Group Mindfulness Shows Promise Reducing Depression Associated with Hearing Voices

A new study out of Kings College London found that twelve sessions of a group mindfulness-based therapy relieved distress associated with hearing voices while reducing depression over the long-term. The person-based cognitive therapy (PBCT) intervention had significant effects on depression, voice distress, voice controllability and overall recovery.

More →

Categorized In:

“World Benzo Awareness Day, First Step To End Global Dependency Woes”

“In a bid to raise awareness towards the global epidemic of abuse on Benzodiazepine or ‘benzos’ abuse, a global campaign dubbed as World Benzo Awareness Day (WBAD) has been gaining ground,” Morning News USA reports. “I have seen so many people suffering, committing suicide because they cannot tolerate the prolonged withdrawal reactions and the damage done to them any longer, and there is very little, if any, help available to them.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

“Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy”

The Atlantic interviews Raj Raghunathan about his new book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? “If you were to go back to the three things that people need—mastery, belonging, and autonomy—I'd add a fourth, after basic necessities have been met,” Raghunathan says. “It’s the attitude or the worldview that you bring to life.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

“New Counseling Toolkit Helps Boys and Girls Club Address Kids’ Real-Life Issues”

The staff at Minneapolis’ Southside Village Boys and Girls Club are implementing  a specially targeted free interactive counseling toolkit designed by a team of volunteers at the American Counseling Association (ACA). “We have kids from everywhere,” said Stephanie Siegel, Southside Village program director. “A partnership like this is good for a lot of staff that doesn’t have that training in mental health. It helps them understand where kids are coming from and why they may be acting the way they are.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Mental Health Documentary “Healing Voices” Premiers Across 130 Communities in 8 Countries

The producers of “Healing Voices” ­‐ a new social action documentary about mental health ­‐ are releasing the film via community screening partners in a coordinated global event. The movie will screen in more than 130 locations across the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and Australia on and around April 29th as part of the movie’s “ONE NIGHT, ONE VOICE” grass roots release.

More →

Categorized In:

Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness & Diagnostic Distractions?

Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?
Full Article

Categorized In:

Simple Things

Sometimes it’s the simple things that keep us going, especially when the complicated ones seem so overwhelming; when there’s too much chaos, too many emotions, too many possibilities and impending disasters. No one can give you a reason to live. You have to find it for yourself. Until you do, try simple things. For me, it was a turtle.
Full Article

Categorized In:

“Social Media Use and Depression Linked in Large Study”

New research coming out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine suggests that the more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.  “Participants who spent the most total time on social media had 1.7 times the risk of depression, compared with those who spent less time on social media sites.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Young Transgender Women Burdened with High Rates of Psychiatric Diagnoses

New research published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that transgender women have more than double the prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses than the general US population. The study found that the women, who had been assigned male at birth and now identified as female, had a high prevalence of suicidality, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, generalized anxiety and major depressive disorder.

More →

Categorized In:

“Group Drumming Bangs Away at Anxiety and Depression”

“Prozac? Actually, percussion.” Researchers in the UK found that a ten-week drumming intervention significantly improved anxiety and depression for people seeking mental health treatment. "Across the 10 weeks there was a shift away from a pro-inflammatory towards an anti-inflammatory immune profile," the researchers report. This suggests the improvements the participants reported have a biological basis.

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Migrants and Refugees Significantly More Likely to be Diagnosed as Psychotic

A team from Sweden's Karolinska Institute and Britain's University College of London found, in a study of 1.3 million people in Sweden's national register, that immigrants were more than twice as likely — and refugees more than three times as likely — to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. The full study is available for free from the British Medical Journal.

