Articles, Leading Stories

May 1st, 2016

Practitioner safety: more training needed

By Phyllis Hanlon

Approximately three years after getting licensed, C. Avila Wright, Ph.D., worked in an inpatient setting where she was assaulted by a patient. With limited training in non-violent crisis intervention, she was unnerved by the incident but fortunate to have the backup of a crisis team. For the most part, however, safety programs for practitioners remain scarce. Wright is director, Research and Special Projects, Practice Research and Policy, at the American Psychological Association’s Practice Directorate Thirty-year veteran in the field Philip Kleespies, Ph.D., who works at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Mass., also personally experienced issues with patients threatening [More]

May 1st, 2016

Demand grows for inpatient ASD and ID programs

By Janine Weisman

Half the beds in a new eight-bed inpatient unit heralded as Connecticut’s first specialized psychiatric unit for children with autism and developmental disorders were still empty nearly four months after its opening last December. “I’ll be very candid and tell you that we have kids who are ready to come in, but it’s our self-imposed, very slow progression into this unit,” said Lynn Ricci, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Hospital for Special Care (HSC) in New Britain, Conn., in a phone interview in mid-April. “We are going to take our fifth patient this week. We’ve had one discharge. [More]

May 1st, 2016

Vermont examining its residential facility needs

By Pamela Berard

A report recently presented to the Vermont state legislature outlines preliminary recommendations related to the development of a new secure residential facility to address the needs of individuals with mental illness. Frank Reed, commissioner, Department of Mental Health, Agency of Human Services (AHS), prepared the “Report on Secure Residential Facility: Plan for Siting and Design” in accordance with “Act No. 26: An Act Relating to Capital Construction and State Bonding,” in which the Secretary of Human Services was tasked with conducting an examination of the needs of the AHS. The report considered siting and designing of a secure residential facility, [More]

May 1st, 2016

TaraVista Behavioral Health Center to open in Devens, Mass.

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a move that should ease the overburdening of inpatient beds across the state, central Massachusetts will soon see the opening of a new 108-bed mental health facility. Health Partners New England (HPNE), a behavioral health care management and psychiatric services provider based in Boston, plans to open TaraVista Behavioral Health Center in Devens this fall. The company, under the direction of CEO Michael P. Krupa, Ed.D., provides long term management of departments of psychiatry as well as consultation for mental health services and interim leadership staffing. This hospital will be a new endeavor for HPNE. “There continue to be [More]

May 1st, 2016

Bournewood to debut partial hospital program

By Pamela Berard

Bournewood Hospital, a 90-bed, full-service independent privately-owned psychiatric facility in Brookline, Mass., in May will debut a new Mental Health Partial Hospital Program. The new partial hospital program is a group program providing step-down or diversionary service for adults in mental health crisis who need more intensive treatment than can be provided in an outpatient setting, but who can appropriately receive treatment and services in the community. “The program will help individuals who are not quite ready to resume school or work or who just need more intensive treatment, because a lot of people do well in the hospital then [More]

May 1st, 2016

Brattleboro Retreat seeks state funding for new adolescent unit

By Phyllis Hanlon

When the Brattleboro Retreat was founded in 1834 with a $10,000 bequest from Anna Marsh, the facility served, and continues to serve, a range of patients from children and adolescents to adults. In the ensuing years, the Retreat has undergone several renovations and upgrades; most recently the adult unit received a much-needed refurbishing. The adolescent unit, although it has been upgraded a number of times, is next on the project list. Peter Albert, LSW, senior vice president for government relations at the Brattleboro Retreat, reported that the facility, which has seven inpatient units and serves 14 counties in Vermont, has [More]

May 1st, 2016

Report examines health indicators on county basis

By Rivkela Brodsky

There is something like a chicken-or-the-egg dilemma coming out of a new county-level analysis of U.S. licensed psychologists done by the American Psychological Association’s Center for Workforce Studies. It’s not clear which came first – healthier populations or more psychologists – but the March 2016 report found that counties with a larger concentration of licensed psychologists had comparably higher health indicators. “The pattern of results is very consistent. Areas with more psychologists had healthier populations,” said Karen Stamm, Ph.D., senior research officer for the center and a lead author of the report. It is possible that having more psychologists in [More]

May 1st, 2016

Spring Harbor Hospital to re-open 12 bed unit

By Rivkela Brodsky

Maine’s Spring Harbor Hospital will be able to reopen a previously closed unit of 12 psychiatric beds by the end of September thanks to a good chunk of funding from the state. The hospital in Westbrook, Maine, is set to receive $700,000 from the state to open what was once a children’s unit in the hopes of alleviating lengthy emergency department wait times. The Maine Department of Health and Human Services “is supporting a funding request made by Spring Harbor Hospital to reopen 12 adult psychiatric treatment beds in Westbrook,” said a February news release from the state. Money from [More]

May 1st, 2016

Monks’ visit has impact at Silver Hill Hospital

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., works with a variety of clients – those with severe mental illness and addiction as well as clients dealing with chronic pain or eating disorders. They may be young or more mature, have co-occurring disorders and/or be dealing with an on-going issue. They may be a part of the hospital’s inpatient, transitional or intensive outpatient program. No matter what they are dealing with or how the treatment plan has been worked out for that individual, every patient is treated both medically and metaphysically, in a manner of speaking. From lessons on meditation to [More]

May 1st, 2016

Couple adjusts to rural life, career opportunities

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As any realtor will tell you, it’s all about location. For one married psychologist couple just finishing their post-doctoral training in Boston and making decisions about their next steps in life, the real question was not “what to do?” but “where to do it?” In 2010, newly-minted psychologists Adam Ameele, Psy.D., and Kristen Hurd, Psy,D., decided to move to rural Vermont to kick off their careers. While Hurd struck gold with her first opportunity, finding work as the district psychologist for the 1,500-student Springfield school system, Ameele bounced around a bit before landing with the Springfield Medical Care System where [More]

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