What is it like to experience mental health problems? – The British Psychological Society Research Digest – 2020-10-09

We’ve rounded up some of the research we’ve covered over the years that’s explored what it’s like to live with mental health problems, from obsessive compulsive disorder to hearing voices. Psychologists call these kind of studies “qualitative research”, where the aim is not to put a score against particular symptoms, but to discover the first-hand … Read more

Move Your Body, Boost Your Mood: Research shows moving your body each day can reduce stress and boost immunity – Psychology Today – 2020-09-23

As social distancing drags on, people are experiencing more stress, increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, and an uptick in mental health disorders, suicide ideation, and substance abuse relapse. Reduced physical activity, sleep disruption, and increased smoking and alcohol intake during the pandemic have been associated with higher depression, anxiety and stress symptoms. Moving our … Read more

Weighted blankets can help those with anxiety, depression get a better night’s sleep: study – CTV News – 2020-09-23

According to a new study from Sweden, for those battling insomnia spurred on by mental illness, a weighted chain blanket might be the key to finally getting a good night’s sleep. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine this month, found that between people sleeping with weighted blankets at night and those … Read more

Ten minutes of massage or rest will help your body fight stress – ScienceDaily – 2020-09-18

Allowing yourself a few minutes of downtime significantly boosts mental and physical relaxation. Research by psychologists at the University of Konstanz observed higher levels of psychological and physiological relaxation in people after only ten minutes of receiving a massage. Even ten minutes of simple rest increased relaxation, albeit to a lesser degree than massage. The … Read more

Structural Violence, Social Justice, and Mental Illness: Political participation is the most transformative path to promoting rights – Psychology Today – 2020-09-19

‘Structural violence’ is the term given to forces such as poverty, racism, inequality and discrimination which necessarily have an influence on people’s health including their mental health. These factors not only affect patterns of susceptibility and exposure but can also limit the effectiveness of health care systems and reduce access to services, especially among the … Read more

London Police Services Board votes to relocate funds to create crisis outreach support team – Global News – 2020-09-18

The London Police Services Board (LPSB) has voted in favour of creating a crisis outreach and support team to minimize police use of force during mental health calls on Thursday. The motion from Police Chief Steve Williams would see four specialized officers team up with local mental health workers to respond to some of the … Read more

Universal Basic Income and Mental Health: Research and history shows UBI may help with mental illness and poverty – Psychology Today – 2020-09-15

Universal Basic Income is a guaranteed income paid to every citizen with no strings attached. It lifts everyone above the poverty line and, because it is guaranteed, reduces a great deal of stress associated with unemployment and changes in the welfare system. It also allows people more opportunity to change their lives for the better, … Read more

New study suggests use of online pornography does not affect sexual satisfaction or mental well-being – PsyPost – 2020-09-03

New research suggests that, contrary to previous literature, the use of online pornography does not negatively impact evaluations of the self or others. The findings were published in Sexual and Relationship Therapy. As the use of online sexually explicit material (oSEM) has grown, so has the concern over its influence on mental well-being. Despite the … Read more

This Toronto Crisis Team Has Handled Mental Health Calls Without Cops for 30 Years – Vice.com – 2020-08-19

At her lowest point, Kaola Baird felt like she was living two lives. Things probably seemed fine from the outside: She had a circle of friends, an apartment, and was holding down a job in retail and as a fitness instructor. But she was also wrestling severe depression and anxiety that stemmed from the trauma … Read more

Ontario has failed to keep mentally ill people out of segregation in jail: human rights commission – CBC News – 2020-08-25

Ontario has failed to keep inmates with mental health disabilities out of segregation, the province’s human rights commission alleges. The Ontario Human Rights Commission filed a motion with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario seeking an order to hold the province accountable for violating a two-year-old agreement on the use of solitary confinement in the … Read more

Police chiefs embrace health-led response to dealing with people in mental crisis – CBC News – 2020-08-14

Police chiefs say they support closer collaboration with crisis workers to help prevent tragedies when their officers confront people dealing with mental-health issues. Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah says sending two police officers to such calls allows only the option of transporting the person in need to a hospital. He told MPs on the … Read more

