Crash Course in Urban Shamanism

23
Shamans are the magician spirit healers in tribal, non-technological societies around the world. Anthropologists use the word “shamanism,” from the Tungus people of Siberia, to mean the commonalities between different traditions. Shamans find their calling through a life-threatening initiatory illness or crisis, go into visioning and trance to connect to other realities, shapeshift out of their regular identity to identify with animals, spirits, and even illnesses, and return to the ordinary world to share skills of healing and creativity. Living at the edge of society and defying conventional norms, conduct, and even gender, shamans are respected as a powerful community link to the divine.

Traditional South African Healers Use Connection in Suicide Prevention

3
Study finds that traditional healers in South Africa, whose services are widely used by the country’s population, perform important suicide prevention work.

Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing

7
Hearing Voices Network self-help groups are an important resource for coping with voice hearing, study finds.
Berlin Manifesto launch

Berlin Manifesto for Humane Psychiatry Released

43
Changing the mental health and psychosocial support system in Germany requires public debate about the ways our society should help and support people in mental crisis and with chronic mental health problems. We believe the driving force behind all help and support should be humanitarianism and respect for inalienable human rights.
suicide silhouette

Deadly Serious: Talking Openly About Suicide

16
The suicide crisis is real. The pain is real. The deaths are real. None of us can afford to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that this isn't happening. But the helplessness and confusion about what to do about it are also real. And that's why peer relationships and peer-developed modalities can be so helpful. Many of us have been there and are still alive to talk about it. We know what ways of relating gave us hope and helped us to continue on.

Study Confirms Higher Suicide Risk for Sexual Minority Adolescents

0
Researchers report that sexual minority adolescents have considered, planned, and attempted suicide substantially more than their heterosexual peers.

Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness & Diagnostic Distractions?

92
Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?

The Effects of Practicing Psychotherapy on Therapists’ Personal Lives

16
A new study, published in Psychotherapy Research, explores how having a career in psychotherapy affects therapists’ personal lives.

What Does Social Justice Really Mean for Psychologists?

8
Without clarity and consensus around what social justice means, psychologists risk perpetuating injustices that undermine their stated mission.

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

8
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.

The History and Effectiveness of Peer Support from 18th-Century France to Today

6
Yale's Program for Recovery and Community Health will publish in World Psychiatry's June issue a review the history of peer support, from its roots...

We Are Meant to Heal in a Community

14
In my last blog, I talked about how I was attempting to cope with a “mini-relapse” without using psychiatric drugs. One Sunday morning in the midst of this episode I awoke in a particularly dismal state. I didn’t have a structure planned for the day. And without something to look forward to, both my anxiety and depression increased.

Responding to Madness With Loving Receptivity: a Practical Guide

39
In my last three blogs I posed the question- "If madness isn't what psychiatry says it is, then what is it?" Now I'm asking-...

Traditional Healing and Psychosis vs. the Promises of Modern Science

29
As noted in Anatomy of an Epidemic, the prognosis for someone experiencing psychosis is far better in developing countries than in industrialized countries. Robert Whitaker and others posit that this is due to the treatment models used in the developing world, as well as to debility and chronicity caused by psychiatric drugs themselves. I think it's also important to explore traditional tribal and village based models of helping people experiencing psychosis and examine why they may be effective. Do these traditional societies know something we don't?

Recovery: Compromise or Liberation?

43
The 90s were labeled - rather optimistically - as the ‘decade of recovery.’ More recently, recovery has been placed slap bang central in mental health policy. Is supporting recovery pretty much good common sense? Or is the term being misused to pressure those suffering to behave in certain ways?

A Biopsychosocial Model Beyond the Mind-Body Split

7
Can a renewed biopsychosocial approach, grounded in an updated philosophy, foster person-centered medicine, and psychiatry?

What is Loneliness And How Can it be Addressed?

17
As an increasing amount of research seeks to address the epidemic of loneliness, conceptual clarity is needed.

It’s About the Trauma: How to Truly Address the Roots of Violence and Suffering...

81
Representative Tim Murphy is a psychologist who proposes unsatisfactory solutions to our most pressing social problems. In a "shockingly regressive" piece of legislation known as the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2013” (H.R. 3717), he proposes to expand the highly controversial practice of Involuntary Outpatient Committment (IOC) for persons with serious mental illnesses. But that approach is not the answer, as documented in a fact sheet authored by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery:

Those at High Risk for Psychosis More Likely From Deprived Neighborhoods

11
A recent study published in Schizophrenia Research examines the incidence individuals deemed “Ultra High-Risk” (UHR) for psychosis and their neighborhood of residence

Researchers Question the Utility of an ADHD Diagnosis

16
A new article examines the usefulness of the ADHD diagnosis and suggests alternatives

Psychologist Debunks Common Misconceptions of Maslow’s Hierarchy

9
Utilizing Maslow’s published books and essays, psychologist William Compton delineates common myths and attempts to respond to them.

Hearing Voices Network Launches Family & Friends Support Group

4
One of the HVN's fundamental principles is that "the person having these experiences is in the best position to decide or discover what they mean" and thus each person must "not try to speak for" another. The challenge for a family group will likely be for members to move past speaking about our loved ones to find or imagine the space where we ourselves are liberated.

Integrating Indigenous Healing Practices and Psychotherapy for Global Mental Health

19
As the Global Mental Health Movement attempts to address cross-cultural mental health disparities, a new article encourages integrating traditional healing practices with psychotherapy.

Belongingness Can Protect Against Impact of Trauma, Study Suggests

16
A new study explores feelings of belongingness as a protective factor for childhood trauma and adult mental health outcomes.

Minority Discrimination Linked to Psychosis

14
A study published in this month’s issue of the Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology found that perceived discrimination related to minority status may precede...