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Mental Health

The Takeaway

Scientists Explore Benefits of Hallucinogens for Psychological Disorders

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The use of hallucinogens such as 'ecstasy' or mushrooms to address psychological disorders tends to be met with opposition and an automatic association with the drug culture of the 1960s. But scientists from around the world will gather this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic drugs to be held in the U.S. in four decades. They will discuss whether these drugs can help patients suffering from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and other psychological problems.

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The Takeaway

Clinical Trial of Psilocybin: From the Inside

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Clark Martin is a retired clinical psychologist; he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 1990 and has had multiple metastases and treatments since then.  What follows is his description of receiving a single high dose of psilocybin, the active component of psychedelic mushrooms, under the auspices of a study conducted at Johns Hopkins.

Overview

This is a study for cancer patients who are experiencing depression secondary to everything associated with their cancer. Participants are highly screened and receive several days of counseling with the two experienced researchers who are present through out the treatment day. You are lying on a couch with eye shades and headphones (classical music). In my case, the experience can be roughly divided into three phases.

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The Takeaway

When Six Year Olds Attempt Suicide

Monday, April 12, 2010

Last week, we were struck by the shocking story of a six-year-old girl in Oregon whose death has been labeled a suicide. We wondered: Is it really possible for a first-grader to suffer from suicidal tendencies? And to deliberately take her own life?

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The Takeaway

New Perspectives on Child Sex Abuse and Trauma

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dr. Susan Clancy believes that for young children, sex abuse is oftentimes more confusing than it is traumatic at the moment that it’s happening. In her new book "The Trauma Myth: The Truth About Sexual Abuse of Children — And Its Aftermath," she argues that more victims would come forward if we stopped framing sex abuse as terrifying and violent, and instead acknowledged that child victims often love and want to please their perpetrators.

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The Takeaway

Mental Health Support in US Military, After Fort Hood

Monday, November 09, 2009

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 29 others during a shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas last week, is an Army psychiatrist, trained in treating combat stress in soldiers. That has raised questions about how the job of counseling affects military health professionals. Olga Peña, managing editor of The Killeen Daily Herald, joins us with the latest from Fort Hood. Bret A. Moore is a clinical psychologist who served in Iraq for 27 months; he left the Army in 2008 for a number of reasons, among them the growing possibility of burnout. He says that mental health workers in the Army, like all soldiers, are not required to seek counseling, but they do have the choice to seek help if they wish. Nelson Ford is the CEO of LMI Consulting and a former undersecretary of the Army.  He says the Army is doing a fine job of improving its response to mental health problems.

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The Takeaway

Emotional Depression, Economic Recession

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The World Health Organization said last week that within the next 20 years, depression will become the largest health burden on society. But treatment for mental health is often underfunded, despite the fact that it drastically affects productivity in many countries.  We talk to Professor Cary Cooper, who teaches psychology and health at Lancaster University in Britain. We also speak with Dr. Shekhar Saxena, program manager of the WHO's Department of mental health and substance abuse.

 

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The Takeaway

How to Talk to Kids About Kidnappings

Monday, August 31, 2009

The story of Jaycee Dugard's abduction is disturbing enough for adults, but what about kids? How do you explain and interpret such a horrific and frightening story to a child? We're joined this morning by Linda Blair, a child psychologist and author of the book “Straight Talking."

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The Takeaway

Jailed Journalists: The Road to Recovery

Thursday, August 06, 2009

President Bill Clinton negotiated for the release of American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea. After months of imprisonment on charges of entering the country illegally and being sentenced to 12 years of hard labor, the two were whisked away in a private jet with the former president. When they stepped off the plane at Burbank airport and reunited with their families, their journey ended in one sense, but their road to recovery just began. To understand what lies ahead for them, The Takeaway speaks to two therapists who specialize in helping people recover from psychological trauma. Dr. Yael Danieli is a clinical psychologist and trauma specialist and Dr. Anthony Feinstein is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and author of "Journalists Under Fire: The Psychological Hazards Of Covering War."

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The Takeaway

More Unemployment, More Murders and Suicides

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A new study reveals a surprising cost of rising unemployment: during a recession, murder and suicide rates increase. The solution? Support groups. Here to tell us more is study co-author David Stuckler, a sociologist fellow at Oxford University. Stuckler is joined by American Chet Kaminski, currently an accountant who this past spring was compelled to join a social unemployment network after eight months without a job.

You can read the study about the public health affects of job loss by checking out the journal article in this week's issue of the medical journal, The Lancet.

