Tag Archives: Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

Michigan State University study: How to treat depression in prison — and why it matters

3 Mar

Moi has posted about the “school-to-prison” pipeline in The ‘school-to-prison pipeline’: Moi wrote about the “school-to-prison pipeline” in Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure:
Joan Gausted of the University of Oregon has an excellent article in Eric Digest 78, School Discipline:

School discipline has two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals and often makes headlines in the process. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles 1989).
The issue for schools is how to maintain order, yet deal with noncriminal student behavior and keep children in school.

Alan Schwartz wrote a provocative article in the New York Times about a longitudinal study of discipline conducted in Texas. In School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions Schwartz reports:

Raising new questions about the effectiveness of school discipline, a report scheduled for release on Tuesday found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their years in middle and high school — at an average of almost four times apiece. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/19/education/19discipline.html?_r=2&hpw&
Donna St. George wrote a Washington Post article which elaborates on the Texas study. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-exposes-some-some-myths-about-school-discipline/2011/07/18/gIQAV0sZMI_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

See:

Education Law Center
http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/StudentRights/StudentDiscipline.htm

Discipline In Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t?
http://www.eduguide.org/article/discipline-in-school-what-works-and-what-doesnt

Many schools deal with populations of children suffering from depression. Many children suffering from depression or other mental health issues escalate their behavior to the point they are involved in the criminal justice system, See, https://drwilda.com/tag/depression-in-children/ The preferred strategy is to treat depression and mental health issues in the education system.

Science Daily reported in How to treat depression in prison — and why it matters:

Of the 4 million prisoners released each year, 23 percent have suffered from major depressive disorder. Due to resource shortages, many go without adequate treatment while in prison. Oftentimes they rejoin society in worse mental shape than before their incarceration — which could be prevented with the right care. A team led by Michigan State University has found a cost-effective way to improve mental health in prisons.
The research, published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, tested the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy for inmates battling major depressive disorder, or MDD, as a strategy to bring affordable treatment into a prison setting. It is the first large randomized trial of any treatment for MDD, including therapy or medications, in any incarcerated population.
About 15 million people touch the criminal justice system each year in the United States,” said Jennifer Johnson, lead author and professor of public health in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. “Most of us have friends, family or neighbors who have been through this system. The fact we’ve waited until 2019 to conduct a trial like this means we’ve understudied and underserved a huge population.”
About 2.3 million people are incarcerated every day, and if they too suffer from depression, addiction or other disorders, they often do not get the help they need. Prison funding for mental health care is determined by state legislatures, which often leaves them understaffed and under-resourced, Johnson explained. Voters may be unsympathetic, which creates a deficit for mental health treatment in the prison system — which houses many people with untreated mental illnesses.
To address the issues of care and cost, Johnson and colleagues trained a team to treat 181 inmates through interpersonal psychotherapy, or IPT. The team included master’s level health therapists working in the prisons and bachelor’s level re-entry counselors. This allowed the researchers to keep costs down by extending the reach of counselors and care without having to hire new mental health professionals.
Johnson explained that IPT is one of the most-effective forms of therapy because it addresses difficult life events, which consistently burden prison populations. She explained that traumatic and challenging experiences — such as assault, abuse, poverty, death of loved ones and loss of family members, children and friends — are overwhelmingly present with those incarcerated….
Counselors worked in a group-setting with inmates twice a week for 10 weeks, which reduced the cost of treatment. Inmates were individually assessed at the beginning of the trial, after the trial ended and then three months later to see if the therapy had a lasting impact….
Using IPT proved a low-cost intervention as well. Once counselors are trained and supervision is no longer needed, the cost per patient would be $575 — significantly less than treatment options outside of prison, she said.
“This is the first large randomized study for major depression ever conducted for an incarcerated population, one that found an effective and cost-effective solution,” Johnson said. “This method could drastically improve the mental well-being of people while in prison — and when they re-enter the world.”
Moving forward, Johnson will continue researching ways to treat inmates by conducting the first large randomized suicide prevention trial for people leaving the criminal justice system.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190221115909.htm

Citation:

How to treat depression in prison — and why it matters
Date: February 21, 2019
Source: Michigan State University
Summary:
The first randomized study of its kind reveals effective treatment for prisoners suffering from mental illness.

