Thursday, August 13, 2020
crisis worker answers calls in a cubicle.

Suicide Hotline Sees Rise in Coronavirus-Related Calls. Counselors Feel the Pain

Around the Web, from the Los Angeles Times: "For decades, Didi Hirsch crisis counselors have provided comfort to hundreds of thousands of people calling...

A Peek Inside the Modern Asylum

The psychiatric hospital of today is a panopticon, a modern prison for the daring mind and for weird behavior. I was once inside and thus, am inviting you to have a look. I will take your hand, and encourage you to join me, on an exploration of the inside of the psychiatric institution. We'll have a small peek, but in reality, it is much more distressing for the one who is being observed.
supreme court

Supreme Court Decides Case on Insanity Defense

The debate between the majority and dissent shows how distorted and destructive the stereotypes of madness are as they have passed down through the law. But there are also winds of change coming from tensions inherent in the insanity defense itself, and we should take this opportunity to develop some sensible policies.

The Kids Aren’t All Right

From The Atlantic: The youngest among us will bear the larger burdens of trauma and economic fallout from COVID-19.

Coronavirus Hits Native American Groups Already Struggling With Poor Health Care

From The Wall Street Journal: "As tribal leaders around the country gear up for the pandemic’s arrival, they worry the federal agencies that are...
Two hands forming a heart with the words "From Us To You."

Lived Wisdom on Panic, Worry and Isolation

From The Dulwich Centre: "Some of us were thinking during this period of global concern with COVID-19 about the idea of knowledges earned through...

Why it’s Healthy to be Afraid in a Crisis

From The Guardian: "As a mental health professional, I disagree with the message in Paul Daley’s article (We face a pandemic of mental health...
silhouette of soldiers

The Persistent, Misdirected Search for Causes of Trauma-based Suffering

In the United States and other countries that have a military, there is often a great deal of talk about supporting veterans, but way too often, research aimed at learning what will be helpful is misguided and can even be harmful. The same applies to nonveterans who have been through traumatic experiences. Two new studies exemplify such wrongheaded approaches.
hospital discharge

My Hospital Discharge Summary: An Intriguing Work of Fiction

I recalled a brief intercourse with a lady two months earlier that went something like this: “Why don’t you want to take medication?” to which I replied, “Because I think psychiatry is a sham.” Needless to say, my response hastily resulted in a temporary though adequately lengthy loss of my autonomy.
hands in circle reaching for speech bubbles

From FACT to POD: How a FACT Team Integrated Open Dialogue

Work with open dialogue always starts with a "network meeting" in which the person of concern is invited to talk with members of their social network (i.e., family, friends, co-workers) and at least two professionals from the care team. The main guideline was "nothing about you, without you."
lone man standing among giant pills

National Boards of Health Are Unresponsive to Children Driven to Suicide by Depression Pills

Peter C. Gøtzsche reports what happened, or rather did not happen, when he contacted National Boards of Health in eight countries with his serious concern that the use of depression pills in children is increasing and leads to more suicides. The continued official denial that these drugs cause suicide and that something substantial needs to be done is appalling.
discrimination

The Psychiatric Narrative & The Boston Globe: Violence, Force, & Derogatory Labels  

The Boston Globe recently published an atrocious opinion piece, “Massachusetts law meant to protect people with mental illness may make them sicker.” Though framed as an attempt to shed light on a need for better mental health laws, the piece insults those of us of who have been labeled with mental health diagnoses.
man's back on blue background vector illustration

Please Stop Saying Depression Is Like Diabetes

It seems more and more common for people who consider themselves mental health advocates to make the argument that “mental illness is like physical illness.” Have you heard this “depression is like diabetes” tactic? I have a hard time seeing how this is advocating for those in emotional distress.

Does Longer Duration of Untreated Psychosis Cause Worse Outcomes?

New research counters the long-held assumption that a longer duration of untreated psychosis is associated with worse outcomes.

Psychology is Not What You Think: An Interview with Critical Psychologist Ian Parker

MIA’s Ayurdhi Dhar interviews Ian Parker about critical psychology, discourse and political action, and whether psychology has anything left to offer.

To My Black Crows of Wisdom

Some might wonder why I'm still stumbling in the desert when there are cars and jobs and museums downtown, but really, the turquoise dawn is in the canyons. The thing is, my people seem to need this nutrition, the rarified medicine of this particular cactus and that specific root that I haven't found anywhere else.

Beatrice Birch – Inner Fire and Soul Health

An interview with Beatrice Birch who is the initiator of the residential healing community Inner Fire. For over 35 years, Beatrice worked as a Hauschka artistic therapist in integrative clinics and inspiring initiatives in England, Holland and the USA. We discuss how Inner Fire works to help the people that attend, and how a core principle of their healing work is that ‘human being are creators, not victims’.
the word justice engraved on a courthouse

UN Report: Involuntary Psychiatric Interventions “May Well Amount to Torture”

Such interventions, the report says, "generally involve highly discriminatory and coercive attempts at controlling or 'correcting' the victim’s personality, behaviour or choices and almost always inflict severe pain or suffering."
tea for two

The Healing Power of Tea

Tea is my weapon of choice for battling anxiety and depression. But its true power comes from the people behind the cup. Tea is merely the drink that brings us together.

Suicide Warning on Antidepressant Label is Justified, Researchers Say

Researchers confirm that the suicide warning for antidepressants is justified by the evidence and that claims that the warning is harmful lack support.

For Some Vets, Peer Counseling More Helpful Than Traditional Services

From Colorado Public Radio: "I felt comfortable talking to my mentor about certain things, whereas I didn't with other people," one vet said. "It is relieving. I could just come in anytime."
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

An Open Letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie: A Plan for Deprescribing Veteran Suicides

Through my research and experiences, I've found that what the Veterans Administration has been doing to fight the veteran suicide epidemic isn't working and appears to be unintentionally exacerbating it. These problems are fixable. But I need your help.
fire

Mental Hell-Care: My Sibling’s Story

Doctors refuse to believe psychiatric medications have caused my sibling, Pat, any harm.  Over a three-year period, however, Pat's insurance companies have paid out more than one million dollars to warehouse Pat and to provide "treatment" that has caused complete disability.
two hands touching a lightbulb

Rethinking “Delusions”: Envisioning a Humanistic Approach to Troublesome Beliefs

A skilled approach to working with beliefs involves both toleration of differences in perspective and an awareness of a variety of possible things that can be tried when a belief is causing problems that do not seem to be tolerable, either to the person or to others with whom they must interact.
Laysha Ostrow

Live and Learn: An Interview with Laysha Ostrow

MIA’s Peter Simons interviews Laysha Ostrow about her mental health research and consulting company, the inclusion of peer specialists in mental health care, and her personal experience with the mental health system.

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