Should There Be A Role For Mental Health Professionals In The Practice Of Torture Of Prisoners And Detainees?
An analysis on bmj.com today reports that psychologists and psychiatrists should not be expected to participate in torture. This is due to the fact that they do not have the expertise to assess individual pain or the long-term effects of interrogation. The investigation is the work of Derrick Silove and Susan Rees, from the University of New South Wales in Australia. They explain that some senior members of the US military have argued that a psychologist's presence is obligatory to shield the prisoner or detainee from the "severe physical or mental pain or suffering resulting in prolonged mental harm." In addition, they comment that a number of leading scientific journals have also published papers by authors who support the presence of mental health professionals as protection for detainees. However these experts consider that there is no recognized indicator to assess "extreme experiences that cause pain or psychological trauma". They believe it is impossible for professionals "to make accurate assessments of the level of pain or mental trauma being experienced by the detainee.
A study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Sleep found that adolescents with bedtimes that were set earlier by parents were significantly less likely to suffer from depression and to think about committing suicide, suggesting that earlier bedtimes could have a protective effect by lengthening sleep duration and increasing the likelihood of getting enough sleep. Results show that adolescents with parental set bedtimes of midnight or later were 24 percent more likely to suffer from depression (odds ratio = 1.24) and 20 percent more likely to have suicidal ideation (OR=1.20) than adolescents with parental set bedtimes of 10 p.m. or earlier. This association was appreciably attenuated by self-reported sleep duration and the perception of getting enough sleep. Adolescents who reported that they usually sleep for five or fewer hours per night were 71 percent more likely to suffer from depression (OR=1.71) and 48 percent more likely to think about committing suicide (OR=1.48) than those who reported getting eight hours of nightly sleep.
More than 40 percent of employees identified their employers as supportive or extremely supportive in seeking care for health issues, according to a survey by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The national survey conducted online by Harris Interactive also showed that barriers still exist for those employees who said their workplace is unsupportive of employees seeking treatment, especially for mental health treatment. Loss of status at work and concerns about confidentiality were identified more often as barriers to seeking treatment for mental health issues than for other illnesses. Of these employees, 76 percent thought their status would be impacted for seeking treatment for drug addiction, 73 percent for alcoholism and 62* percent for depression compared to 55* percent and 54* percent who indicated status as a barrier for diabetes and heart disease treatment. "It is important to support an environment that encourages employees taking care of their physical and mental health, " said Alan Axelson, M.
Mind and Men's Health Forum are running a conference on how to meet the mental health needs of men. The event is free and open to anyone with an interest in this issue. Tell us your views on how men's mental health needs can be met. Mind Week 2009 focused on men and mental health. As a result of our campaigning, the Department of Health has commissioned Mind, along with Men's Health Forum, to write a guide on exactly how mental health services, employers and community gruops can improve the way in which they work with men. To help write this paper, both charities want to consult with as many people as possible and this conference is a part of that process. When: Tuesday 30 March Where: University of Reading Finding Solutions conference flyer (PDF) Source MIND
Insurance Gaps, More Obesity, More Children At Risk Shown By New National Survey Of Children's Health
A recent federal survey of children's health shows more than 6.7 million children in the United States don't have health insurance, and nearly 1 in 4 insured children lack adequate insurance coverage. The national survey also reveals that rates of obesity increased from 14.8 percent in 2003 to 16.4 percent in 2007. Today more than 10 million youths ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. The new findings are available on the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, a project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) housed at Oregon Health & Science University ( http://www.childhealthdata.org ). "The survey highlights disparities in health and health care quality across states and groups of children. The state a child lives in, a child's race, income and neighborhood all significantly impact his or her health, " explained Christina Bethell, Ph.D., an associate professor of pediatrics at OHSU who directs the CAHMI team. "That's why it is more important than ever to ensure health care reform efforts address the range of health and health care needs of all children.