Journal Reference:
Jennifer E. Johnson, Robert L. Stout, Ted R. Miller, Caron Zlotnick, Louis A. Cerbo, Joel T. Andrade, Jessica Nargiso, Joseph Bonner, Shannon Wiltsey-Stirman. Randomized cost-effectiveness trial of group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for prisoners with major depression.. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2019; DOI: 10.1037/ccp0000379

Here is the press release from Michigan State University:

HOW TO TREAT DEPRESSION IN PRISON – AND WHY IT MATTERS
Contact(s): Caroline Brooks , Jennifer Johnson
Of the 4 million prisoners released each year, 23 percent have suffered from major depressive disorder. Due to resource shortages, many go without adequate treatment while in prison. Oftentimes they rejoin society in worse mental shape than before their incarceration – which could be prevented with the right care. A team led by Michigan State University has found a cost-effective way to improve mental health in prisons.
The research, published in Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, tested the effectiveness of interpersonal psychotherapy for inmates battling major depressive disorder, or MDD, as a strategy to bring affordable treatment into a prison setting. It is the first large randomized trial of any treatment for MDD, including therapy or medications, in any incarcerated population.
About 15 million people touch the criminal justice system each year in the United States,” said Jennifer Johnson, lead author and professor of public health in MSU’s College of Human Medicine. “Most of us have friends, family or neighbors who have been through this system. The fact we’ve waited until 2019 to conduct a trial like this means we’ve understudied and underserved a huge population.”
About 2.3 million people are incarcerated every day, and if they too suffer from depression, addiction or other disorders, they often do not get the help they need. Prison funding for mental health care is determined by state legislatures, which often leaves them understaffed and under-resourced, Johnson explained. Voters may be unsympathetic, which creates a deficit for mental health treatment in the prison system – which houses many people with untreated mental illnesses.
To address the issues of care and cost, Johnson and colleagues trained a team to treat 181 inmates through interpersonal psychotherapy, or IPT. The team included master’s level health therapists working in the prisons and bachelor’s level re-entry counselors. This allowed the researchers to keep costs down by extending the reach of counselors and care without having to hire new mental health professionals.
Johnson explained that IPT is one of the most-effective forms of therapy because it addresses difficult life events, which consistently burden prison populations. She explained that traumatic and challenging experiences – such as assault, abuse, poverty, death of loved ones and loss of family members, children and friends – are overwhelmingly present with those incarcerated.
“When practicing IPT, you go back to when someone’s depressed mood began and talk about what was going on in their life at that time,” Johnson said. “IPT deals with relationships, feelings, conflicts with others, life changes and grief. Using this therapy, you’re helping people feel and express emotions, and problem-solve with them in ways to improve communications or improve relationships that address the original problem.”
Counselors worked in a group-setting with inmates twice a week for 10 weeks, which reduced the cost of treatment. Inmates were individually assessed at the beginning of the trial, after the trial ended and then three months later to see if the therapy had a lasting impact.
“As compared to the usual treatment prisons offer, IPT reduced depressive symptoms, hopelessness and PTSD symptoms and was better at ending cases of major depression,” Johnson said.
Using IPT proved a low-cost intervention as well. Once counselors are trained and supervision is no longer needed, the cost per patient would be $575 – significantly less than treatment options outside of prison, she said.
“This is the first large randomized study for major depression ever conducted for an incarcerated population, one that found an effective and cost-effective solution,” Johnson said. “This method could drastically improve the mental well-being of people while in prison – and when they re-enter the world.”
Moving forward, Johnson will continue researching ways to treat inmates by conducting the first large randomized suicide prevention trial for people leaving the criminal justice system.
(Note for media: Please include a link to the original paper in online coverage: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-05660-001?doi=1)

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Related:

Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/

School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/

Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/
Resources:

About.Com’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

Family Doctor’s What Is Depression? http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

WebMD’s Depression In Children http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

Related:
A strategy to reduce school suspensions: ‘School Wide Positive Behavior Support’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/a-strategy-to-reduce-school-suspensions-school-wide-positive-behavior-support/

Single-sex classrooms should be allowed in public schools
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/single-sex-classrooms-should-be-allowed-in-public-schools/

Boys of color: Resources from the Boys Initiative
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/boys-of-color-resources-from-the-boys-initiative/

U.S. Education Dept. Civil Rights Office releases report on racial disparity in school retention
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/u-s-education-dept-civil-rights-office-releases-report-on-racial-disparity-in-school-retention/

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