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The Takeaway

The Iraq Shooting and the History of "Fragging"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More details are emerging about the soldier who allegedly killed five of his fellow servicemen in Baghdad on Monday. Sergeant John M. Russell had recently been relieved of his weapon by commanding officers. On Monday though, that didn't matter. Russell reportedly wrestled a weapon from an officer who was escorting him away from a mental health clinic. He then went back to the clinic and opened fire. The incident is raising tough questions about mental health in the military, and shining a spotlight on how military authorities have dealt with these incidents in the past.

We’re taking a look today at the history of soldier-on-soldier violence in the U.S. military with Paul Springer, a professor of history at the United States Military Academy at West Point. We're also speaking to Major Dena Braeger, Executive Officer to the Dean of West Point. She’s a social psychologist who served in Iraq from 2003 – 2004.

"Soldier-on-soldier violence, thankfully, is something that does not happen on a regular basis. It is not an epidemic of violence. It is the exception to the rule."
—Paul J. Springer of the United States Military Academy on the recent shooting in Baghdad.


Wilburn Russell, John Russell's father, discusses the incident.

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The Takeaway

A Deadly Day in Baghdad

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Five U.S. service members were killed yesterday by a fellow soldier on an American military base in Baghdad yesterday. The soldier was later taken into custody. The center where the shooting occurred offered counseling services to soldiers seeking assistance and was considered a safe place for most servicemen. The killings appear to be the single deadliest episode of soldier-on-soldier violence among U.S. troops since the invasion six years ago.

Approximately one in six soldiers returns home with signs of post-traumatic stress. At least 140 soldiers committed suicide in 2008, according to the Army, a considerable increase compared with the 115 cases reported the previous year and the 102 documented in 2006. The number is the highest since the military started tracking suicide data in 1980. The Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force also reported an uptick in suicides last year.

For more on this tragedy and the military's reaction, we turn to Ernesto Londono, The Washington Post's Baghdad correspondent.

For more information on the shooting, watch the video below.

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The Takeaway

Helping children cope with the recession

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In the middle of this economic upheaval there are children across America learning new words like: "recession" and "foreclosure" and "layoff." While parents struggle to keep jobs, keep homes, and put food on the table, kids are learning to cope with the economic times, too. Helping kids handle the emotional upheaval of trying times is Denise Daniels. She is the co-founder of the National Childhood Grief Institute and she has turned her attentions on helping children through these trying economic times. She partnered with publisher Scholastic to create What Can I Do?. Also here to help us understand how the economic crisis is affecting children is our friend, Mrs. Janet Kunkel, a fifth grade teacher in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

Here is Denise Daniels' video from "What Can I Do?":



Plus: Watch Femi Oke host a roundtable with middle school students in Brooklyn, New York, about how they're dealing with the recession: For high quality video, click the "HQ" button.

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The Takeaway

The Released: A new Frontline documentary on life after prison for the mentally-ill

Monday, April 27, 2009

Five years ago, in the FRONTLINE documentary, The New Asylums, filmmakers Karen O’Connor and Miri Navasky, documented how the Ohio prison system struggled to provide care to thousands of mentally ill inmates. This year, in the new FRONTLINE documentaryThe Released, they return to Ohio to investigate what happens to mentally ill offenders when they leave the prison system. Typically, these offenders leave prison with a bus ticket, $75 in cash, and two weeks’ worth of medication. Studies show that within 18 months, nearly two-thirds of mentally ill offenders are re-arrested. The Takeaway is joined by filmmaker Karen O’Connor for a look at how the prison system has changed since she first captured it on film five years ago.

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The Takeaway

Recession depression and other woes of the employed

Thursday, April 09, 2009

It's not just the market that's bottoming out in this recession. There are nationwide reports of anxiety and stress in the face of these trying economic times. Reports are so widespread that the federal government was prompted to put up website warnings about symptoms of depression, substance abuse, and even suicide. Pam Belluck is covering the story for the New York Times and in her research she met Victoria Villalba, a woman who has been experiencing severe anxiety about the economy. They both join The Takeaway to share their stories.

"There are a lot of similarities here between natural disasters and what people are going through as a result of the economy."
—New York Times reporter Pam Belluck on anxiety as a result of the recession

For more, read Pam Belluck's article, Recession Anxiety Seeps Into Everyday Lives in today's New York Times.

Also, check out the government's website, Getting Through Tough Economic Times for more information on the signs of recession depression and where to get help.

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