Recovery-Oriented Services Benefit Providers As Well

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In a study of 114 case managers in Ohio, researchers from Bowling Green State University found that those working at a recovery-oriented center reported...

10 Life Lessons I Learned as a Psychiatric Nurse and Patient

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In this piece for Wake Up World, Cortland Pfeffer shares 10 life lessons he learned from his experience as a psychiatric patient, a recovering...

More to Happiness Than Feeling Good, Study Finds

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Cross-cultural data suggest that happiness involves feeling the emotions one deems as right, in accordance with personal and cultural values.

Building a Bridge to Hope

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Hope heals. Thousand of years of experience and, more recently, numerous hope studies, prove this to be true. Yet hope is still a 4-letter word in many mental health settings. How can we build a bridge to hope from hope-stealing physical and emotional pain, hopeless diagnoses and prognoses, and hope-numbing side effects?

Re-telling Our Stories: Liberation or Re-oppression?

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-When we "re-narrate" our own stories and identities, it may be an opportunity for either liberation or re-oppression.

Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia? What About Black People?

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In many respects it is difficult to fault the report Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia, recently published by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP)[i]; indeed, as recent posts on Mad in America have observed, there is much to admire in it. Whilst not overtly attacking biomedical interpretations of psychosis, it rightly draws attention to the limitations and problems of this model, and points instead to the importance of contexts of adversity, oppression and abuse in understanding psychosis. But the report makes only scant, fleeting references to the role of cultural differences and the complex relationships that are apparent between such differences and individual experiences of psychosis.

Belongingness Can Protect Against Impact of Trauma, Study Suggests

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

Locus of Control Less Associated with Anxiety in Collective Societies

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Locus of Control (LOC), a measure of the degree to which one perceives control of one's life to be internally- vs. externally-determined, was reviewed...

Researchers Call for Structural Competency in Psychiatry

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Structural competency in psychiatry emphasizes the social factors shaping patient presentations and encourages physician advocacy.

Mental Well-Being and Engagement in the Arts

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Public health researchers at the University of Western Australia examined the relationship between recreational arts engagement and mental well-being in the general population. The results, which have implications for policy makers as well as health practitioners, indicate that those who engage with the arts for two or more hours per week have significantly better mental well-being.

From Self Care to Collective Caring

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As a trauma survivor growing up in various adolescent mental health systems, I never learned any useful self-care tools or practices. I was taught that my current coping skills (self-injury, suicidal behavior, illicit drug use) were unacceptable, but not given any ideas as to what to replace them with. No one seemed to want to know much about the early childhood traumas that were driving these behaviors. Instead, I collected an assortment of diagnoses. I was told that I would be forever dependent on mediated relationships with professionals, and an ever-changing combination of pills. The message was that my troubles were chemical in nature and largely beyond my control.

Apology Sought for Confinement of People with Disabilities

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From the National Post: An independent report found that disabled people were being unjustly confined in a Nova Scotia psychiatric hospital. Law professor Archie Kaiser...

NARPA Reflections: The Necessity of Disability

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I think it is time to reclaim the word disability. Disability needs to be appreciated. To the extent we value community over isolation, anything anyone cannot do, or needs help with, builds community. There are infinite examples in every career and walk of life of how necessary “disability” (since we're calling it that) is for connection, service and meaning in life. Without it we'd have absolutely no need for each other. And the fastest way to despair is to feel unnecessary.

Launching Our Peer Respite Initiative

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This week we launched PeerRespite.net, a website dedicated to information and resources regarding peer respites in the U.S. As part of the initiative, recruitment is open for the 2015 Peer Respites Essential Features Survey.

“The Post-Irene Mental Health System of Care”

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-Hurricane Irene seems to have left some community-based approaches to psychiatric care in its wake.

Stable Housing Leads to Stable Lives

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The Mental Health Commission of Canada will release an interim report this summer of its nationwide "Housing First" study - 1000 people with mental...

Pets Play Central Role in Management of Mental Health Problems

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Individuals with long-term mental health conditions identify pets as valuable supports in their daily lives.

Many Foster Kids Are Still Being Prescribed Antipsychotic Drugs

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Many experts expressed concern when the rate of antipsychotic prescriptions to children in foster care showed a rapid increase, peaking in 2008, and new recommendations and policies have tried to curb the use of these drugs. While the rate has plateaued, a new study points out that the “new normal” prescription levels are still dangerously high. The data reveals that almost one in ten children in foster care are currently being prescribed antipsychotic drugs with dangerous side-effects, many for diagnoses like ‘ADHD’ and disruptive behavior.

“Mental Health and Social Insanity”

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"Robin Williams’s body was scarcely cold when liberal commentators began using the tragedy of his death as publicity for suicide hotlines and professional mental...

“Psychiatry’s Mind-Brain Problem”

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A New York Times Op-Ed by Cornell psychiatry professor George Makari connects the surprise over the results of the widely-covered RAISE study to American psychiatry’s shift toward pharmacology and the oversimplification of disorders as brain diseases.
recovery is possible

Recovery: Creating Your Personal Journey Through Self-Honesty, Resilience and Hope

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Recovery is adapting to how your brain works. You accept how it works, observing what makes it worse or better, and learn to navigate the triggers and symptoms you experience. As you do things differently, these 'corrective experiences' begin to undo the negative beliefs you have internalized.

Will Psychiatry’s Harmful Treatment of Our Children Bring About Its Eventual Demise?

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The safety of our children is a sacred obligation we strive to preserve. Anything or anyone that harms them becomes the object of our...

Lancet: Let’s Stop Fighting, Assume the Best about Psychiatrists’ Intentions

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If there is one downside to the field of mental health, declares an editorial in The Lancet Psychiatry, "it is the failure of pleasant,...

eCPR (Emotional CPR): A Tool & a Process of Peacemaking

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A few months ago I had the great honor of speaking with Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations, after a talk he had given locally here in Washington, DC. We spoke about eCPR and there was a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. He looked deep into my eyes and said, “We are in the same line of work. We are peacemakers.” It was a profound statement that inspired me to think more about eCPR as a tool of peacemaking.

Providing Social Welfare Can Save Billions of Dollars, Researchers Say

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Researchers suggest that treatment is more effective and healthcare costs are reduced when contextual care is implemented that addresses social and economic needs.