Articles, Leading Stories

July 1st, 2010

New Hampshire Hospital trims services/staff

By Phyllis Hanlon

Budget shortfalls are once again prompting staff and service cuts in the Green Mountain State. According to Nancy Rollins, associate commissioner for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), both programmatic and physical changes planned for New Hampshire Hospital are intended to accommodate patients’ needs and work within a reduced budget. As of June 30, the Anna Philbrook building, originally constructed as a long-term residential facility with a full school program, will be shuttered. While admissions have continued to decline, Anna Philbrook’s physical condition also raised concerns in recent years. “Several proposals suggested building a new unit or adding [More]

July 1st, 2010

Half-finished notebooks

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

At morning rounds the other day while waiting for something important to record in my recycled, spiral-bound notebook, curiosity nudged me to flip through the filled front pages for a clue about why I kept it in the first place. Considering how much stuff I had to clear out of my old office, it would have been easier to trash this early decade relic than to give it space among the 18 boxes of essentials that accompanied me to my new workplace. My motivation was probably not so noble as stewardship of the earth’s dwindling resources nor so old-fashioned as [More]

July 1st, 2010

Public Speaking for Psychologists

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Public Speaking for Psychologists: A Lighthearted Guide to Research Presentations, Job Talks, and Other Opportunities to Embarrass Yourself” By David B. Feldman and Paul J. Silvia American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2010  Authors offer ‘spot on’ advice about public speaking Reviewed By James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Remember your first oral presentation at a conference, grand rounds or similar professional venue? Most of us were anxious and filed with self-doubt. “Public Speaking for Psychologists” was written for the first-time or novice presenter in need of direction and moral support. The book is constructed as a practical guide, its many [More]

July 1st, 2010

Clinician’s Guide to Evidence-Based Practices: Mental Health and the Addictions

By Paul Efthim PhD

“Clinician’s Guide to Evidence-Based Practices: Mental Health and the Addictions” By John C. Norcross, Thomas P. Hogan & Gerald P. Koocher Oxford University Press, Inc. New York, N.Y., 2008 Psychologists author pocket-sized, practical primer Reviewed By Paul Efthim, Ph.D. Most psychologists know about the controversies surrounding evidence-based practice (EBP). In recent years, EBPs have been vilified as simplistic, mindless cookbooks that ignore the complexity of real-world clinical practice while privileging technical factors over the centrality of the therapeutic relationship. At the same time, no responsible practitioner would argue that we should ignore research evidence in determining what works and what [More]

July 1st, 2010

Lawsuit seeks delay or revision of parity regulations

By Catherine Robertson Souter

The fight for full parity between mental health and physical health care coverage could soon be drawing to a close…or not. In February, several federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, released a series of regulations governing how the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) will be implemented. The Interim Final Rules (IFR) would become law for group health plans and group health insurance issuers for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2010. However, shortly after the release of those rules, a lawsuit was filed by the Coalition for Parity, which represents [More]

July 1st, 2010

Providing care is an ongoing challenge

By Ami Albernaz

Mental health care doesn’t carry the stigma it once did and more is understood about mental health disorders than ever before. Yet millions of those meeting the criteria for a psychological disorder still don’t receive care, presenting an ongoing challenge in how to improve access and make sure effective treatments are delivered. Around 26 percent of U.S. adults meet the criteria for a disorder within a given year, while the lifetime prevalence is around 46 percent. These were the conclusions of the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), a National Institutes of Mental Health-funded study of more than 9,000 adults first done [More]

July 1st, 2010

Firms place limits on mental health treatment

By Elinor Nelson

Psychologists may be seeing more managed care from their patients’ insurers. Faced with increasing costs, some employers and insurers are controlling utilization by authorizing limited numbers of sessions and requiring forms or phone calls to allow additional sessions. A year ago, one major employer changed its policies. That party was the Group Insurance Commission, which insures about 180,000 Massachusetts state employees and retirees and their dependents, totaling about 340,000 people. Executive Director Dolores Mitchell explains the changes actually affect the policies of about 294,000 of those people, and amounts to about the approximately 10 percent of that group who access [More]

July 1st, 2010

Programs seek to assist children with mental health issues

By Ami Albernaz

Mental health care doesn’t carry the stigma it once did and more is understood about mental health disorders than ever before. Yet millions of those meeting the criteria for a psychological disorder still don’t receive care, presenting an ongoing challenge in how to improve access and make sure effective treatments are delivered. Around 26 percent of U.S. adults meet the criteria for a disorder within a given year, while the lifetime prevalence is around 46 percent. These were the conclusions of the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), a National Institutes of Mental Health-funded study of more than 9,000 adults first done [More]

July 1st, 2010

Is excessive tanning a disorder?

By Ami Albernaz

You’ve perhaps known someone with a seemingly insatiable need to tan, no matter how bronzed he or (probably) she already is. And though these so-called “tanorexics” will probably never enter therapy for their sunbathing habit, there do indeed appear to be some psychological factors that entice people to ignore the well-publicized health risks. Excessive tanning is nothing new. Yet when summer rolls around, efforts to get people to think twice about that “healthy,” sun-kissed glow are renewed. Although melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills about one person an hour in the U.S., the threat pales in comparison to [More]

July 1st, 2010

Military Support Program running out of funds

By Pamela Berard

A Connecticut program that provides behavioral health services to soldiers and their families is seeking federal funding to continue. The Military Support Program (MSP) has helped hundreds of military personnel and family members with free confidential outpatient counseling, referrals, advocacy and case management services since its inception in 2007. The state created the program – said to be the first of its kind in the nation to serve both military personnel and family members – with funds from the sale of Fairfield Hills Hospital and it falls under the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The funds are [More]

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