MHRN Blog

Outreach is meant for the people left outside!

8 October 2019 08:21 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Several years ago, Evette Ludman and I undertook a focus group study to learn about early dropout from psychotherapy. We soon learned, however, that the one-third of people who joined our focus group were not the people we needed to hear from.

Marianne Williamson vs. the DSM-5

3 September 2019 08:33 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Psychiatric epidemiology has become a Presidential campaign issue! Marianne Williamson has taken some heat for her past claim that diagnosis of clinical depression is “such a scam.” She's stood by her point that “There is normal spectrum of human despair; it is a spiritual, not a medical issue.” And she’s stood by her claim that antidepressants are over-prescribed when “people are simply sad.” Is there really any difference between depression and ordinary sadness? Are antidepressants being prescribed inappropriately for “normal human despair”?

Who decides when science is junk?

12 August 2019 07:03 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

During the last month, I found myself in several conversations about promoting open science. We hope that sharing data, research methods, and early results will make research more rigorous and reproducible. But those conversations all turned to the fear that data or preliminary results could be misinterpreted or even deliberately misused. How can we protect the public from misleading “junk science”?

Who Owns the Future of Suicide Risk Prediction?

10 July 2019 11:37 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   2 comments

On my plane rides to and from a recent meeting about big data in suicide prevention, I finally read Jaron Lanier’s 2013 book "Who Owns the Future?" Lanier argues that those who create useful information should be paid by those who profit from it.

Are the kids really alright?

17 June 2019 07:28 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

If you’re my age, “The Kids Are Alright” names a song by The Who from their 1966 debut album, My Generation. If you’re even younger, it names a TV series that debuted just last year. What goes around comes around – especially our worry that the kids are not alright. That worry often centers on how the kids’ latest entertainment is damaging their mental health.

Bebe Rexha can call herself whatever she wants

8 May 2019 08:07 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   2 comments

A few weeks ago, the pop star Bebe Rexha told the world via Twitter: “I’m bipolar and I’m not ashamed anymore. That is all. (crying my eyes out.)” I cheered about a talented and successful woman announcing that she is not ashamed to live with bipolar disorder. But I initially paused when reading the words “I’m bipolar.” That’s the sort of language that many mental health advocates discourage.

Is it too soon to move the tomato plants outside?

15 April 2019 09:42 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

It’s the time of year when backyard gardeners start to think about transplanting tomato seedlings from that tray in the sunny part of the kitchen to the real garden outside. Moving outdoors too soon is risky. Those of us who develop mental health interventions often keep them indoors too long. When I look back on the history of Collaborative Care for depression, I think we waited too long before moving that intervention to the outdoor garden.

Isn’t prediction about the future?

18 March 2019 12:07 PM   •   Greg Simon   •   2 comments

This post will be a nerdy one. I want to split some hairs about use of the word “predict”. But I think they are hairs worth splitting.

Friction won’t stop us anymore!

12 February 2019 11:05 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   0 comments

Seattle had one of its rare snowy days last week. Seeing cars slide sideways down our hills reminded me that friction is sometimes our friend.

Have we become Helicopter Researchers?

10 January 2019 08:29 AM   •   Greg Simon   •   2 comments

“Helicopter Parents” is the derisive term for those over-protective parents who won’t let their children experience any failure – or even any actual challenge. I think, however, that the helicopter critique does apply to the way we researchers often over-protect our theories. Loving our theories too much, we protect them too vigorously from empirical challenge.