Friday Roundup – Communities Need More Resources, Parental Involvement in ADHD, and New Drug for Alcoholism

Attention lovely readers! We at Healthshire will be providing you with a weekly Friday roundup of the latest in mental health news. Let us do all the work and be your one-stop-shop for all things current!

Communities Need More Resources, Parental Involvement in ADHD, and New Drug for Alcoholism

The Latest  in Mental Health Research (and other stuff)

Community Resources Integral to Mental Health

Clinical care is vital to recovering from mental illness. Just as significant to recovery are a variety of community and social support systems.


During the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute of Psychiatric Services Conference held in Philadelphia this week, the keynote speaker targeted the topic specifically.

Estelle Richman, who has a wealth of experience working in public service and developing community-based programs, spoke about the strides our mental health system has made in the past decades, but that a truly successful system has yet to be realized.

Richman stressed the need for a range of community-based support resources.

“These resources include housing—moving from institution to group homes to independent living with supports is critical—as well as case management and supported employment. Work and employment are central to the growth of the individual people want meaningful activities of their choice.”

Parent Involvement Equals Better Outcomes for ADHD

According to a study recently published in Pediatrics, treatment options chosen by parents seemed to have a positive influence on initiation and outcomes. Parental involvement in treatment choices were linked to a higher likelihood of initiating medication treatment and behavioral therapies.

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

Researchers, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania, found that treatment goals indicated different treatment choices. Parents who wanted their children with ADHD to meet more academic goals were more associated with initiating medication treatment while parents who highlighted behavioral improvement as a goal tended toward behavioral therapy.

The researchers concluded: “At least for achieving academic and behavioral goals, treatment initiation may be more important than the specific treatment selected in helping parents address their goals for their children”

Ondansentron May Effectively Treat Alcohol Dependence

Genetic studies continue to improve our understanding of certain populations that are vulnerable to the development of certain disorders, physical and mental. Studies are currently trying to assess how physicians can better treat chronic mental illnesses, including substance use disorders.

Photo: © Europen Parliament/P.Naj-Oleari

An FDA-approved medication commonly used for nausea, Odansetron, has been shown to help treat alcoholism in individuals with variances in serotonergic protein.

A study, recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, conducted by researchers out of the University of Virginia, found that participants with certain genetic variations who were administered Odansetron had a 20% lower rate of heavy drinking and twice as likely to refrain from drinking overall than those with the same variations taking placebo.

Lead author of the study, Bankole Johnson, M.D., told American Psychiatric Association’s Psychiatric News, “The era of personalized medicine by which we can target subpopulations of those with alcohol dependence for optimum treatment effect has arrived.”

Telling our Stories

In an effort to bring mental illness out of the shadows and reduce stigma, we are especially interested in hearing about you and your stories related to mental health. Be sure to visit Healthshire’s “telling our story” section. Spend some time reading the stories or submit your own!

Recently, Healthshire partnered with a mental health clinic to provide intensive outpatient services to two individuals with addiction issues. Many individuals came forward to share their experiences about the complex issues that arise with substance use. You can read  their submitted stories here.

This week’s roundup is dedicated to Malala Yousafzai, recent recipient of the Human Rights Award.


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