PAXIS Institute

News

> NatCon17: Surgeon general advocates prevention efforts Back to News

NatCon17: Surgeon general advocates prevention efforts

April 6, 2017 
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
 

Medication-assisted treatment and recovery services work, but in order for the U.S. population to reach its full health potential, behavioral health and addiction treatment providers need to go on the offensive, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, told attendees at the National Council for Behavioral Health Conference on Tuesday in Seattle.

“If we solely look at problems through lens of treatment, we won’t get where we need to go,” Murthy said.

Early in his term as surgeon general, Murthy engaged in a listening tour in communities across the country, and he said the stories he heard gave him a better understanding of the toll mental illness and addiction have taken on families. During a Q & A session at NatCon, Murthy advocated prevention programs, saying they are both cost-effective and under-utilized currently. One example he cited was the Good Behavior Game, a classroom behavior management program designed to prevent substance use disorder in a high-risk group by rewarding children for staying on task during instructional times. Murthy said there is a $64 return on every dollar invested in the program.

Murthy also spoke at length on the role communities can play in supporting emotional health in individuals. Murthy noted that in the 1980s, 20% of U.S. adults reported feeling lonely, a statistic that has soared to 40% today. Chronic stress and isolation put individuals at a higher risk for premature mortality, as well as heart disease and dementia. Digging deeper into substance use disorder, Murthy cited chronic stress as an emotional factor that can heighten risk.

To that end, Murthy strongly encouraged NatCon attendees to pursue initiatives that strengthen communities and drive conversations about mental health and substance use disorders, using science and research to educate the general public and change outdated narratives in the public discourse.

Full story and commnts here.

News/Press Releases

Walking into Erin Van Dyke’s kindergarten class at Bellview Elementary in Ashland when it’s time to do a quiet activity, the first thing a visitor might wonder is how the room of about 20 children is so quiet.

Read Full Story

Schools in the Rogue Valley are taking part in a program designed to help the students, as well as the community, thrive. The Pax game aims to promote peace, productivity, health, and happiness.

Read Full Story

Fads sweep education like teenage fashions and often change with a new administrator or with the last visit to a vendors’ table at a conference. Imagine if your child’s doctor made decisions based on fads. Doctors and healing arts professionals are supposed to make decisions based on the best peer-reviewed, replicated science available. Most of that science is freely available at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (www.pubmed.gov).

Read Full Story

A new era of public schooling is coming to some parts of New Mexico, one that holds hope that from kinder, more humane classrooms come children less likely to turn to suicide, risky behavior or drugs.

Read Full Story