November 1st, 2017

Walden tackles LGBTQ eating disorders

By Eileen Weber

The statistics for eating disorders in the LGBTQ community are unsettling. According to the International Journal of Eating Disorders, 42 percent of men with this issue identify as gay or bisexual. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) states that gay, lesbian, and bisexual people report binge-eating and purging as young as 12-years-old. Many seeking treatment for an eating disorder also have a co-occurring disorder – anything from anxiety and depression to obsessive compulsive disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. Statistics from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse also show that up to 35 percent of people who abuse alcohol [More]

July 15th, 2011

Was justice served in Phoebe Prince case?

By Edward Stern J.D.

What is justice? This question has been the basis of a debate since the conclusion of the cases resulting from the harassment and suicide of Phoebe Prince in South Hadley, Mass. This case has been used to support the need for the new anti-bullying law in Massachusetts (see “In Wake of Suicides, Anti-Bullying Bill Passed,” New England Psychologist, June 2010). Bullying deals with persistent or unreasonable hurtful acts against another of unequal power. The six defendants faced different charges. The charges were begun under a district attorney who was no longer in office at the time of the trial. According [More]

August 21st, 2015

Web site to track parity

By Rivkela Brodsky

A new Web site for tracking parity state by state was announced during the opening session of the third annual Kennedy Forum National Conference held in Boston in June. ParityTrack.org, a project of the Kennedy Forum and the Thomas Scattergood Behavioral Health Foundation, tracks implementation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 through reports that analyze legislation, regulatory actions and litigation at federal and state levels, according to information provided by the forum. “It’s to find out where your state stands on the implementation of a federal law that guarantees all your state’s residents who have [More]

November 1st, 2017

Weight-based bullying can lead to psychological distress

By Phyllis Hanlon

Fashion magazines, television shows, movies and other media have promoted the idea that “thin is in” for decades. While there has been a slight shift in thinking recently, bias against larger individuals continues to be an issue that can have medical and psychological consequences. According to Joan C. Chrisler, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Connecticut College, many clinicians don’t understand that a person’s weight is based on several factors, including genetics and physiology, as well as race, gender, age, income and culture, which collectively is known as intersectional identification. Negative attitudes toward weight are also based somewhat on body mass [More]

June 1st, 2017

Welcoming the stranger

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

In recent weeks, small signs have been springing up on the lawns of our little town, refreshingly different from the usual appeals to vote for political candidates or issues facing the community. The message in Spanish, English, and Arabic says simply, “No matter where you are from, you’re welcome in our neighborhood.” Anyone can say you are welcome, but making you actually feel welcome is something else again. Yet it’s heartening to see that the effort is underway even as decisions made at higher levels of government are restricting access to our country to millions of refugees and others who [More]

January 1st, 2010

Westborough State Hospital to close ahead of schedule

By Elinor Nelson

In a money saving plan expected to help meet the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health’s $14 million shortfall entering fiscal year 2010, the state will be closing Westborough State Hospital in April, two months ahead of schedule. The plan to close the hospital and build a new state-of-the-art facility on the campus of Worcester State Hospital has been in the works for about eight years, and the new hospital is expected to open in 2012. At the moment, the Department of Mental Health is “in the middle of transition and discharge plans for [Westborough State’s] patients” until patients can be [More]

March 1st, 2013

What can be done to prevent horrendous acts?

By Edward Stern J.D.

On Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old male shot and killed his mother in their home and then killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school The perpetrator reportedly broke into a locked school by shooting his way through a glass door, carrying a Bushmaster XM-16 rifle, a 10mm Glock 20SF handgun and a 9mm SIG Sauer handgun. A shotgun, allegedly owned by his mother, was also found in his car. He allegedly killed his mother with a .22 Marlin rifle which was left at her home and there was also a .45 Henry repeating rifle and a [More]

January 1st, 2013

What I didn’t get for the holidays

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

This is a story that began 40 years ago. When I was just starting out in psychology, it all seemed so complicated that I was never quite sure I knew what I was doing. Then one night an old man appeared to me in a dream. He held a large diamond-shaped crystal which he described as the crystal of wisdom. So I did what any resourceful but insecure beginner would do in that kind of situation. I asked him to give me the crystal. That’s exactly what I need. May I have it? Not so fast, the old man replied, [More]

January 1st, 2016

What we miss along the way

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

On a recent trip to Colorado to visit our daughter, I found myself obsessed by the desire to see the Rockies covered with snow. I had a particular view in mind, probably an amalgam of what I had seen in documentaries about climbing Mt. Everest, a scene from the movie, “Lost Horizon” and my ever active imagination. In my mind’s eye, I am standing on the top of a mountain or at least sitting in my car at a scenic overlook, looking out on layers of mountain tops receding into the distance, each layer smaller and fainter than the one [More]

March 1st, 2017

What will ACA replacement mean for mental health?

By Janine Weisman

Uncertainty surrounding President Donald Trump’s often repeated campaign promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act has changed the way Republicans talk about it: Instead of “repeal,” the emphasis is now on “repair.” Even so, mental health advocates are worried that any fix to the 2010 federal health care law might mean the loss of historic protections requiring health plans to cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment and services. Before ACA made these services “essential benefits,” individual and small group market policies rarely covered them. “The Affordable Care Act, put in extreme terms, is a life-or-death issue for people [More]