Yoga shown to improve anxiety, study shows – ScienceDaily – 2020-08-12

Yoga improves symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, a condition with chronic nervousness and worry, suggesting the popular practice may be helpful in treating anxiety in some people. Led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, a new study found that yoga was significantly more effective for generalized anxiety disorder than standard education on stress … Read more

New psychology study finds people typically experience shifting mental disorders over their lifespan – PsyPost – 2020-08-09

New research based on four decades of longitudinal data indicates that it is rare for a person to receive and keep a single mental disorder diagnosis. Rather, experiencing different successive mental disorders appears to be the norm. The findings, published in JAMA Open, suggest that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals should move toward adopting … Read more

Body weight has surprising, alarming impact on brain function: Higher BMI is linked to decreased cerebral blood flow, which is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and mental illness – Science Daily – 2020-08-05

As a person’s weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow, according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. One of the largest studies linking obesity with brain dysfunction, scientists analyzed over 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans using single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) from … Read more

‘Do our lives count for less?’: COVID-19 exposes cracks in disability aid – CTV News – 2020-08-06

Karyn Keith says she isn’t asking for much. All she wants is the same support she’d receive if she was out of a job because of the pandemic, rather than unable to work because of her disabilities. The 44-year-old mother in Brampton, Ont., said she lives with constant pain and fatigue from multiple chronic conditions, … Read more

Saskatchewan inmate files human rights complaint over mental health – Global News – 2020-07-31

The death of her brother weighs on Prairie Crowe’s mind. Nicholas Dinardo is alive, but behind bars. The 28-year-old Indigenous man has attempted suicide multiple times and spent long stints in isolation, she says, including more than 200 days while he was in remand before his current five-year sentence for aggravated assault, assault with a … Read more

Having Realistic Expectations Could Make You Happier Than Being Over-Optimistic – The British Psychological Society Research Digest – 2020-07-28

There are fairly good arguments for optimism and pessimism both. Optimists, who see the best in everything, are likely to have a sunnier disposition; pessimists, on the other hand, would argue that their negative expectations never leave them disappointed when the worst actually happens. But in the end, it might be realists who win out. … Read more

Researchers Assume White Americans Are More Representative Of Humankind Than Other Groups, According To Analysis Of Psychology Paper Titles – The British Psychological Society Research Digest – 2020-07-29

It’s well-known that psychology has a problem with generalisability. Studies overwhelmingly involve “WEIRD” participants: those who are western and educated, from industrialised, rich and democratic societies. And while there is increasing recognition that other populations need better representation in research, many psychologists still often draw sweeping conclusions about humanity based on results from a narrow … Read more

Lithium in drinking water linked with lower suicide rates – Science Daily – 2020-07-27

Naturally occurring lithium in public drinking water may have an anti-suicidal effect — according to a new study from Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the study collated research from around the world and found that … Read more

Hedonism leads to happiness – Science Daily – 2020-07-27

Relaxing on the sofa or savoring a delicious meal: Enjoying short-term pleasurable activities that don’t lead to long-term goals contributes at least as much to a happy life as self-control, according to new research from the University of Zurich and Radboud University in the Netherlands. The researchers therefore argue for a greater appreciation of hedonism … Read more

Man remains stuck in a forensic mental health system some say is biased against Black people – CBC News – 2020-07-27

Five years ago, 20-year-old Mark Waweru, then a student at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., and a budding hip hop artist, had his first psychotic episode. It’s a night that changed the course of his life and left him locked in the forensic mental health system in Ontario for more than four years — … Read more

Hamilton police chief open to other agencies responding to mental health, addictions calls – CBC News – 2020-07-25

After weeks of public outcry for police reform, Hamliton’s police chief says, despite some reservations, he’s open to allowing community agencies to respond to service calls related to mental health and addictions issues. Those comments came during a Hamilton Police Services Board meeting on Thursday, about 90 minutes after Black Lives Matter activists painted “DEFUND … Read more