Articles, Leading Stories

May 1st, 2015

Collaboration could mitigate cancer risk

By Phyllis Hanlon

The American Cancer Society predicts that 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2015 and close to 600,000 cancer-related deaths will occur. While genetics plays a role in the development of cancer, some controllable factors could also lead to this disease. Psychological intervention before diagnosis could prevent unnecessary suffering and early death from cancer. Research has shown that stress which causes inflammation, obesity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and over-exposure to the sun are just a few controllable causes, potentially leading to the development of cancer. Sherry L. Pagoto, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the division [More]

May 1st, 2015

Specialized geriatric treatment on the rise

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Americans are getting older. As the baby-boomers, those born between 1946 and1964, have hit retirement age and as Americans live longer, the population of the United States has seen an increase in people over age 65 A result of this large sector of the population aging has been the attention senior issues have generated. From increased funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research to greater options in financial planning, housing and nursing care, this generation has brought greater focus to concerns that were once relegated to the backburner partially because of a lack of funding for what was historically a poorer, [More]

May 1st, 2015

Mental health reform at heart of legislation

By Rivkela Brodsky

Legislation to reform the nation’s mental health system is likely to be reintroduced in the House and Senate in the next couple of months – but there is no timeline or written draft yet. Two lawmakers from different parties and different houses – but with the same last name – are working to create a new version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which was introduced in the House last year by U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, Ph.D., (R-Penn.). “We want to see the system reformed because what we have done in the last 50 years in this [More]

May 1st, 2015

Budget cuts threaten Tewksbury Hospital

By Pamela Berard

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget would slash funding for Tewksbury Hospital by $3.8 million, resulting in the closing of one unit (which would be consolidated with another). The closure could result in the loss of 12 geriatric beds and the transfer of 16 patients to other wards. The equivalent of 48 full-time jobs would be lost. However – area legislators, including Rep. James Miceli, D-Wilmington (who represents part of Tewksbury), have vowed to fight the cuts. Miceli lobbied heavily to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and on April 15, the Committee presented its [More]

May 1st, 2015

Recovery program emphasizes unique approach

By Janine Weisman

Every Monday morning, Randall Aamot, M.S., a Ph.D. candidate in counseling psychology at Northeastern University, walks into a group therapy room without any agenda, worksheets or any formal plan. “I say to the kids, ‘this is what we’re doing for group today. We’re just going to have a discussion,’ and in essence in a real overt way I’m empowering them to lead that discussion,” said Aamot, 40, who regularly wears a bow tie. “From my experience, when you give the kids that freedom and that space, they’ll take you to the important places,” Aamot said. The dozen or so 13-to [More]

May 1st, 2015

More investment needed for suicide research

By Janine Weisman

The National Institutes of Health allocates an average of $304 million annually for research on hypertension, which kills 56,000 Americans each year. But the amount of money dedicated to researching suicide, the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., lags far behind other such high-profile conditions. More than 41,000 Americans died by suicide in 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s National Vital Statistics Report. Yet only $72 million per year is spent on suicide research, despite it being one of the most preventable causes of death, according to a new report from the National Action Alliance [More]

May 1st, 2015

McLean opens Borden Cottage for addiction treatment

By Howard Newman

Based on the previous success of a similar program and the inspiration of a former patient, McLean Hospital is opening a new center for drug and alcohol addiction treatment in Camden, Maine. The new facility, named Borden Cottage, is a sister program of McLean Fernside, located in Princeton, Mass.. Borden Cottage officially opened for business in April under the direction of psychiatrist Frederick Goggans, M.D.. It is a comprehensive residential facility that offers treatment in substance abuse as well as co-occurring psychiatric illness. McLean Borden Cottage has a staff of 25 full-time equivalents, including psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists as [More]

May 1st, 2015

Connecticut report recommends training in infant mental health

By Pamela Berard

A new report in Connecticut calls for a state-wide system to ensure a range of professionals who work with infants and their families receive training in infant mental health. The report, “The Infant Mental Health Workforce: Key to Promoting the Healthy Social and Emotional Development of Children,” released by the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI) of Connecticut, recommends infant mental health training to the infant and toddler mental health workforce including not just mental health clinicians, but also early care and education providers, home visitors, health providers, early interventionists and related service therapists (such as speech and occupational therapists). [More]

May 1st, 2015

Closed facility has one program site remaining

By Rivkela Brodsky

A mental health residential treatment program with nine sites in Massachusetts closed its doors last fall – but one of its sites lives on. One of the Wild Acre Inns, an Arlington, Massachusetts-based program that was founded in 1972 by Bernard Yudowitz, M.D., remains in Belmont and continues to house many of the individuals that lived there. “The Belmont house was home for a number of long-term patients and Dr. Yudowitz felt he wanted to keep their home intact,” said John N. Sciretta, LICSW, who purchased the Belmont Wild Acre Inn in October 2014 from Yudowitz. There were 12 people [More]

May 1st, 2015

Hampstead offers HOPE program

By Susan Gonsalves

Hampstead Hospital’s new intensive outpatient program launched in March is designed to provide comprehensive support to adolescents and decrease the need for re-hospitalizations. According to Director of Clinical Operations Patti Shea, Psy.D., the number of  young people ages 12 to 18  presenting with substance abuse disorders and co-occurring psychological conditions is on the rise and the wait time for follow up appointments after inpatient discharge can be eight to 12 weeks. “We noticed that stays in an inpatient psych ward unit are getting shorter and the kids need additional outpatient treatment or they get re-admitted fairly quickly,” Shea said. “That [More]

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