Injuries and Mental Illness


A retrospective study of 6,234 Medicaid recipients in Maryland by researchers at Johns Hopkins and published online June 2, 2012 by the journal Injury Prevention found that injury incidence was 80% higher and risk for fatal injury was more than four and a half times higher among those with serious mental illness compared to the general population.

Abstract → 

Note from Kermit Cole, “In the News” editor:
Although the increased risk from drug and alcohol abuse was assessed as part of the study, the risk that psychiatric meds contributed was not.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Can we conclude that the diagnosis of *serious mental illness*, as was prerequisite to inclusion in this study, correlates with psychotropic drug protocols that have been established as *treatment guidelines*. In which case, we could expect an attitude of bias toward the significance of psychotropic drugs; that non compliance leads to substance abuse and increases risk of injury and drug/treatment compliance reflects just another aspect of the *disease* that warrants both drug treatment and injury prevention teaching.

    How often do we find journal articles that report the dangers/risks associated with psychotropic drugs?

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