Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Highlights From APA’s Online 2021 Annual Meeting

APA’s online 2021 Annual Meeting is now in the books, and highlights of Annual Meeting lectures and scientific sessions appear below. Look for additional coverage in future issues of Psychiatric News.

Incoming APA President Outlines Specific Plan to Address Social Determinants of Mental Health
As the country executes a massive public health effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, how can psychiatry address the systemic problems that the pandemic made obvious?

A Pandemic Year of Chronic Stress: Robert Sapolsky Reviews Science Behind Chronic Stress and What It Is Doing to Us
In a whirlwind lecture, seemingly extemporaneous and frequently amusing, of the science linking chronic stress to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders, Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., said the stresses of COVID-19 have brought out the worst and—sometimes—the best in human beings.

NIMH Director Highlights Institute’s Response to Joint Crises of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism
The long-term mental health landscape in the COVID-19 era is still unfolding, but NIMH is responding to the fact that members of minority groups are bearing the brunt of the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.

Substance Use Rises as Isolation Takes Toll on People With Substance, Opioid Use Disorders During Pandemic
Social distancing and limited access to peer-support groups increase the risk of relapse and fatal overdose, says NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D.

Black People in U.S. Have Been Victims of ‘Caste’ System for Centuries, Says Pulitzer Prize–Winning Author
Most Americans associate a caste system with countries like India, but it applies to the United States as well—from the time of slavery, Black people have been stratified to the bottom of American society, says author Isabel Wilkerson.

Changing the Way People at Risk for Suicide Think: Using CBT to Provide Hope
CBT specifically focuses on the way patients with suicidal behavior perceive themselves and their world and offers alternatives to those perceptions using an actionable safety plan that patients can employ to avert a crisis in the future.

Societal, Systemic Change Is Key to Addressing Mental Health Impact of Climate Change
Psychiatrists are in an excellent position to educate their communities and advocate for sound environmental policies.

Mental Illness Too Often Wrongly Associated With Gun Violence
People with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence than perpetrators, but mass shootings are often incorrectly associated with psychiatric illnesses. Psychiatrists can help educate the public about evidence-based strategies that reduce gun violence.

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Found Superior to Placebo in Phase 3 Trial
The trial of 90 adults with chronic PTSD revealed a good safety profile and potential benefits of combining MDMA and psychotherapy. A second phase 3 trial is currently underway.

Treating Family Members Can Help Break the Cycle of Depression
Depression is often a family affair. Studies show that successfully treating mothers can vastly improve children who have depressive symptoms.

Annual Meeting Doesn’t Have to End Now!
Continue your learning experience and earn CME credits by purchasing APA Annual Meeting On Demand 2021. It includes the 135 sessions presented at this year’s Annual Meeting and more than 250 new sessions. You can access the content anytime, anywhere, from any device.


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