Sunday, October 2, 2022

$8 Million Awarded to Family Of Man Who Died in Risperdal Trial

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A California jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical and a psychiatrist were responsible for the death of 25-year-old Leo Liu. During a clinical trial for Risperdal, Liu died of a heart injury that was “further complicated” by the drug and ignored by the study doctors. Janssen was found 70% responsible for Liu’s death and ordered to pay $5.6 million to the family.

State Permanently Closes Psychiatric Hospital

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From The Boston Globe: The state of Massachusetts has permanently closed the Westwood Lodge psychiatric hospital due to issues of patient safety, quality of care,...

Criticism of Coercion and Forced Treatment in Psychiatry

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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.

APA: Do Not Take a “See No Evil” Approach to Torture

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From Psychology Today: The American Psychological Association has previously taken a number of steps to take responsibility for its involvement in torture and make amends to...

Experts Concerned That Depression Screening Will Lead to Overdiagnosis

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

Michael Brown and the ‘Peer’ Movement

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I’ve been arguing against calling this movement that I’m a part of a ‘peer’ movement for a long time. What has happened with Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has helped me to crystallize that point. If we do not see what happens to some of us in the psychiatric system as connected to what happens to others because they are black or because they are transgender or because they love someone else of the same expressed gender (or because they live in poverty, etc. etc.), then I’m not sure any of us really, fully understands what it is we are trying to accomplish at all.

NSUN is Advocating for a Rights-Based Mental Health Act

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The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) has expressed concerns about the UK government's plans to reform the Mental Health Act, as the government's current approach...

Mental Health Seclusion Rates Increase

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From Stuff: More than 800 New Zealand mental health patients were held in seclusion at some point last year, representing a six percent increase in...

Lancet Study Questions Safety of Locked Psychiatric Wards

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A new study published in Lancet Psychiatry challenges the common practice of locking psychiatric wards to prevent patients from attempting suicide or leaving against...

Psych Ward Reviews: A Yelp for Psychiatric Facilities

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From Undark Magazine: A new app, Psych Ward Reviews, gathers anonymous reviews of patients' experiences with inpatient treatment at public and private psychiatric and general...

Madness in Civilisation: A Cultural History of Insanity

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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.
hospital is sick

When the Hospital is Sick

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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.

United Nations Rep Brings Attention to Human Rights Violations in Psychiatry

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

“Liberty versus Need — Our Struggle to Care for People with Serious Mental Illness”

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In an editorial for NEJM, Lisa Rosenbaum, MD, discusses the decision to use involuntary psychiatric commitment. Article →

Doctors Tortured Patients at Ontario Mental-Health Centre

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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...

“Canadian Patients Fight Forced Electroshock”

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"A retired nurse, a Harvard-educated musician and others sued British Columbia this week, claiming it forcibly subjects mental health patients to electroconvulsive therapy and...

Who Is Isaiah Rider???

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Our children are not safe. Not because of terrorists, but because it is becoming dangerous to advocate for their medical care without fear of losing them. A new charge, "Medical Child Abuse,” is now used by hospitals to remove inconvenient parents from the role of advocating for their children.

Coercion in Care

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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.

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

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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.

When Is Psychiatric Treatment Like Child Abuse?

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In what ways can psychiatric treatments, and the relationships between psychiatrists and patients, be appropriately characterized as "abusive"? On his blog, MIA Foreign Correspondent...

The Curious Case of over 50 Consecutive ECTs in Melbourne

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Over the past few weeks I have been witness to, and increasingly involved in trying to stop one of the most extreme examples of psychiatric brutality I have encountered in my 40 years in this field. And I have encountered quite a few. I suggest you sit down before watching and reading. This is not your usual, run-of-the-mill psychiatric abuse story.

New UN Report: Steps Forward, But No End to Impunity

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Dainius Pƫras, UN Special Rapporteur on Health, has issued a groundbreaking new report critiquing biopsychiatry and its reliance on coercion, yet he pulls his punches, most unforgivably by treating the obligation to end coercive practices as a matter for gradual rather than immediate implementation.

An Open Letter to Colin Powell

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Dear Colin Powell: You shared that your wife was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having a ‘chemical imbalance.’ You said she was, as a result, put on psychotropics and found success after doing so. I’m not going to attempt to take that away from her, but whereas so many issues encompass shades of gray, the chemical imbalance theory does not. The chemical imbalance theory is not just unproven; It is debunked. But you need not take my word for it.

Reflecting Back on a Campaign to Stop Forced Outpatient ECT

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One of the most amazing activist campaigns I have been involved in during my 40 years of protest for human rights in the mental health system, was the effort to stop the involuntary electroshock of Ray Sandford of Minnesota. Ray reached MindFreedom in the Fall of 2008, and an international human rights campaign began for him.

The Mental Health Tribunal

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I am trying to demonstrate, in a series of installments, how in the 21st century we still often fail to establish effective safeguards for the rights of people who end up in our psychiatric systems. This particular example is taking place in 2016, in Melbourne, and involves over 50 consecutive electro shock ‘treatments’ and multiple, sometimes very lengthy, periods of being tied to a bed. In this third installment, I offer my interactions with another body who is supposed to protect our rights when under the ‘care’ of psychiatrists, the Mental Health Tribunal.

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