Policy and Advocacy Articles

Psych Central Community Connection a Winner in Text, Talk, Act Contest

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Psych Central Community Connection Wins Text, Talk, Act ContestPsych Central and our affiliated non-profit organization, the Psych Central Community Connection, have partnered with the National Dialogue on Mental Health, the White House initiative started in 2013 to help increase the national discussion about mental illness, treatment and general mental health.

Creating Community Solutions, who is also part of the national dialogue, has brought face-to-face dialogues on mental health to over 170 communities. They’ve done this with an innovative texting app to help get the conversation started with groups of friends about mental health.

On October 6, they held a contest to see who could bring the most folks together to talk about mental health.

On behalf of the Psych Central community, the Psych Central Community Connection — which provides micro-grants to community members in need — entered the contest and, to our surprise, was one of the many winners!

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.

Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.

Join us for the 4th Annual Blog Party: World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Join us for the 4th Annual Blog Party: World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10Next week on October 10th, we’re celebrating World Mental Health Day. And, if you’re a blogger, we’d like you to join us for our 4th annual blog party.

World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and what the world’s governments and health organizations are doing in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year’s theme is living with schizophrenia, but you’re welcomed to blog on any topic in mental health you’d like.

This year, we’re inviting you to join us and the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program for the 4th annual blog party next Friday, October 10.

Mental health is important to all of us, and we need your help to spread that message!

So how do you join in on the party?

Therapists 2014: The Intersection between Clinician, Business Savvy & Personal Brand

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Therapists 2014: The Intersection between Clinician, Business Savvy & Personal BrandIn October 2009, I wrote my first piece in a series for Psych Central on the changing landscape of therapists online. Psychotherapists Unmasked on the Internet reflected upon a conversation I’d had with my psychiatrist father five years prior, who gave me an earful around the ethics of having my picture up on my website.

What he didn’t realize at that time was that websites were becoming an important marketing tool in our profession and that a move toward therapist demystification was occurring. A hearty discussion among many in our field around how to navigate it all was under way.

Stigma and Publicity

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Stigma and Publicity#DoubtfireFace Challenge for Suicide Prevention? Never heard of it.

The ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” is undoubtedly one of the most successful and engaging fundraising efforts in recent history. The challenge, which involved posting a video of yourself getting doused by a bucket of ice water, quickly gained popularity and became a social phenomenon. Teens, adults, celebrities, and politicians (including former President George W. Bush) all took part in the challenge, with their videos gaining tens of millions of views.

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2014

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2014

Every day around the world, families and friends grieve the loss of a loved one due to suicide. Not once. Not twice.

But over 2,000 times per day someone takes their own life.

Can you imagine? If Ebola took 2,000 people’s lives per day, we’d hear a world outcry and an immediate call to action.

But since it’s just suicide, we turn a blind eye. We go on with our merry lives, and pretend it couldn’t happen to us. It couldn’t possibly happen to someone we know.

That’s how we lose so many people a day. Denial. Ignorance. Stigma. Discrimination.

Talking to Someone About Suicide

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Talking to Someone About Suicide

So you suspect a friend is grappling with thoughts of suicide. Maybe they’ve withdrawn more and isolated themselves from their normal social life. Maybe they’ve just seemed more down in the dumps and depressed. Maybe they’ve even expressed a desire or thought in passing about how things would be better without them.

What do you do?

Some people feel uncomfortable talking about these kinds of feelings. Others may feel ill-prepared or unequipped to handle someone talking to them about suicide. Others still may fear unleashing a torrent of despair from their friend, one they wouldn’t know what to do with.

Here’s how you talk to someone about suicide.

Will Social Anxiety Keep Your Child From Succeeding in School?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Will Social Anxiety Keep Your Child From Succeeding in School?With the ringing of the first classroom bell to signal the start of a new school year, two images often come to mind: children excited about seeing old friends and their favorite teacher, or the endearing scene of a shy child clinging to his mother’s leg.

But what if the latter scenario is not as innocent as popular culture depicts? In the most recent Care For Your Mind (CFYM) series, experts associated with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shed light on a debilitating but little known disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD) that effects 12% of youth. Often first appearing in grade school, this disorder can be treated and managed with the right support and professional help.

Where’s the ‘Individual’ in the Mental Health Care Reform Discussion?

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Where’s the “Individual” in the Mental Health Care Reform Discussion?Much has been written in the last several months about national mental health care reform in response to two separate bills making their way through Congress.

The most well-known is the Murphy bill introduced by U.S. Representative Timothy Murphy from Pennsylvania. Rep. Murphy is a credible expert on the topic. He has been a practicing psychologist and has co-authored publications on child and adolescent mental health. His bill has stirred controversy among mental health providers and advocates with both groups expressing varying opinions of support and dissent. One of the more controversial elements of the bill is expansion of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT).

But all of this discussion is a distraction from what should be our real focus.

Obamacare Helps Young Adults Get Mental Health Treatment

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Obamacare Helps Young Adults Get Mental Health TreatmentDespite all the hype and hand-wringing done over Obamacare — aka the Affordable Care Act — there’s a lot of good coming already from its implementation. And if some politicians want to undo this good, they may find themselves up against an increasing vocal minority of their citizens who’ve benefited.

The latest data suggests that we’ve seen a rise in young adults who seek out mental health treatment, because they’re still covered under their parent’s insurance due to Obamacare provisions.

Who Cares? People with Mental Illness Overwhelm US Justice System

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

mental-illness-overwhelms-justice-system

Americans just don’t seem to care that we’ve moved treatment of serious mental illness from inpatient hospitals to jails. We’re the only industrialized nation to do this on the kind of massive scale that we have. Instead of getting people with serious mental illness into treatment, we’re perfectly content as a society to spend more imprisoning them, and restricting their access to needed treatment.

Perhaps because it’s a state issue, people don’t realize this change has happened slowly but systematically over the past two decades. It’s seemingly accelerated in recent years, as state funding for public mental health treatment has dried up.

But there’s ultimately a price to pay for this not caring. And it’s a much higher cost than many of us are aware of.

Ted Stanley Donates $650 Million to Psychiatric Research

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ted Stanley Donates $650 Million to Psychiatric ResearchWow. Just wow.

Nobody has ever donated so much money dedicated to better understanding the foundations of mental illness.

The gift, announced earlier this week, is being made by Ted Stanley to his Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute to support its ongoing — and new — research into the genetic and molecular basis of psychiatric disorders.

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