Toward a New Open-Door Model for Psychiatric Wards

If isolated, patients with mental disorders may end up having higher levels of social impairment. This has led several hospitals in Spain to set up open-door departments that are more accessible. The purpose of the open-door model is to help remove the stigma from individuals who need to be admitted to a psychiatric ward because … Read more

California Governor OKs Mental Health Courts for Homeless

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With more than 100,000 people living on California’s streets, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-of-its kind law on Wednesday that could force some of them into treatment as part of a program he describes as “care” but opponents argue is cruel. Newsom signed the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment Act on … Read more

Clozapine Best Choice for Reducing SUD Risk in Schizophrenia?

Clozapine or antipsychotic polytherapy appear to be the best approach in reducing the risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) in adults with schizophrenia and for preventing relapse in patients with both diagnoses, results of a real-world study show. “Our findings are in line with a recent meta-analysis showing superior efficacy of clozapine in schizophrenia … Read more

CA Lawmakers Approve Mental Health Care Plan for Homeless

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will establish a new court program to steer — even force — homeless people with severe mental disorders into treatment after lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal pitched in March by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Senate unanimously agreed to changes approved in the Assembly late Tuesday, … Read more

APA Report, Virtual Model Highlight US Psychiatric Bed Crisis

To address the ongoing shortage of available beds in psychiatric facilities, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has developed a computer-simulation model to help estimate the number of beds needed in any specific US community. The model, introduced in a recent report from the organization, can predict how changes in any component of mental health care … Read more

Mistrust Lingers in Black Communities Amid 988 Launch

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — On a few occasions, Sitaniel Wimbley’s mother grew manic in her front yard. When neighbors were met with screaming and cursing on their street in Natchez, Mississippi, they would dial 911. An officer would arrive to collect Wimbley’s mother, who battled chronic bipolar schizophrenia. Her first stop was jail. Then she … Read more

Police Often Called for Emergency Mental Health Transfers

University health clinics in Ontario, Canada frequently enlist law enforcement to accompany students during transfers to mental health facilities, a new study finds. Physicians fear that this practice is harmful. At some clinics, the police routinely handcuff students during the trip to the hospital. “The people we interviewed were all on the same page, but … Read more

Advance Directives for Psych Care Reduce Compulsory Admissions

Providing peer or community health workers to help psychiatric patients with complete psychiatric advance directives (PAD) to govern care in advance of a mental health crisis is associated with a significant reduction in compulsory hospital admissions, new research shows. Results of a randomized trial showed the peer worker PAD group had a 42% reduction in … Read more

Hormonal Contraceptives Protective Against Suicide?

Contrary to previous analyses, women without a history of psychiatric illness who take combined hormonal contraceptives do not have an increased risk for attempted suicide but may have a reduced risk with extended use, new research suggests. In a study of more than 800 women younger than age 50 who attempted suicide and more than … Read more

Schizophrenia Raises Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Patients with schizophrenia are at increased risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) compared with the general population, according to a large study from Taiwan that provides more evidence of a gut-brain link. The study also shows that patients with schizophrenia develop IBD at a younger age and that the risk increases with inadequately controlled … Read more