More →

Categorized In:

“To Stop Trans Kids from Killing Themselves, Shocking Study Says ‘Accept Them’”

“The transgender community has disproportionately high levels of depression and anxiety,” Diana Tourjee writes for Broadly. “A new study shows that trans kids who are accepted display virtually the same rates of mental illness as the general population.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

“Toward a Social Justice Therapy: Let’s Keep Talking”

Can psychotherapy help dismantle oppression? “Social justice focused, analytic therapy- the kind of therapy I strive to do- is one that can support the process of developing an awareness that we are participating in some unconscious internal process that is also being reflected and reinforced in the outside world.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

“Reducing Future Suicide Attempts by Forging Connection”

A new study published Tuesday in PLOS Medicine may offer evidence for an intervention for people who have already been hospitalized for a suicide attempt.  The Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) is a “novel brief therapy based on a patient-centered model of suicidal behavior” that also sends personalized letters from a therapist for two years.

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Troubling Mental Health Nurse Education

Mental health nurse education in not sufficiently critical of institutional psychiatric practice. Its formal curricula in universities are often undermined by the informal curricula of practice environments. As an institution, mental health nursing pays insufficient attention to both these issues because it is an arguably un-reflexive and rule-following discipline.
Full Article

Categorized In:

Einstein, Social Justice and The New Relativity

To create his theory of relativity, Einstein had to see things differently. He used imagination and empathy to come to know a new ‘reality’ of existence. In this essay, we delve deeply into the nature of human experiences that lead to public concern and discover ourselves in a whole new realm.
Full Article

Categorized In:

Recovery: Compromise or Liberation?

The 90s were labeled – rather optimistically – as the ‘decade of recovery.’ More recently, recovery has been placed slap bang central in mental health policy. Is supporting recovery pretty much good common sense? Or is the term being misused to pressure those suffering to behave in certain ways?
Full Article

Categorized In:

Family Oriented, Home-Based Treatment Best for Youth with Symptoms of Psychosis

A pathbreaking new study out of Finland suggests that early intervention programs for youth experiencing psychotic-like symptoms may see the greatest improvement when treatment works within the home rather than in a hospital setting. The research, to be published in next month’s issue of Psychiatry Research, found greater improvement in functioning, depression, and hopelessness among teens in a new need-adapted Family and Community oriented Integrative Treatment Model (FCTM) program.

More →

Categorized In:

“MIT Students Turn Their Brainpower Toward Suicide Prevention”

After seven suicides in two years, students have come together to develop community building interventions including a texting hotline, artificial light boxes, and conversation initiation and therapy dog programs.

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Minority Discrimination Linked to Psychosis

A study published in this month’s issue of the Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology found that perceived discrimination related to minority status may precede the emergence of psychosis. These findings support social defeat theory, which explains that chronic feelings of outsider status or subordination may lead to a sensitization of the dopamine system and the experience of psychotic symptoms.

Full Text → More →

Categorized In:

“How People Learn to Become Resilient”

In the New Yorker, Maria Konnikova delves into the research on why some people are able to adapt and overcome adversity, trauma, and poverty better than others. In short, how do they learn to become resilient?

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Doing It Alone Together: Core Issues In Dutch Self-Managed Residential Programs

For the last six years we, a group of researchers, social work students, peer experts, and social professionals associated with the Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences, have been studying and facilitating the development of self-managed programs in homelessness and mental health care in the Netherlands. With our research we want to contribute to the development of new and existing programs through critical reflection. With this blog, I hope to share some of our findings, to give back to the respites from which we learned so much.
Full Article

Categorized In:

Therapy Recommended As First Line Treatment for Depression

Following an extensive systematic review of treatments for major depression, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a recommendation to clinicians suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for major depressive disorder along with second-generation antidepressants. The results of the review revealed that CBT and antidepressants have similar levels of effectiveness but that antidepressants present serious side-effects and higher relapse rates.

More →

Categorized In:

“How We Label People with ‘Mental Illness’ Influences Tolerance”

Honor Whiteman reports on a study in The Journal of Counseling & Development, which found that people may be less tolerant of an individual described as having a “mental illness” than those described as “people with a mental illness.”

Article → More →

Categorized In:

Mental Well-Being and Engagement in the Arts

Public health researchers at the University of Western Australia examined the relationship between recreational arts engagement and mental well-being in the general population. The results, which have implications for policy makers as well as health practitioners, indicate that those who engage with the arts for two or more hours per week have significantly better mental well-being.

More →

Categorized In: