Jumping to Conclusions Predicts Worse Psychosis Outcomes

Patients with first-episode psychosis who jump to conclusions may be at risk for significantly worse longer-term clinical outcomes, new research shows. Investigators from King’s College London, United Kingdom, found that the trait of jumping to conclusions (JTC) was linked to a significant increase in the number of days of hospitalization and a more than threefold increased risk of undergoing involuntary hospitalization after 4 years of follow-up. The findings were presented here at the Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) 2016 Biennial Meeting.

To read further, please click here.

Unlocking the Black Box of Schizophrenia; When schizophrenia resembles PTSD

The Sovereign Health Group is excited to release the fourth part of its editorial campaign “Unlocking the Black Box of Schizophrenia.” This series explores the biological origins, symptoms and stigma associated with schizophrenia. This month-long campaign is designed to promote schizophrenia awareness during the month of May, which is designated as Mental Health Month, and in observance of Schizophrenia Awareness Week from May 17 through May 23. Our coverage includes investigative reporting, educational articles, infographics and interactive elements such as slideshows.
This final installment examines how veterans with schizophrenia may be mistakenly diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, like schizophrenia, frequently involves psychotic or psychotic-like symptoms. Both disorders can be triggered by stress and trauma. How are doctors able to tell the difference between these two conditions? Are some veterans being treated for the wrong disorder?
The Sovereign Health Group prides itself not only on providing high-quality health care, but also on following cutting-edge neuroscience research and promoting mental health awareness and advocacy. We will continue to provide valuable information and resources for clinicians, patients and readers about schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses.

Track this story and future campaigns at the Sovereign Health Group website, and onFacebook or LinkedIn

Recovery Story by Todd Jensen

I always had a tough time dealing with other people while growing up. I absolutely had no laid-out plan for what I wanted to do with my life—no goals, no dreams to be anything except maybe to have my own radio show. But that is the only thing I wanted out of life. I hated having to follow rules and I was very impatient trying to make things work out for the best. I’ve been hospitalized three times, all in 1994, and believe me, it was not fun. I took up drinking in local bars a couple of years prior to my hospital stay. I went off my medication whenever I felt good or skipped doses on days I would drink any kind of alcohol.
It wasn’t until late 2015 that I finally quit altogether. One thing odd is that I never liked the taste of beer or liquor, but I would truly drink to be cool and accepted. I always loved being spotted with a tall glass of beer or wine. Twice I came very close to getting a DUI, but fortunately for me it never happened.  I simply did not care over the years, and now I wish I had saved the money I made. I never gave myself much of a chance to succeed in anything until recently. I’ve lost count of all the different medicine I’ve been on over the last twenty-plus years.
There is something that happens to everyone while going through life, things that happen to them to change their lives forever. It wasn’t until 1998 that my life, once again, seemed to make a turn for the better. To continue reading Todd’s recovery story, please click here.

Veterans on Deck

My name is Erika and I am a prior Naval Hospital Corpsman Second Class.  I have served from 2006 to 2013 starting from Great Lakes, Illinois to places such as Japan and even onboard ship. I have a passion for medicine and now that I am separated I am also passionate about helping Veterans. With that being said, it is very exciting for me to be able to announce the new military focused section of our newsletter! We will be providing the latest news articles, treatments, and even hotlines to contact when in need of help. .
To start off, if you or a Veteran you know is going through a crisis, you can call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. You can also chat online at www.veteranscrisisline.net or send a text message to 838255. This will connect you with a qualified Department of Veterans Affairs responder. This is confidential and also toll-free. According to their website, after launching in 2007 they have already answered approximately 2 million phone calls.
A recent study published Jan 01, 2016 by Journal of Affective Disorders discusses the importance of primary care and suicide prevention in veterans. They conducted a study involving people with depression psychosis, mania, PTSD, anxiety and illicit drug users. The results of this study conclude that veterans with mental health disorders were associated with high severity suicidal ideation but not suicide attempt. It also states that illicit drug use was not associated with suicidal ideation but was the only variable associated with suicide attempt. With studies such as this one, we may be able to catch the signs of suicide early enough to prevent it. If you are interested in reading the article, you can find it here.
There are many programs and services provided by the VA including treatments for various mental health illnesses such as depression, PTSD, anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. To continue reading this article and learn about more resources available, please click here.