Children who are mixed-handed, or ambidextrous, are more likely to have mental health, language and scholastic problems in childhood than right- or left-handed children, according to a new study published today in the journal Pediatrics. The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London and other European institutions, suggest that their findings may help teachers and health professionals to identify children who are particularly at risk of developing certain problems. Around one in every 100 people is mixed-handed. The study looked at nearly 8, 000 children, 87 of whom were mixed-handed, and found that mixed-handed 7 and 8-year old children were twice as likely as their right-handed peers to have difficulties with language and to perform poorly in school. When they reached 15 or 16, mixed-handed adolescents were also at twice the risk of having symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). They were also likely to have more severe symptoms of ADHD than their right-handed counterparts.
Biovail Corporation (NYSE/TSX: BVF) today commented on a proposed clinical trial recently announced by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. According to Teva, the trial is intended to address reports of inefficacy and adverse events by consumers who switched from Wellbutrin XL® 300 mg, Biovail's FDA-approved brand of the antidepressant, bupropion hydrochloride, to Budeprion XL, Teva's generic formulation of the drug. The trial was described in a Dow Jones Newswire article dated December 2, 2009. Based on the limited information that has been made available about the clinical trial by Teva, Biovail believes the proposed study will not likely effectively address the complaints of consumers because it is too small in size and too brief in duration. According to the December 2, 2009 article, the proposed study will enroll 138 patients who complained after switching from Wellbutrin XL® 300 mg to Budeprion XL. The study purportedly will employ a "double dummy" design in which patients will receive both placebo and active doses of each product over 16 days, alternating after eight days.
A policeman who has revolutionised relations between people with mental health problems, the police force and their wider community has been awarded a prestigious commendation for his contributions to social justice. PC Richard Harwin, from Hackney Metropolitan Police, received recognition at Wednesday night's Una Padel Award for his innovative liaison work with his local Mind charity, City and Hackney Mind. PC Harwin was appointed Mental Health Intervention Officer in 2008 and has worked tirelessly to improve the way the police work with victims with mental health problems. People with mental distress experience high levels of harassment and victimisation in their communities, with figures showing that 71% of people had been harassed or attacked over a two year period (1). However, they are less likely to report crimes to police for fear they won't be believed or that police won't act on their case (2), and there have been significant barriers in bringing the crimes committed against them to justice.
Mixed-handed children have a greater likelihood of having mental health, language and scholastic problems in childhood, compared to right- or left-handed children. In the study, "Mixed-Handedness is Linked to Mental Health Problems in Children and Adolescents, " published in the February issue of Pediatrics (appearing online Jan. 25), researchers studied 7, 871 children (3, 992 boys and 3, 879 girls) at 7 to 8 years of age and again at 16 years of age. Teacher, parent and/or adolescent reports were used to assess language and educational difficulties, and mental health, including ADHD. Results indicate that mixed-handed 8-year old children, relative to right-handed, were twice as likely to have concurrent difficulties with language and scholastic performance, and 16-year old adolescents were at a considerably higher risk for probable psychiatric disturbance including ADHD symptoms. This study supports evidence that mixed-handedness, rather than left-handedness, is associated with risk for language and behavioral problems both in childhood and adolescence.
Mental Health America Calls On President To Reverse Policy Of Not Sending Condolence Letters To Families Of Soldiers Who Complete Suicide
Mental Health America is calling on President Obama to reverse a long-standing, unwritten policy of not sending Presidential letters of condolence to the families of service members who have completed suicide. A resolution adopted by Mental Health America's Board of Directors states that a condolence letter can help eliminate the stigma and shame associated with suicide and provide emotional support to families. "The lack of acknowledgment and condolence from the President can leave these families with an emotional vacuum and a feeling that somehow their sacrifices may not have been as great as others who died while in the military, " the resolution states. Mental Health America is also circulating an online petition through its Facebook page. "Our nation face a critical challenge as we welcome our troops back from war, " the petition state. "After bravely risking their lives for our country, these heroes and their families often return to strained relationships, depression and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).