Friday, July 23, 2021

Mad Economy: Let’s Change the World!

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Everyone in the world is either touched by their own mental health issues or have had a family member affected. What if they directed their buying power to an organization that would use the profits to fund exciting mental health & recovery projects both in the developing world and in their own countries; projects that would be ethical, non-coercive, personal recovery-based, and were aimed at creating recovery communities? What if they could buy products, crafts, services, art, music, books from people who had experienced mental health issues, enabling them to set up their own businesses or buy from social co-operatives that enabled distressed people to work and earn a living wage?

“Why We Need to Abandon the Disease-Model of Mental Health Care”

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In a guest blog for the Scientific American, Peter Kinderman takes on the “harmful myth” that our more distressing emotions can best be understood as symptoms of physical illnesses. “Our present approach to helping vulnerable people in acute emotional distress is severely hampered by old-fashioned, inhumane and fundamentally unscientific ideas about the nature and origins of mental health problems.”

“Open Dialogue: Finland’s Alternative Approach to Mental Illness”

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"Almost 30 years ago a group of clinicians in Finland decided to treat psychosis differently. Their approach, known as Open Dialogue, has impressive recovery...

Mindfulness Therapy May Be More Effective Without Antidepressants

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While an estimated 74-percent of patients diagnosed with major depression receive a prescription for an antidepressant, new research reveals that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)...

“What Are Delusions – And How Best Can We Treat Them?”

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For The Conversation, psychologist John Done, from the University of Hertfordshire, explains his approach to discussing delusions with his patients. Done recommends more qualitative...

Lack of Face-to-Face Contact Doubles Depression Risk for Older Adults

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New research suggests that more frequent in-person contact lessens the risk of depression in older adults. The study, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, found that in Americans over fifty the more face-to-face contact they had with children, family and friends, the less likely they were to develop depressive symptoms.

Family Oriented, Home-Based Treatment Best for Youth with Symptoms of Psychosis

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A pathbreaking new study out of Finland suggests that early intervention programs for youth experiencing psychotic-like symptoms may see the greatest improvement when treatment works within the home rather than in a hospital setting. The research, to be published in next month’s issue of Psychiatry Research, found greater improvement in functioning, depression, and hopelessness among teens in a new need-adapted Family and Community oriented Integrative Treatment Model (FCTM) program.

Psychologist Rethinks Psychotropic Medications, Calls for Renewed Dialogue

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Psychologist and Professor Amber Gum has published the story of her personal journey of rethinking psychotropic medication in a special issue on "The Politics of Mental Health" in The Journal of Medicine and the Person. Influenced by Mad in America and the work of Robert Whitaker, Gum became aware of evidence that “suggests that psychotropic medications are less effective and more harmful than most believe” and now hopes to encourage other mental health professionals and researchers to engage in open-minded, critical self-assessment of standard practices.

“Veterans Let Slip the Masks of War: Can This Art Therapy Ease PTSD?”

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“Service members suffering from PTSD often feel like they’re wearing a mask,” Samantha Allen writes in Invisible Wounds. Melissa Walker, an art therapist, asks them to make one. “The results are stirring. One mask, striped in red and black with hollow chrome-colored eyes, is wrapped in razor wire with a lock where its mouth should be.”

“Hearing Voices: The People Who Say Talking Back is the Only Answer”

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Journalist Emma Reynolds profiles Amanda Waegeli, Ron Coleman, Nathan Grixli and Lyn Mahboub about their experiences coming to the Hearing Voices Network (HVN). HVN was established 10 years ago in Australia and provided a support group that encouraged people to listen to their voices rather than trying to block them out. The group now operates in 25 countries.

Call For Abstracts: Philosophical Perspectives on Critical Psychiatry

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The Association for Advancement in Philosophy and Psychiatry is issuing a call for abstracts, with a particular interest in submissions from service users. The...

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.

International Psychologists To Host Public Webinar on Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

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The Society for International Psychology, Division 52 of the American Psychological Association, will host a webinar entitled “The Humanistic, Vigorous and Universal Approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.”

“How We Label People with ‘Mental Illness’ Influences Tolerance”

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Honor Whiteman reports on a study in The Journal of Counseling & Development, which found that people may be less tolerant of an individual...

“Life, Animated: A Remarkable Story of How a Family Reached Their Autistic Son Through...

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A new documentary “Life, Animated,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of a man with autism who learned to interact...

“Does Psychoanalysis Have a Role in Modern Mental Health Care?”

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Lynne Malcolm, for ABC’s All In the Mind program, interviews three psychoanalysts about how their field remains “relevant and useful in the contemporary therapeutic...

Saved by the Book: Can Reading be More Effective than Medication or Therapy?

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“Studies show that self-help books can resolve readers’ depressed moods, change ingrained thought patterns, and instill a renewed zest for life – as long as the advice within is scientifically sound,” Elizabeth Svoboda writes for Aeon. “The literature we choose to guide us should supply proven advice we can trust. But it should also, as Franz Kafka wrote, be ‘the axe for the frozen sea within us’, bludgeoning us in ways that awaken us to the extraordinary.”

“The Surprising Reason Psychotherapy Works”

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For Psychology Today, David Elkins writes that “psychotherapy's power to heal lies mainly in its human and relational aspects,” rather than any specific techniques...

First-ever Peer-supported Open Dialogue Conference

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-On March 11, 2015, the NHS Foundation and three other Trusts are hosting a free conference to "take stock" after one year of Peer-supported Open Dialogue.

“Can Madness Save the World?”

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Writing for CounterPunch, Paris Williams writes that when an individual is experiencing what has been termed “psychosis,” it is important to recognize that this may also be the manifestation of a breakdown in their larger social groups, the family, society, and even the species.

“Loneliness May Warp Our Genes, And Our Immune Systems”

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NPR reports how loneliness can change our bodies and affect our physical and mental health. "There are things we can do to get out of a depressed or lonely state, but they're not easy," they report. "Part of the reason is because these negative psychological states develop some kind of molecular momentum."

“How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body”

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In the New York Times Well Blog, Gretchen Reynolds covers a study published in Biological Psychiatry showing that mindfulness meditation, unlike a placebo, “can change...

Psychologists To Livestream Summit on Global Interdisciplinary Health Care

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The American Psychological Association is hosting a two and half day interdisciplinary summit on November 3rd through 5th entitled Global Approaches to Integrated Care: Translating Science And Best Practices Into Patient-Centered Health Care Delivery. The summit features presentations and discussions on social determinants of health, demographics, culture and health disparities, and patients’ perspectives, among others. It can be livestreamed here.

“Programs Expand Schizophrenic Patients’ Role in Their Own Care”

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Benedict Carey at the New York Times covers the push for new programs that emphasize supportive services, therapy, school and work assistance, and family education, rather than simply drug treatment.

“Helping Others Dampens the Effects of Everyday Stress”

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"The holiday season can be a very stressful time, so think about giving directions, asking someone if they need help, or holding that elevator...

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