How Do We Protect the Mentally Ill From Police Violence?

….In light of the publicity surrounding the killing by Toronto Police of Sammy Yatim in Toronto, the timing was perfect. And while there is no evidence that Mr. Yatim had a mental illness, his shooting has reminded everyone of all those with mental illness who have been shot by police. The Toronto coroner has called for a combined inquest into three recent deaths of mentally ill people at the hands of police — that of Michael Eligon, a 29 year old shot near Toronto East General Hospital in his hospital gown brandishing a pair of scissors; Reyal Jardine-Douglas, 25 who was shot by police as he jumped off a Toronto bus in 2010; and Sylvia Klibingaitis, 52 who was shot by police in 2011.

The case that was very similar to that of Mr. Yatim was of Edmund Yu, a man with schizophrenia, who threatened police with a hammer on a streetcar in Toronto in 1997. That inquest recommended that police have a mobile crisis team involving a police officer and a psychiatric nurse. Unfortunately, these teams only work till 9:00 PM.

by Marvin Ross, The Huffington Post

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Bipolar Patients at Risk of Dying Prematurely, New Data Suggest

Individuals with bipolar disorder tend to die, on average, nine years prematurely….However, the researchers also learned that while bipolar subjects’ highest odds of dying prematurely were from suicide, their leading causes of premature death were cardiovascular disease and cancer. And when they received timely medical care for such illnesses, they tended to not die any earlier from these illnesses than did the general population.

–Psychiatric News Alert

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Short Hospitalizations Found to Be Risk Factor for Readmission of Schizophrenia Patients

Short hospital stays for patients with schizophrenia are associated with risk of early readmission, possibly because the person is insufficiently stabilized, according to a report in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

….“This finding suggests that some patients may have been discharged before they were sufficiently stabilized,” the researchers said. “Patients with shorter stays and those not sufficiently stabilized on their medication should receive more vigorous discharge planning and follow-up care to ensure smoother transition to treatment in the community.”

–Psychiatric News Alert

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Study Finds 1 in 3 Children of Parents With Serious Mental Illness Also at Risk for Mental Illness

They found that children of parents with SMI had a 32 percent probability of developing SMI themselves by age 20, and this risk was more than twice that of control offspring.

….The researchers said that their analysis “suggests that by early adulthood, the offspring has a 1-in-3 risk of developing a psychotic or major mood disorder a and 1-in-2 risk of developing any mental disorder.

–Psychiatric News Alert

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Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Increased in Youth Taking Antipsychotics

Antipsychotic drug use has been associated with increased risk for onset of type 2 diabetes in adults, and according to a study in today’s JAMA Psychiatry, the risk may hold true in children as well.

Results showed that those receiving antipsychotic therapy were three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those not taking the medication. The risk increased with accumulative drug doses and remained elevated for one year after discontinuation of drug use.

–Psychiatric News Alert

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Autism Treatment Should be Adapted According to Gender

Carol Povey, Director of The National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, said:

“Historically, research on autism has been largely informed by the experiences of men and boys with the condition.

“This important study will therefore help our understanding of how the condition differs between genders. Girls can be more adaptive than boys and can develop strategies that often mask what we traditionally think of as the signs of autism.

“This “masking” can lead to a great deal of stress, and many girls go on to develop secondary problems such as anxiety, eating disorders or depression.

“It’s important that we build on this study and more research is conducted into the way autism manifests in girls and women, so that we can ensure that gender does not remain a barrier to diagnosis and getting the right support.”

by Shan Ellis, Autism Daily Newscast

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Newly Discovered ‘Switch’ Plays Dual Role in Memory Formation

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have uncovered a protein switch that can either increase or decrease memory-building activity in brain cells, depending on the signals it detects. Its dual role means the protein is key to understanding the complex network of signals that shapes our brain’s circuitry, the researchers say.

….Although it might seem the two different functions are behaving at cross-purposes, Oku says, it also could be that nature’s bundling of these functions together in a single protein is an elegant way of enabling learning and memory while preventing dangerous overstimulation.


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Join SARDAA’s Team at The Houston Walk for Mental Health!

Information and Registration

Friday October 10-Sunday October 12

The Houston Walk for Mental Health is a 3 day community based event to raise awareness and funding for Harris County non-profit agencies and programs that provide mental health services.

$25 for online registration through Friday October 5th. Late Registration: $35

SARDAA will have a team that people can walk with – the only advocates/representatives for people living with schizophrenia-related disorders. You can donate to our team without walking. If you walk for SARDAA, you will be provided a SARDAA t-shirt (value $15).


Thursday, October 10th: just a bit before sunset (in front of City Hall and the Reflection Pool) we will join the City of Houston in kicking-off our “Positive Public Dialog” by illuminating our City Hall lime green (color for mental illness/disease) for three nights. THIS IS A FREE EVENT.

Friday, October 11th: Luncheon from 12:00 pm at The United Way Offices – 50-Waigh Drive – 77007

Guest Speaker is Dr. James A. McSwain – Principle at Lamar High School  – ”Schizophrenia – An Unacceptable Condition”

Luncheon is open to all registered walkers and interested members of the community.  Lunch is provided with your registration fee.  AND  …………………….   YOU MUST RSVP  for the luncheon as seating is limited. CEO credits available.

Saturday, October 12: Walk at Spotts Park (please register)

Medicines in Development for Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders—such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease—inflict great pain and suffering on patients and their families, and every year costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars. Biopharmaceutical research companies are developing 444 new medicines to prevent and treat neurological disorders.

Landing Page: America’s biopharmaceutical research companies are developing 444 new medicines to prevent and treat neurological disorders, according to a new report released today by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

There are more than 600 neurological disorders that strike millions of Americans each year. These diseases and disorders inflict great pain and suffering on millions of patients and their families, and cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars annually. They range from well-known disorders such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, to more obscure conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Friedreich’s ataxia.

“Despite the incredible complexity of neurological disorders, biopharmaceutical scientists have delivered significant advances for patients in recent years, including new medicines for multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease,” said PhRMA President and CEO John J. Castellani. “The nearly 450 medicines in the pipeline have the potential to bring us ever closer to our shared goal of providing better health and longer lives to patients facing these debilitating disorders.”

Full Report