PsychOdyssey OpEd

Paranoia About Pot Is Rational

PsychOdyssey Editorial, December 6, 2015

Americans today see a vast public movement favoring decriminalization of marijuana, whether for medicinal purposes (as in many states, including PsychOdyssey’s home state of New Jersey) or even for recreational purposes (as in Colorado). Many Americans seem to favor such action. But for most families navigating schizophrenia, such action is antithetical to good mental health. Indeed, such action hinders family efforts to restrain their loved ones from its deleterious use… [Read more]

10 Key Points About Violence and Mental Illness

PsychOdyssey Editorial, June 4, 2013

To reduce violence, especially gun violence, society would be far better served by concentrating on urban gang warfare and continuing “stop and frisk” policies. To reduce the small percentage of violence by those with serious mental illness, we should get them not unconstitutionally listed in some national registry, but earlier and better assessed and into treatment at more good community mental health agencies like Greater Trenton Behavioral Health.

Above all, let’s also keep all the facts in view—and in perspective. From our own research, here are 10 important points that PsychOdyssey has learned about violence and mental illness:…  [Read more]

The Sandy Hook Masscare: What Needs Studying?

PsychOdyssey Editorial, December 21, 2012

In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, the nation is frenzied about this heinous slaughter of innocents. Everyone is demanding answers. “More gun control!”  “More background checks!”  “More screening of the mentally ill!” If the media’s response is a correct indication, the nation is hysterically hyperventilating and not thoughtfully reflecting. For our fellow citizens with psychiatric disabilities, this poses a serious danger. Overwrought, careless, even reckless presumptions of an inexorable link between mental illness and violence only further stigmatizes an already unfairly marginalized minority in need… [Read More…]

NJ Cuts Services: Time To Rethink Partial Care?

PsychOdyssey Editorial, August 26, 2011

While New Jersey families will appreciate the Department’s short-term effort to maintain the current level of services for their loved ones in partial care programs, none can be pleased with the implications of a 25% evisceration of the partial care program workforce around the State. In the longer run, however, the action highlights the precarious dependence of the State’s community mental health service sector on the increasingly fraying thread of government funding… See PsychOdyssey’s editorial here.

Opposition to ECT? Let’s Not Confuse Things…

PsychOdyssey Editorial, February 11, 2011

In his recent article, entitled “Electroconvulsive Therapy–The Second Most Controversial Medical Procedure”, Dr. Charles H. Kellner, chief of the division of geriatric psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, presents a most welcome testimony to the salubrious effects of ECT for those with treatment-resistant depression. Family members of loved ones for whom ECT could bring relief after all else fails should appreciate his stout defense of the admittedly controversial therapy. But Dr. Kellner does a disservice to those seeking clarity about ECT by comparing its opponents to those who oppose abortion. See PsychOdyssey’s editorial here.

Insanity Offense in Tucson

PsychOdyssey Editorial, January 12, 2011

All family members of loved ones with severe mental illness are cringing today.  From the beginning of the news tsunami about the Tucson tragedy, we have suspected what is now emerging as the true story. After the posting everywhere of Jared Loughner’s menacing mug shot, we have known for sure. To invoke the title from Dr. E. Fuller Torrey’s recent book, Jared Loughner (allegedly) committed a heinous insanity offense… [Read more…]

No Annual Increases for SSI recipients?

PsychOdyssey Editorial, December 23, 2010

The Social Security Administration has recently sent out letters to all its Supplemental Support Income (SSI) beneficiaries. It reports bad news. Since the Consumer Price Index “has not risen since the last cost-of-living adjustments”, there will be no increase in individual SSI payments… [Read more…]

Why The Most Vulnerable in the Hands of the Least Qualified?

PsychOdyssey Editorial, December 12, 2010

In the course of sleuthing details of the proposed closing of Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey, we discovered a disquieting circumstance that should distress all family members of loved ones in New Jersey’s state psychiatric hospitals. It seems that the our most vulnerable psychiatric patients are in the care of direct service staff members who are apparently the least educated… [Read more…]

Do Minimum Wage Increases Help The Diasbled?

PsychOdyssey Editorial, July 10, 2010

Everyone should earn a living wage. But to earn a wage, first you have to have a job. Recently in Pennsylvania the minimum wage rose from $5.15 to $7.15 an hour. On the surface that’s a good thing. But as so often occurs when politics intersects economics, there are intended consequences that end up hurting the very people that were intended to be helped. [Read more…]

Funding Addictions Treatment: Medicare’s Horror Show

PsychOdyssey Editorial, July 9, 2010

What is a true Medicare abuse? Insufficient coverage for addictions. Medicare’s miserly approach wastes millions. What it spends today is not nearly enough to avoid wasting much more down the road. As a social policy, it is a horror show. [Read more…]

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