MH@H Mental Health

Early Insane Asylums – Bedlam and Beyond

Public domain This post is a follow-up of sorts to a guest post I did recently on Renard's World. While that post focused on the dark side of psychiatry in the 1900s, in this post we'll look even further back in history at some of the frightening goings-on in early asylums to "treat" people with… Continue reading Early Insane Asylums – Bedlam and Beyond

Key elements of my version of being pro-psychiatric medication
Mental Illness Treatment

My Version of Being Pro-Medication

If you've read my blog before, you've probably noticed that I'm pretty pro-medication when it comes to mental illness. I thought it would be worthwhile, though, to give a little bit more nuanced perspective. My take on meds comes from my professional training as a pharmacist and then nurse, years of experience, and many hours of… Continue reading My Version of Being Pro-Medication

Awareness and crisis lines aren't enough - suicide prevention ribbon and semicolon
Suicide Talk

Suicide Awareness Isn’t Enough for Prevention

Today is World Mental Health Day (the 27th annual), and this year's focus is on mental health promotion and suicide prevention. Suicide awareness is a big part of this. The message from the president of the World Federation for Mental Health, which organizes World Mental Health Day, states: "The object of making suicide prevention the… Continue reading Suicide Awareness Isn’t Enough for Prevention

pills being poured into a glass bowl
Mental Illness Treatment

Do You Blame Symptoms on Mental Illness or Your Meds?

Why?  Whatever the issue might be, and whatever might be happening to us, we always want to know why. (Note: you can read a bit more about that in my post on attribution theory.) For people taking psychiatric medications for mental illness, there's often a lot going on in both mind and body, and it… Continue reading Do You Blame Symptoms on Mental Illness or Your Meds?

Will suicide ever be 100% preventable? Images of suicide prevention ribbon, psi symbol, and semicolon
Suicide Talk

Will Suicide Ever Be 100% Preventable?

Have you seen some of the claims out there that suicide is 100% preventable?  There are a variety of organizations that promote a zero suicide goal.  One example is the Zero Suicide Alliance, which is based in the UK and offers free suicide prevention training.  There's a Suicide Is Preventable website, which belongs to Know The Signs,… Continue reading Will Suicide Ever Be 100% Preventable?

God Knows Where I Am film
MH@H Mental Health, Society & Social Justice

God Knows Where I Am: Death By Mental Illness

The disturbing documentary God Knows Where I Am tells the story of Linda Bishop, and her death after being released from a state psychiatric hospital. The film includes readings from Linda's journal, and commentary from people who knew her, including her sister and her daughter.  Their words powerfully captured the pain and frustration of a… Continue reading God Knows Where I Am: Death By Mental Illness

elements of trauma-informed care
Trauma and PTSD

How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

So, what is it to be trauma-informed?  Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, with an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they've disclosed it or not.  Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety.  The individual client's safety, choice, and… Continue reading How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

Ketamine for depression: how it works, side effects, and how it's used
Mental Illness Treatment, MH@H Depression

Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

I love Canada, but sometimes we're a little behind.  Drug approval by Health Canada is slower than in the US, and fewer clinical trials are done here.  I'd be really interested in trying out ketamine, but it doesn't have Health Canada approval for use in depression, there are no clinical trials in my neck of… Continue reading Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression

Evidence-based treatment of mental illness
MH@H Depression

What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial studied 2876 people with major depressive disorder to evaluate their response to depression treatment in a real-world setting.  Unlike the randomized controlled trials that are often used to evaluate a drug's efficacy, there were few exclusion criteria, the patient and their physician knew which drug they… Continue reading What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

complicated relationships with psych meds
Mental Illness Treatment

Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications

I can't think of any other type of health condition that has such polarized relationships with medications as mental illness.  In some ways, to medicate or not to medicate has become a moral issue, with various involved parties taking a stance based on principle.  Often this stance is very broad, making sweeping generalizations. Public misconceptions… Continue reading Our Complicated Relationships with Psychiatric Medications