Microfinance Loans for People With Mental Health Diagnoses

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The Toronto Globe & Mail reports on a project to provide "microfinance" loans of $3,000 up to $25,000 to people diagnosed with mental illness...

“Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy”

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The Atlantic interviews Raj Raghunathan about his new book, If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy? “If you were to go back to the...
love hope christmas cards

Cast Aside No One

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When I first presented my cards to the woman at Newport Hospital's front desk, I was greeted with a smile, but when I told her to whom I wanted them sent, her smile quickly faded. She sighed and asked me to consider handing out my cards to "the other patients" instead, as if the patients in the psychiatric unit didn't matter at all.

Doing It Alone Together: Core Issues In Dutch Self-Managed Residential Programs

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For the last six years we, a group of researchers, social work students, peer experts, and social professionals associated with the Amsterdam University for Applied Sciences, have been studying and facilitating the development of self-managed programs in homelessness and mental health care in the Netherlands. With our research we want to contribute to the development of new and existing programs through critical reflection. With this blog, I hope to share some of our findings, to give back to the respites from which we learned so much.

The Link Between Poor Mental Health and Low Income

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From Metro: Poverty can have a dramatic effect on people's mental and physical health, as it can impact diet, healthcare access, sleep, and socialization. "There are plenty...

New Study Examines User Experience of Discontinuing Psychiatric Medications

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

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

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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:

Review Reinforces Social Connection as Protective Health Factor

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Is a lack of social connection in the US harmful to health? In a review of social connection and health literature, researcher calls for a societal shift in values towards interdependence.

The ACE Survey is Unusable Data

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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.

Study Finds No Correlation between Personality at 14 and 77

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This result calls into question popular notions about the correlations between personality and later-life achievement and health outcomes.

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

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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.

Opening the Dialogue: Can Families and Survivors Heal Together?

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If we believe that emotional problems are primarily disorders of the brain, then perhaps taking a “fill-in-the-blank” medical history is sufficient. However, if we believe that emotional crises and dis-ease are problems that exist between people, in our sticky or not-so-sticky web of relationships, then whether families, survivors and those in crisis can heal together is a much more relevant, if still complicated, question. Perhaps the most honest answer to this question is: “It depends..."

An Alternative Perspective on Psychotherapy: It is Not a ‘Cure’

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Kev Harding argues against conceptualizations of therapy as a ‘cure’ to an ‘illness’ and instead offers alternative approaches.

Evidence for Chile’s School-Based Mental Health Program

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Chile’s Skills for Life (SFL) program, the largest school-based psychosocial intervention program in the world, has demonstrated improved behavioral and academic outcomes for elementary students identified as “at risk.” A team of Chilean and U.S. researchers assessed the SFL program and will publish their results in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP).

Federal Regulators Urge Cuts in Antipsychotics for Seniors

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An Office of the Inspector General report says that nearly nine out of 10 prescriptions for antipsychotics given to Medicare beneficiaries are for unapproved uses....

“Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness”

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Katie Hafner, writing in the ‘Times, describes how loneliness has become a major public health issue. “The profound effects of loneliness on health and...

Social Inclusion and Stipend Enhance Recovery, Study Suggests

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A new study explores the benefits of a befriending program in the recovery of those with “enduring mental illness.”

SAMHSA, Alternatives, and the Story of an Opportunity Lost

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In the last chapter of my book Anatomy of an Epidemic, I noted that if our society is going to stem the epidemic of...

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

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

United Nations Report Calls for Revolution in Mental Health Care

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In a new report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dr. Dainius Pūras, calls for a move away from the biomedical model and “excessive use of psychotropic medicines.”

Self-Compassion Course Supports College Students to Support Themselves

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New research on a brief self-compassion focused course aimed at the college students.

Challenging Resilience as a Buzzword: Toward a Contextualized Resilience Model

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Researcher Dr. Silke Schwarz highlights how Western psychology’s construction of individual resilience deflects emphasized individual pathology and deflects efforts at structural change.

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...

Different Forms of Childhood Adversity Related to Specific Psychosis Symptoms

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In this month’s issue of Psychological Medicine, researchers from King’s College London found evidence for associations between different types of childhood adversity and specific symptoms associated with psychosis. As current categorical approaches to psychosis and schizophrenia diagnoses come under increasing scrutiny, this study adds support to sociological and psychological theories and treatments.

Robert Whitaker Missed the Mark on Drugs and Disability: A Call for a Focus...

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Robert Whitaker extended one of his core arguments from Anatomy of an Epidemic in a blog post last week. His argument revolves around the claim that psychiatric drugs are the principal cause of increasing psychiatric disability, as measured by U.S. social security disability claims. But does this really explain the rise in recipients of these SSI & SSDI benefits?