The Paradox of White Americans’ Mental Health

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

Challenging the Ongoing ICD 10 Revision: How You Can Help

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Mental health policy does not sound exciting. It is - you’ll just have to take my word for it-, but even if you don’t, you might agree with me that it’s crucial. Mental health policy shapes mental health legislation, and mental health legislation shapes issues such as consent, access, equal opportunities and de-institutionalisation, to name but a few. Influencing policy is key to reframing the debate around mental health, and changing the reality on the ground for people with lived experience. With this in mind, here is an introduction to Mental Health Europe’s work on the revisions to ICD 10, and a call to action, for you to get directly involved in this international debate.

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.

Group Mindfulness Shows Promise Reducing Depression Associated with Hearing Voices

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A new study out of Kings College London found that twelve sessions of a group mindfulness-based therapy relieved distress associated with hearing voices while reducing depression over the long-term. The person-based cognitive therapy (PBCT) intervention had significant effects on depression, voice distress, voice controllability and overall recovery.

“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...

Fighting for the RLCs Continued: Where’s the Evidence?

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The Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (along with the five other RLCs across the state of Massachusetts) remains in jeopardy of a 50% slash to our budget that would go into effect July 1, 2015 should it come to pass. As noted in my previous post (Peer Supports Under Siege), the proposed reduction was introduced by Governor Charlie Baker in early March. However, there are many hoops to jump through and so we’ll remain in budget limbo for some time to come while the House and Senate draw up their own recommendations and then everyone comes together to make a final call.
provider privilege blocks funding alternatives

What’s Blocking Progress in Behavioral Healthcare?

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It's time to stop blocking progress and give peer-run organizations the same access to the funding streams used by Community Mental Health Centers. There is no reason to give more money to the people who have had all the money all along and can't solve the problems. Open up the competition, and then see what kind of amazing developments occur.

An “Epidemic of Anguish” on College Campuses?

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The Chronicle of Education has called the soaring rates of anxiety and depression among college student an “Epidemic of Anguish.” PBS interviews Jennifer Ruark, the editor of the Chronicle series, and Micky Sharma, the director of counseling at Ohio State University. Ruark reports that about “1 in 4 students reporting to campus counseling centers now are already on some kind of psychotropic medication.” Sharma adds that “just because a student is crying does not mean he or she needs psychotherapy. Sometimes that’s actually the type of emotional response that I would want to see.”

Therapists Are Using Dungeons & Dragons to Help Kids

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From Kotaku: Therapists across the country are running Dungeons & Dragons therapy groups to help socially isolated kids open up by participating in role-playing games. "There...

“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...

Do We Really Need Mental Health Professionals?

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Professionals across the Western world, from a range of disciplines, earn their livings by offering services to reduce the misery and suffering of the people who seek their help. Do these paid helpers represent a fundamental force for healing, facilitating the recovery journeys of people with mental health problems, or are they a substantial part of the problem by maintaining our modestly effective and often damaging system?

Human Jobs in the Future Will Require Emotional Labor

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From Aeon: As technological change reduces the demand for human jobs in scientific and cognitive fields such as software engineering, biotechnology, and advanced manufacturing, future...

Listening to, Rather Than Trying to Fix, My Suicidal Wife

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From The Guardian: One man shares how listening to his wife when she experienced suicidality, rather than rushing to action or attempting to dissuade her...

Schizophrenia’s Tangled Roots

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From Sapiens: Researchers are increasingly recognizing the role that social and environmental factors, including childhood abuse, stressful events, and poverty, play in the development of...

The Case Against Empathy

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In this interview for Vox, Yale psychologist Paul Bloom provides a critical perspective on empathy and explains why empathy may be harmful in the long run. "My beef...

“The Myth of the Ever-More-Fragile College Student”

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“The point, overall, is that given the dizzying array of possible factors at work here, it’s much too pat a story to say that kids are getting more 'fragile' as a result of some cultural bugaboo,” Jesse Singal writes in response to the flurry of recent think pieces decrying the weakened resolve of today's college students.

Victim Blaming: Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness & Diagnostic Distractions?

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Why, despite the fact that the vast majority of people diagnosed with a mental illness have suffered from some form of childhood trauma, is it still so difficult to talk about? Why, despite the enormous amount of research about the impact of trauma on the brain and subsequent effect on behaviour, does there seem to be such an extraordinary refusal for the implication of this research to change attitudes towards those who are mentally ill? Why, when our program and others like it have shown people can heal from the effects of trauma, are so many people left with the self-blame and the feeling they will never get better that my colleague writes about below?

Study Finds Recalling Experiences of Violence Impairs Cognitive Functioning

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Recalling past exposure to violence worsens short-term memory and cognitive control.

How to Promote Community Inclusion in Mental Health Practice

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

We Need to Change the way we Think About Alcoholism

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From Massive: The public generally conceptualizes alcoholism as a biological brain disease and rejects the notion that social and cultural factors may contribute to addiction....

Constructing Alternatives to the DSM: An Interview with Dr. Jonathan Raskin

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Dr. Raskin discusses psychotherapists’ dissatisfaction with current psychiatric diagnostic systems and explores alternatives.

Clinical Guidelines for Depression Need Urgent Revision

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A coalition of 35 health organizations expressed serious concerns that the NICE guideline for adult depression may cause clinical harm—they demand “full and proper” revisions.

To Live and (Almost) Die in L.A.: A Survivor’s Tale

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After 25 years of chronic emergency, 22 mental hospitalizations, a stint at a “community mental health center,” 13 years in a "board & care," repeated withdrawals from addictions to legal drugs, and a 12-year marriage, I plan to live every last breath out as a survivor, an advocate, and an artist.

Study Investigates Factors that Foster Posttraumatic Growth in Prison

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Emotional support, religion, and searching for meaning are positively correlated with posttraumatic growth among prisoners.

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.