Cross-sectional survey on defensive practices and defensive behaviours among Israeli psychiatrists

BMJ Open 2017; 7:e014153.
Authors: Reuveni I, Pelov I, Reuveni H, et al
“Psychiatry is a low-risk specialisation; however, there is a steady increase in malpractice claims against psychiatrists. Defensive psychiatry (DP) refers to any action undertaken by a psychiatrist to avoid malpractice liability that is not for the sole benefit of the patient’s mental health and well-being. The objectives of this study were to assess the scope of DP practised by psychiatrists and to understand whether awareness of DP correlated with defensive behaviours.”
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To stop doctors ending their lives, we need to hear from those suffering

The Guardian, 21 March 2017
Author: Ranjana Srivastava
“The revelation that four junior doctors have taken their own lives in recent months obliges us to look at why doctors with mental illnesses don’t speak up. There is ample evidence for the high rates of mental illness in doctors, several times greater compared with other professions and the general population. Armed with knowledge and surrounded by advice, why do doctors commit suicide at an alarmingly high rate?”
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Some Gun Laws Tied to Lower Suicide Rates

NYT, 15 March 2017
Author: Nicholas Bakalar
“Background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases are associated with lower suicide rates. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the national suicide rate is now 13 per 100,000, a 30-year high. Researchers found that states with universal background checks had a decrease of 0.29 suicides per 100,000 people from 2013 to 2014. Those without such laws had an average increase of 0.85.”
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NHS mental health trust to be prosecuted amid claims it failed to offer safe care

The Guardian, 7 March 2017
Author: Haroon Siddique
“A mental health trust is to be the first NHS provider to be prosecuted under legislation brought in after the Mid Staffs scandal. It is accused of failing to provide safe care and treatment resulting in avoidable harm to a patient and other patients being exposed to a significant risk of avoidable harm, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said on Monday.”
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Interrupting the Mental Illness–Incarceration-Recidivism Cycle

JAMA. 2017; 317(7): 695-696.
Authors: Matthew E. Hirschtritt, Renee L. Binder
“This Viewpoint offers ways people with serious mental illness can be diverted from prison by preventing court involvment, developing mental health courts, mandating police training, providing housing, and developing outpatient treatment progams.”
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The Trump Psych Debate: Is It Wrong To Say He’s Mentally Ill?

Forbes, 19 February 2017
Author: Emily Willingham
“A psychologist’s petition for mental health professionals to call for Donald Trump’s removal on the grounds of mental illness has gathered 25,000 signatures, but the ethics around when and how professionals should publicly discuss the president’s mental health may not be as clearcut as you think.”
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South African officials were “negligent and reckless” in transfer of vulnerable patients to cut costs

BMJ 2017; 356: j632
Author: Pat Sidley
“At least 94 patients with mental illnesses and disabilities died in appalling circumstances after a contract between a private mental hospital and the Gauteng provincial government was cancelled last year.”
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Increased Service Use Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Associated With Mental Health Parity Law

Health Aff 2017 vol. 36 no. 2 337-345
Authors: Elizabeth A. Stuart, Emma E. McGinty, Luther Kalb, Haiden A. Huskamp et al
“Health care services for children with autism spectrum disorder are often expensive and frequently not covered under private health insurance. The 2008 Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was viewed as a possible means of improving access by eliminating differences between behavioral health and medical/surgical benefits. We examined whether the legislation was associated with increased use of and spending on mental health care and functional services for children with autism spectrum disorder compared to the period prior to implementation of the law.”
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South African scandal after nearly 100 mental health patients die

The Guardian, 2 February 2017
Source: Agence France-Presse
“At least 94 patients with mental health issues died after South African authorities moved them from hospitals to unlicensed health facilities. Many of the deaths were due to pneumonia, dehydration and diarrhoea. The centres also failed to provide seriously ill patients with enough food and water, leaving them severely malnourished, underweight and in some cases dying from dehydration.”
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