Articles, Leading Stories

June 1st, 2017

Vermont moves to cover PTSD for first responders

By Janine Weisman

Legislation to provide workers compensation benefits for first responders who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder in the line of duty has passed both the Vermont House of Representatives and Senate. Now awaiting Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s signature as of New England Psychologist’s press deadline, the effort has made its way further than similar proposals that appear to have stalled this year in Connecticut and Florida. Vermont House Bill 197, introduced by Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D-Bradford), deemed PTSD compensable under the state’s workers compensation act for police officers, firefighters, and rescue or ambulance workers diagnosed up to three years after retirement. [More]

June 1st, 2017

Office building to become new psychiatric hospital

By Phyllis Hanlon

In April, UMass Memorial Health Care partnered with US HealthVest to build a new 120-bed psychiatric hospital in the Burncoat section of Worcester. US HealthVest currently operates psychiatric hospitals in Georgia, Illinois and Washington State. The partnership between UMass Memorial and US HealthVest is the indirect result of an existing relationship. Richard A. Kresch, M.D., US HealthVest president and CEO, explained that he also directs CareWell Urgent Care Centers in Massachusetts, a joint venture with UMass Memorial. “We got to know each other that way. UMass expressed an interest in developing a psychiatric hospital,” he said. “We have been doing [More]

June 1st, 2017

Program connects veterans with resources

By Pamela Berard

A Military Liaison Initiative, said to be the first of its kind in the nation, helps connect New Hampshire veterans and military service members to the most appropriate mental health treatment and resources. The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Military Liaison Initiative (MLI), launched in August 2015 as part of a larger statewide effort, places a dedicated staff member to serve as a military liaison in each of the state’s 10 community mental health centers (CMHC), to better identify and guide veterans, military service members and their families to services. Additionally, the liaisons serve as a point [More]

June 1st, 2017

Agencies investigate Whiting Forensic Division

By Rivkela Brodsky

There are several ongoing investigations into allegations of patient abuse at the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital, a public hospital in Middletown, Conn., for the treatment of people dealing with mental illness. Connecticut’s Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, and the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities are all investigating these allegations. All three departments will confirm the investigation but will not confirm or provide any other details – if and how many employees have been suspended, and how many patients are at the hospital, citing the ongoing investigation. [More]

June 1st, 2017

Interventions decrease post emergency room suicidal behavior

By Susan Gonsalves

Providing a range of interventions for suicidal patients beyond the standard care in emergency rooms lowered the risk of repeat attempts by 30 percent. That result came out of a large clinical trial led by Brown University and Butler Hospital psychologist Ivan Miller, Ph.D. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, involved 1,376 patients in eight hospital EDs who had a recent suicide attempt or ideation. The trial had three phases. The first group consisted of 497 people who received “treatment as usual,” in the emergency room from August 2010 to December 2011. The middle group was comprised of 377 individuals [More]

June 1st, 2017

Mindfulness study examines gender coping strategies

By Susan Gonsalves

Gender is a potential factor in measuring the effectiveness of mindfulness but individual differences are equally as important, according to Rahil Rojiani, co-lead author of a Brown University study that tracked student outcomes in a 12-week scholarly course on mindfulness. Data was collected over several semesters from 2008-2011, about 77 university students (36 women) enrolled in Brown’s mindfulness course that features experiential practice-based learning through meditation labs three times per week with contemplative practice from Buddhist or Daoist traditions. Students also attend weekly seminars and take part in written reflection and question and answer periods. Participants also completed questionnaires at [More]

June 1st, 2017

New director discusses binge eating, support services

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Recognizing the need for a greater focus on binge eating disorder treatment, Walden Behavioral Care recently named Kate Craigen, Ph.D., to a newly created position as clinical director, binge eating and bariatric support services. While Walden has been offering specialized binge eating disorder treatment throughout its eight locations in New England since 2003, the organization recently decided to create the position in order to better serve a rising tide of clients seeking help. Craigen, who was employed prior to the promotion as a clinician for Walden, will lead the program’s curriculum development, staff training and clinical supervision of related intensive [More]

June 1st, 2017

“When an Adult You Love Has ADHD: Professional Advice for Parents, Partners, and Siblings”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“When an Adult You Love Has ADHD: Professional Advice for Parents, Partners, and Siblings” By Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. American Psychological Association Washington, D.C., 2017   Invaluable advice given about adult ADHD Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D Russell A. Barkley is a clinical neuropsychologist with more than 40 years of experience as a researcher, therapist, consultant and teacher in the area of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He is a recognized expert in ADHD who has written 22 books, published hundreds of professional articles, delivered scholarly presentations worldwide and been featured in many training videos, television shows and [More]

June 1st, 2017

Welcoming the stranger

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

In recent weeks, small signs have been springing up on the lawns of our little town, refreshingly different from the usual appeals to vote for political candidates or issues facing the community. The message in Spanish, English, and Arabic says simply, “No matter where you are from, you’re welcome in our neighborhood.” Anyone can say you are welcome, but making you actually feel welcome is something else again. Yet it’s heartening to see that the effort is underway even as decisions made at higher levels of government are restricting access to our country to millions of refugees and others who [More]

May 1st, 2017

New England battles opioid epidemic

By Phyllis Hanlon

A 2014 Health and Human Services report issued some troubling statistics for four New England states: Massachusetts leads the nation with most opioid-related visits to hospital emergency rooms – 450 for every 100,000 residents – out of 30 states providing data. Rhode Island had 298 visits; Connecticut, 255; and Vermont, 224. Efforts to address the opioid crisis have resulted in the creation of new and enhancement of existing programs at several hospitals across New England. Christopher Cutter, Ph.D., director of the chronic pain and recovery program at Silver Hill Hospital, New Canaan, Conn., reported that this 28-day program treats patients [More]

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