Wednesday, October 20, 2021

“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.”

My APA protest speech: “Keeping the Channel Open”

If you haven't been labeled mentally ill by the American Psychiatric Association, you have to ask yourself what's wrong. Perhaps you were ahead of the game: you knew not to reveal yourself to them, you knew how to avoid them, you found other social support, and if so, a big congratulations. If not, what's wrong? Why have you conformed?

“Would Washington’s FDA Fix Cure the Patients or the Drug Industry?”

Legislation is being advanced that would speed up the FDA’s approval process for new drugs and medical devices, according to a report by the Pacific Standard. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies have been lobbying heavily to reduce regulations and are winning over bipartisan support by attaching these measures to increased mental health funding.

“Under Gun Rules, F.B.I. Will Receive Health Data”

“We are concerned about the implications of this rule,” said Jennifer Mathis, a lawyer at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, an advocacy group for patients. “It points a finger inappropriately at people with mental illness as a source of gun violence. It’s a bad precedent to start creating exceptions to the privacy law for people with mental illness, who are responsible for about 4 percent of incidents of gun violence.”

“Too Many PA Foster Children are on Psychiatric Meds”

For, staff writer Stacey Burling reports on the PolicyLab analysis of psychiatric drug use among Pennsylvania children on Medicaid.  “Many children in foster...

Failure to Report, Patients at Risk”

"A STAT investigation finds that “Most research institutions — including leading universities and hospitals in addition to drug companies — routinely break a law that requires...

“Psychotic Shooters on the Open Frontier of Profit”

At CounterPunch, Joseph Natoli connects Big Pharma, mass shootings, and rampant inequality. He writes: “The Brave New World soma strategy to deal with a population that, were they not doped up, might violently disrupt that brave new world, is useful if a society is ‘creatively destroying’ a growing number of its population each day. While the poor have daily evidence of their poverty, a collapsing middle class live in the illusion that they are middle class and just a short distance, not from ruin, but from fame and fortune. They are, in short, heading for a catastrophic break-down. Big Pharma is already set to give us all a ‘soft landing.’”

“Making a Choice: APA Reform or Business as Usual?”

Former president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), Roy Eidelson discusses efforts to undermine the Hoffman report which revealed the American Psychologica Association’s collusion in torture. "First, from a familiar playbook, we have the obligatory attack on the patriotism of Hoffman and those who have criticized psychologists’ participation in abusive detention and interrogation operations,” he writes. “The most outrageous example comes from two retired military officers, David Bolgiano and John Taylor. In a recent piece they described the Hoffman Report as a ‘classic attack of cowards’ and also stated, ‘By the publication and release of this report, the APA becomes a willing co-conspirator to the likes of al Qaeda and ISIS.’”

“No Easy Answer to the Question of Forcible Medication”

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

My Thoughts on an Alternative to HB1386 in Colorado (Open Letter)

I oppose HB1386 and request it be voted down. That, though, is not enough and I know it. So, here, I propose an alternative plan to HB1386.

Legal Coercion, Recovery, and Human Rights

Mary O'Hagan, an international mental health leader with lived experience, writes on the paradox of increasing legal coercion of psychiatric patients, even as the...

“Pentagon Wants Psychologists to End Ban on Interrogation Role”

Only months after the American Psychological Association voted to ban psychologists from “advanced interrogation” facilities like Guantánamo Bay prison the Pentagon is asking them to...

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...

“Former U.S. Detainees Sue Psychologists Responsible For CIA Torture Program”

On Tuesday morning, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of three former detainees against the psychologists who collaborated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to oversee the torture program. According to the Intercept, psychologists James Mitchell and John “Bruce” Jessen and their employees collected over $85 million dollars for designing and implementing techniques, based off of the work of Martin Seligman, that combatted torture-resistance techniques by creating a state of “learned helplessness.” There is, however, no evidence that these techniques gleaned any useful intelligence.

“Antipsychotics May Be Pushed On Those with Intellectual Disabilities”

Psych Central covers findings published in BMJ revealing that many people in the U.K. with intellectual disabilities are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs. The study’s lead author comments: “People who show problem behaviors, along with older people with intellectual disability or those with co-existing autism or dementia, are significantly more likely to be given an antipsychotic drug, despite this being against clinical guidelines and risking possible harm.”

“Mental Health Care Bill Hits House Amid Concerns”

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.”

Rep. McCann: Taking Away the Jury Trial is Undemocratic. (Open Letter)

I don't understand your recent sponsorship of a bill to remove "the option for a jury trial for a certification for either a mental health or substance misuse hold."

“Saving Congressman Murphy from Fraudulent Information”

Dennis Embry, a clinical psychologist and government consultant on mental health, shares a letter he sent to congressman Murphy warning him about how he may have been misled concerning his mental health bill. “I am specifically writing you about erroneous, false information you’ve been given about the National Registry of Evidence Base Programs and Practices. That erroneous information is likely to cause serious problems, which have been withheld from you.”


The movement to radically reform the modern mental health system is rooted in a desire to offer people going through emotional distress a wider variety of options for care. As a society we have largely shifted to a model of care that is limited to a select few options that primarily advocates the use of strong psychotropic drugs and simplistic diagnostic labels for complex and widely varying narratives. The stigma of going on an antidepressant has been lessened to such a degree that one out of nine people in the US now takes this class of drug. In the context of this astronomical growth in drug-based therapy, reformers are rightly calling for a dramatic reappraisal of how we are treating emotional distress.

University of Minnesota Ends Recruiting of Research Subjects on Involuntarily Holds

The University of Minnesota announced a change to its research ethics policies this month after coming under criticism “following the recruitment of a schizophrenia...

Oregon Court Affirms Forced Medication for Defendants

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled yesterday that judges can force criminal defendants to take antipsychotic medication in an effort to make them competent for...

“Justina Pelletier’s Case: Sure, Parents Can Make Their Kids Sick”

Psychiatrist Keith Ablow of Fox News writes "That’s why Boston’s Children’s Hospital, in making a play to take over the life of Justina Pelletier,...

“Stop Forced (Involuntary) Treatment Becoming the Law of the Land. Act Now”

Beyond Meds provides the information you need if you want to stop section 224 of HR 4302 - A list of senators, and a...

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