Effects of Bankruptcy on Mental Illness: The community feedback period for this idea began on 8/13/2019 and ended on 10/12/2019

What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.
The lack of peer-reviewed published data on bankruptcy and mental illness. Search pubmed.gov on MeSH terms “Bankruptcy” and whatever mental illness diagnosis you like (including anxiety) and you will get zero results (originally accessed 7/29/2019, but try for yourself to verify that it is not a temporary glitch). The MeSH term “Bankruptcy” does appear in 865 articles. What this means is of the 30,000 journals – both domestic and international – associated with the United States National Library of Medicine – a division of the National Institutes of Health, no one has published on this topic. What an ideal publication would look like: * A randomized controlled trial where people expereincing mental illness are randomly assigned to groups including 1) Filing for bankruptcy and 2) Not filing for bankruptcy. Inclusion criteria would be some measure of financial insolvency. * Intend to treat analysis where people who were unable to tolerate their originally assigned group are still counted in the originally assigned group. * Licensed, clinical oversight to track the health/mental health of people undergoing bankruptcy with an already diagnosed serious mental illness. * Criteria to stop the study based upon bad outcomes – however, defined * An institutional review board and so forth. Contact an MD/PhD with experience in clinical research trials and they will provide an extensive list of study qualities.

Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?
The Be-Well center hints at providing Bankruptcy assistance based upon its marketing. Since there is no published work on how bankruptcy impacts a person with serious mental illness such an intervention is truly an experiment and the Be Well center is just guessing/experimenting without any data to support any one intervention.

What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?

What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.
If a trial is conducted on bankruptcy then critical time windows can be measured and outcomes measured. This would help in determining what resources to provide when. For example, transportation to activities required for bankruptcy (i.e. lawyer, court, legal library, etc) is not covered under transportation funding by most health insurers. Interventions to manage stress/anxiety are DIY.

What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.
Do a clinical trial of bankruptcy in a population of people with serious mental illness.

Additional Information:

August 1, 2019

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Innovations Team

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