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]

August 22nd, 2014

Task force offers recommendations to improve services

By Pamela Berard

A Connecticut task force created by legislation following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings released its final report featuring 47 recommendations designed to improve behavioral health services for young adults. The Task Force to Study the Provision of Behavioral Health Services for Young Adults was created under An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety to analyze and make recommendations for behavioral health services for people ages 16-25. It was one of several initiatives created after the Sandy Hook shootings. Task force member Marcy Kane, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist, vice president of child services at Wellmore Behavioral Health and [More]

March 1st, 2016

Task force recommends depression screening for adults

By Susan Gonsalves

Adults, including pregnant and postpartum women, should be annually screened for depression, according to a recommendation by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force. The organization cited the prevalence of major depressive disorder among adults in high income countries, its impact on quality of life for patients and their families and the higher risk of death by suicide or an inability to control other health issues. The USPSTF commissioned a systematic review to update a 2009 recommendation that focused on the direct evidence about the benefits and harms of depression screening. The organization also reviewed the accuracy of depression screening instruments. [More]

April 1st, 2016

Task force recommends early autism screening

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that one in 68 children born in the U.S. was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics and Political Science estimate that more than 3.5 million Americans have ASD. They also report that cost of care may be as high as $2 million over the course of the individual’s lifetime. That figure is in addition to the estimated $250,000 it takes to raise a child these days. Additionally, between 2000 and 2010, rates of ASD increased 119.4 percent, according to [More]

April 1st, 2017

Task force studies custody status of voluntarily admitted children

By Pamela Berard

Under proposed Connecticut legislation, a task force will study voluntary admissions to the Department of Children and Families and determine whether general law amendments are needed to prohibit DCF from requesting or requiring that the parent or guardian of voluntarily admitted children terminate parental rights or transfer legal custody of the child to DCF. The task force is part of a substitute bill stemming from earlier proposed legislation (H.B. 6297) heard in the Joint Committee on Children and introduced by State Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas, to prohibit DCF from “requesting, recommending or requiring” a parent/guardian terminate parental rights or transfer [More]