The health impacts of smoking cigarettes are well known and, while the number of smokers in the US has generally declined, rates of smoking among people with mental illness remain higher than those among people without mental illness. People with severe mental illness (SMI) are even more likely to be smokers. Research has shown that combining medication with support programs can help people with SMI who want to quit smoking. Brief motivational interventions can help these smokers get started on the path to quitting, but can these programs make a difference in quitting long term?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots within the spinal canal resulting in temporary or permanent loss of movement and/or feeling. Learning to manage health after SCI can be a long and complicated process that is dependent on numerous personal and environmental factors, and it is an important part of the overall recovery process. Employment has been shown to be a key part of recovery and strongly related to health, life-satisfaction, and longevity, but the effects of SCI can present barriers to finding and keeping a job.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nervous system disorder that interferes with how the brain and spine transmit signals to muscles and causes loss of motor function including mobility and speech. People with ALS (pALS) may experience such significant speech impairments that they cannot rely on their natural speech to meet their communication needs in face-to-face interactions.
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots within the spinal canal and resulting in temporary or permanent loss of movement and/or feeling. Individuals with SCI often experience complex health issues making them high users of primary care. At the same time, they face many barriers to receiving quality healthcare such as inaccessible medical offices or equipment, problems with transportation, lack of SCI knowledge among primary healthcare providers, issues with insurance and benefits, and difficulties coordinating services among multiple providers.
More than 65 million people in the US serve as caregivers to family members who have a disability or are seniors in need of assistance, according to the Family Caregiver Alliance, and the number of caregivers is expected to grow in the coming years. These caregivers include families of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), many of whom are also experiencing age-related disabilities. For adults with IDD, families are the single largest provider of care with more than half of adults with IDD living at home with family.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life. ASD can affect how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. For example: A person with ASD may express ideas and emotions differently, may exhibit repetitive behaviors, or may have difficulty adapting to new or changing situations.
Obesity is a major public health concern and studies have shown that people with serious mental illness (SMI) may be at higher risk of being overweight or obese than people without SMI. Being overweight or obese can put people at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions. Wellness programs that promote healthy eating and exercise can help reduce these risks for people with SMI.
The unemployment rate for young African American men was as high as 33 percent in 2013 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The problem of unemployment is even more profound for young African American men with substance use disorders who face additional stressors that may worsen symptoms of substance abuse and interfere with opportunities for employment.
People with disabilities in the United States face daunting prospects when it comes to employment. Unemployment rates are significantly higher for people with disabilities than those of the general public and, when employed, people with disabilities are likely to earn less than people without disabilities. To help lessen this disparity, vocational rehabilitation (VR) programs are designed to assist job seekers with disabilities by offering training and support as they enter in or return to the workforce.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system. According to the National MS Society, some of the most common and debilitating symptoms people with MS may experience are fatigue, chronic pain, and depression. Living well with these symptoms can be a daily challenge.
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