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Latest News Around the Web

Death Of Inmate With Schizophrenia Raises Questions About How California Jails Handle Mental Illnesses

In a greater than 1,700-word story, the Los Angeles Times (8/24, St. John) chronicles the story of Andrew Holland, an inmate with schizophrenia at the San Luis Obispo County jail. The man was “shackled to a chair” at the jail for “46 hours” during which he was naked, “left in his own filth,” and “eating and drinking almost nothing.” Within 40 minutes of being freed from the chair, he died. That death, which occurred on Jan. 22, “has provoked outrage in the Central Coast county, a record $5-million legal settlement, and questions about the way California jails handle a sharp increase in the number of” inmates with mental illnesses.

Related Links:

— “Naked, filthy and strapped to a chair for 46 hours: a mentally ill inmate’s last days,” Paige St. John, Los Angeles Times, August 24, 2017.

Cigarettes With Lower Nicotine Content May Decrease Addiction Potential

Healio (8/24, Oldt) reports, “Cigarettes with lower nicotine content may decrease addiction potential among individuals highly vulnerable to tobacco addiction,” researchers found after conducting “a multisite, double-blind, within-participant assessment of acute response to research cigarettes among 169 daily smokers.” The findings were published online Aug. 23 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Related Links:

— “Lower nicotine cigarettes may hinder addiction in at-risk groups,” Higgins ST, et al., Healio, August 24, 2017.

Google To Help People Determine If They Are Suffering From Clinical Depression

The Washington Times (8/24, Kelly) reports that on Aug. 24, tech giant “Google entered the realm of public health awareness to help people determine if they are clinically depressed, launching a questionnaire…in response to the query: Am I depressed?” Individuals typing “in a search term related to depression will now be given the option to take the PHQ-9 questionnaire, a clinically validated assessment, in addition to the most relevant information pertaining to depression.”

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (8/24, Pirani), the PHQ-9 “test aims to help determine a person’s depression and his or her need for an in-person medical evaluation.”

Newsweek (8/24, Firger) points out, “Roughly 6.7 percent of the US population reported having at least one symptom of depression in 2015, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).”

Related Links:

— “Are you depressed? Google it,” Laura Kelly, Washington Times, August 24, 2017.

Suicide Attempts More Common In Both Cyberbullied, Cyberbulliers

HealthDay (8/23, Dotinga) reports researchers found children and young adults targeted by cyberbullies appear to be twice as likely to hurt themselves or attempt suicide than their non-bullied peers. Investigators said cyberbullies also are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and take suicidal actions. Included in the study were some “150,000 kids and young adults from 30 countries” who were followed “for over 21 years.” The findings were announced in a news release from the UK’s University of Birmingham.

Related Links:

— “Cyberbullying Weighs Heavily on Young People,” Randy Dotinga, HealthDay, August 23, 2017.

Hospitals Provide Insufficient Interventions For Opioid Overdose Survivors

In its “Shots” blog, NPR (8/22, Hsu) reports that in cases of non-fatal overdoses, not enough is being done “during hospital encounters” to intervene in patients’ opioid addictions, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that “among people who had overdosed on heroin, the filling of opioid prescriptions fell by 3.5 percent, while medication-assisted treatment increased by only 3.6 percent,” following their hospitalizations.

HealthDay (8/22, Reinberg) reports that the study covered “more than 6,000 people who survived an overdose from an opioid.” The study’s lead author, Julie Donahue, said, “Forty percent of those with a heroin overdose and 60 percent of those with a prescription opioid overdose filled a prescription in the six months after overdose for the very kind of medication that contributed to the overdose in the first place.”

Related Links:

— “Hospitals Could Do More For Survivors Of Opioid Overdoses, Study Suggests,” Andrea Hsu, NPR, August 22, 2017.

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