Penelope O'Malley, PhD




Consumer Employment: Advocacy Assumes Another Face

November 01, 1997

The goals of National Coalition for Mental Health Professionals and Consumers are to educate the public about the problems of managed mental health care and to develop alternative health delivery models. I think greater media coverage has spawned greater awareness of the difficulties with managed care and has provided legislators with vital information. Certainly sharing their stories has made many people feel less alone and isolated within a system they find frustrating and depriving. I think media advocacy has helped doctors find support for their right to stand up to these abuses and band together in greater numbers to fight for integrity and quality in mental health care delivery.

The S.O.S. Campaign: Educating the Public About Schizophrenia

November 01, 1997

Inspired, in part, by the initial success of treating young patients with new atypical antipsychotic medications, the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) has initiated a major consumer campaign to educate the public about schizophrenia. S.O.S. (Signs of Schizophrenia) is designed to help parents and children recognize symptoms and seek treatment, emphasizing the importance of early detection and care.

Steps to Accurate Diagnosis of Substance Abuse

July 01, 1997

Because alcohol- and drug-dependent patients tend to develop high rates of symptoms usually associated with common psychiatric syndromes, practitioners often fail to diagnose substance dependence and instead jump to treat more familiar disorders. The risk that such circumstances will occur is understandable given statistics that two of every three alcohol- or drug-dependent individuals meet the criteria for psychiatric disorders and one of every three such individuals meets the criteria for anxiety or depressive disorders.

Ebonics-Black English or Boondoggle?

March 01, 1997

The important thing about teachers listening to Ebonics is for them not to equate it with the students' being stupid, says Alvin Poussaint, M.D., professor of psychiatry. "It means they've learned a way to speak in their community or home that's a natural way for them to speak, which they then carry with them to school." While the language is part of who they are and their connection to their community, it doesn't absolutely have to exist to preserve a black identity.