Month: August 2016

Reading of the Week: Hospitalizations and Ethnicity (and Stigma)

From the Editor

Younger and sicker.

This week, we look at a new paper published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry considering ethnicity and hospitalizations. Drawing on Ontario data, researchers looked at psychiatric hospitalizations for people of Chinese and South Asian descent, finding that they were younger and more ill at the time of admission.

Hospitalizations, ethnicity… and access

Lead author Maria Chiu of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences told the Toronto Star:

Cultural factors play a big role in these findings. While Asian people tend to have stronger family support, they are also faced with a higher level of stigma and it prevents people from seeking help early. Families may try to cope and keep the illness within the family until there is no choice but to go to hospital.

This paper is well designed. It’s also important, speaking to larger issues about access, stigma, and ethnicity.

DG Continue reading

Reading of the Week: Olympics and Mental Illness

From the Editor

This is the Olympics edition of the Reading of the Week.

We will remember Rio for much – the big smile on Penny Oleksiak face when she won gold; the grit of the Canadian women’s soccer team; the achievements of American Michael Phelps.

For me, there is also the amazing story of swimmer Allison Schmitt. I’ll remember her not just as an Olympian who competed. That’s memorable of course. But she is also memorable for being an athlete willing to talk about her struggles with mental illness.

For the record, Schmitt won gold and silver in the pool in Rio.

DG Continue reading

Reading of the Week: Do Cities Make Us Sick?

From the Editor

Do cities make us sick?

It’s a question people have been asking for years with many advocating that we should – to steal a line from Huckleberry Finn – get the lights fantastic out of town.

Big city, big mental illness?

This week, we look at a new paper just published in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry that looks at urban vs. rural populations and depression.

Then, turning to The Atlantic, we consider an essay written by a psychologist that looks at the connection between psychosis and cities.

DG Continue reading

Yes or No on tPSA

In the last few days, I’ve received more than a dozen emails and read a score of tweets – and that’s just from the two organized campaigns. As Ontario doctors get ready to weigh in on the Ontario government offer, there are many opinions being offered up.

I’ll disclose that I’m a member of the OMA’s Section on Psychiatry Executive.

How to cast your ballot on the three questions?

I’d like to focus on two letters that are relevant to Ontario psychiatrists. The goal here isn’t to lobby you but to help inform you.

The next two posts are worth reading and considering.


Paper with an N of 14 Lands NYT Story

There is more to this story than a paper with a tiny sample of people — yes, just 14 — landing in The New York Times.

Benedict Carey is an excellent reporter and he looks at the Hearing Voices Network, which attempts to help people with psychosis without labels like patients. And without medications.

Benedict Carey

Here’s the link for “An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold”:

And, yes, the article closes by mentioning a Psychiatric Services paper with an n of 14.

Quick question: if we were talking about a group promoting, say, breast cancer treatment without chemo or radiation, would they have gotten so much attention?

A Podcast Worth Listening To

I’m a big fan of the National Elf Service — a nice collection of bloggers writing about the literature.

Recently, they have started doing Podcasts, and the project doesn’t disappoint.

There are several good Podcasts in the series, but I particularly like the interview with Oxford’s Willem Kuryken on mindfulness.

Kuryken, as you will recall, has been the first author of a couple of excellent new papers that I have been highlighted in the Reading of the Week. Here, he talks thoughtfully about the topic he knows best. There are good insights on depression and relapse prevention — and more.

Willem Kurken