Recommended Reading for January 14th

Warning: Offsite links are not safe spaces. Articles and comments in the links may contain ableist, sexist, and other -ist language of varying intensity. Opinions expressed in the articles may not reflect the opinions held by the compiler of the post. I attempt to provide extra warnings for certain material present in articles, but your triggers/issues may vary.

ME [myalgic encephalomyelitis] Agenda: Concerns about Daily Mail “Is ME genuine illness” poll

We are told that the Daily Mail is running a poll [now removed]:

“Do you think ME is a genuine illness?”

in connection with its article: British experts say ME virus is a myth[…]

Readers of Co-Cure may recall the outrage at a similar poll on the BMJ’s site on medics’ perceptions of what they considered to be “real” and “non real” illnesses.

I know that I am not alone in my concerns that the Mail should think it appropriate to run such a poll.

L.A.Times: Blind architects have a real feel for the site lines

But the two men hadn’t traveled to Midtown Manhattan to look at the structure’s famous features.

Instead, they slid their curious fingers along the pocked surface of the alloyed bronze facade. Inside, their hands explored a smooth, round railing of warm cherry wood, a counterpoint to the chilly glass panels of the main staircase. Their canes clicked along the intricate floor, sensing the shift from swaths of concrete to planks of Ruby Lake fir.

“We were exploring how we could sense it with a cane, sense it with our fingers, sense it with our feet,” said Northern California architect Christopher Downey. “There is this great palette of textures. . . . All of a sudden, it starts to engage your brain in a different way.”

New York Times: Mental Health: Deficiencies in Treatment of Depression

Only 1 in 5 [Americans with clinical depression] are getting care — talk therapy, medication or both — that conforms to American Psychiatric Association guidelines, according to the study, which appears in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The findings were based on nationally representative surveys of 15,762 adults from February 2001 to November 2003. Over all, more patients used talk therapy (44 percent) than drug therapy (33 percent). Mexican-Americans and African-Americans were less likely than other groups to receive treatment of any kind.

SOS Children’s Villages: Breaking down the stigma: SOS Malawi’s work for the rights of disabled children

[Jeremy Sandbrook, National Director of SOS Children’s Villages Malawi from 2004 to 2009]: That being said, our biggest challenge was to overcome internal prejudices that we as fellow human beings tend to have towards those with disabilities. In this context, the issue was to get staff to feel comfortable with being around and working with children with disabilities. It’s a mindset change. Often people automatically think that people with physical disabilities must also have a mental disability. This is not helped by the numerous barriers that people with disabilities have to overcome in everyday society, with some of these being grounded in traditional beliefs such as witchcraft. It is stigmas such as these that we have tried to break down, not only within our own national association, but more importantly within the broader community in which these children live. In support of this, we made strong efforts in mainstreaming disabled children into our SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools. Whilst the most obvious first step was to ensure that the psychical infrastructure was wheelchair and disability friendly, a more challenging issue was the wider environment: In many cases, the disabled children simply could not even make it to the school gates, and were therefore excluded from access to an education. Jump from Sunshine Skyway opened door to a second chance [WARNING: detailed suicide talk]

When Hanns Jones jumped from the Sunshine Skyway in 2001, he survived with some broken bones and internal injuries. Now he’s pushing his invention: the Electro Safety Rail.

Joseph Shapiro at NPR: WWII Pacifists Exposed Mental Ward Horrors [WARNING: descriptions of abuse in psychatric hospital]

“Byberry’s the last stop on the bus here in Philadelphia,” Sawyer recalls. “Any young man on the bus, other people knew that we were COs [conscientious objectors] working at the hospital. And they’d make different kinds of remarks, supposedly talking to each other, but hoping that we hear. And you know: ‘Yellowbellies, slackers.’ ”

Those slurs were harsh. But not nearly as harsh as what awaited the young men inside the gates of the chaotic and overcrowded hospital for people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities.