Pioneering Addiction Psychiatrist Mitchell Rosenthal Dead at 87

Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal Mitchell Rosenthal, MD, the founder and long-time president and CEO of Phoenix House, a nonprofit substance use disorder treatment organization, died on November 17 at the age of 87. The psychiatrist died at a Manhattan hospital from complications of pneumonia, The New York Times reports. Rosenthal was a dedicated advocate of ensuring … Read more

Mental Illness Tied to More Healthcare Use Among Homeless

Among adults experiencing homelessness in Ontario, Canada, those with a mental illness are more likely to use emergency, inpatient, and physician services, according to a new report. In general, homelessness is associated with higher healthcare needs, hospitalizations, and primary care appointments, compared with low-income control groups, the study authors wrote. At the same time, healthcare … Read more

Impaired Communication May Predict Coercive Psychiatric Care

Psychiatric patients with impaired communication abilities were significantly more likely to be admitted involuntarily to inpatient care and to experience coercive measures after admission, based on data from more than 1,500 individuals. Celline Cole Despite improvements in reducing coercive measures in psychiatric inpatient care, both involuntary admission and coercive measures remain in use in many … Read more

Gut Microbiota Disruption a Driver of Aggression in Schizophrenia?

Disturbances in the gut may help explain why some patients with schizophrenia are aggressive whereas others are not, new research suggests. However, at least one expert expressed concerns over the study’s conclusions. Results from a study of 50 inpatients with schizophrenia showed significantly higher pro-inflammation, pro-oxidation, and leaky gut biomarkers in those with aggression vs … Read more

Toward a New Open-Door Model for Psychiatric Wards

If isolated, patients with mental disorders may end up having higher levels of social impairment. This has led several hospitals in Spain to set up open-door departments that are more accessible. The purpose of the open-door model is to help remove the stigma from individuals who need to be admitted to a psychiatric ward because … Read more

California Governor OKs Mental Health Courts for Homeless

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With more than 100,000 people living on California’s streets, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-of-its kind law on Wednesday that could force some of them into treatment as part of a program he describes as “care” but opponents argue is cruel. Newsom signed the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment Act on … Read more

Clozapine Best Choice for Reducing SUD Risk in Schizophrenia?

Clozapine or antipsychotic polytherapy appear to be the best approach in reducing the risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) in adults with schizophrenia and for preventing relapse in patients with both diagnoses, results of a real-world study show. “Our findings are in line with a recent meta-analysis showing superior efficacy of clozapine in schizophrenia … Read more

CA Lawmakers Approve Mental Health Care Plan for Homeless

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will establish a new court program to steer — even force — homeless people with severe mental disorders into treatment after lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval to a proposal pitched in March by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. The Senate unanimously agreed to changes approved in the Assembly late Tuesday, … Read more

Mistrust Lingers in Black Communities Amid 988 Launch

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — On a few occasions, Sitaniel Wimbley’s mother grew manic in her front yard. When neighbors were met with screaming and cursing on their street in Natchez, Mississippi, they would dial 911. An officer would arrive to collect Wimbley’s mother, who battled chronic bipolar schizophrenia. Her first stop was jail. Then she … Read more

Police Often Called for Emergency Mental Health Transfers

University health clinics in Ontario, Canada frequently enlist law enforcement to accompany students during transfers to mental health facilities, a new study finds. Physicians fear that this practice is harmful. At some clinics, the police routinely handcuff students during the trip to the hospital. “The people we interviewed were all on the same page, but … Read more