- By Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., FRCP-E, FRCPsych
In November 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instituted a new Clozapine Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to monitor prescribing and dispensing of the drug, which is used to treat schizophrenia. The new REMS led to confusion for manufacturers, pharmacies, prescribers, and patients. Some clinicians stopped prescribing the already underutilized drug, and some pharmacies stopped dispensing it. This chaotic situation led the FDA to stop enforcing certain requirements of the REM for 90 days.
Several American Psychiatric Association (APA) courses, offered through SMI Adviser, cover ways to promote well-being among patients, whether though exercise, connecting with others, or positivity.
Virtual reality technology is increasingly being used to support mental health and treat a variety of mental health disorders, especially as the technology becomes more familiar and more affordable. Virtual reality (VR) offers several advantages, including convenience and the ability to adapt and individualize it. Among the conditions being effectively treated with VR are PTSD, anxiety and phobias.
Several new studies highlight links between mental health disorders and COVID-19. People with mental health disorders and intellectual disabilities are more at risk for contracting COVID and people who have had COVID are at greater risk for developing mental disorders. Understanding these risks can potentially help health professionals and individuals to improve prevention, assessment, and treatment.
A Psychiatric Advance Directive (PAD) can be useful tool to help people with serious mental illness plan ahead and have more control over their treatment during a time of crisis. A PAD (sometimes called a mental health advanced directive) is a legal document that includes a list of instructions and preferences that the individual wishes to be followed in case of a mental health crisis.