Concern Grows Over ‘Medical Aid in Dying for Mental Illness’ Law

Amid growing concern among the public, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals, the Canadian government is seeking to delay the legalization of its proposed medical assistance in dying (MAID) for mental illness law that is slated to pass on March 17. Canada already has the largest number of deaths by MAID of any nation, with … Read more

Novel Approach to Recovery After Attempted Suicide

Researchers propose a conceptual model of personal recovery after attempted suicide that focuses on nonclinical factors such as helping people find meaning and purpose in their lives. Developed by a panel of mental health professionals and individuals who have attempted suicide, the COURAGE model has seven themes: choosing life, optimizing identity, understanding oneself, rediscovering meaning, … Read more

Teen’s Undisclosed Dieting May Precede Anorexia Nervosa

Adolescents later diagnosed with anorexia nervosa (AN) likely embark on the trajectory to AN with undisclosed dieting for weight loss at about age 14, a study of teens and parents found. In the interview-based study, both adolescents and their parents described a similar prediagnosis sequence of behavioral changes occurring over roughly 1 year to 18 … Read more

Mood Stabilizers Potential Lifesavers in Bipolar Disorder

Mood stabilizers protect against suicide and all-cause mortality in patients with bipolar disorder (BD), including natural mortality, with lithium emerging as the most protective agent, new research suggests. Investigators led by Pao-Huan Chen, MD, of the Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, evaluated the association between the use of mood stabilizers and the … Read more

Novel Intervention Relieves Depression in MS Patients

An internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT) program specifically designed for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) significantly reduced depressive symptoms compared to usual treatment, new research shows. Participants in the randomized controlled trial who received iCBT either benefits alone or in combination with weekly emails from therapists reported that persisted up to a year after therapy. Although … Read more

Mental Illness Tied to More Healthcare Use Among Homeless

Among adults experiencing homelessness in Ontario, Canada, those with a mental illness are more likely to use emergency, inpatient, and physician services, according to a new report. In general, homelessness is associated with higher healthcare needs, hospitalizations, and primary care appointments, compared with low-income control groups, the study authors wrote. At the same time, healthcare … Read more

Skin-Picking, Hair-Pulling Disorders: Treatment Options Limited

INDIANAPOLIS – despite the common prevalence of skin-picking disorder and trichotillomania (hair pulling), no Food and Drug Administration–approved treatments exist for either condition. And while both body-focused repetitive disorders affect a greater proportion of females than males, “we have no current information that is useful about what hormonal influences may or may not play in … Read more

Gun Safety ‘Wrapped in a Mental Health Bill’: Health Provisions

The gun safety law forged through tense bipartisan talks in the Senate last month has been heralded as the first federal legislation in 30 years to combat rising gun violence. But what often falls below the radar is the new law’s focus on improving mental health services. News has coverage largely centered on the law’s … Read more

Adapting a Zero Suicide Approach to Native Communities

Edwina Valdo found herself on the receiving end of a desperate phone call last year on the suicide crisis line at Acoma Pueblo Behavioral Health Services in New Mexico. Valdo, whose regular job is as a grant manager, was filling in because the pandemic had left the facility short-staffed. “I did my best to keep … Read more

Brain Implant Allows Fully Paralyzed Patient to Communicate

An experimental brain-computer interface has allowed a man with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who was unable to speak or move to communicate. Using a commercially available implant and newly designed software, the patient, who was in the advanced stages of Lou Gehrig’s disease and unable to move his eyes, was able to interact with researchers … Read more