Articles, Leading Stories

June 1st, 2016

Program helps new mothers and pregnant women

By Pamela Berard

With an increasing national focus on early identification of depression in pregnancy or postpartum, the Day Hospital at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, R.I., continues to help treat expectant or new moms in a unique setting. The Day Hospital opened in 2000 as the nation’s first perinatal partial hospital program treating pregnant women and new mothers (joined by their babies) with depression, anxiety or other emotional distress. The concept of having the newborn accompany the mother to treatment was a new one when the program began, and is a cornerstone of treatment at the Day Hospital. “We like to [More]

June 1st, 2016

Stress in America Survey 2015: the impact of discrimination

By Phyllis Hanlon

The American Psychological Association conducted its tenth annual Stress in America survey and released results in March. This particular survey focused on the impact discrimination has on an individual’s stress level. A total of 3,361 participants took part in the online survey. The results indicated that 69 percent or seven in 10 adults, report having experienced discrimination; 61 percent reported day-to-day discrimination. According to the survey, minorities experienced high levels of discrimination on an everyday basis, i.e., 76 percent of Black adults, 74 percent of Asian, 72 percent of Hispanics and 81 percent of American Indian/Alaska Natives. Thirty percent of [More]

June 1st, 2016

Report: Suicide deaths on the rise

By Rivkela Brodsky

Suicide deaths in the U.S. have increased from 1999 to 2014 for both genders aged 10-74, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Suicide is increasing against the backdrop of generally declining mortality and is currently one of the 10 leading causes of death overall,” reads the report. “This report highlights increases in suicide mortality from 1999 through 2014 and shows that while the rate increased almost steadily over the period, the average annual percent increase was greater for the second half of this period (2006–2014) than for the first half (1999–2006).” The increase [More]

June 1st, 2016

Summer camp provides emotional support

By Pamela Berard

A residential summer camp in Vermont supports children with a range of social, behavioral and emotional needs. Camp Daybreak, offered to boys and girls 8-11 for one week in August at a Vermont campsite, was founded in 1961. The camp is now a direct service program of the Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery and operates as a strengths-based experience focused on meeting the needs of the young people who attend. Dan Osman, Camp Daybreak director, said the young campers have a range of needs. “In mental health, there’s no cookie-cutter answer; no one fits a specific mold,” [More]

June 1st, 2016

Stepfamily relationships at heart of psychologist’s research

By Catherine Robertson Souter

According to the Pew Research Center, 42 percent of American adults are in some form of a blended family. Sound surprising? What is more surprising, according to Patricia Papernow, Ed.D, is how much research has been done on the health of stepfamily relationships and how little of that research has gotten out to the public. Papernow, a specialist in stepfamily relationships with a private clinical and consulting practice in Hudson, Mass., has spent her career teaching stepfamilies how to better interact and teaching therapists how to help them. The author of two books on the subject including “Striving and Surviving [More]

May 1st, 2016

Practitioner safety: more training needed

By Phyllis Hanlon

Approximately three years after getting licensed, C. Avila Wright, Ph.D., worked in an inpatient setting where she was assaulted by a patient. With limited training in non-violent crisis intervention, she was unnerved by the incident but fortunate to have the backup of a crisis team. For the most part, however, safety programs for practitioners remain scarce. Wright is director, Research and Special Projects, Practice Research and Policy, at the American Psychological Association’s Practice Directorate Thirty-year veteran in the field Philip Kleespies, Ph.D., who works at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Mass., also personally experienced issues with patients threatening [More]

May 1st, 2016

Demand grows for inpatient ASD and ID programs

By Janine Weisman

Half the beds in a new eight-bed inpatient unit heralded as Connecticut’s first specialized psychiatric unit for children with autism and developmental disorders were still empty nearly four months after its opening last December. “I’ll be very candid and tell you that we have kids who are ready to come in, but it’s our self-imposed, very slow progression into this unit,” said Lynn Ricci, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Hospital for Special Care (HSC) in New Britain, Conn., in a phone interview in mid-April. “We are going to take our fifth patient this week. We’ve had one discharge. [More]

May 1st, 2016

Vermont examining its residential facility needs

By Pamela Berard

A report recently presented to the Vermont state legislature outlines preliminary recommendations related to the development of a new secure residential facility to address the needs of individuals with mental illness. Frank Reed, commissioner, Department of Mental Health, Agency of Human Services (AHS), prepared the “Report on Secure Residential Facility: Plan for Siting and Design” in accordance with “Act No. 26: An Act Relating to Capital Construction and State Bonding,” in which the Secretary of Human Services was tasked with conducting an examination of the needs of the AHS. The report considered siting and designing of a secure residential facility, [More]

May 1st, 2016

TaraVista Behavioral Health Center to open in Devens, Mass.

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In a move that should ease the overburdening of inpatient beds across the state, central Massachusetts will soon see the opening of a new 108-bed mental health facility. Health Partners New England (HPNE), a behavioral health care management and psychiatric services provider based in Boston, plans to open TaraVista Behavioral Health Center in Devens this fall. The company, under the direction of CEO Michael P. Krupa, Ed.D., provides long term management of departments of psychiatry as well as consultation for mental health services and interim leadership staffing. This hospital will be a new endeavor for HPNE. “There continue to be [More]

May 1st, 2016

Bournewood to debut partial hospital program

By Pamela Berard

Bournewood Hospital, a 90-bed, full-service independent privately-owned psychiatric facility in Brookline, Mass., in May will debut a new Mental Health Partial Hospital Program. The new partial hospital program is a group program providing step-down or diversionary service for adults in mental health crisis who need more intensive treatment than can be provided in an outpatient setting, but who can appropriately receive treatment and services in the community. “The program will help individuals who are not quite ready to resume school or work or who just need more intensive treatment, because a lot of people do well in the hospital then [More]

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