NIMH Request for Brief Perspectives on the State of Mental Illness Research

NIMH has released a Request for Information (RFI) entitled “NIMH Request for Brief Perspectives on the State of Mental Illness Research” in order to invite external viewpoints on the state of mental illness research and NIMH’s role in the development of this research.  This is for use in developing briefing materials that will represent the full diversity of perspectives on mental illness research for the incoming NIMH Director. NIMH welcomes feedback from investigators, investigator-sponsors, clinicians, advocates, and any other stakeholders who participate in or are otherwise invested in mental illness research.  Additional information can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-MH-16-015.html.

Take a stand for brain health for Schizophrenia Awareness Week

This Schizophrenia Awareness week, do something to change the perception of brain illnesses.
Take a stand to educate, encourage, and advocate on behalf of brain health by taking part in SARDAA’s Brain campaign. Simply go to the Brain Campaign on your app and take the pledge today!

Decriminalizing Mental Illness

Over the last 30 years, the U. S. prison system has become home to more than 350,000 individuals living with a severe mental illness — that is 10 times the number of patients that receive treatment in state psychiatric hospitals. Our under-resourced, and overcrowded jails and prisons are not equipped to support these individuals, and many who enter the system leave sicker than when they were detained. It is time to decriminalize mental illness and invest in well-informed policies, intervention programs, and treatment clinics.

Let me first offer some historical perspective to understand where we are today. Psychiatric hospitals were built in the 1800s to treat mental illness. At their height in 1959, state mental hospitals held approximately 559,000 patients. Although established on moral principles, these institutions fell out of favor during the 1950s through the 70s following accusations of patient neglect and were replaced by community care facilities and services. After a few years, the cost and logistics of community-based care became unsustainable. Thousands of people lost access to care, and without meaningful alternatives, were funneled into the prison system. In short, our prisons have become the new asylums.

To read more, please click here to visit the Huffington Post website.

What If People Treated Physical Illness Like Mental Illness?

It’s no secret there’s a serious stigma attached to mental illness. According to the CDC, only 25 percent of people with mental health issues feel that other people are compassionate and sympathetic toward them. It’s a shameful statistic when one in four people have been touched by some form of mental illness.

Experts say that part of the problem when it comes to criticizing someone’s mental health is a lack of empathy and knowledge about the ailments. Yet, despite the staggering evidence and rhetoric aimed at helping people understand, many people still don’t get that being diagnosed with a mental illness isn’t something that’s in their control — just like having the flu, or food poisoning, or cancer isn’t in their control.

To know more, please click here to visit the Huffington Post website.

Federal Grant Funds Now Available to Launch New AOT Programs!

They said it couldn’t happen! As a result of our dedicated advocacy and your support, the federal government has – for the first time ever – allocated $15 million for assisted outpatient treatment (AOT).
SAMHSA posted a grant announcement earlier this week inviting state and local authorities to apply for up to four years of federal support of NEW AOT PROGRAMS.

Message From Family & Friends Coordinator Mary Ross


I’ve been involved lately in the annual ‘walk’ of our ally, NAMI (Greater Milwaukee chapter).  With respect to our ‘partnership’, given all that I have learned and benefited from SARDAA’s influence and commitment, I put forth an effort via team ‘SZ the DAY!, SZ of course referring to  Schizophrenia (and related disorders).  This serves to draw attention to the challenges encountered by those diagnosed and their support partners, as well as successes.  SARDAA receives many referrals from NAMI and we in turn emphasize NAMI as a helpful resource to our callers and support groups.  There is strength in numbers, thus it is important given that we share a common goal of education, support and advocacy. Some decades ago these resources didn’t exist, or did minimally, so it is good to look back and appreciate the valuable progress we have made.