Leading Stories, Articles

January 1st, 2018

N.H. seeks funding for opioid crisis

By Catherine Robertson Souter

New Hampshire needs help. That is the message put out by US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in a recent release decrying the Trump administration’s decision not to increase funding for the state’s battle against the opioid crisis. While the problem has reached every state in the country, New Hampshire has been especially hard hit. With the second highest death rate from opioid overdose in the nation, New Hampshire has seen deaths more than double since 2011. “We are second in the nation per capita from opioid related deaths, but actually number one for fentanyl related deaths,” [More]

January 1st, 2018

Grant to enhance rural services

By Phyllis Hanlon

Clinical & Support Options (CSO), a comprehensive behavioral health agency that serves residents in western Massachusetts, recently received a federal grant that provides $450,000 over a three-year period. The grant is one of three given by the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and is designated to support the Rural Access Project. According to CEO Karin Jeffers, LMHC, the agency will use the funds to expand its Center for Community Resilience after Trauma (CCRT) program. “This program assists victims of crime ranging from drunk driving and domestic violence to home break-ins and sexual abuse. We offer a unique [More]

January 1st, 2018

Emergency Department visits for behavioral care on the rise

By Pamela Berard

The number of Massachusetts patients seeking Emergency Department (ED) care for behavioral health conditions increased, as did the proportion of those patients who boarded and the length of boarding, according to data from 2011-2015 that was recently released by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC). The data from HPC – an independent state agency that develops policy to reduce health care cost growth and improve the quality of patient care – indicated that the number of patients seeking ED care for behavioral health conditions increased 13 percent from 2011-2015, and the number of patients who boarded (i.e., patients who spend [More]

January 1st, 2018

Future of Nation is top stressor

By Susan Gonsalves

The future of the country is the largest source of stress according to a report from the American Psychological Association. The APA released the results of its annual “Stress in America,” survey in November, with the country’s future topping the results at 63 percent, followed close behind by money at 62 percent and work at 61 percent. The 2017 “Stress in America” survey was conducted online by Harris Poll between Aug. 2 and Aug 31, 2017, among 3,440 adults age 18+ in the United States. Broken down, 1,376 men, 2,047 women, 1,088 white, 810 Hispanic, 808 Black, 506 Asian and [More]

January 1st, 2018

Does preventative fencing curb suicide attempts?

By Eileen Weber

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in this country. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, men die from suicide three and half times more than women while women attempt suicide two and half more times than men. Of the more than 40,000 people who commit suicide every year, less than 10 percent of them end their lives by other means, including jumping off high structures. No doubt you’ve heard of the more than 1,600 people who have jumped to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge in California, which now has netting to catch those who [More]

January 1st, 2018

Clinician works with traumatized, abused children

By Catherine Robertson Souter

The heightened awareness around issues of sexual abuse and trauma in the public forum helps shine a light on the prevalence of the issue in all age groups. As the country goes through what feels like a domino effect of sexual harassment and abuse allegations, public awareness helps victims to come forward for treatment and reduces the stigma surrounding the trauma, leading to better outcomes. According to Antoinette Harrington, Psy.D, a psychologist who specializes in working with children and adolescent victims, the increased attention also allows families to better understand and identify trauma reactions in children and know when to [More]

December 1st, 2017

Treating sexual abuse/harassment with therapy and support

By Phyllis Hanlon

Recently, print, broadcast and social media sites have been reporting sexual abuse, harassment, and misbehavior allegations on a daily basis. While this news has focused on the entertainment industry and corporate America, such behavior also occurs in the workplace, at home and in public venues. Carlos A. Cuevas, Ph.D., associate professor, co-director, Violence & Justice Research Laboratory, School of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Northeastern University, defines sexual abuse as “any kind of unwanted or forced sexual behavior on a person” that might include touching, fondling or rape. “Harassment doesn’t necessarily differ from sexual abuse, but is usually connected to [More]

December 1st, 2017

Judge allows Affordable Care Act subsidies to end

By Janine Weisman

A week before the 2018 open enrollment period began, a federal judge rejected an emergency motion filed by a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general – including four New England states – to stop the Trump Administration from ending cost-sharing subsidies to insurers required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Insurance regulators in many states had already made contingency plans to raise 2018 premium rates in case the cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurance companies ended by the Nov. 1 start of open enrollment. And increases in rates for silver exchange plans will end up being covered by an increase [More]

December 1st, 2017

Grant helps people who disclose assault

By Pamela Berard

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire’s Prevention Innovations Research Center are evaluating a strategy they created to help keep on campus incidents of intimate partner violence or sexual assault from leading to problem drinking and/or mental health issues. Katie M. Edwards, Ph.D., principal investigator and associate professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of New Hampshire, said that victims of intimate partner violence and sexual violence commonly do not first report the incident to authorities – such as the police, a hospital, or therapist – but rather, they tell a friend or family member first. “We call them [More]

December 1st, 2017

Psychologists at odds over science in Mass. high court case

By Janine Weisman

Twelve days after Massachusetts’ Concord District Court put Julie Eldred on probation for a larceny charge in the summer of 2016, she tested positive for fentanyl and was sent to MCI Framingham without bail for violating a condition that she “remain drug free.” But Eldred suffers from opioid use disorder, said her lawyer Lisa Newman-Polk, Esq, LCSW and opioid use disorder is a chronic brain disease. Relapse is a symptom. Newman-Polk, who practices in Eldred’s hometown of Acton, Massachusetts, believes the probation condition requiring her client to stay drug free is unconstitutional and is asking for its removal from the [More]