Thursday, October 17, 2019

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

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.

Humanizing Mental Healthcare by Reducing Coercive Practices

A review of the literature demonstrates that coercive practices lack empirical support and violate human rights.
treatment advocacy center cherry-picks data

Forced-Treatment Advocacy Group Cherry-Picks Data to Support Agenda (Again)

Did the Treatment Advocacy Center actually uncover research proving that poor psychiatric medication adherence plays a "significant" role in whether people diagnosed with schizophrenia become violent? If such research does exist, is it as compelling as TAC described?
supported decision-making equal legal capacity

Equal Legal Capacity or ‘Supported Decision-Making’?

At a recent conference on legal capacity, I was struck by the failure of another invited expert to adhere to the paradigm of supported decision-making as articulated by the CRPD Committee. We still need to work to ensure that this paradigm is well understood and appreciated, despite the progress made in national reforms.
decision in Norway

Forced Drugging with Antipsychotics is Against the Law: Decision in Norway

In all countries, we need to work for ensuring that forced medication for psychiatric patients is forbidden by law. Virtually all countries, apart from the US, have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which prohibits forced drugging, but not a single country has done anything.

United Nations Rep Brings Attention to Human Rights Violations in Psychiatry

Dr. Dainius Pūras argues that the status quo in mental health treatment is no longer acceptable and demands political action to promote human rights.
hospital is sick

When the Hospital is Sick

At my job as an inpatient mental health counselor, I had to confront the reality of a hospitalization system with serious and devastating flaws. I felt immensely powerless and understood how my coworkers could end up so negligent, numb, and at times abusive. And I understood how patients could become violent or self-injurious after years in these dismal hospitals.

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

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.

Sociologist Questions Effectiveness and Ethics of Mental Health Services

Medical sociologist David Pilgrim argues that mental health care is neither effective nor “kindly,” as it often relies on flawed research and ineffective treatments.
escape from AOT birdcage

Escaping from AOT: Letter to the Judge

To the judge presiding over my upcoming AOT hearing: I would like a better way to take care of my own health care than the choices currently being imposed on me by community mental health centers, which involve forcibly injecting me with a drug that I do not want and making me take a daily pill that I do not want to take. There is no reason that anyone should make my own health care choices for me.

Former Service User Studies the Inpatient Experience

Researcher and former service-user Diana Rose utilizes a participatory research process to examine experiences on inpatient wards.
Ueckermünde Germany institution

Inhumane Medicine in Germany: A Dark Chapter Continued

Although I left Ueckermünde without the ability to speak, heavily traumatized and barely able to move, I managed to reclaim life after more than a decade. Today I am one of the few witnesses who survived the Hell of Ueckermünde, who can tell the story of my companions and raise awareness of the injustice committed against us as well as demand answers.

FDA Defends Decision to Approve Digital Aripiprazole

Members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Psychiatry Products division go on the defensive in a new article, responding to concerns about the agency’s approval of digital aripiprazole.
Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry

Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry

Spotlight on Institutional Psychiatry is a response by psychiatric survivors and allies to Operating in Darkness, a scathing 2017 report on British Columbia’s Mental Health Act Detention System. We hope that professionals will take note of the devastating effects of forced psychiatric treatment and be moved to speak out, and, above all, that survivors will feel encouraged and inspired by our efforts.

Mental Health Industry Should Embrace Choices Beyond Drugs

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...

The Mental Health Act Review: Everything Remains the Same

From Tales from the Madhouse: On May 1st, the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act published a 60-page interim report. The report makes it clear that no...

Closing the Asylums

In this piece for Jacobin, John Foot describes the Italian psychiatrist Franco Basaglia's efforts to revolutionize the mental health system in Italy. Basaglia sparked a...

The $3 Billion Research Breakdown

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...
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.

Cultural Confusion: The Shifting Line Between Sane and “Unsane”

From STAT: An unprecedented number of Americans have been diagnosed with a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. Does this represent an increase in psychological distress...

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...

Psych Ward Ramblings

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 Never-Ending Misuse of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes

From Health Affairs: Although the problem of antipsychotic misuse in nursing homes has been raised to policymakers numerous times over the past six decades, the...

What Care for the Criminally Insane Can Teach Us

In this piece for The Pew Charitable Trusts, Michael Ollove reports on Oregon's model of intense care and supervision for those found guilty except for insanity. "Oregon’s model...

Expanding Mental Health Care Beyond Adding More Psychiatrists

From STAT: Although many people believe that we need to train more psychiatrists in order to increase access to mental health care, there is no...

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