Thursday, April 26, 2012

John Mendoza on One Plus One

Today an interview with the outspoken and controversial Australian psychiatrist John Mendoza was broadcast on the ABC's current affairs interview show One Plus One, along with some other interviews. Journalist Jane Hutcheon was the interviewer. When asked about the current strong advocacy in Australia for early intervention services for young people judged to be at risk of developing psychosis, Mendoza claimed that there was strong evidence, but I don't recall that he stated what of. His words might have sounded quite authoritative to a viewer with only a marginal interest and little background knowledge of the issue, but I was unimpressed, to say the least. Hutcheon also held Mendoza to account for his unprofessional smears of former PM Kevin Rudd during the run-up to the last leadership spill in the ALP, which is surely a question that needed to be asked.

One Plus One.

Have we seen the last of Rudd? Don't bet on it!

Rudd shortens: punters back Kevin Rudd as Bill Shorten gets narky.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Guardian reports that study finds drugs should not be first option

The Guardian newspaper yesterday published an article reporting the findings of a study which apparently found that drugs should not be the first option for treating young people thought to be at risk of developing a psychotic mental illness such as schizophrenia, because "only a tenth will go on to develop more serious conditions" and ""benign" psychological treatments, including Cognitive Therapy (CT), were effective in reducing the severity of psychotic experiences". So I've got to wonder why some Australian psychiatrists have been so enthused about trialling the pills. I guess this should be good news for psychologists and bad news for psychiatrists and drug companies. But didn't the Gillard Government bring in a program of mental health reforms that gave lots of funding for psychiatry at the expense of psychological treatment? Nice one, Julia! You're a one-woman-skill-shortage.

Drugs not best option for people at risk of psychosis, study warns. Guardian. April 6th 2012.