Articles, Leading Stories

May 1st, 2015

FDA approves drug to treat binge eating

By Phyllis Hanlon

The National Eating Disorders Association reports that 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. In January, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) for individuals diagnosed with binge eating disorder. The drug has been used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder since 2007. A press release from the FDA indicates that Vyvanse received approval under a priority review program that expedites the review of drugs intended to treat a serious disease or condition for which other therapy is [More]

May 1st, 2015

Trade organization represents interests of inpatient care

By Catherine Robertson Souter

David Matteodo is executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Behavioral Health Systems (MABHS). A non-profit trade organization that represents the interests of 44 inpatient hospitals and units that provide psychiatric or substance abuse services in the Commonwealth, the MABHS was created in 1989 to advocate for and protect the interests of its members. The group works with state legislators on bills ranging from those that affect reimbursement rates to placement issues with state-run services. New England Psychologist’s Catherine Robertson Souter spoke with Matteodo about his role with the organization and the group’s goals and successes and the status of [More]

May 1st, 2015

“Perfectionism: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals”

By James K Luiselli EdD ABPP BCBA-D

“Perfectionism: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals” By Michael Brustein Springer Publishing Company, LLC New York, N.Y., 2014    Book on perfectionism difficult to understand   Reviewed by James K. Luiselli, Ed.D., ABPP, BCBA-D What do you envision when someone is described as being a perfectionist? On one hand, it might be the person who is highly successful, often innovative and considered a “winner.” At the same time, and as described in this book, “perfectionism can be maladaptive and predispose individuals to depression, suicidality, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders and numerous psychiatric disorders.” It is these negative effects that led [More]

May 1st, 2015

Extra people

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

Flannery O’Connor has a powerful short story entitled, “The Displaced Person,” where she describes the impact of the arrival of a refugee family on a small Southern farm. The story is set in the period following World War II when masses of people left Central and Eastern Europe in the wake of Soviet occupation of their homelands. In O’Connor’s story, a local priest arranges the placement of one of these families on a farm owned by a widow and worked by black and white farmhands. The established laborers do not take kindly to the arrival of the foreigners with strange [More]

April 1st, 2015

Winter 2015: mental health impacted

By Phyllis Hanlon

The first two months in 2015 registered as momentous for New Englanders in several ways. In addition to near record snowfalls, bone-chilling temperatures, treacherous road conditions and significant transportation glitches, some residents experienced an increase in stress, anxiety and depression. For those already carrying a mental health diagnosis, these additional factors added to overall emotional tension. Winter disregulates a certain portion of New Englanders, but those who have anxiety or depression can be especially hit hard, according to Mary Anderson, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston, Mass., who specializes in behavioral medicine and health psychology. She explained [More]

April 1st, 2015

MaineCare cuts impact community health centers

By Janine Weisman

A projected $500,000 deficit this fiscal year forced the Portland Community Health Center to eliminate the job of the chief program officer who oversaw its behavioral health program as well as a program director effective Jan. 1. Two more positions – practice manager and a clinical social worker – remain unfilled, said CEO Leslie Clark. “We were already bare-boned at the administration level,” Clark said. “Where we took all the hits has been in management so we’re down to our senior team of really three people – myself, a chief financial officer and a chief medical officer.” The Portland Community [More]

April 1st, 2015

Vermont seeks to bridge gap between mental, physical health

By Susan Gonsalves

Vermont’s focus on integrating mental and physical health along with an eye toward Adverse Childhood Experiences informed practices has led to pilot projects across the state and more in the works. Since last fall, a number of volunteer groups have been looking at childhood trauma and discussing ways to better bring its impact on overall health to the forefront. A follow up video conference is scheduled in April to see what progress has been made. “It bridges a gap that we weren’t bridging,” said Kathleen Hentcy, M.S., mental health and health care integration director at Vermont’s Department of Mental Health, [More]

April 1st, 2015

Cuts loom in wake of deficit

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As Connecticut begins the process of sorting out its fiscal budget for the coming year, which starts on July 1, a fight is looming over where to make cuts to cover an expected $101 million deficit for this year. In the proposed budget introduced by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a large portion of the cuts would come from the social service sector, falling hardest on independent, non-profit community service providers. Meanwhile, the governor’s plan proposes a 6.3 percent sales tax reduction over two years and an additional $2.8 billion investment over the next decade on a 30-year transportation plan. The [More]

April 1st, 2015

Bill seeks to eliminate MassHealth plan barriers

By Janine Weisman

Call it the backup plan. A bill filed at the Massachusetts State House would require MassHealth to cover all services psychologists provide – regardless of which MassHealth plan an individual has – and ensure that MassHealth recipients have the same access to psychological services as Medicare covered individuals. Lead sponsors Rep. Ruth B. Balser (D-Newton) and Sen. Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem) jointly filed the proposal in their respective chambers in January with full support from the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA). “Since the legislative cycle is a two-year process and the deadline for filing bills was in January we thought filing [More]

April 1st, 2015

Center a resource for marathon bombing victims

By Pamela Berard

Although it’s been two years since the Boston Marathon bombings, many victims are just now beginning to experience its lingering effects. The Massachusetts Resiliency Center was formed to assist them in getting the help they need – whether it is for physical or mental health concerns or things such as financial assistance or social supports. The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) received a federal grant for more than $8 million to fund services for bombing victims and selected Boston Medical Center to manage operations of the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, for which approximately $1.9 million of the funding is allocated. [More]

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