Leading Stories, Articles

October 6th, 2020

Podcasts can be an option for therapists

By Catherine Robertson Souter

More and more, Americans are turning to online sources for information. From sites that gather top news stories to videos on how to clean dryer vents, the internet has become the go-to for learning just about anything. Serial podcasts, usually found as audio shows, have become one of the most popular ways to get that information. According to PodcastHosting.org, there are more than one million podcasts world-wide and 51 percent of Americans have listened to at least one episode. These podcasts cover topics as varied as stock market tips, book reviews or discussions about historical events. They may be in [More]

October 6th, 2020

Crotched Mountain’s November closure is stopped

By Eileen Weber

After almost 70 years, Crotched Mountain Foundation, a rehabilitation center for young children to adults with developmental and behavioral disabilities in Greenfield, NH, was set to close its doors on November 1. After months of scrambling to find suitable options for students and group home residents, it was announced that New York-based Gersh Autism will take over on the previously determined closing date. President and CEO Ned Olney noted in a statement that the school struggled financially for years, especially during the economic downturn in 2009. With the onset of the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown, the school suspended services with [More]

September 9th, 2020

Uncertainty of pandemic leads to further mental health problems

By Eileen Weber

It should be no surprise that after months of shelter-in-place mandates, wearing masks in public, maintaining a six-foot distance from others, and a resurgence in COVID outbreaks in some states, our collective psyche is at the breaking point. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse have been on the rise in this country, but those issues have become even more apparent during this pandemic. For many people, it has been a mental and emotional roller coaster. Steven Marans, MSW, Ph.D, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale’s Child Study Center, says the loss of normal [More]

September 9th, 2020

Confiding in others identified as the strongest protection against depression

By New England Psychologist Staff

A new study has found that strong social connections are the strongest protective factor for depression. “Depression is the leading cause of disability world-wide,” said Karmel Choi, Ph.D, an investigator in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and lead author of the paper. “About one in five people will experience an episode of major depression in their lifetime. If we could prevent depression, we could not only reduce years of suffering, but also improve health and life outcomes.” That led researchers to ask the question: Which modifiable factors in [More]

August 19th, 2020

How can therapists become more culturally competent?

By Catherine Robertson Souter

As our nation struggles toward building a better society for all races, therapists may find themselves doing some self-reflection on how they handle diversity in their own practices. Cultural competence has become a key phrase within the field. But how does one become culturally “competent?” In its “Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services to Ethnic, Linguistic, and Culturally Diverse Populations,” the American Psychological Association explains that providers should have a “sociocultural framework” that will help them use a systematic approach to working with a “diversity of values, interactional styles, and cultural expectations.” The organization recommends that psychologists become knowledgeable and [More]

August 19th, 2020

Rhode Island behavioral health centers receive $8 million grant

By Eileen Weber

Funds help create community connections, add services Newport Mental Health and Thrive Behavioral Health, Inc. in Warwick were awarded an $8 million federal grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Mental Health Services this past spring. The two organizations will receive $4 million each to enhance programs over the course of two years. The grant is meant to introduce both new services and bolster existing services, much of which involves enhancing the staff. At 24 percent, Rhode Island has one of the highest levels of adult mental illness in the country. In addition, 34 percent [More]

August 18th, 2020

National survey measures pandemic’s emotional impact

By Phyllis Hanlon

After several months of quarantine, psychologists are eager to assess the emotional repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three psychologists teamed up to create a scale that evaluated mental health during this crisis and found both expected and some surprising results. Sarah Gray, Psy.D, director of outpatient rehabilitation psychology at Spaulding Rehabilitation in Boston, said, “As a health psychologist, the psychological effects of the pandemic in society and how that affects our patients is of particular interest to me.” Gray is also the founder/director, Integrative Psychology, PC in Arlington, Massachusetts. Gray explained that this national survey was developed “completely in reaction [More]

July 16th, 2020

Psychologists study what inspires protestors

By Eileen Weber

The most recent Black deaths at the hands of police have fueled protests across the country. But for some psychologists, their interests lie not in what they are protesting, but why they protest in the first place. And when they protest, why does it sometimes turn violent? As we have seen from a few of the recent George Floyd protests, there has been some rioting and looting. A 2018 collaborative study between the University of South Carolina, Stanford University, and the University of Toronto, posed that question: does violent protest backfire? In it, the researchers theorized that when things become [More]

July 14th, 2020

States look at mental health beyond the pandemic

By Phyllis Hanlon

To date, the COVID-19 virus has exacted a tremendous toll on the nation’s economy, uncovered serious flaws in the health care systems, brought long-standing systemic racism to the forefront, and disrupted everyday life. Of paramount importance are the potential long-term effects on psychological well-being. The New England states are taking measures to help ameliorate any adverse effects once the pandemic begins to wane. According to Jessica Pollard, Ph.D, director of Maine’s Office of Behavioral Health, her state has operated a number of crisis phone lines for several years. In response to COVID-19 , Maine set up a “Warmline,” a resource [More]

July 14th, 2020

Research examines link between COVID-19 & racial disparity

By Eileen Weber

A number of studies have shown a disturbing trend in this pandemic: more people of color have contracted and died from coronavirus than other demographics. In May, a study conducted by Yale School of Medicine parsed the available data on race and ethnicity to show a disparity among people who contract coronavirus. Based on their findings, Blacks were 3.57 times more likely to die from the disease and Hispanics were nearly 1.9 times more likely than whites. Cary Gross, MD, professor of medicine at Yale and co-author of the study, said it’s impossible to determine whether access to health care, [More]

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