Managing mental health amid gun violence

In 2021, Philadelphia saw a record number of 486 homicides by shooting as well 1,846 non-fatal shootings. According to clinical psychologist Leah Blain, exposure to trauma, including to gun violence, increases the risk of negative health outcomes.

From Penn Medicine News

In the News

“Good Morning America,” ABC News

Eating disorder hospitalizations doubled during COVID-19 pandemic, new data shows

Research co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine and Leonard Davis Institute found an increase in people hospitalized for eating disorders amid the pandemic. They attributed the rise to several factors, including delays in access to outpatient care, the closing of schools and colleges, and changes to the grocery shopping process.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Bill on magic mushrooms aims to make Pa. a national leader in psychedelic research

William R. Smith, a psychiatry resident at Penn Medicine, commented on a new clinical trial exploring psilocybin’s effects on depression. “The trial is encouraging, being a larger sample of patients with a control group than earlier [treatment resistant depression] studies,” he said.



The Beat with Ari Melber

Thea Gallagher of the Perelman School of Medicine discussed the pandemic’s toll on mental health. Rather than forcing a confident, upbeat exterior to appease others, Gallagher recommends “being real and authentic, and talking about the struggles that you are having.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

As vaccination efforts continue, COVID-19 isn’t the most serious threat facing some Philadelphians. Consider gun violence

Jaya Aysola and Lily Brown of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the underreported effects of violence and poverty on Philadelphians’ mental health. “When someone is shot on my street, it might be something that neighbors come out of the house and actually see, or it’s on the news—it’s in the conscious awareness of a lot of people in the community,” Brown said. “In context, having a death from COVID-19, by all accounts it can be a horrific experience, but it’s not documented in the same way.”


Elon Musk says he has Asperger’s syndrome—but is Asperger’s still a diagnosis? Here’s what experts told us

David Mandell of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about why Asperger’s syndrome was removed from the DSM and incorporated into the diagnosis of autism. “Clinicians were not reliable in differentiating between Asperger's and autism,” he said. “Part of the reason for this is that the presentation of autistic people can change dramatically with age and over time.”


Writer Jenny Lawson on the unusual cure for her depression: ‘I had happiness drilled into my head’

Yvette I. Sheline of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which uses a magnetic field to help patients with treatment-resistant depression. Fifty percent of patients see a 50% improvement, and 30% have full remission, she said.