November 1st, 2015

Beacon eliminates prior authorization requirement

By Phyllis Hanlon

On August 6, 2014, then-Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law Senate Bill 2341 to “establish a continuing program of investigation and study of mental health and substance use disorders in the Commonwealth.” In response to a section of that bill, Massachusetts Chapter 258, “An Act to Increase Opportunities for Long-Term Substance Abuse Recovery,” insurers no longer require prior authorization for substance use treatment services for Medicaid, Medicare and commercial insurers as of Oct. 1, 2015. Chapter 258 also mandates that the largest insurance carriers in Massachusetts provide coverage for abuse-deterrent opioid products; additionally, under the mental health parity law, the [More]

November 1st, 2015

CEDC opens satellite campus in N.H.

By Pamela Berard

The Cambridge (Mass.) Eating Disorder Center (CEDC) recently opened its first satellite location in Concord, N.H., to help fill a gap in services for families in the northern New England area. CEDC Director Seda Ebrahimi, Ph.D., who founded the center 15 years ago, said the Cambridge location’s residential units serve clients from throughout New England and all over the country. Over the years, she noticed a distinct gap in services in the northern New England area. “We have many patients from the Northeast, including New Hampshire,” she said. “It was always a challenge when we were thinking about after-care and getting [More]

November 1st, 2015

New analysis discredits Paxil study

By Janine Weisman

A 2001 clinical trial that concluded Paxil was “well tolerated and effective” for treating major depression in adolescents helped clear the way for the drug to become the best-selling antidepressant in the world the following year. But that clinical trial led by Brown University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Martin Keller, M.D. got it all wrong, according to a new re-analysis published Sept. 16 in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). The new paper found that paroxetine – the generic name for Paxil which is classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor – is neither safe nor effective [More]

November 1st, 2015

Clinic receives grant for training professionals

By Rivkela Brodsky

Connecticut’s Wheeler Clinic received a $370,500 grant in September to train 1,500 professionals who work with 18- to 24-year-old youths in Mental Health First Aid. The clinic has been a leader in providing the training in the state – having trained nearly 800 people since 2009, when it began offering the eight-hour evidence-based course that teaches community members to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The three-year grant from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funds a program called Community Support for Transition-Aged Youth, or CSTAY. Those who go [More]

November 1st, 2015

DMH proposes “Fresh Air” rights at psychiatric hospitals

By Phyllis Hanlon

Gov. Deval Patrick signed the “Fresh Air” bill into law this past January. The law, proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, asserts that access to fresh air is a fundamental right, even for patients with mental health issues who are hospitalized. While the spirit of the law is well intentioned, some individuals and advocacy groups are concerned about the letter of the law. In September, DMH held a hearing to receive comments from the general public on the regulations. The Fresh Air regulations call for “reasonable daily access to the outdoors as weather conditions permit” and depend on [More]

November 1st, 2015

Economic dependency impacts infidelity, study says

By Pamela Berard

While there are many factors that can lead to infidelity in a marriage, a new study identifies one factor that may elevate the risk of it: economic dependency. Christin L. Munsch, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Sociology, examined the effect of relative earnings on infidelity. The study, “Her Support, His Support: Money, Masculinity, and Marital Infidelity,” used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and reflected more than 2,750 married people ages 18-32. The study found that both men and women who are economically dependent on their partner are more likely to cheat than [More]

November 1st, 2015

Becker College opens Counselor Training Clinic

By Phyllis Hanlon

This September, Becker College opened a mental health counseling clinic at its Leicester, Mass. campus. Not only will the clinic offer services to the general public, but it will also provide hands-on experience for graduate students in the newly created master’s program at the school. According to Beth Greenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Becker and coordinator of the program, graduate students will work in a clinical capacity at the center. “They will be completing their required practicum hours by meeting with clients in the clinic, under my direct supervision. The clinical experience obtained by our students is not [More]

November 1st, 2015

Study: Cyber bullying on the rise

By Susan Gonsalves

While school bullying has decreased in recent years, incidents of cyber bullying are on the rise, especially among girls, according to the Metrowest Adolescent Health Survey. Data analyzed more than 16,000 students in grades 9 to 12 attending 17 metrowest Boston high schools. The surveys, conducted every other year, spanned 2006 to 2012. Trends were measured by sex, grade and sexual orientation, said lead author Shari Kessel Schneider, Ms.Ph., project director and senior researcher at the Education Development Center in Waltham, Mass. Among the findings: Cyber bullying increased from 15 percent to 21 percent overall; while the hike for girls [More]

November 1st, 2015

Partnership seeks to strengthen mental health services

By Rivkela Brodsky

Each month, 340,000 New Yorkers – 5.3 percent of the population – experience serious psychological distress, according to New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Many of those individuals are low-income, uninsured, or receiving public insurance. And, in 2013, about 23 percent of those experiencing distress reported a time in the prior year that they needed mental health services but did not receive it. To better reach these individuals, New York City announced in July a $30 million public-private partnership to better serve low income, at-risk populations who have limited access to mental health services. “I have talked [More]

November 1st, 2015

Study sheds light on need for replication

By Catherine Robertson Souter

We don’t always trust what we read and that can be a good thing, according to researchers across the country who have released findings on a large-scale effort to replicate research. Under the guidance of the Center for Open Science at University of Virginia, nearly 100 previous studies were reproduced to take a closer look at the reliability of individual scientific findings. With only about one-third of the studies being replicated, the work shines a light on how psychology and science in general, publicizes individual findings and emphasizes an on-going need for study replication. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter [More]

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