By Susan Gonsalves
A proposed law in Massachusetts would make it illegal to coax someone to commit or attempt suicide. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Barry Finegold (D-Second Essex and Middlesex) and Rep. Natalie Higgins (D-4th Worcester District) would make this type of coercion punishable by up to five years in jail and has been dubbed, “Conrad’s Law.” Conrad Roy, 18, killed himself at the urging of his girlfriend Michelle Carter in 2014. Carter of Plainville was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is serving a 15-month prison sentence. “Like everyone else, I followed the case and was horrified by what happened,” said Finegold [More]
By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.
It had been a long time since I took the telescope out onto the front lawn for a spell of stargazing, just over a year according to the calendar built into the electronic guidance system of my small glass. Time gets away, new concerns take precedence, and the town installs brighter streetlamps. The stars fade. But one night this past summer before Jupiter slipped beneath the treetops, a quick glimpse reminded me of what astronomy has to offer psychology. A heightened sense of awe, perspective, humility, and a feeling of wonder are all there at the price of simply looking [More]
By New England Psychologist Staff
According to the DSM-5, the criteria to diagnose Pedophilia (Pedophilic Disorder) is defined as recurrent experiences of intense sexual arousal, fantasies, sexual urges or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children, usually under the age of 14. The person has acted on these sexual urges or these sexual urges or fantasies cause the person distress or problems in interpersonal relationships. In order to be classified with this disorder, the person must be at least 16 years of age and five years older than the child or children for whom he has these feelings that are possibly acted [More]
By John Grohol, Psy.D.
It may seem that trying to reduce the prejudice and discrimination that’s commonplace when talking about mental illness is a never-ending job. Because it is. But I believe that every single one of us needs to be responsible for helping to forward the conversation about mental illness. It can’t just be left to advocacy groups, government agencies, or professional associations. To me, that means challenging friends and even family members if they say something that is stigmatizing to people with mental illness, or suggest that a person with mental illness is somehow “less than.” After all, we wouldn’t let people [More]
By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS
In response to the devastating effects of the opioid crisis on kids’ mental health, the non-profit service agency Wayside Youth & Family Support Network recently launched the Children Impacted by Substances (CIS) program. The program is part of Wayside’s Trauma Intervention Services in Milford. The CIS program serves clients in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties, which includes 26 surrounding towns. According to Massachusetts Department of Public Health data, between 2010 and 2018, Middlesex had the highest number of opioid-related deaths. Worcester had the third highest. The CIS program can serve youth between ages five and 18 who’ve been affected by [More]
By Phyllis Hanlon
The benefits of engaging in outdoor activities have been well documented. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that play in an outdoor environment enables children “…to explore both their world and their own minds.” AAP adds that outdoor activity can enhance “…creativity, curiosity and associated developmental advances.” Some residential schools are embracing this message and offer a variety of adventure and wilderness programs for children with behavioral issues. The residential program at Mountain Valley Treatment Center in Plainfield, New Hampshire, accepts children with a variety of diagnoses, from anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression to autism, eating disorders, and [More]