Articles, Leading Stories

February 1st, 2015

The psychology of romantic relationships

By Phyllis Hanlon

Consider all the songs, poems, magazine articles and novels that focus on romance and it would appear that nearly everyone is looking for love. Sometimes finding Mr. or Ms. Right may be relatively easy, but establishing a romantic relationship typically involves some distinct behavioral patterns and maintaining that relationship requires nurturing. “When trying to form a relationship, you are on your best behavior,” said Margaret S. Clark, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Yale University, adding that three processes are important to relationship initiation: strategic self-presentation, partner evaluation and self-protection. “You must present yourself to a partner in a manner that [More]

February 1st, 2015

Demand high for forensic beds at Riverview in Maine

By Janine Weisman

The Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, Maine, last year became the Riverview Psychiatric Recovery Center, an indication of the state-run mental hospital’s commitment to regaining the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) accreditation it lost in 2013 – and the $20 million in federal funding that went with it. Gone are the correctional officers whose use of stun guns on patients contributed to deficiencies cited by federal inspectors who de-certified the hospital. Inspectors also found problems with patient care and a lack of staff training. The 92-bed facility is slowly recovering from negative news reports about patients attacking mental [More]

February 1st, 2015

MSPP’s new name underscores commitment to diversity

By Howard Newman

As of May 7, the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology will be officially known as William James College. This change will not affect the school’s course offerings, its philosophy, size or location. The Newton, Mass., school will continue to offer 11 graduate programs in psychology and embrace the concept of experiential education. So why the change? The new name is a better way of communicating what the school offers, what it stands for and how it’s different from many other graduate intuitions. According to MSPP President Nicholas Covino, Psy.D., the term “school of” linked to a geographic area was hardly [More]

February 1st, 2015

NAMI report tracks investment in mental health

By Susan Gonsalves

The tragic Newtown, Conn. shootings in 2013 turned the spotlight on mental health issues and prompted attempts to rebuild the system with additional funding and initiatives. But that upsurge did not continue in 2014, according to a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The report, entitled, “State Mental Health Legislation 2014,” showed that 29 states and the District of Columbia increased funding for services last year but all states are still struggling to recover from budget cuts from 2009-2012. Lead author Sita Diehl, MSSW, NAMI’s state policy and advocacy director, said that the gains made surrounding certain [More]

February 1st, 2015

Prison population in R.I. largely comprised of mentally ill people

By Rivkela Brodsky

Of Rhode Island’s more than 3,000 prison population, approximately 500 are living with a serious mental illness, said Susan Jacobsen, MA, LMHC, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island. That figure is calculated by taking the incidence of mental illness in the general prison population (14-17 percent) and multiplying it by the Rhode Island prison population, Jacobsen said. “It certainly is the case in many communities in Rhode Island that local [jails] are the largest mental health providers de facto,” she said. “They can’t turn anybody away.” She added that the state hospital has fewer than 140 [More]

February 1st, 2015

Initiative seeks to strengthen children’s wellness

By Pamela Berard

An initiative in New Haven, Conn., aims to strengthen the integration and collaboration between physical and mental health services and increase early interventions and access to services in the city’s Dwight neighborhood. The goal is to duplicate the efforts throughout the state. The state Department of Children and Families, with support from the Department of Public Health, is receiving a $4 million, five-year federal grant to promote the wellness of young children from birth to age 8 in New Haven. The Elm City Project Launch will address the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of child development, using a [More]

February 1st, 2015

APA consumer guide promotes parity awareness

By Janine Weisman

Four percent of Americans know there is a federal mental health parity law that requires insurance coverage of services for mental health and substance use disorders comparable to physical health coverage. Such low public awareness measured in an online survey commissioned last year by the American Psychological Association has prompted efforts to educate consumers and policymakers about the existence of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Passed in 2008 and taking effect Jan. 1, 2011, the mental health parity law prohibits annual limits on sessions and higher co-pays or deductibles for treatment of [More]

February 1st, 2015

Revamp to improve mental health area

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Natural light streams through a skylight. A dedicated shower and bathroom provides privacy. Two new safe rooms, with the ability to “swing” two more, provide a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the emergency department. For a small town Emergency Room, the newly renovated behavioral health area of the Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth Hitchcock Keene is seeing a renovation any bigger hospital would envy. After breaking ground last May, the hospital’s renovation project has been keeping pace with projections. The plan, approved by the New Hampshire State Department of Health and Human Services, will see only a slight expansion in [More]

February 1st, 2015

Assumption College promotes collaborative research

By Phyllis Hanlon

Faculty/student research has been a long-standing practice at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.. But during the last five to eight years the institution has increased its research opportunities for students, according to Paula Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., professor of psychology and department chair at the college. Fitzpatrick attributes the renewed interest in collaborative research, in part, to a newly designed honors program launched in 2009. “The college created a summer fellowship where students could work on research projects with faculty. Additionally, the psychology department worked with administration to find funds for students who are not part of the honors program to conduct [More]

February 1st, 2015

Report: Pediatricians can play crucial role

By Pamela Berard

Pediatricians can play a key role in helping to identify mental health issues in new mothers, according to a report released by the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI) of Connecticut. Barbara Ward-Zimmerman, Ph.D., licensed child psychologist, behavioral health and primary care integration consultant and one of the authors of the report, “Addressing Maternal Mental Health in the Medication Home” said OB/GYNs should also be screening for mental health issues at regular intervals. She said it also makes sense for pediatricians to play a role in identifying challenges that new moms are facing. “The earlier we identify (challenges), the better,” [More]

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