Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Debate Ensues Over Rights-Based Approach to Mental Health

Debate ensues as scholars and policymakers discuss how to bring a rights-based approach to mental health policy.

The Soteria Project.

During the 1970s, the head of schizophrenia studies at the NIMH, Loren Mosher, conducted an experiment that compared treatment in a homelike environment (called...

What Does Social Justice Really Mean for Psychologists?

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

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.

Psychologist Debunks Common Misconceptions of Maslow’s Hierarchy

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

The ACE Survey is Unusable Data

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.

The Paradox of White Americans’ Mental Health

Are White Americans’ poor mental health outcomes caused by Whiteness?

The Role of Intergenerational Trauma in the Perpetuation of Childhood Maltreatment

A new study examines the role parent borderline pathology plays in the perpetuation of childhood maltreatment.

Psychotherapy is Less Effective and Less Accessible for Those in Poverty

A special issue explores the connection between poverty, mental health, and psychotherapy.

Increasing Prevalence of Mood Disorders Among Teens and Young Adults

Depression, serious psychological distress, and suicide attempts have risen substantially since the early 2000s among young adults – what’s changed?

New Study Examines User Experience of Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications

Researchers find that support and self-care were helpful for users during discontinuation, but that mental health professionals were not very helpful.

What is Loneliness And How Can it be Addressed?

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

Upon Leaving Soteria-Alaska

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.

Psychologists Push For New Approaches to Psychosis: Part 1

Psychologists and people with experience of psychotic symptoms publish a report on new ways of understanding psychosis.

Therapy Recommended As First Line Treatment for Depression

Following an extensive systematic review of treatments for major depression, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued a recommendation to clinicians suggesting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a first-line treatment for major depressive disorder along with second-generation antidepressants. The results of the review revealed that CBT and antidepressants have similar levels of effectiveness but that antidepressants present serious side-effects and higher relapse rates.

Six Ways You Can Really Help Prevent Suicide

The first time I tried to kill myself, I was 14. I won’t go into the indignity of being involuntarily locked up, time after time, until I satisfactorily convinced the staff that I wouldn’t harm myself or attempt suicide again. (I was lying.) The system taught me to lie, to hide my suicidal feelings in order to escape yet another round of dehumanizing lock-ups and “treatments.”

Study Finds Hearing Voices Groups Improve Social and Emotional Wellbeing

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

We Are Meant to Heal in a Community

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.

Most People with Common ‘Mental Disorders’ Get Better Without Treatment, Study Finds

A new study suggests that most people diagnosed with depressive, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders recover without treatment within a year of diagnosis. “This...

Inner Fire: Healing and Recovery Without Meds

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.

Problem Behaviors are Medicalized in White Children and Criminalized in Black Children

Race often determines whether school punishment or therapy and drugs will be used to address children’s problem behaviors.

How to Promote Community Inclusion in Mental Health Practice

Practitioners and public leaders identify methods and barriers for integrating those diagnosed with mental health issues into community life.

Peer Support Reduces Chances of Psychiatric Readmission

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.

School-Based Program for Anxiety and Depression Shows Promise

Researchers evaluate the impact of a school-based prevention program on anxious and depressive symptoms.

Defeating Goliath: Mental Health is a Social Justice Issue, and People with Lived Experience...

While I have lived just a few miles away from the Capitol for the last fifteen years, I have been unsure about getting involved in legislative advocacy. I’ve been intimidated by the complexity of the legislative process, and more inclined to leave it up to others who I perceive as having more experience than me. And honestly, I haven’t felt very hopeful about effecting change. My cynicism had turned to “learned helplessness.” And then along came a mental health bill so destructive, so regressive, that I had to step out of my uncomfortable comfort zone.

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