Archives for February, 2013

Adult Mental Health

Assisted Suicide and Mental Illness: Broaching The Topic

How would you feel if an individual stated the following to you?
I want to commit suicide using assisted suicide when I turn 56 because I have severe Multiple Sclerosis and major depression, my life is over.
Being the recipient of such a statement changed my perspective of older individuals with severe or untreated mental and medical diagnoses. What is a therapist to do? Even more, how is another human being who understands just how unbearable life can become to respond? I still don't know.

Severe or untreated illness can push individuals into the most unlikely areas of life. Many end up homeless, incarcerated, dead, or hanging on by a thread often hoping for a way out. For families or caregivers of a loved one with severe illness, it can be difficult to change the mind of one so confident in suicide as a remedy. Due to social and moral constraints on suicide, many incorrectly believe that physician assisted suicide is a better way to accomplish their goal.

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Caregivers

When Your Loved One Needs Care: Patient Rights

It's always important to have a thorough discussion with your healthcare provider prior to receiving treatment. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions about treatment, length of treatment, and most importantly, what your rights are. Many healthcare providers will review your rights with you, your loved one, or friend prior to treatment. In some cases, you may need to ask the person discussing your rights to detail everything. Of course, you don't want to make anyone's job more difficult, but you do what to safeguard yourself or loved one. 
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Caregivers

When Your Loved One Needs Care: HIPAA


Therapists face pressure when it comes to employing the principles of HIPAA and confidentiality, which often go hand and hand. Confidentiality is your legal and moral right to privacy in a healthcare setting. Health documents (paper or electronic), discussions, and other relevant information is protected in each state by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

HIPAA protects medical and mental health information from being exposed to the public or others who do not have access to a patient file. Faxes, emails, paper forms, and other correspondences within a medical or mental health agency, must be protected and handled with care.

If you, your loved one, or friend has been hospitalized or cared for in a healthcare setting, their information is protected under HIPAA. In order to receive any kind of healthcare information on another individual HIPAA will require the patient or client to complete what is known as an informed consent form and Authorization to release health information.
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Advocacy

Why Black History Month Is Important To Psychotherapy

Isn't he just the most beautiful boy? This sweet, innocent face represents the many faces in America that suffer from psychiatric and behavioral disorders that go overlooked as a result of a lack of mental healthcare.

Black History Month always re-surfaces multiple issues of concern. Unfortunately, we rarely hear discussion about mental health among ethnic minorities during this time.

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