Articles, Leading Stories

December 1st, 2012

Study identifies happiness as worthy public policy goal

By Janine Weisman

Moving from a bad neighborhood to a less distressed one can improve a low-income family’s physical and mental health over time even without raising financial status, a new study finds. Public housing families relocated in a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored large-scale, randomized housing mobility experiment called Moving to Opportunity ultimately didn’t achieve economic self-sufficiency, a team of social scientists that examined data collected over a 10-15 year period found. But the families reported greater levels of happiness and less obesity and diabetes. The results raise important implications for policymakers, who have only focused on income changes [More]

December 1st, 2012

Programs help teens connect with services

By Pamela Berard

Two Maine programs are helping teens in the juvenile justice system connect with services related to mental health challenges. THRIVE, which provides training and technical assistance to youth and family-serving organizations to strengthen trauma-informed practices is now the training and technical assistance partner for Maine’s Department of Corrections Division of Juvenile Services’ four-year, $4 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant, “Expanding Trauma-Informed System of Care Practices in Maine.” The program focuses on youths 12-20 diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance, whose offenses have placed them on informal adjustment, probation or community reintegration from a correctional facility. [More]

December 1st, 2012

Program will address mental health in the workplace

By Pamela Berard

The cost of mental health disorders manifests in the workplace in a myriad of ways – including absenteeism, productivity and health care claims. “The literature is pretty clear and the science is pretty deep that we know depression and mental illness directly impacts those kinds of indicators,” according to Thomas J. Downing, director of the Maine Medical Center’s (MMC) Lifeline Workplace Wellness Program. Still, many employers aren’t sure how to address employee mental health, others don’t include mental health in their overall wellness model and stigma continues to keep many from accessing available services. To help employers better handle mental [More]

December 1st, 2012

N.H. strives to combat drug, alcohol problems among young people

By Catherine Robertson Souter

While the state of New Hampshire ranks high in many health and wellness related indexes, that’s not the case when it comes to drug and alcohol use and abuse. In fact, according to a 2008-9 survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, New Hampshire ranked highest for alcohol use in those 12 and older and for those ages 18-25. The state was second highest in the U.S. for non-medical use of pain relievers among 18 to 25-year-olds and has seen an increase in drug related deaths, which claimed more lives in 2010 (174) than did motor vehicle [More]

December 1st, 2012

In-depth evaluation, CBT, core of enhanced mood disorder program

By Jennifer E Chase

Since 2003, Walden Behavioral Care has been known for its continuum of care for eating disorder patients, who have been treated via inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. In August, Walden introduced New England’s first inpatient care program for adults needing treatment for only mood disorders, in its enhanced program for mood disorder patients 18 years and older. Because “a majority” of Walden’s eating disorder patients suffer from multiple psychiatric disorders, as noted by Walden’s President and CEO Stuart Koman, Ph.D., in a news release announcing the program, Walden has also treated mood disorders since it opened – [More]

December 1st, 2012

Psychologist praises effectiveness of CBT in practice

By Catherine Robertson Souter

There are times when a new path in life appears to almost present itself to you. For psychologist Jennifer Lish, Ph.D., returning to a full-time practice after taking time out to raise her children brought about one of those moments. She had been working mainly in research in her pre-pregnancy years and now, in considering her next steps, she realized that experience was pointing her in a new direction. This second phase of her career has focused on re-training in cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, opening a new practice and taking steps towards bringing this treatment to a region that had [More]

November 1st, 2012

EMDR: research prompts acceptance

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 1987, Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., senior research fellow emeritus at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., director of the EMDR Institute and founder of the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program, developed a new therapy that both intrigued and puzzled clinicians. Eye movement desensitization – in 1991, reprocessing was added to the technique – (EMDR) gained some ready supporters, while drawing skepticism from others. Today, this therapy, which has been the subject of many research studies, has become more widely accepted for use in the treatment of mental health, especially trauma diagnoses. Kathleen Wheeler, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, professor at the [More]

November 1st, 2012

Reparative therapy banned in California

By Pamela Berard

California became the first state to ban licensed mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts (often called reparative or conversion therapy) on patients under age 18. The legislation, signed by the governor in Sept., takes effect Jan. 1. At press time, New Jersey legislators were preparing to introduce similar legislation. In California, Joseph J. Nicolosi, Ph.D., one of the founders of The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), says the Liberty Counsel will represent NARTH and others (including several teenagers and their parents) as plaintiffs in a legal challenge to the legislation. Nicolosi has [More]

November 1st, 2012

DOD contracts with Magellan for counseling services

By Phyllis Hanlon

Magellan Health Services Inc. announced that as of Aug. 15 its subsidiary, Magellan Health Behavioral Health Inc., became one of several vendors to administer the Military & Family Life Counseling (MFLC) program, per a one-year base contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) with an option to renew for four more one-year terms. Mike Hoskins, counseling program manager, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Community Outreach, says, “The MFLC program provides confidential, non-medical, short-term counseling to members of the active force, the National Guard and Reserves and the families up to 12 sessions per person, per issue at [More]

November 1st, 2012

VA expands support for veterans’ research, education

By Phyllis Hanlon

The wars, both recent and past, have been the cause of significant visible and invisible injuries to military personnel serving in these conflicts. As the number of returning veterans with psychological issues increases, the Veterans Administration (VA) is devoting more attention to resources, programs and services to address the problems they, and their families, face. The National Center for PTSD reports that between 11 and 20 veterans out of every 100 from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars return with this diagnosis; 10 percent of Gulf War veterans and 30 percent of Vietnam veterans also carry a PTSD diagnosis. According to [More]

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