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

NPR: “Gun Violence And Mental Health Laws”

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On NPR’s Morning Edition, Lauren Silverman debunks the assumption that mass shooters are usually ‘mentally ill,’ and that mental health policy can substitute for...

6-Year-old Boy Committed to a Psych Ward

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From BuzzFeed News: A six-year-old boy in Jacksonville, Florida was recently committed to a psychiatric institution for throwing a temper tantrum in school. There, he...

“Punish People, Not Just Corporations”

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Drug makers have faced large fines for unethical and harmful practices but have simply treated these as a cost of doing business. Ed Silverman reports...

Failure to Report, Patients at Risk”

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

Police Not Told of Sexual Assault Reports by Mental Patients

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From The Age: According to a new report, sexual assault claims by mental health patients are not being reported to the police or even the...

Ireland’s Implementation of Rights Covenant Under Examination

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Next week the United Nations Human Rights Committee is scheduled to begin evaluating Ireland's progress towards implementing the International Covenant on Civil and Political...

Gay Conversion Therapy Advocates Heartened by Election

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From ABC News: Advocates for gay conversion therapy have been heartened by the election of President Trump, believing that the new administration will fight off efforts...

I’m Reinventing Mental Health Care by Putting Patients in Charge

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In this piece for The Guardian, Joy Hibbins describes how her experiences of powerlessness as a mental health service user led her to start Suicide...

“Don’t Coerce the Mentally Ill into Treatment”

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Republican Tim Murphy should be lauded for bringing attention to important issues through his proposed legislation, but he "has it wrong when it comes...

Lieberman Claims Mass Shooters are Untreated Mentally Ill in the ‘Times

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Jeffrey Lieberman, past-president of the American Psychiatric Association, authored an Op-Ed in last Friday’s New York Times, calling for improved mental health screenings in schools and emergency rooms in the wake of the murder of Virginia journalists Alison Park and Adam Ward. In support of forced treatment mechanisms, Lieberman claims: “Almost every mentally ill perpetrator of mass violence had been symptomatic and untreated for lengthy periods of time before their crime, because they (or their families) did not seek treatment or they refused it.”

Rewriting the Narrative on Psych Ward Abuse in Journalism

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From Paginated Thoughts: The usual journalistic narrative about abuse in psychiatric wards focuses on funding and staffing shortages, as well as overcrowding and bed...

In Praise of Defiance

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From Aeon: Throughout history, psychiatry has pathologized defiance and continues to label individuals who resist authority and stand up for their rights as mentally ill....

“94 Psychiatric Patients in South Africa Died of Negligence, Report Finds”

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The New York Times reports on the findings of a South African government investigation that determined that "94 psychiatric patients died of negligence last year after being...

Advocate for Outpatient Committal Recants

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In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Tom Burns recants. Burns is described as a psychiatrist who was long one of the strongest...

How I Know That Psychiatric Hospitals Don’t Cure Gun Violence

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In this piece for the Hartford Courant, Kathleen Flaherty describes why President Trump's assertion that more psychiatric hospitals would prevent mass shootings is inaccurate and...

Changing Law That Lets Mentally Ill Stay on the Streets

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From the San Francisco Chronicle: San Francisco city officials are hoping to change the law that allows homeless individuals with mental health diagnoses to stay on...

Facebook Rolls Out AI to Detect Suicidal Posts

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From TechCrunch: Facebook's new artificial intelligence technology will now scan all posts for suicidal thoughts and send mental health resources or contact local first-responders for users...

“Pentagon Wants Psychologists to End Ban on Interrogation Role”

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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...

Institutional Psychotherapy in France: An Interview

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In this interview for Hidden Persuaders, Camille Robcis discusses institutional psychotherapy, a French psychiatric reform movement that began during the Second World War. Robcis explains...

Do We Need More Hospital Beds?

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In an article published by the Treatment Advocacy Center, The Shortage of Public Hospital Beds for Mentally Ill Persons, the authors (D. J. Jaffe and E. Fuller Torrey) present the idea that we have far too few hospital beds in this country, and because of that there has been a dramatic shift towards the diversion of people labeled with mental illness into prisons and homelessness. Their answer to this issue is that we should radically increase the amount of hospital beds and we should also dramatically increase our reliance on outpatient treatment in the form of mandated involuntary medication programs. As many people know here, the TAC has been highly influential politically and the authors of this paper have been instrumental in getting laws passed that mandate the outpatient use of psychiatric drugs for people who have been civilly committed.

Three Experts Discuss the Role of Insanity in Our Legal System

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Three leading legal scholars speak to Pacific Standard about the nature and history of the insanity defense, as well as its impact on our criminal...

I was Forced to Choose Between an Abortion or a Mental Hospital

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In this personal essay for MarieClaire, one woman shares her story of being locked up in a mental hospital for refusing to have an abortion.

When Oregon Sent its Most Troubled Patients Into the Woods

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From TIME: In 1972, 51 of the most troubled mental health patients at Oregon State Hospital were sent into the woods for a camping trip....

The FBI and Defense Department are Investigating UHS Hospitals

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From BuzzFeed News: America's largest chain of psychiatric hospitals, United Health Services, is currently under investigation by at least three federal agencies including the FBI...