Articles, Leading Stories

August 21st, 2015

Global health discussed at forum

By Rivkela Brodsky

It was the first time mental health on a global scope was discussed at the annual Kennedy Forum National Conference held in Boston in early June. Tom Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health and moderator of a panel titled “Mental Health on the Global Stage” live streamed at the end of the conference, said it’s a topic that “has been somewhat conspicuously absent in most of the discussions about mental health in America.” “After everything we have talked about all day, there are enormous challenges we face in the United States. Really, do we want to [More]

August 21st, 2015

In-person bullying causes more harm than digital alone

By Pamela Berard

While “cyberbullying” has gained a lot of media attention in recent years, a new study indicates that being bullied through the digital world doesn’t cause as much emotional harm as being bullied in person. Additionally, the worst kind of harassment – and one that the researchers said should be a priority for those trying to identify the most serious and harmful experiences – involved a mix of both in-person and digital interactions, according to “The Role of Technology in Peer Harassment: Does It Amplify Harm for Youth,” published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Psychology of Violence. “We don’t know [More]

August 21st, 2015

Vermont case shines light on assisted outpatient treatment use

By Catherine Robertson Souter

A recent court case in Vermont may change the way the state can utilize involuntary outpatient commitment, also known as assisted outpatient treatment (AOT). Vermont’s Legal Aid Mental Health Law Project successfully argued a case in front of the state’s Supreme Court in April asking that a client be released from his AOT since the state had failed to prove that he will become a danger to himself or others in the near future. Across the United States, AOT has become more common in the past decade, with 45 states having some form of the law on their books. (Connecticut, [More]

August 21st, 2015

Study: Campus rape reaches ‘epidemic levels’

By Janine Weisman

During their first year of college, nearly one in seven women had been the victim of at least one sexual assault characterized by excessive alcohol or drug use and nearly one in 10 women will have experienced forcible assault or rape, according to a study led by a Brown University psychologist. The study led by Kate Carey, Ph.D., professor of behavioral and social sciences in Brown’s School of Public Health and its Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, proclaimed rape on college campuses to be at “epidemic levels.” The findings emerged from responses to a 2010 survey of 483 female [More]

August 21st, 2015

Brian Doherty named MPA director

By Pamela Berard

After an extensive search, the Massachusetts Psychological Association appointed Brian Doherty – former CEO of the Northeast Association of Realtors – as its new executive director. Doherty officially began serving in the role in June. Operations Manager Pamela Goodspeed had been serving as interim executive director after Elena Eisman, Ed.D., stepped down from her long-time post a year-and-a-half ago. The MPA’s search was conducted by a transition consultant from Third Sector New England, who completed a comprehensive review of MPA. The review led MPA to define and seek an executive director with the following qualities and skills: customer service mentality, [More]

August 21st, 2015

Psychologists featured at TEDx event

By Rivkela Brodsky

While the official TEDWomen 2015 conference was taking place in Monterey, Calif., at the end of May, a little more than 100 people were gathering at Southern New Hampshire University to hear six speakers share their stories and ideas regarding facing fears, the Ebola virus, dealing with autism and other topics focused on women and momentum. It was the first TEDxAmoskeagMillyard event focused on women and held in conjunction with the official TEDWomen 2015: Momentum event. During the first part of the day, the audience listened to 18-minute-or-less talks by each speaker before watching a live stream of the TEDWomen [More]

August 21st, 2015

Research focuses on hidden stigmas

By Catherine Robertson Souter

There is extensive research showing that certain identities that are often stigmatized in our society can lead to disparities in health and longevity. But, when we talk about the detrimental health correlation between groups of people, researchers are generally studying physical attributes that are plain to see: race, gender or physical disabilities. Studies often conclude this is a result of the way certain patients are treated within health care settings. There is growing research, however, about the health effects of stigmas that are not so easy to see: mental illness, sexual preference or a history of addiction, for instance. Stephenie [More]

July 1st, 2015

Remote therapy brings benefits, raises questions

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 2009 when Marty Fino, Ph.D., semi-retired from private practice in Rutland, Vt., telepsychology was a mere blip on practitioners’ radar screen. Although some clinicians had begun to email at that time, communicating electronically with clients had not become as prevalent as it has in recent years. The Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) has been a forerunner in telehealth practices since the mid-1990s and covers more than 44 clinical specialties, including TeleMental Health. According to VHA, in fiscal year 2013, more than 278,000 encounters took place to more than 91,000 veterans via telehealth. The scope of these services focused on posttraumatic [More]

July 1st, 2015

EHRs on horizon in the Bay State

By Janine Weisman

Seventy-nine percent of Massachusetts physicians engaged in patient care demonstrated proficiency in the use of electronic health records (EHR) by the Jan. 1, 2015, deadline required by a state law to maintain their license to practice medicine, according to the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Media Relations Manager Richard P. Gulla. That means they achieved “meaningful use” certification for meeting objectives to receive financial incentives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to defray the costs of setting up health information technology systems. Eligible providers are entitled to a maximum of $44,000 under Medicare and $63,750 under Medicaid. The last payment [More]

July 1st, 2015

ICD-10 takes effect Oct. 1

By Catherine Robertson Souter

After several delays, the United States is ready to catch up with the rest of the world. On October 1, the country is set to begin using the World Health Organization’s updated diagnostic codes. And, by most accounts, psychologists seem ready for the change. The ICD-10, which was originally released in 1994, was adopted by nearly all industrialized countries quickly with the U.S. being the only major holdout because of issues with our more complex system. According to the CDC Web site, “ICD-10 will affect diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding for everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability [More]

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