Glenn Close speaks in Toronto about mental health

“In an award-winning acting career spanning decades, Glenn Close has managed to keep her private life out of the public eye.

But she comes to Toronto on Monday with her sister, Jessie, to talk about their family’s struggles and triumphs with mental health problems, as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences lecture series, sponsored in part by the Star. Jessie has bipolar disorder and her son, Calen, has schizoaffective disorder.

Deciding to confront the mental health stigma head on, the sisters created an organization Bring Change 2 Mind, where Jessie writes a candid blog and anyone can share their story.”


UNBELIEVABLE, in modern-day America:

US prisons hold 10 times more mentally ill people than state hospitals

“‘We’ve basically gone back to where we were 170 years ago,’ Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center, told Kaiser Health News. ‘We are doing an abysmal job of treating people with serious mental illnesses in this country. It is both inhumane and shocking the way we have dumped them into the state prisons and the local jails.’

The report found 44 states and the District of Columbia have at least one jail that holds more people coping with a mental illness than the largest state psychiatric hospital in the US does.

As states have drastically cut funding for mental health services in the last several years, the number of available beds in psychiatric hospitals has plunged to the lowest level since 1850.

Thus, many of these patients are shuffled into the prison system simply because there is nowhere else for them to go. The US prison population has steadily increased as mental health funding has decreased, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has found.

Prisoners with mental health issues are often put in solitary confinement for long periods of time, stay incarcerated longer than other prisoners, and are disproportionately abused, beaten, and raped by other inmates, the new report noted. Without treatment, the condition of ill inmates often worsens.

Since 1970, the percentage of prisoners with mental illnesses in each state has risen an average of about 5 to 20 percent, the report found.”


Penn Medicine researchers show how lost sleep leads to lost neurons

“No one really thought that the brain could be irreversibly injured from sleep loss. It’s now clear that it can be.”

“Most people appreciate that not getting enough sleep impairs cognitive performance. For the chronically sleep-deprived such as shift workers, students, or truckers, a common strategy is simply to catch up on missed slumber on the weekends. According to common wisdom, catch up sleep repays one’s “sleep debt,” with no lasting effects. But a new Penn Medicine study shows disturbing evidence that chronic sleep loss may be more serious than previously thought and may even lead to irreversible physical damage to and loss of brain cells. The research is published today in The Journal of Neuroscience. “