Articles, Leading Stories

July 1st, 2014

Treating perpetrators is a challenge

By Phyllis Hanlon

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner every year; boys who witness the violence are twice as likely to abuse their partners when they become adults. Although significant research has been done, no clear answer to resolving the problem of domestic violence has emerged. During 30 years of studying male behavior, William S. Pollack, Ph.D., ABPP, associate clinical professor of psychology in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and senior clinical consultant on the mental health of men, adolescent males and boys at [More]

July 1st, 2014

Health Connector woes impact coverage

By Catherine Robertson Souter

A temporary solution to the state’s healthcare signup woes has caused more issues for some Massachusetts psychologists and their clients. This spring, the state began putting a short-term fix in place for residents who were having difficulty in signing up for subsidized health insurance through the state’s online health insurance exchange Web site, called the Massachusetts Health Connector. Approximately 31,000 people who applied for coverage but were not enrolled because of glitches in the system were placed on temporary coverage. But the fix left at least one serious hole, some psychologists in the state are finding. The temporary coverage does [More]

July 1st, 2014

Crisis Intervention Teams: Partnering police and practitioners

By Phyllis Hanlon

Fourteen years ago, Louise C. Pyers, M.S., B.C.E.T.S., founder and executive director of CABLE, Inc. (Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement), published an article on suicide by cop. It attracted the attention of Captain Kenneth Edwards, Jr., a police captain in New London involved with a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), a program founded in 1988 in Memphis. He invited her to ride along and observe firsthand how CIT worked; she was so impressed that her organization began delivering CIT training to police officers across Connecticut in 2003. Police officers who undergo the training are taught to evaluate a person in [More]

July 1st, 2014

Maine leads region in continuing care planning; Mass. at bottom

By Janine Weisman

New federal quality measures data show 41 percent of psychiatric patients hospitalized in Massachusetts were discharged without a plan summarizing their diagnosis, treatment, medications and recommended follow-up care. When patients did have such a plan, hospitals often failed to communicate the information to their outpatient providers. That puts Massachusetts second to last in the country after Nebraska (at 35 percent) for follow-up care planning and in last place at 31 percent for transmitting treatment information to the next level of care provider, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare Web site shows. Nationally, 74 percent of patients [More]

July 1st, 2014

Vermont bill would change involuntary treatment laws

By Rivkela Brodsky

A bill sitting on Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk will change the state’s involuntary treatment and medication laws for psychiatric care. The state currently requires two separate court hearings on involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital and later, on involuntary medication, a process that state officials and hospital administrators say was taking too long. A new bill that saw bipartisan support among lawmakers in the latest legislative session would allow the hearings to take place at the same time and sets something of a timeline to treatment in a hospital. Other changes include that an “interested party” can request an [More]

July 1st, 2014

R.I. tries to address overdose deaths

By Pamela Berard

In response to a rise in drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island and nationwide, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee in April outlined a series of ongoing actions and strategies. As of April, at least 85 overdose deaths occurred in R.I. in 2014. The state and the Anchor Recovery Community Center earlier this year co-hosted several public forums on overdose, addiction and recovery. Also, state officials signed an emergency regulation that puts Naxolone in use more easily and broadly, such as to first responders, providers and family members. Naxolone (also known as Narcan) can reverse the effects of an opioid [More]

July 1st, 2014

Organizational psychology cited as ‘fast growing’ job

By Pamela Berard

Tina D. Forrister, MA, was enrolled in a clinical psychology master’s degree program when she decided on a different path. “I realized two years in that it wasn’t the right fit for me,” says Forrister, who had an undergraduate degree in psychology and was working in the pharmaceutical industry while pursuing her master’s. Forrister continued working in pharmaceuticals, in learning and development and change management. In 2011, she found a way to combine that work with psychology – enrolling in the Organizational Psychology master’s degree program at Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP). Forrister may be a trendsetter. The National [More]

July 1st, 2014

Initiatives receive $8 million in grants

By Pamela Berard

Twenty-two Massachusetts mental health initiatives received a total of $8 million in grants through funds recovered by the Attorney General’s Office through a settlement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The “Increasing Access to and Measuring the Benefits of Providing Behavioral Health Services in Massachusetts” grant program supports projects that improve the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services in order to improve public health, welfare and safety. Among grantees, the Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention’s Connecting with Care (CWC) program received $250,000 over two years. CWC coordinates with community mental health providers to place full-time, Master’s-level mental health professionals in Boston public [More]

July 1st, 2014

Collaborative seeks to overhaul system

By Howard Newman

The overarching goal of the New Hampshire Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative is to completely overhaul the way services are delivered to children. “We’re all in it for the long haul, on the order of 5-10 years,” explains Effie Malley, director. More than 60 New Hampshire organizations are partners in the Collaborative, which was launched in 2010 and is described by Malley as a “coalition,” rather than a non-profit corporation. The Collaborative is an advocacy group working to transform the children’s behavioral health system and does not provide direct services. Partners and contributors include entities from the public, private and state [More]

July 1st, 2014

Study: Young children benefit from CBT

By Susan Gonsalves

Children ages five to eight with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can benefit from family-based cognitive behavioral therapy, according to a study from the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center. Jennifer Freeman, Ph.D., staff psychologist at the center and clinical co-director of Bradley’s Intensive Program for OCD, led the five-year project which was conducted at three academic medical centers (Bradley, Duke, University of Pennsylvania) over 14 weeks in 2006-2011. Freeman explains that 127 children in that age range with a primary diagnosis of OCD and their parents were randomized to 12 sessions of either family-based cognitive behavior treatment or family-based relaxation treatment. [More]

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