogers’ optimization team and in coordination with Cerner, clinical staff reduced the time spent on admissions assessments by 168 minutes per patient. 

“Every minute you save reducing redundant questions in the admissions process gives time back to all our clinicians to directly care for their patients.” – Nicole Klaus, RN, director of EHR optimization and strategy

Listen to the podcast: In this episode of The Cerner Podcast, Brian Kay, director of clinical effectiveness at Rogers Memorial Hospital, discusses some of the challenges and successes he’s encountered on the path to clinical quality improvement in the health care industry.

Watch the video: The staff at Rogers Behavioral Health discuss how they improve their patients’ care with Cerner’s integrated electronic health record. 

5. The Cerner Podcast, Ep. 60: Hazelden Betty Ford's William Moyers on overcoming addiction

Alcohol and drug addiction is a powerful illness that does not discriminate, gripping individuals and families across the world. In this episode of The Cerner Podcast, we feature William Moyers, vice president of public affairs and community relations at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center headquartered in Minnesota with inpatient and outpatient rehab locations across the U.S. William has spent the past two decades carrying the message of hope and healing to thousands of people, using his own journey to inspire countless others to find help. In this episode, we speak with him about the illness of addiction and the role of treatment in overcoming it. 

“Addiction does not discriminate. It affects people from all walks of life, educational background, religions. Doesn’t care whether you’re black, white, red or any other color. Addiction is a bipartisan illness. What I have learned in that is that we are all the same, and we as a community need to combat addiction in a way that helps us to come up with a solution.” – Dr. William Moyers 

Listen to the full episode. 

With Cerner’s Behavioral Health solutions, health care providers can help patients live a more stable life by providing holistic, data-driven, preventative and supportive care plans and services unique to each person. Learn more here.