AMSA's 2015 Annual Convention
Join Us Next Spring
in Washington, DC!

February 26 - March 1, 2015 

Mental Health Interest Group

With more than 25% of Americans suffering from a diagnosable mental illness every year, the ability of clinicians to identify, treat, and appropriately refer patients is of utmost importance. Regardless of medical specialty, mental health issues will play a significant role in your career and have a significant impact on the long-term health of your patients. One of the goals of the mental health interest group is to provide a forum for discussion of mental health topics. Also, here you will find a variety of mental health resources, toolkits, links and important dates.

Quick Mental Health Facts

  • Patients with psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia, bipolar and Major Depressive Disorder have a life expectancy of 25 years less than age matched counterparts.

  • Individuals that suffer from mental illness are five times more likely to have a co-occurring medical condition than the general population.

  • Estimates show that one-quarter of all emergency room admissions, one-third of all suicides, and more than half of all homicides and incidents of domestic violence are alcohol-related.

  • More Mental Health facts (and citations for above statistics)

Get Involved

Mental Health Project Ideas

  • Mental Health Lecture Series
    Consider inviting physicians who treat or advocate for the mentally ill in conjunction with speakers who have been personally affected personal by mental illness. Potential topics include: depression, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and general stress management. Click here for suggestions on setting up a MH series.
  • Physician & Mental Health Expert Panel
    Include a variety of clinicians, case managers and mental health advocacy workers to give students the real scoop on caring for those with mental illness.
  • Patient Panel Discussion
    A forum that allows for the sharing of personal experience with mental illness can provide a unique supplement to traditional medical education and help fight the stigma associated with mental illness.
  • Interschool Mental Health Conference
    Network with Mental Health interest groups at neighboring schools in your city to put together a weekend conference or symposium on research and topics of interest.
  • Invite a speaker from your State Physicians Health Program
    State Physicians Health Programs provide support and advocacy for physicians struggling with mental illness and substance abuse or dependence. Information about physicians health programs can be found here.
  • Community Outreach Program
    Work to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by developing educational outreach programs that target elementary, middle and high schools in your local community. We’d love to hear from students who have experience with these types of outreach programs or have an interest in developing educational resources to share with other students.
  • Wellness Fair/Seminar
    Organize an event that can help students identify stressors and differentiate between health and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Include information on stress reduction techniques, healthy eating, exercise and time management.  Other ideas include offering yoga classes, massages, and healthy snacks on campus.
  • Mental Health Journal Club
  • 7 and ½ Ideas for Premeds Interested in Mental Health

If you have an idea or project that has worked well at your school, we would love to hear about it!

Toolkit for Curricula Change: Health Disparities for People with Mental Illness

Links

Join Us on InEx!

Inspiration Exchange

Log on to Inspiration Exchange (InEx) and communicate, file share & network with fellow students.