Tuesday, July 27, 2021

“Too Many PA Foster Children are on Psychiatric Meds”

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

How Would We Know If We Overthrew the Mental Health System?

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What would it take to go about abolishing psychiatry? If we truly eliminated all the horrid practices that are currently committed by the mental health system, what would the world look like? What follows are 15 ways our society would need to change before we could be confident that we are free from the tyranny of the mental health system.

“Psychotic Shooters on the Open Frontier of Profit”

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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.’”

My Response to the FDA’s ECT Rule Change

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I lived through forced ECT from 2005-2006 at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut. My experience with ECT was the impetus for me to become involved in the antipsychiatry and Mad Pride movements, although I am not entirely opposed to voluntary mental health treatment. The following is the comment I submitted to the FDA on its proposal to down-classify the ECT shock device.

Our World: My Child, ECT and Me

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A new episode of BBC's Our World investigates the increased usage of electroconvulsive therapy on children in America.

Your Pills Are Spying On You

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From Pacific Standard: The new Abilify MyCite pill, which contains a digital sensor that tracks whether a patient has ingested the drug, has the potential...

Recent Success for the Bay Area’s Campaign Against Expanding Forced Treatment

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The Bay Area survivor and peer movement came out strong recently, pushing the Alameda Board of Supervisors to table a proposed expansion of forced outpatient commitment. AB 1421, more commonly known as Laura's Law, says that if a court or judge decides that a person with mental health issues requires treatment, they must abide by a plan determined by a team of professionals on an outpatient basis. The law was passed in California in 2002 but is conditional on California county approval for implementation. Fueled by sensational accounts of the death of Laura Wilcox, who was killed by a man with a psychiatric diagnosis, AB 1421 holds the false promise that force and coercion are the solution to help people in emotional distress.

“Holding Big Pharma Accountable: Why Suing the Pharmaceutical Industry Isn’t Working”

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Writing for the Huffington Post, Caroline Beaton looks into how drugs continue to make billions in sales even after they lose lawsuits for fraud and misconduct. “The persistence of Big Pharma's fraud despite ubiquitous legal action suggests that our present efforts to hold the industry accountable are ineffective,” Beaton writes. “New polices in motion will make potentially unsafe drugs even easier to bring to market and promote.”

We Should Not Forcibly Commit the Homeless During Hurricanes

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From Pacific Standard: In an effort to protect homeless individuals from the effects of Hurricane Irma, officials from the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust used the...

Mental Health, Inc.

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From Kirkus Reviews: In his new book Mental Health, Inc., Art Levine reports on the dire state of the U.S. mental health system. "The author delivers the...

Living With Depression Under Capitalism

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In this piece for rs21, Kate Bradley writes about the depression she has experienced as a result of capitalism and societal oppression, and the way...

Court-Ordered Psychiatric Tests Used as a Weapon

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From Courier Mail: Divorced parents are increasingly ordering involuntary psychiatric examinations against one another to be used as a weapon in custody fights. "Family lawyer Deborah...

In Time for RXmas: Motivational Pharmacotherapy

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Drug profitability requires three parties to work together – drug companies to make the drugs, psychiatrists to prescribe them and consumers to take them. Too often, though, patients have failed to play nicely and do their bit. They have banged on about tiresome things like adverse reactions and alternative treatments, they have expressed foolish opposition to the very concept of pharmacotherapy and questioned its efficacy. They have become medication non-compliant and undermined the profits of the pharmaceutical industry and the authority of psychiatry. They have been bad and landed themselves on a lot of people’s naughty lists and made the World Health Organization very sad and worried.

MIA Survey: Ex-patients Tell of Force, Trauma and Sexual Abuse in America’s Mental Hospitals

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In a MIA survey of people who had been patients in mental hospitals, nearly 500 respondents told of an experience that was often traumatic, and frequently characterized by a violation of their legal rights, forced treatment with drugs, and physical or sexual abuse. Only 17% said they were “satisfied” with the “quality of the psychiatric treatment” they received.

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.

“Coercive Mental Health Legislation Threatens Rights of People”

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“Hailed as a rare bipartisan victory, the Murphy Bill lets politicians falsely claim progress against gun violence while stigmatizing people with 'mental illness,' undermining...

At the Intersection Between Black Pride and Mad Pride

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The Grand Jury indictment on January 21st of a Georgia policeman for the felony murder of Anthony Hill brought national attention to the intersection of Black Pride and Mad Pride. Hill, who was black and a veteran, was murdered in March 2015 while in an extreme state or “mental health crisis.” He was naked and clearly unarmed when shot by a white policeman. The indictment brings attention to the failure of mental health care system in America.

University of Minnesota Ends Recruiting of Research Subjects on Involuntarily Holds

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

UN Expert Calls for Major Shift in Suicide Prevention Efforts on World Mental Health...

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On World Mental Health Day, UN expert Dainius Pūras calls for a shift away from medical solutions toward a rights-based approach to make life “more liveable.” He calls for states to address societal determinants of mental health, promoting autonomy and resilience.

Can Therapists Really Share Their Power?

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From Psychology Today: It has become increasingly trendy for therapists to talk about sharing their power or even giving away their power to clients. However,...

Six Ways You Can Really Help Prevent Suicide

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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.”
UN meeting on human rights in mental health

UN Meeting on Human Rights in Mental Health: A Response

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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.

A Discussion of Justina Pelletier and Boston Children’s Hospital

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Justina Pelletier, who lived with her parents in Connecticut, had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a rare and debilitating illness, and had been receiving treatment for this from Mark Korson, MD, Chief of Metabolism Services at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. In February of last year, Justina's parents took her to Boston Children's Hospital with flu-like symptoms. Dr. Korson had recommended an admission to Boston Children's so that Justina could be seen by Alex Flores, MD, a gastrointestinal specialist who had recently transferred from Tufts to BCH. But instead, Justina's care was taken over by the psychiatry department.

APA Statement on Gina Haspel Nomination

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The American Psychological Association has issued a letter expressing serious concerns about the nomination of Gina Haspel for the director of the CIA due...

Involuntary Mental Health Commitments

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The recent publicity surrounding the Justina Pelletier case has focused attention, not only on the spurious and arbitrary nature of psychiatric diagnoses, but also on the legitimacy and appropriateness of mental health commitments. It is being widely asserted that these archaic statutes are fundamentally incompatible with current civil rights standards, and the question "should mental health commitments be abolished?" is being raised in a variety of contexts.

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