General

Why We’re Proud to Partner with The Mighty

One of the pleasures of working in helping educate the world about mental illness and mental health issues over the past two decades is seeing so many great ideas and services pop up and take bloom. People and thought leaders who look at a problem and say, "Hey, I better we can help out here!"

The world of mental illness -- and its associated discrimination and prejudice -- is a big, too-often-ignorant place. It needs all the help, light, and attention it can get.

That's why today I'm pleased to introduce our new partnership with The Mighty.

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Depression

U.S. Suicide Rates Go Up & Up: What Does It Mean?

For the past 15 years, the suicide rate in the United States has gradually inched upwards year after year, reaching its highest point ever. This according to new research just published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Starting in 2006, it's gone up about 2 percent per year, rising 24 percent in the study period from 1999 to 2014. Women fared worse than men, with women's suicide rates rising 63 percent versus men's 43 percent.

What does it all mean? Why are suicide rates increasing at all, instead of falling?

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General

Mental Health Courts: Does Coercion Add Anything of Value to Treatment?

Mental health courts are America's sad, broken way of dealing with people who have mental illness -- who also happen to have committed a crime. Even something as small as a misdemeanor. I mean, what better way to treat a person's mental illness than to send them to a court tailored for their mental health needs?

The truth is that if a person is receiving adequate care in the community through the public mental health system, there'd likely be far fewer people who get involved in criminal justice system to begin with. People with mental illness get involved in the court system for a wide variety of reasons (psychosis, drugs, mania, etc.). Such involvement is usually just a side effect of a person who isn't getting any kind of decent treatment.

So do mental health courts work? Or could you offer the same services to people without the coercion and get similar results? The long-term data is in.

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Family

Child Abuse Survivors, Victims Need You to Talk About It

How do you recover from childhood abuse? Is healing possible? Will the shame ever go away? Will I always struggle with depression or anxiety?

These are important questions as we enter April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month. While the answers to these questions are different for everyone, sharing our stories can inspire hope and help other survivors heal.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela
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Bipolar

A Tribute to Patty Duke

As you probably know, actress Patty Duke died on March 29, 2016. Of course, her talent as an actress can’t be denied, but her mental health advocacy was equally important. This advocacy is what puts her in my personal Hall of Fame.

First diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, Patty Duke was one of the biggest spokespersons for people with the disorder. She made it a lifelong mission to dispel the stigma of the disease. She spoke openly about her illness in two books: Call Me Anna and A Brilliant Madness. Call Me Anna was published in 1987, almost 30 years ago. Patty Duke was completely out of the closet about her mental illness in the 1980s. That is a big deal.

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Addiction

Psychology Around the Net: April 2, 2016


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I'm hoping you all ended your week with some funny April Fools' Day shenanigans, and are ready to start the weekend with some of the latest developments in mental health!

Read on for news on how men are more vulnerable to developing stress-related depression, how people with mental health issues fit in when it comes to physician-assisted suicide, ways you can effectively help another person cope with anxiety or depression, and more.

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Disorders

How Solitary Confinement Affects People with Mental Illness

In 1990, Jack Powers was put in prison for robbery. A few years into his sentence, Powers witnessed the murder of one of his friends by members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Powers agreed to be a government witness and testify against members of the Brotherhood in exchange for a sentence reduction, but when he was denied the reduction, he decided to escape from prison in 1999.

He was caught a few years later and put in solitary confinement at ADX, the same place where the Brotherhood members he testified against resided. Even though Powers was diagnosed with PTSD due to his friend’s murder, he never received proper treatment and ended up horrifically mutilating himself several times.
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Disorders

How Do Mental Illness Diagnoses Really Compare to Medical Diagnoses?

One of the common complaints I hear about mental illness diagnoses is that they are "unscientific," based upon a bunch of subjective symptoms that are arbitrary. People who dismiss mental illness as not being "real" say that unlike medicine, the mental health profession doesn't have laboratory tests, biopsies or meaningful imaging tests.

I would suggest, however, that the mental illness diagnostic reference manual, the DSM-5, is actually a good compromise based upon our current but limited knowledge of mental illness and its underlying causes. Moreover, most people's understanding of medical diagnosis is often unrealistic and doesn't take into account the messy reality.

How do mental illness diagnoses compare to more traditional medical diagnoses?

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General

#MindOurFuture: Share Your Mental Health Story

We're happy to share with you this great new project by our friends over at BringChange2Mind (BC2M), the national organization co-founded by Glenn Close that works to combat stereotypes around mental health. It's called #MindOurFuture and the goal is to increase awareness around mental health issues by people sharing their personal stories on YouTube.

Here's the scoop that BringChange2Mind shared with us. We pass it along with our wholehearted recommendation.

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