Tuesday, December 10, 2019
UN meeting on human rights in mental health

UN Meeting on Human Rights in Mental Health: A Response

On May 14 and 15, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights held a meeting on human rights in mental health. The event represented tensions in the United Nations between the promotion of mental health and the promotion of the human rights of people with psychosocial disabilities under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Psychiatric Diagnosis Can Lead to Epistemic Injustice, Researchers Claim

A discussion of the role of epistemic injustice in the experiences of patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders.

Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotics on Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

One-third of adults with an intellectual or developmental disability are dispensed antipsychotics, despite having no existing psychiatric diagnosis.

Coercion in Care

To this day I do not know how I found my way back. I think it might’ve had something to do with willpower, as I was NOT going to lose myself. I was NOT going to end up like those people who were living indefinitely in the hospital—those “chronic schizophrenics”, as they say. I was going to find my way back, back to myself.

How Do Clients Solicit Medication Changes With Psychiatrists?

Researchers examine psychiatrist-client interactions and find that clients are often left with few opportunities to make explicit requests to change their medication regimen.

Criticism of Coercion and Forced Treatment in Psychiatry

A recent editorial, published in BMJ, argues there is an increase in coercive measures in psychiatry that are damaging to individuals diagnosed with mental illness.
puppet master

The Misuse of Collaboration and Therapy to Deter People From Discontinuing Medication

Gabriel Ivbijaro and Lucja Kolkiewicz produce five pages dedicated to improving adherence with psychiatric medication through collaborative care and the implementation of modified CBT. The use of the word ‘collaborative’ in this context is misleading.

Defeating Goliath: Mental Health is a Social Justice Issue, and People with Lived Experience...

While I have lived just a few miles away from the Capitol for the last fifteen years, I have been unsure about getting involved in legislative advocacy. I’ve been intimidated by the complexity of the legislative process, and more inclined to leave it up to others who I perceive as having more experience than me. And honestly, I haven’t felt very hopeful about effecting change. My cynicism had turned to “learned helplessness.” And then along came a mental health bill so destructive, so regressive, that I had to step out of my uncomfortable comfort zone.

Feral Psychiatry: More on the Garth Daniels Case

On Wednesday, May 18th, Daniels had what was probably his 102nd consecutive episode of ECT. As always, he told the staff that he did not want it and did not consent to it; as always, he got it. Later on the next afternoon, Garth left to join his family in Brisbane. None of us have a crystal ball but his position now seems much better than at any stage in the past. Let's look at some of the facts and opinions surrounding this case.

Study Privileges the Voices of Persons Hospitalized Against Their Will

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

Refugees and Immigrants Experience Increased Medical Coercion

Refugees and first-generation immigrants of African descent are at greater risk of experiencing medical coercion when compared to immigrants of other visible minority communities in Canada.

Study Identifies Psychiatric Patients at Greatest Risk of Coercion

In an effort to reduce coercion, researchers isolate associated factors including age, relationship status, location, and diagnosis.

Two Thirds of Patients See Physicians Who Receive Payments From Pharma

Study finds more patients are visiting physicians who have ties to industry than previously thought.

Experts Concerned That Depression Screening Will Lead to Overdiagnosis

Behind the U.S. task force recommendation to screen all children and adults for depression.

De-escalating Folks When Psychotic and Potentially Violent

People, in general, are afraid when other people act with hostility. This is a natural human instinct, of course. However, meeting people in crisis by returning fear and violence will often backfire. Finding a way to connect can instead be healing for everyone involved.

Regarding Representative Tim Murphy’s Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act

Representative Murphy has released the second version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646). Few can argue that the mental health system and the current approach towards helping individuals and families in crisis are abysmal. H.R. 2646 is an effort to create increased service provisions and to enhance interventions that many professionals, family members and service users alike believe to be effective. When people are desperate and suffering they do not wish to be told "Sorry, there's nothing we can do." And so, it is understandable and even laudable that so many support the proposals laid out in H.R. 2646. But the bill is based on distorted and faulty logic that misrepresents the research and evidence base. This is highly disconcerting. And so a collective of mental health professionals, mental health advocates, and persons with lived experience came together to produce the following documents in response to H.R. 2646.

We Need Ecstasy and Cocaine in Place of Prozac and Xanax

From Aeon: While psychiatric drugs are often ineffective and can have serious side effects, there are many psychedelics and other illicit substances that have proven...

Six Ways You Can Really Help Prevent Suicide

The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 14. I won’t go into the indignity of being involuntarily locked up, time after time, until I satisfactorily convinced the staff that I wouldn’t harm myself or attempt suicide again. (I was lying.) The system taught me to lie, to hide my suicidal feelings in order to escape yet another round of dehumanizing lock-ups and “treatments.”

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

From UPLIFT: In the shamanic view, emotional distress and psychosis signal a spiritual awakening or emergence, not a pathology. Western cultures can learn a great...

Madness in Civilisation: A Cultural History of Insanity

Until recently the history of psychiatry was a neglected backwater whose murky depths were explored largely by psychiatrist. The impression conveyed by books such as Tuke’s Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles, Macalpine and Hunter's Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry: 1535 - 1860, Berrios and Freemen's 150 Years of British Psychiatry 1841 - 1991, or Fuller Torrey and Miller's The Invisible Plague, is one that sees psychiatry and modern systems of mental health care as the inevitable outcome of progress through scientific thought, a (white European male-led) narrative from darkness and ignorance to enlightenment and knowledge.

Measuring How Mental Health Professionals See Service Users’ Rights

A new scale has been developed and validated to examine beliefs held by mental health professionals towards service users’ rights.

“Medicating a Prophet”

In the New York Times Sunday Review, Irene Hurford, a psychiatrist, reflects on the ethics of forced treatment for psychosis. “As doctors,” she writes,...

I’m Sorry I Was Being So Crazy While You Treated Me Like Shit

From Reductress: "Let me just start this by saying I am so sorry I have been acting so crazy lately; I don’t know what’s gotten...

Does ‘Mental Illness’ Exist?

In this interview for ABC Australia, leading psychology professor Peter Kinderman discusses why we need alternative ways of understanding and supporting people in distress that take...

Doctors Tortured Patients at Ontario Mental-Health Centre

From The Globe and Mail: A judge has recently ruled that patients at a mental health facility in Ontario were tortured by doctors over a...

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