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.”
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.
A recent study published in this month’s issue of Psychiatry Research attempted to examine the impact of an anti-stigma public media campaign in Germany. They focused on changes in public attitudes toward people affected by symptoms associated with depression and schizophrenia as a result of the psychenet- Hamburg Network Mental Health awareness campaign.
“Children from poorer families are more likely to experience changes in brain connectivity that put them at higher risk of depression, compared with children from more affluent families,” according to new research covered by Medical News Today. "Poverty doesn't put a child on a predetermined trajectory, but it behooves us to remember that adverse experiences early in life are influencing the development and function of the brain. And if we hope to intervene, we need to do it early so that we can help shift children onto the best possible developmental trajectories."
In this month’s issue of Psychological Medicine, researchers from King’s College London found evidence for associations between different types of childhood adversity and specific symptoms associated with psychosis. As current categorical approaches to psychosis and schizophrenia diagnoses come under increasing scrutiny, this study adds support to sociological and psychological theories and treatments.
This week we launched PeerRespite.net, a website dedicated to information and resources regarding peer respites in the U.S. As part of the initiative, recruitment is open for the 2015 Peer Respites Essential Features Survey.
For MinnPost, Susan Perry discusses the late singer-songwriter and actor David Bowie and his experiences with psychosis. She highlights the work of psychologist Vaughan Bell, who details how Bowie’s family history of psychosis is reflected in his work, and Stephanie Pappas, explaining “why Bowie’s positive expression of nonconformity has helped so many people who feel like misfits.”
In The Opinion Pages of the New York Times, Matthew Epperson discusses the devastating results of police acting as the primary responders to mental health crises. “If we are to prevent future tragedies, then we should be ready to invest in a more responsive mental-health system and relieve the police of the burden of being the primary, and often sole, responders.”
The official voice of the American Psychiatric Association covers the short and long term side-effects of antipsychotics and promotes the use of therapeutic alternatives with children. “Antipsychotics have serious short-term side effects among children, and more extended, longitudinal data on their safety in this particularly vulnerable age group do not exist.”
In the SundayReview section of the New York Times Vicki Abeles discusses Stuat Slavin’s research on depression and anxiety in US schools. “Many of the health effects are apparent now, but many more will echo through the lives of our children,” says Richard Scheffler, a health economist at the University of California, Berkeley.
Popular addiction news outlet, the fix, interviews Dr. Gabor Maté on addiction, the holocaust, the "disease-prone personality" and the pathology of positive thinking. “Until people manage to change society so society takes a different approach, suffering is going to happen,” said Maté. “What people need is a lot of awareness, a lot of consciousness so they can identify stressors and eliminate them when they are capable of doing so and find ways of living with them when they can’t.”
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that being exposed to bullying in childhood can contribute to mental health problems later in life. In a new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, the researchers found that children who reported being bullied at age eight were significantly more likely to seek treatment for mental health problems by age twenty-nine.
Readers respond to the New York Times article, “The Treatment of Choice,” about innovative programs for psychosis and schizophrenia that involve patients and their families in treatment decisions. “Narratives of success counter a drumbeat of faulty links of mental illness and violence, inaccuracies which serve only to further stigmatize and isolate individuals with psychiatric illness.”
Researchers from the City College of New York and Columbia University published a study this month testing the hypothesis that people diagnosed with schizophrenia treated long-term with antipsychotic drugs have worse outcomes than patients with no exposure to these drugs. They concluded that there is not a sufficient evidence base for the standard practice of long-term use of antipsychotic medications.
Listen: NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook discusses the new book “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy,” by the psychiatrist Julie Holland.
Benedict Carey at the New York Times covers the push for new programs that emphasize supportive services, therapy, school and work assistance, and family education, rather than simply drug treatment.
Children of parents who suffer from depression have a severely heightened risk of mental health problems, but new research points to several factors that seem to strengthen young peoples’ resilience and predict good mental health.
A new NIH-funded study suggests that children from low-income environments are more likely to have neurological impairments. The researchers claim that these neurodevelopmental issues are “distinct from the risk of cognitive and emotional delays known to accompany early-life poverty.”
“Published in the journal PLoS ONE, a new set of studies suggests that compassion—and intentionally cultivating it through training—may lead us to do more to help the wronged than to punish the wrongdoer. Researchers found compassion may also impact the extent to which people punish the transgressor.”
"What was going on inside Turning Point was an experiment: a community-based treatment center designed to serve low-income African-Americans. After a few bumpy early years, the program began to take off, and Hayden worked to expand Turning Point’s services, moving beyond a singular focus on addiction treatment to a more expansive approach that addresses the varied needs of the program’s clientele."
"The holiday season can be a very stressful time, so think about giving directions, asking someone if they need help, or holding that elevator door over the next month," explains study author Emily Ansell of the Yale University School of Medicine. "It may end up helping you feel just a little bit better."
Hugh Middleton, MD, Associate Professor at the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, and NHS Consultant Psychiatrist, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has written an interesting and worthwhile book, “Psychiatry Reconsidered, From Medical Treatment to Supportive Understanding.” Dr. Middleton is co-founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network and this book could serve as the foundational textbook for our field. As his academic appointment would suggest, he has a decidedly social perspective on the kinds of problems that bring many people to a psychiatrist’s attention, but in this book he offers eloquent discussions of many perspectives that inform our field. It is remarkable that in this 200 page text, he is able to cover so many topics – diagnosis, pharmacotherapy, schools of psychotherapy - with such clarity.
A new pro-recovery manualized intervention – called the REFOCUS intervention – has been developed and will now be evaluated in a multisite randomized control trials. The strengths-based intervention, which focuses on promoting relationships, is outlined in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
The Pacific Standard highlights new research out of the University of Cardiff that found the more green space there is in a neighborhood, the less crime. “The more a person felt connected to nature, the more they felt connected to others in their neighborhoods.”
According to a study published in this month’s British Journal of Psychiatry, people diagnosed with depression in high-income countries are more likely to limit their behavior and community participation because of the anticipation of discrimination. The researchers point to cultural differences between high-income and developing societies as a possible reason for this difference. They also suggest that the biomedical model of mental illness, prevalent in industrial societies, “results in stigmatization and rejection from the outside, and self-attribution and self-blame from the inside.”
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