February 4th, 2020

Survey: Mass shootings, healthcare among top stressors

By Susan Gonsalves

Healthcare, mass shootings and the 2020 election are among the top stressors for Americans according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. Between August 1 and Sept. 2, 2019, the poll asked 3,617 adults to rate their level of stress as well as identify a variety of potential sources. Concerns about healthcare significantly affect about seven in 10 adults. More than half (64 percent) acknowledge that healthcare is stressing them out as least “sometimes.” Individuals with private insurance (71 percent) are more likely than those with public insurance (53 percent) to cite it as a stressor. Additionally, 55 percent [More]

November 1st, 2016

Survey: Presidential campaign takes toll on workers

By Rivkela Brodsky

The U.S. presidential campaign is taking a toll on workers, according to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, which found one in four workers were negatively affected by political discussions at work in at least one way. “We do surveys regularly that take the pulse of the U.S. workforce. We look at topics related to people’s experience on the job,” said David Ballard, Psy.D., director of the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence. “This year, given how heated the election has been and how much this has been consuming conversation everywhere, we thought we’d take a look at how [More]

June 1st, 2014

TAC survey on inmate treatment: New England falls short

By Phyllis Hanlon

In April, the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) released its findings from a national survey that examined the treatment administered to individuals with a mental illness who are living in state prisons and county jails. The report shines a negative light on the situation, especially in New England. According to the survey, in 2012 prisons and jails housed an estimated 356,000 inmates with severe mental illness, while public hospitals had 35,000 patients with severe mental illness. The survey explains that incarceration instead of hospitalization leads to associated problems including jail/prison overcrowding, behavioral issues, physical attacks, victimization, mental deterioration, isolation, jail/prison suicides, [More]

July 1st, 2015

Taking the next step

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

I find it hard to believe that it has been a full year since I wrote about “The Retirement Readiness Test,” a three-day weekend rehearsal of a retired psychologist’s schedule that led me to conclude that I wasn’t ready. I find this hard to believe because when this column appears on July 1, I will have been retired for a little more than two weeks. Well, sort of.  I will be retired from my full time position of 39 years but I will still be doing some part-time work in psychology. In the past year, my thinking about retirement has [More]

November 1st, 2010

Talk therapy on the decline, study says

By Pamela Berard

Talk therapy is on the decline, while more Americans with mental health conditions are being treated with drugs alone, according to a new study. The results, reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry, are based on data from government health surveys conducted in 1998 and 2007. The percentage of Americans who said they’d had at least one psychotherapy session in the past year remained just over three percent in 1998 (3.37) and 2007 (3.18). However, those being treated with drugs alone rose from 44.1 to 57.4 percent in that span; combined treatments (drugs and psychotherapy) declined from 40 to 32.1 [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]

September 22nd, 2011

Task force debates gender identity

By Phyllis Hanlon

A select group of psychologists, psychiatrists and researchers is currently engaged in debate about diagnoses to include, delete and/or add to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which was last updated in 1994. Much of that debate revolves around terminology and definition as it relates to gender. Ellen Schecter, Ph.D., clinical psychologist in private practice in Hanover, N.H., says, “Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is controversial already. Much like homosexuality being better understood as a normal variation rather than a disorder of individuals and hence removed from the DSM, many – including me – think of gender identity [More]

January 1st, 2014

Task force explores mental health reporting for gun checks

By Janine Weisman

The gun violence prevention advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns calls Rhode Island a “worst performing state” for its failure to share mental health records with the federal gun background checks database. Now a task force is taking an in-depth look at the confidentiality statute preventing the Ocean State from submitting records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The 20-member Joint Behavioral Health and Firearms Safety Task Force has been meeting twice a month since last October and has a January 31 deadline to submit a report to the General Assembly with recommendations for new legislation. The [More]

October 1st, 2013

Task force identifies priorities for quality of care

By Pamela Berard

The Behavioral Health Integration Task Force in Massachusetts submitted recommendations aimed at improving health care quality and outcomes – while also controlling costs – to the state legislature and the newly created Health Policy Commission. The task force, chaired by Department of Mental Health Commissioner Marcia Fowler, M.A., J.D., was created under Chapter 224 of the Acts and Resolves of 2012, which focuses on improving the quality and efficiency of health care delivery and payment systems – including the integration of primary care with behavioral health – as the next chapter in health care reform. Fowler says the recommendations were [More]

April 1st, 2013

Task force member discusses health care reform efforts

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Issues with the health care system are coming to a head in this country. As health care delivery evolves in response to calls and mandates for far-reaching reform, concerns of cost and creating a system ready to handle the aging baby boomer and Gen-X populations are taking center stage. To keep pace with the changes and to ensure that psychology plays a role in the evolution, state psychological associations have stepped up more to participate in the discussion. The Rhode Island Psychological Association recently created a task force of members working to have a say in the decision-making process. New [More]