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.

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.

Rethinking Public Safety – The Case for 100% Voluntary

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It is time to create an entirely voluntary psychiatric system. International conscience is clear. The singling out of people with psychosocial disabilities is not worthy of a free society. There are better, safer ways to address legitimate public needs.
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.

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.

Escape from British Columbia

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Rob Wipond reports on a constitutional challenge in British Columbia against a key component of the province’s Mental Health Act. “This case isn’t arguing...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Study Investigates Factors that Foster Posttraumatic Growth in Prison

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Emotional support, religion, and searching for meaning are positively correlated with posttraumatic growth among prisoners.

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.

Researchers Identify Demographic, Ideological Factors Associated With Refugee Prejudice

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A new analysis finds multiple antecedents of refugee prejudice, including religiousness, conservatism, and education.

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.

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.

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...

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

Clinton Releases Mental Health Plan

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Today, Hillary Clinton’s campaign released their plan for addressing mental health care in the United States. The plan calls for a full integration of...

Privacy for Whom?

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From The New Inquiry: Civil libertarians and liberal privacy advocates often frame government surveillance as a universal threat. But two new books show that surveillance...

United Nations Rep Brings Attention to Human Rights Violations in Psychiatry

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

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.

“Chantix: For People Who are Dying to Quit Smoking”

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A four-part series from Canada Free Press on Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug Chantix and its connection to violence and suicide. “The 26 case reports included three actual suicides. In every case, the acts or thoughts of violence towards others appeared to be both unprovoked and inexplicable. Most of the perpetrators had no previous history of violence, and most of them were middle-aged women—not a group known for its propensity towards violent behavior.”

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.