December 1st, 2017

Full-service VA Hospital still possible in New Hampshire

By Catherine Robertson Souter

After a Boston Globe Spotlight report in July on the poor state of care at the Manchester, N.H., VA Medical Center, the Veteran’s Administration reacted swiftly to address issues. Within 24 hours of the report, which included “whistle-blower” accounts from current and former staff members, VA Secretary David Shulkin removed two top officials and sent in the Office of Medical Inspector and the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection to investigate. The issues outlined in the Globe article included non-sterile operating equipment, a fly infestation in one OR, equipment issues and patients whose care resulted in what specialists have said [More]

December 1st, 2017

URI offers Mental Health First Aid training

By Pamela Berard

When it comes to accidents or physical illness, First Aid training can help minimize the damage and speed up healing time. The University of Rhode Island is taking a similar approach to mental health, adopting Mental Health First Aid training, an eight-hour program that teaches people how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. Lindsey Anderson, Ph.D., director of the Psychological Consultation Center at URI, said the program was rolled out over the summer, and by the end of the current semester in December, they expect more than 400 people will have received [More]

December 1st, 2017

Study: panic doesn’t increase adverse effects for pregnant women

By Pamela Berard

Neither panic disorder nor generalized anxiety disorder increased adverse birth outcomes for pregnant women, according to a recent Yale study. However, women who used antidepressants and benzodiazepines to treat those conditions saw a slight increase in some adverse outcomes, according to the study, which appeared in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. Lead author Kimberly Yonkers, M.D., professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine, as well as director of the Center for Wellbeing of Women and Mothers, said a major take-home message from the study is that women are not harming their babies if [More]

December 1st, 2017

Role of ‘bystanders’ to abuse examined

By Catherine Robertson Souter

With multiple stories in the press and on social media around accusations of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault, a renewed focus has been placed on strengthening support for victims and changing attitudes towards abuse. As expected, the emphasis in the ongoing discussion has been on the perpetrator and on the victims. There is another angle that has not received as much attention as it should, according to Vicki Banyard, Ph.D., a professor in the department of psychology at University of New Hampshire: the role of the bystander. Banyard, who is also a research and evaluation consultant with the school’s Prevention [More]

December 1st, 2017

Letting go of the dark

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Somewhere in the middle of the holiday season, we find ourselves looking for light. It is dark by 4:15 p.m. on December 21, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The earth, tilted 23 degrees on its axis, is tilting away from the sun even though we are as close as we will ever get to the source of the light we crave. Outdoors, the evening commute is a string of lights, oncoming white and receding red, while indoors, lamps are lit, fireplaces blaze and we add even more lights to celebrate the winter holidays. Our past experience [More]

December 1st, 2017

Transforming Long-Term Care: Expanded Roles for Mental Health Professionals

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

Transforming Long-Term Care: Expanded Roles for Mental Health Professionals By Kelly O’Shea Carney and Margaret P. Norris American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2017   Book explores long-term care’s challenges, opportunities Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Historically, mental health professionals, including psychologists, have had limited roles in long-term care settings for older adults. However, geropsychology has become an active discipline and represents solid ground for innovative practice and research inquiry. Written by two psychologists, this book encourages mental health professionals to expand service options within nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long-term care settings. It provides a [More]

November 1st, 2017

Weight-based bullying can lead to psychological distress

By Phyllis Hanlon

Fashion magazines, television shows, movies and other media have promoted the idea that “thin is in” for decades. While there has been a slight shift in thinking recently, bias against larger individuals continues to be an issue that can have medical and psychological consequences. According to Joan C. Chrisler, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Connecticut College, many clinicians don’t understand that a person’s weight is based on several factors, including genetics and physiology, as well as race, gender, age, income and culture, which collectively is known as intersectional identification. Negative attitudes toward weight are also based somewhat on body mass [More]

November 1st, 2017

Psychologist management jobs are highest paid

By Janine Weisman

The median annual salary for full-time psychologists holding doctorates or highest professional degrees in the United States was $85,000 in 2015, up from $80,000 in 2013, according to a recent report from the American Psychological Association. Management positions had the highest median salary among all position types ($110,000), followed by research positions ($95,000) while teaching positions had the lowest median salary ($62,000), the report APA’s Center for Workforce Studies released last May finds. The highest management salaries were found in the private sector, especially within the private for-profit sector ($150,000), excluding self-employment. Salary levels differed by the number of people [More]

November 1st, 2017

Union wants metal detectors at Department of Mental Health sites

By Susan Gonsalves

Representatives of workers at inpatient mental health facilities around Massachusetts fear that it’s inevitable people will be seriously injured or killed if action is not taken to ensure their safety. They’ve taken their concerns to the governor’s office. Earlier this year, officials from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) hand-delivered a petition signed by 1,100 workers seeking the installation of metal detectors at seven locations. James Durkin, director of legislation for AFSCME Council 93 said that although metal detectors would not solve the security issues completely, the “simple first step,” would “drastically reduce the possibility,” of [More]

November 1st, 2017

Online program to address insomnia in young cancer survivors

By Susan Gonsalves

Pediatric cancer survivors suffer the effects of insomnia even after treatment has ended. Untreated, lack of sleep can cause an array of physical problems as well as impact behavior, social relationships, school performance, mood and more. Eric Zhou, Ph.D., instructor at Harvard Medical School and staff psychologist at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, is developing a Web-based cognitive behavioral therapy program for these adolescent cancer survivors, hoping to effectively intervene for this common disorder. The pilot, launched on September 30, is called Sleep Healthy Using the Internet (SHUTi). Participating in the six-sessions of 20-30 minutes each are [More]

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