The FDA Is Hiding Reports Linking Psych Drugs to Homicides

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In my wildest dreams, I could never have imagined being drawn into a story of intrigue involving my own government’s efforts to hide, from the public, reports of psychiatric drugs associated with cases of murder, including homicides committed by youth on the drugs. But that is precisely the intrigue I now find myself enmeshed in.
children of parents with mental health labels

Invisible Trauma: The Children Left Behind When Parents Are Hospitalized

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It would take decades before I recognized the trauma caused by repeatedly being separated from my mom when she was hospitalized. I grieved almost exactly the way children did who had lost a parent to death. Yet it was grief without closure because my mom was not dead, just... gone.

Humanizing Mental Healthcare by Reducing Coercive Practices

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A review of the literature demonstrates that coercive practices lack empirical support and violate human rights.

United Nations Rep Brings Attention to Human Rights Violations in Psychiatry

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

Psychotropic Medications Serve as Powerful Tools for U.S. Military, Imperialism

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Ethnographic research sheds light on extensive psychopharmaceutical use by soldiers in post 9/11 U.S. wars.

FDA Defends Decision to Approve Digital Aripiprazole

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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.

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.

School Discipline is Racially Biased and Increases Misbehavior

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School discipline that punishes minor misbehavior may increase adolescents’ misconduct and lead to racial inequalities in school discipline.

Researchers Present Structural Competency Training Model for Psychiatrists

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Researchers argue that a structural competency and social determinants of health approach must be made central to psychiatry training.

Study Identifies Psychiatric Patients at Greatest Risk of Coercion

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

Research Suggests that Forensic Psychological Examinations are Unreliable and Biased

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Concerns have been raised about inconsistent and unreliable results, which may lead to injustices in sentencing or even wrongful convictions.

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.

Viewing Addiction as a Brain Disease Promotes Social Injustice

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From Nature: There is virtually no scientific evidence indicating that addiction is a disease of the brain. Yet, the disease model of addiction is used...

Psychology Must Become a Sanctuary Discipline to Heal Racial Trauma

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Researchers explore pathways of healing racial trauma in Latinx immigrant communities.

Study Privileges the Voices of Persons Hospitalized Against Their Will

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

Nuanced History of Asylums Shows Context Matters

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A bottom-up approach to understanding the history of asylums allows us to learn from past successes and failures in the mental health system.

Police Violence Victims at Increased Risk of Psychotic Symptoms

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Researchers examine links between police victimization and psychotic symptoms in a topical new study.

Bring Back the Asylum?

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This week a commentary, written by members of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and titled “Improving Long-term Psychiatric Care: Bring Back the Asylum” was published in JAMA Online. The authors recommend a return to asylum care, albeit not as a replacement for but as an addition to improved community services and only for those who have “severe and treatment-resistant psychotic disorders, who are too unstable or unsafe for community based treatment.” The authors seem to accept the notion of transinstitutionalization (TI) which suggests that people who in another generation would have lived in state hospitals are now incarcerated in jails and prisons. While I do not agree, I do find there is a need for a safe place for people to stay while they work through their crisis.

Multisystemic Therapy No More Effective than Standard Care for Antisocial Behavior

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Study counters previous evidence supporting multisystemic therapy, finding adolescents are just as likely to have out-of-home placements when receiving multisystemic therapy versus management as usual.

Police Killings Vicariously Impact Mental Health of Black Americans

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New research provides evidence that police killings of unarmed Black Americans impact the mental health of Black Americans.

Community-Driven Healthcare for the Homeless Reduces Hospital Costs

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Direct access to care in safe locations is key in reducing healthcare costs and increasing quality of life for homeless populations.

The Need to Address Suicide in Prisons

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Rates of suicide in prison are significantly higher than in the general population.

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.

Study Finds Mistreatment and Psychological Distress Among LGBT Prisoners in the US

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The rate of incarceration for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals is roughly three times that of the general population and they experience significantly higher rates of victimization and mistreatment in prison.

Training Program Decreases Police Force and Arrests for Mental Health Crisis Calls

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Colorado police trained in crisis intervention infrequently use force or arrest individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and are likely to transfer individuals to a treatment facility.