Screening Test for Mental Illness

In the past weeks as our sympathies turned to families of the victims of Flight 9525, many have asked how we can allow such evil to exist in our world. But the right question is “How can we allow a person with serious mental illness to fly a commercial airplane?”

What Parents Can’t Do

More than twice as many states required parental consent for mental health treatment than for substance abuse treatment.

Bring Back the Asylum?

The Penn scholars may as well have encouraged us to build more “Funny Farms” or “Loony Bins.” These bioethicists should recognize the harm in their cavalier choice of words. Couldn’t they have chosen a less provocative term?

Return to the Dark Ages: Punishing People for Mental Illness

Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. He doesn't deny he was the shooter, but he and his attorneys claim he had been experiencing a psychotic episode. Now a sentencing trial will decide whether to execute him or imprison him for life.

Psy-feld: Why There’s Plenty Wrong with That

Watching Seinfeld with an eye toward learning about psychological disorders minimizes the serious nature of these disorders and perpetuates stigma about mental illnesses.

Why must society accept untreated mental illness?

The Newtown families should be suing the federal government for wrongful death on the basis that its mental health laws failed to function as intended. Our laws prevented Adam Lanza from getting treatment and they failed to protect the public from foreseeable harm.

Why Is Columbia Silent On Student Suicide?

All were encouraged to rely on one another and on university resources. Phone numbers of the Counseling and Psychological Services staff were provided. But there was no mention of the cause of Joshua’s death in either e-mail.

Sandy Hook Shooting Report Missed One Critical Issue

Using hindsight to identify inadequacies in the family’s and educational system’s responses to young Lanza, the report calls for better training and workforce development, increased family support, bolstered education, and more comprehensive services. But the report fails in one significant respect.

What More Could Myron May Have Done?

May couldn’t have been more cooperative and more eager to get help. His friends were supportive and did everything they could for him. The mental health system and the police failed May at every turn.

Help? My Child Is Just Eccentric

Getting young people who may suffer from serious mental illness to come forward for evaluation is not an easy task. Kids feel bewildered and disconnected. Parents hesitate to suggest something is wrong with their children.

An Ice Bucket Challenge for Mental Illness

Would people video themselves singing a silly song, dancing a crazy jig, or making a goofy face in order to bring attention to serious mental illness?

When a Family Member Commits Suicide

There are many ways for one person to leave another's life. Suicide may be the most painful way for those left behind.

Societal Shrapnel, the Mentally Ill, Could Be Better Served

To fix our mental-health system, we need to address the issue of untreated mental illness. This means changing our laws.

People With Mental Illness Need a Stonewall Inn

Our mental health system is in tatters. There has been a great deal of finger-pointing and hand-wringing over how things got to be so bad. Some blame lack of funding. Others blame misguided priorities. Democrats blame Republicans. Republicans blame Democrats. This blame game misses the forest for the trees. There is a single underlying cause of the current mess.

A Mentor and More

Having lost my mother to suicide when I was 21, I hungered for the wisdom and guidance a strong woman could offer. Elaine had stepped up and answered that call.

Be Not Afraid to Ask for Help

I learned a powerful lesson that night--one I wish my mother and the thousands of other people who commit suicide each year could have learned. Asking for and receiving support are not signs of weakness. They make us strong.

Baby Boomers Haven't Forgotten How to Get High

The legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana is sweeping across our nation, and it is likely that more states will follow the suit. It is evident that baby boomers are in support of these recent changes as they are reliving their youth and passing the joint once again at particularly high rates.

Inside the Psychiatric Hospital

No one really knows what goes on in psych units. It's certainly not a place people would volunteer to visit. Mental illness carries a huge stigma in our society, eliciting negative images and stories, particularly with recent mass shootings.

If I had $50 million

I’d hire a smart, aggressive attorney, find the perfect victim, and sue the Federal Government for failing to protect its citizenry from known, foreseeable harm.

Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk

I kept getting drawn back to the AFSP's "Out of the Darkness" website. I know about suicide, mental illness, and secrets. Why wasn't I doing this walk?

Happy Birthday, Dear 18-Year Old

We tend to think that legal planning documents are necessary only for middle-aged and older adults, yet the reality is that they are equally important for young adults.

Boston Marathon

Laws governing the rights of individuals and of society when mental illness is suspected are not consistent with laws governing other health conditions.

The Most Important Homework Assignment

I hope the opportunity my son had to witness an AA meeting gives him pause when alcohol becomes widely available to him next year. But I also hope that if he, or someone he cares about, develops an alcohol problem, he will know that help is available.

And They Lived Happily Ever After?

Happy endings make for feel-good fiction. Yet memoirs with happy endings can send the wrong message.

Is Psychotherapy Effective for Severe Mental Illness?

I thought I’d find the answer easily, since two meta-analyses examining this issue were published this year. Turns out that even with this data, scientists disagree. What is clear is that people are getting passionate about mental illness.

March Madness All Year Long

Imagine the uproar there would be if adult children of a parent suffering dementia—someone incapable of making decisions or seeking treatment—were told nothing could be done until mom or dad presented an imminent danger and asked for help!

Did Peter Lanza Really Wish Adam Had Never Been Born?

Peter Lanza says he wished Adam had never been born. What I suspect he meant is that he wished he could have been empowered to help Adam so the tragedy would never have happened.

Soaring With Mental Illness

The Paralympic Games are designed to emphasize ability and achievement, not disability, putting the spotlight on people who have overcome incredible odds. Watching the Paralympic Games made me think about people who, although they have a mental illness, made contributions that changed our world.

Suicide Is Tragic at Any Age

When my mother was 51 and I was finishing my senior year of college, she killed herself.

Psychiatric Advance Directives Can Change Lives

Psychiatric advance directives allow people with mental illness to develop advance directives about treatment and to identify a healthcare power of attorney. Although consistent with the available science on origins and treatment of serious mental illness, psychiatric advance directives are not problem-free.

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