Saturday, June 6, 2020

MIA Reports

In-depth reporting on psychiatry and its impact on society.

The Carter Center’s Guide for Mental Health Journalism: Don’t Question, Follow the Script

The Carter Center’s Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health is a manual for docile journalism. There is no encouragement to be skeptical of the powerful in psychiatry. Rather, the guide provides reporters with a template to follow that reifies conventional wisdom, offering a message similar to what the American Psychiatric Association has sounded for years.

Learning a Different Way: An Interview with Maori Psychiatrist Diana Kopua

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Diana Kopua about the Mahi a Atua approach, the global mental health movement, and the importance of language and narratives in how we understand our world and ease our suffering.

Where Critical Psychiatry Meets Community Resilience

The International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry had the clout to draw a stellar line-up of presenters to its recent conference, including internationally prominent critics like David Healy, Peter Gøtzsche, Robert Whitaker and Allen Frances. There were lots of learnings and even some tense discussions, but one of the most intriguing aspects of the entire conference was the way in which scientific and social issues became deeply intertwined, especially when presenters reached for better pathways forward.
antidepressants

Do Antidepressants Work? A People’s Review of the Evidence

After a meta-analysis of RCTs of antidepressants was published in Lancet, psychiatry stated that it proved that "antidepressants" work. However, effectiveness studies of real-world patients reveal the opposite: the medications increase the likelihood that patients will become chronically depressed, and disabled by the disorder.

PsychRights Seeking Plaintiffs to Sue Physicians for Off-label Prescribing to Children

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights is eager to provide advice or assistance to US citizens who may wish to sue their physicians for prescribing off-label psychiatric drugs to children, said lawyer James Gottstein in an interview with Mad In America.

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.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

An Open Letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie: A Plan for Deprescribing Veteran Suicides

Through my research and experiences, I've found that what the Veterans Administration has been doing to fight the veteran suicide epidemic isn't working and appears to be unintentionally exacerbating it. These problems are fixable. But I need your help.

Prescribing an Epidemic: A Veteran’s Story

Had I known what I know now, I never would have taken any of these drugs, and I absolutely would not have taken a role in which my outreach efforts to get veterans into mental health treatment might place thousands of lives at risk.

Tensions in Mental Health Care in China: An Interview with Zhiying Ma

Anthropologist Zhiying Ma explores mental health care in China, including tensions between Western psychiatry and socially-oriented local frameworks.
RESPONSE Act

Here We Go Again: RESPONSE Act Pushes Forced Treatment of the “Mentally Ill” As...

In the name of preventing mass shootings, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced a bill that calls for "enhanced mental health services," including involuntary treatment and long-acting antipsychotic injections. It also calls for increased collaboration between mental health and law enforcement authorities, and promotes online monitoring of American students.
Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris’s ‘Mental Health’ Plan: Why It Still Matters

Harris’s plan was met with vociferous condemnation from psychiatric survivors, civil libertarians, and disability justice advocates, who vowed to fight it. While Harris has dropped out of the presidential race, the ideas behind her policy proposal have existed for decades, and are likely to endure.
veterans do shakespeare

Veterans Find A Path to Healing Through Shakespeare

Veterans struggling with a diagnosis of PTSD, or depression and other difficulties find that learning to perform Shakespearean monologues, and developing their own dramatic monologues, can help them "unwire" from the traumas of war.

Climate Change, Mental Health and Collective Action: An Interview with Jennifer Freeman

In an interview with MIA's Akansha Vaswani, narrative therapist Jennifer Freeman calls for a shift away from individualistic approaches to 'eco-anxiety' and toward responses that connect us all to a counter-tsunami of action for the planet.

Bringing Human Rights to Mental Health Care: An Interview with UN Envoy Dainius Pūras

MIA's Ana Florence interviews United Nations Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras about his own journey as a psychiatrist and the future of rights-based approaches to mental health.
Rows and rows of metal markers commemmorating unmarked patient graves.

Narrating Asylum History Through an Anti-Racist Lens: An Interview with Author Mab Segrest

Mab segrest is Professor Emeritus of Gender and Women's Studies at Connecticut College and the author of Administrations of Lunacy: Racism and the Haunting...

Moving Mental Health Work Away From Diagnosis: Sarah Kamens and Peter Kinderman on New...

MIA's Justin Karter interviews two leaders of the Task Force on Diagnostic Alternatives, a group of mental health professionals who have issued an open letter demanding a new look at psychiatric diagnosis.

Psychology is Not What You Think: An Interview with Critical Psychologist Ian Parker

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Ian Parker about critical psychology, discourse and political action, and whether psychology has anything left to offer.

Addressing the Roots of Racial Trauma: An Interview with Psychologist Lillian Comas-Díaz

MIA’s Hannah Emerson interviews Comas-Díaz on the need for culturally competent care in a medicalized and individualistic society.
Hospital entrance with no visitors sign.

Life Inside America’s Psychiatric Facilities During the Pandemic: Eyewitness Accounts

Insiders paint a picture of chaos and fear in public and private psychiatric hospitals across the country. "Now that she has been discharged, Sevigny is getting the truth out, just as the nurse asked her to do. She also plans to continue to organizing in her state, with and on behalf of those who continue to be subjected to dangerous conditions in the name of care."

First-Person Accounts of Madness and Global Mental Health: An Interview with Dr. Gail Hornstein

Dr. Gail Hornstein, author of Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist’s Search for the Meanings of Madness, discusses the importance of personal narratives and service-user activism in the context of the global mental health movement.
Laysha Ostrow

Live and Learn: An Interview with Laysha Ostrow

MIA’s Peter Simons interviews Laysha Ostrow about her mental health research and consulting company, the inclusion of peer specialists in mental health care, and her personal experience with the mental health system.
cartoon drawing of many eyes on red background

Mental Health Apps: AI Surveillance Enters Our World

While the developers are promoting the apps as a public health initiative, they are effectively an AI that would be snooping on you at all times—ostensibly coming to know you better than you know yourself. And ultimately doing so for commercial purposes that will expand the psychiatric enterprise.

Do Antipsychotics Protect Against Early Death? A Review of the Evidence

Psychiatry is now claiming that research has shown that antipsychotics reduce mortality among the seriously mentally ill. A critical review of the literature reveals that this claim is best described as the the field's latest "delusion" about the merits of these drugs.

Psychology and Poverty: An Interview with APA President Rosie Phillips Davis

MIA’s Gavin Crowell-Williamson interviews psychologist Rosie Phillips Davis about her presidential initiative to address deep poverty.

When Psychology Speaks for You, Without You: Sunil Bhatia on Decolonizing Psychology

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Sunil Bhatia about decolonizing psychology, confronting the field’s racist past, colonial foundations, and neoliberal present.

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