Friday, September 24, 2021

Barbara Ehrenreich: Why I’m Giving Up on Preventative Care

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In this piece for Literary Hub, Barbara Ehrenreich critiques the overuse of preventative medicine and describes how our healthcare system's emphasis on screenings and early...

“The Great ‘Mental Illness’ Hoax: Rampage Killings and the Gun Culture”

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Over at CounterPunch, Carl Boggs takes on the knee-jerk mental illness response that pervades the airwaves after every mass shooting. He writes: “What the mental-health fixation lacks is any semblance of historical or social context. Given the persistence of U.S. imperialism and militarism — and mounting fascination with combat and guns in a society transfigured by its warfare state — Washington remains a thriving center of global violence: repeated armed interventions abroad have found their domestic parallel in the world’s largest prison system, a deepening gun culture, home-bred terrorism, police atrocities, and a media culture filled with spectacles of warfare and bloodshed.”

“No Easy Answer to the Question of Forcible Medication”

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Nathaniel Ayers, the violin-playing subject of the 2009 film "The Soloist," continues to fight against efforts to compel him to take antipsychotic medication.  "....

Psych Ward Ramblings

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In this piece for Medium, activist and survivor Louisa J. Harvey describes the experience of being locked in a psychiatric institution on an involuntary hold. "This is not...

The CHRUSP Call to Action, and Its Significance

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Various instruments of the United Nations have commented on forced treatment, or involuntary confinement, or both (for details, see Burstow, 2015a), and a number of truly critical additions to international law have materialized. Arguably, the most significant of these is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. What makes it so significant? For one thing, it is because this landmark convention puts forward nothing less than a total ban on both involuntary treatment and the involuntary confinement of people who have broken no laws.

“Fears That Antipsychotic Drugs Being Used as ‘Chemical Cosh’ in Disability Care”

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An editorial in the Guardian discusses the fact that the number of people with intellectual or learning disabilities “who are being treated with psychotropic drugs far exceeds those with mental illness.” The authors of a new study examining the overuse of psychotropic drugs on people with learning disabilities, published this month in BMJ, argue: “If people without mental illness are given psychotropic drugs… it is probably to control their behavior.”

Reflecting Back on a Campaign to Stop Forced Outpatient ECT

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One of the most amazing activist campaigns I have been involved in during my 40 years of protest for human rights in the mental health system, was the effort to stop the involuntary electroshock of Ray Sandford of Minnesota. Ray reached MindFreedom in the Fall of 2008, and an international human rights campaign began for him.

Are We Not Human Beings with the Rights to be Treated as Human?

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(Speech delivered by Daniel Fisher at the rally in front of the Boston State House, June 2,2012) How can residents of Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC)...

More and More States Are Outlawing Gay-Conversion Therapy

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From The Atlantic: States are increasingly moving to ban gay conversion therapy, restricting licensed mental-health practitioners including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers from practicing any...

“Mental Health Care Bill Hits House Amid Concerns”

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The Boston Herald reports on mental health care reform bills moving through both houses of Congress. Lawmakers warn, however, “that some aspects of the legislation could create greater barriers to access mental health care for some.”

“Views on Assisted Outpatient Treatment: Fuller Torrey, M.D.”

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E. Fuller Torrey, M.D, shares his experiences and views on AOT with Behavioral Healthcare. “The whole issue of involuntary treatment is one that’s difficult...

Mental Health Industry Should Embrace Choices Beyond Drugs

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In this video for NowThis, Yana Jacobs critiques the mental health industry standard of prescribing drugs as the first-line treatment for "mental illness." She emphasizes...

“Mental Health Bill Caters to Big Pharma and Would Expand Coercive Treatments”

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Oryx Cohen at TruthOut explains why the "Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646) - commonly known as the 'Murphy Bill' - appears to cater more closely to the desires of pharmaceutical companies than to the actual needs of people in psychological distress, perhaps because of Murphy's connections to key lobbyists." "If the Murphy Bill is passed, psychiatric hospitals and pharmaceutical companies will reap huge financial benefits as a result of increased hospitalization and forced treatment."

Compelled Disclosure of Campus Sexual Assault May Be Harmful for Survivors

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The majority of universities require most or all employees to report disclosures of sexual assault, but these policies may be ineffective at addressing campus sexual violence and disempowering for survivors

How Neoliberalism is Damaging Your Mental Health

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From The Conversation: Neoliberal policies and conditions may be at least partly responsible for the growing mental health crisis and decline in collective well-being in...

The $3 Billion Research Breakdown

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In this piece for Medscape, Jodi S. Cohen chronicles the research malpractice case of child psychiatrist Mani Pavuluri, who put vulnerable children at serious risk...

Study Privileges the Voices of Persons Hospitalized Against Their Will

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How people are treated after being hospitalized can either help them to overcome the traumatic effects of coercion or make them worse.

First They Ignore You: Impressions From Today’s Hearing on H.R. 3717

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As I walked alone up the stairs to the Rayburn House Office Building this morning to attend the hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on H.R. 3717 - the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act - I thought about how I wasn’t truly alone. In spirit with me were all the people who had experienced scary, coercive, and dehumanizing interventions in the name of help. In spirit with me was every mental health provider who went into the field hoping to really make a difference in their communities, but became cynical and discouraged in the face of so many broken systems and broken spirits.

Danger Ahead if HR 2646 (the “Murphy Bill”) Passes!

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Dear Reader, I am reaching out to you in the hope that you will get this message in time to act! Even if you only have time to read the first two sentences of this blog, please click here for instructions on how you can win the hearts and minds of our federal legislators and help them understand why HR 2646 – proposed by Rep. Tim Murphy and called the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act – is a bad bill

Christmas Songs Played on a Loop Can be Bad for Mental Health

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From Providr: Many retail stores have already begun rolling out Christmas decorations and playing Christmas music. A clinical psychologist recently warned that playing Christmas music...

Latest Antidepressant a Case Study in Institutional Corruption

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A new study tracks the approval of the latest antidepressant, vortioxetine, by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The...

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

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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...

Lawmakers Override Bevin’s Veto of Mental Health Law

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From The Courier-Journal: Last week, Kentucky's General Assembly voted to overturn Governor Matt Bevin's veto of Tim's Law, a mental health law that allows a...

Correction: No “Charges” Against Former FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg

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Our headline on an Around the Web item posted on June 8 stating that the former head of the FDA, Margaret Hamburg, had been "charged"...

Drug Policy Alliance Member Targeted by Philippine President

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From the Drug Policy Alliance: Last week, Drug Policy Alliance Board Member Dr. Carl Hart visited the Philippines to speak at a drug policy forum....

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