Wednesday, June 16, 2021

“Electric Shock Therapy Led to Sunderland Patient Having Permanent Fit”

Update: Elsie Tindle has sadly passed away after a forced electroshock treatment triggered an epileptic fit and permanent brain damage. The psychiatrist, Eugene van...

NSUN is Advocating for a Rights-Based Mental Health Act

The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) has expressed concerns about the UK government's plans to reform the Mental Health Act, as the government's current approach...

Ten Simple Things We Can Do Immediately to Reduce Suicide

In this piece for Unthinkable, Dr. Jacob Z. Hess describes ten ways we can all help to reduce suicide, including promoting self-determination and choice in...

Why We’ve Been Thinking About Madness All Wrong

In this interview for Pacific Standard, David Dobbs, who profiled Nev Jones this month, discusses the ways that the mental health community is beginning to...

FBI Raids Lab That Pays Doctors to Promote Genetic Tests

From STAT: Federal investigators recently searched Proove Biosciences, a genetic testing company that purports to determine an individual's likelihood of becoming addicted to opioids. Proove's genetic...

Some Thoughts on Insanity Defense

I am not comfortable with an all-or-nothing insanity defense that is both legally and socially stigmatizing because it sets the person apart as someone who is legally determined to be incapable of being treated as a moral agent. This stigma spills over onto all people who are psychiatrized, and it is part of the conception of madness that also ends up serving as a justification for civil commitment, since we are perceived (incorrectly) as outside the reach of ordinary law.

Radical Disabled Americans Bringing Direct Action to Your Town

From Pacific Standard: ADAPT, a national direct action disability rights group, recently staged a protest to fight provisions in the GOP's health care plan that will...

Mental Health Seclusion Rates Increase

From Stuff: More than 800 New Zealand mental health patients were held in seclusion at some point last year, representing a six percent increase in...

FDA to Review “Digital Pill” to Monitor Patients on Antipsychotic

Last Thursday, the FDA agreed to review a “digital pill,” combining a sensor with the antipsychotic Abilify, in order to track patients’ compliance with drug treatment. Patients taking the tracker pill would also wear a patch, which would receive information and relay it to a mobile device, according to a brief report by BioPharmaDIVE.

Do Voice Hearers Have the Right to Refuse Psychiatric Drugs?

In this piece for STAT, Shirley S. Wang discusses the Hearing Voices Network and its non-pathologizing, rights-affirming approach to hearing voices and alternative realities. "Many recovered...

“Letter to the Editor: Guns and Mental Illness”

The president and president-elect of the American Psychological Association penned a letter to the New York Times calling on “Congress and other policy makers to address these factors with interventions supported by evidence rather than avoiding them by scapegoating the mentally ill.”

Sometimes Giving a Person a Choice is an Act of Terrible Cruelty

From Aeon: We tend to believe that giving people more choices is inherently positive. However, forcing people to choose between two morally wrong options can be...

Testifying in Vermont: Forced Drugs

Vermont Governor Shumlin recently suggested a change to state law that would accelerate the process under which a person could be forced to take antipsychotic drugs against her will. The House Human Services Committee reviewed this proposal and I was asked to testify. What follows are my comments.

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

The Unique Way the Dutch Treat Mentally Ill Prisoners

In this piece for BBC, Melissa Hogenboom reports on the way that people who have been convicted of crimes and diagnosed with mental illness are...

Investigation Reveals Alarming ECT Practices in England

Audit of ECT usage, demographics, and adherence to guidelines and legislation raises concern over its continued use.

Rewriting the Narrative on Psych Ward Abuse in Journalism

From Paginated Thoughts: The usual journalistic narrative about abuse in psychiatric wards focuses on funding and staffing shortages, as well as overcrowding and bed...

“We Need REAL Change in Mental Health Policy, Not the Illusion of Reform”

David Shern, from Johns Hopkins University, writes that the latest mental health “Murphy bill” in Congress is “an expansion of the approaches that got us into our current difficulties.” “Early intervention and prevention, assessable and patient-focused services with a rehabilitation orientation and increased funding for the community supports needed for successful recovery are the tickets to system improvement.”

“Forced Treatment is not the way: Opposing View”

Psychiatrist Dan Fisher's "opposing view" in USA Today makes the case — from a mental health perspective — against repealing the Affordable Care Act, which has...

AHCA Puts Disabled People One Step Closer to Institutions

From Talk Poverty: Last week, the House passed the American Health Care Act, which would cut funding from in-home care programs and community support for seniors...

An Anti-Violence Mental Health Plan

It seems almost every week now that we hear of a mass murder/shooting in the media. By now the pattern is too familiar to be as frightening as it once was. The response has also become reflexive: Guns should be made less available, especially to people with mental illnesses, and potentially dangerous people should be treated for their mental illnesses − involuntarily if necessary − so they can live safely in our community. Yet, nothing much changes, outraging the next set of victim’s families and communities.

Proove Biosciences Sells Off Assets as CEO Departs

From STAT: Proove Biosciences, which sold dubious DNA tests to predict opioid addiction risk, has been placed into court-ordered receivership for restructuring and asset sale. Experts...

Garth Daniels Suing Over 75 Shock Treatments without Consent

"In a rare intervention, the government has asked Victoria's Chief Psychiatrist for a report on Garth Daniels, a patient diagnosed with schizophrenia, whose case...

We Are All Adam Lanza’s Mother (& other things we’re not talking about)

I do not understand how we can continue to avoid the conversation about psychiatric medications and their role in the violence that is affecting far too many of our children, whether Seung-Hui Cho, Eric Harris, Kip Kinkel, or Jeff Weise (all of whom were either taking or withdrawing from psychotropic medications) or the scores of children and adults they have killed and harmed. It is not clear what role medications played in the Newtown tragedy, though news reports are now suggesting there is one.

Hearing on H.R. 3717 (“Murphy Bill”) to Take Place Tomorrow

The House Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing tomorrow (Thursday, April 3, 2014) on the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act," also...

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