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.
For five years, I and others worked to create a residential healing community in Brookline, Vermont, where people could recover from debilitating and traumatic life experiences, which often lead to addiction and mental health challenges, without the use of psychotropic medications. We welcomed our first six seekers to a yearlong, therapeutic and farm-based, day program last September, and we now can report on what we have learned during this time.
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.
Teen suicide risk is influenced by relationships with adults and teachers, perceived popularity, close friendships, and school connectedness.
Do the effects of trauma matter more, or a person's ACE score? I think this is unusable data that harms people when you gather it. Here's why.
We have just celebrated the anniversary of the rapidly expanding global Hearing Voices Movement which was founded more than twenty-five years ago following the ground-breaking research of Professor Marius Romme and Dr Sandra Escher. Romme and Escher have advocated for a radical shift in the way we understand the phenomenon of Hearing Voices; in contrast to traditional, biomedical psychiatry which views voices as an aberrant by-product of genetic, brain and cognitive faults, their research has firmly established that voices make sense when taking into account the traumatic circumstances that frequently provoke them.
Kingsley Hall was the first of Laing’s household communities that served as a place where you could live through madness until you could get it together and live independently. It was conceived as an “asylum” from forms of treatment — psychiatric or otherwise — that many were convinced were not helpful, and even contributed to their difficulties. By the time I arrived in London in 1973 to study with Laing there were four or five such places. Getting in wasn’t easy.
A randomized control trial finds that receiving peer support from individuals with similar lived experiences reduces one’s risk of readmission to an acute crisis unit.
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:
Are White Americans’ poor mental health outcomes caused by Whiteness?
We had built relationships with provider and peer organizations and NAMI. We had learned how to interface with the system and share the peer perspective. Ultimately, our relationships saved us. We had worked to start our own organization with the same providers who now were in position to step forward in our defense.
A mental health social entrepreneurship is a business that uses market principles to maximize benefit instead of maximizing profit. For instance, my business, Wellness...
Researchers explore neoliberal influences on interactions in psychotherapy and question whether the radical potential of psychotherapy can counter prevailing social systems.
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?
Soteria-Alaska, a program modeled after the highly effective Soteria developed in the 1970s by the late Loren Mosher, M.D., opened its doors in 2009. It is also impossible to convey the actual simplicity which in fact is the crowning jewel of the Soteria approach. A conservative review of the effectiveness of the Soteria approach revealed that it is at least as effective as traditional hospital-based treatment — without the use of antipsychotic medication as the primary treatment. Considering that people treated in the conventional way die on average 25 years younger than the general population, this is a substantial finding.
With the ties between traumatic childhood experiences and mental health issues, should we continue to focus on biological approaches?
A new study examines the role parent borderline pathology plays in the perpetuation of childhood maltreatment.
A special issue explores the connection between poverty, mental health, and psychotherapy.
Researchers find that support and self-care were helpful for users during discontinuation, but that mental health professionals were not very helpful.
Major study finds that economic deprivation and a lack of social capital are driving increasing rates of suicide in the U.S.
Contemporary empirical research explores new ways to conceptualize and heal racial trauma through anticolonial and sociohistorical lenses.
New research questions whether the diagnosis of ADHD even meets the criteria for a disorder, as set out in the manuals used by the medical and psychiatric fields.
Black patients are almost twice as likely as their white counterparts to be diagnosed with schizophrenia while whites are significantly more likely to receive a diagnosis of anxiety or depression, according to a recent study published in the journal Psychiatric Services. The researchers also found that the likelihood of receiving psychotherapy for any diagnosis (34%), regardless of race or ethnicity, was much lower than the likelihood of receiving a psychotropic medication (73%).
"There is a need of a shift in investments in mental health, from focusing on 'chemical imbalances' to focusing on 'power imbalances' and inequalities"
Practitioners and public leaders identify methods and barriers for integrating those diagnosed with mental health issues into community life.