mental illness

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Sandra Bland’s body is removed from a Texas jail. Waller County Sheriff's Office/via REUTERS

Imagining a better outcome for Sandra Bland

With the rate of suicide on the rise, it's time to train law enforcement officials to recognize the signs of mental illness.
A diagnostic label such as borderline personality disorder, with its stigma and propensity to invalidate the person’s suffering, clearly has many negative impacts. madamepsychosis/Flickr

Borderline personality disorder is a hurtful label for real suffering – time we changed it

Diagnostic labels usually describe symptoms, attempt to answer the question of what is wrong, and lead to a treatment plan. But "borderline personality disorder" fails on all three counts.
The many people who are mourning the loss of Phil Walsh should also reflect on what we as a society can do to help families avoid such tragedies. AAP/Ben Macmahon

When a parent is killed: family tragedy is often a mark of our broader failings

The killing of Phil Walsh is a tragedy for his family and the football community. It should also lead us to question whether we do enough to support families before the issues they face spiral out of control.
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s failure to talk about basic measures of the economy in his second budget speech is telling. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Three missing letters say it all about Hockey’s budget pitch

A budget speech that fails to discuss basic measures of how the economy going is revealing in itself. Joe Hockey is the first treasurer since at least 1981 not to mention GDP.
Unlike other chronic diseases, targeted spending on mental health care keeps people in the prime of their lives in the workforce. Sebastian Gauert/Shutterstock

Mental health care spending saves money, and that’s worth investing in

There's a growing disconnect between grassroots awareness of mental illness and decisive action towards providing the full spectrum of care for those in need.
In this photo James Holmes and his defense attorney Daniel King sit in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center, June 4 2013. Andy Cross/Pool/Reuters

James Holmes trial puts sanity on the stand

Jurors will likely be presented with conflicting notions of sanity and insanity. And they will be forced to confront widely held cultural assumptions about mental illness and violence.
The process of therapy is challenging and takes courage. Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Explainer: what is cognitive behaviour therapy?

If you or someone you care about experience an emotional problem it won't be long before you hear that cognitive behaviour therapy, or CBT, is probably the treatment of choice.
Some fathers with mental illness feel discriminated against for their – perceived or actual – inability to meet the traditional paternal responsibilities of provider, protector and role-model. momento mori/Flickr

Fathers with mental illness deserve better than stigma

Where there is mental illness, there’s almost invariably social disapproval and discrimination. And a report released by the Australian Institute of Family Studies today shows fathers with mental illness…
Compared to other antisocial people, psychopaths lack empathy and are less able to understand punishment. Viktor Gladkov/Shutterstock

Why violent psychopaths don’t ‘get’ punishment

The psychologist David Lykken once wrote that most violent crime could be prevented by cryogenically freezing all males aged 12 to 28. Although this option might be appealing at times for high school teachers…
People with social anxiety disorder believe they will be rejected when others see how anxious and awkward they are. rashmi ravindran/Flickr

Explainer: what is social anxiety disorder?

Most of us would admit to feeling shy from time to time, or anxious about public speaking: the larger the crowd the greater the terror. It’s also not unusual to feel awkward while making small talk with…
Pensive: Winston Churchill in 1946, by Douglas Granville Chandor. Cliff1066

Winston Churchill and his ‘black dog’ of greatness

It was 1930. Winston Churchill was a 55-year-old Conservative Party politician who had been a member of parliament for three decades. He had eventually risen to the position of chancellor of the exchequer…
Adolf Wölfli drawing from 1926: a prolific artist. Wikimedia/Kulture Online

Outsider art can refashion how we think about mental illness

Organisations such as MIND work tirelessly to raise awareness of mental health problems and real progress has been made in destigmatising mental illness through campaigns such as Time to Change and Black…
It’s normal to feel distressed after a such an attack, but this generally reduces in the following days and weeks. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Social supports build resilience and reduce distress after trauma

People in Sydney and the broader community are feeling shocked, anxious, and sad about the actions of a lone, unstable person that led to the tragic loss of lives in the siege early this week. But there’s…

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