Leading Stories, Articles

October 7th, 2020

Residential schools adopt safety measures related to pandemic

By Phyllis Hanlon

In March, states across the region ordered the closure of school systems. While public and many private academic institutions shuttered their doors, residential schools were considered “essential services” and were allowed to remain open. Elizabeth Della Russo Becker, executive director of maaps (Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools), reported that residential schools serve a diverse population that is more vulnerable to infectious diseases than students in the general population. Becker applauded Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders for the “wise and unique” decisions that helped protect these students. “She understands that these schools have needy and often voiceless populations. [More]

October 7th, 2020

You’re Not Alone: Pandemic Fatigue is Real

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Pandemic fatigue is creeping into more and more of our lives. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world, it’s getting harder and harder to continue on in our normal lives. With colder weather coming, the summer respite and spending good amounts of time outdoors is coming to an end. This is going to be a very challenging season for mental health. Too many people are still ignoring the fundamental science-based protections – such as simply wearing a mask when away from home – that will help reduce overall rates of the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. [More]

October 7th, 2020

Understanding collective trauma

By New England Psychologist Staff

Collective trauma can be understood as a response to a one-time event, or as a response to a long-term event. The first type of collective trauma can occur when a “cataclysmic event that shatters the basic fabric of society” happens, such as a natural or human-caused disaster (1). Collective trauma also occurs because of on-going collective physical and emotional injury due to repeated exposure to race-based stress (2). The experience of collective or historical trauma by colonized communities such as Canadian, Australian, and American indigenous peoples is well established in the literature (3). The accumulated evidence of trauma reactions in [More]

October 7th, 2020

Woodside’s fate remains up in the air

By New England Psychologist Staff

The fate of Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, Vermont’s only juvenile detention facility, is up in the air. While state officials work to figure out what’s next for the embattled facility, there are no children housed at the 30-bed secure facility. “There are no youth being served by the Woodside facility currently,” said Luciana DiRuocco, executive staff assistant, public information officer, for the state’s Department for Children and Families (DCF). “We are currently using in- and out-of-state programs to serve the youth traditionally served by Woodside for the time being while we see if we can stand up a new program [More]

October 6th, 2020

Child abuse reports down; concern is up

By Eileen Weber

Authorities and medical professionals in Maine are seeing a 30 percent decrease in child abuse reports. The sharp decline began when schools closed in mid-March because of COVID-19. These days, the safety nets that are typically built around children—teachers, friends, neighbors, other family members, doctors and social workers—weren’t there. Calls to the abuse hotline at the Maine Child and Family Services have also been down. Only seven percent of the calls were from school personnel when that number would ordinarily be more than 20 percent. According to the National Children’s Alliance, a nation-wide network of children’s advocacy centers, approximately 700,000 [More]

October 6th, 2020

Study details effects of pandemic on people with eating disorders

By Catherine Robertson Souter

For those with an eating disorder, isolation, loneliness, anxiety, and stress can be major contributing factors. And of course, what are the major factors we all face during a pandemic and related shutdown? Isolation, loneliness, anxiety and stress. A recent study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows that, across the board, those dealing with eating disorders have reported increased symptoms and concerns about the effects of the current situation on their mental health. “People with eating disorders,” said Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D, co-author of the study and the founding director of the University of North Carolina Center of [More]

October 6th, 2020

Learning from life’s important places

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

The places where we live, work, or simply pass through on our life’s journey become part of who we are. Crucibles of growth and backdrops of memory, they are always with us, long after we have moved on to yet another place. The important places remain to instruct, entertain, and inspire confidence that, in a world of uncertainty and change, we learn on the way and arrive better prepared for whatever the next place holds in store. The Boston area, my home since graduate school, has taught me well, and some of its early lessons come on the first day [More]

October 6th, 2020

Program for educators teaches social and emotional learning

By Catherine Robertson Souter

The state of Connecticut is looking to take the lead on creating an emotionally strong educational system. The Department of Education has joined forces with stakeholders across the state to pilot a unique program aimed at giving educators the tools they need to cope and to teach coping skills during the pandemic. The program, “Social and Emotional Learning in Times of Uncertainty and Stress: Research-Based Strategies,” is a 10-hour online program for educators that will give instruction in social and emotional learning (SEL). “The course is 10 hours of training in the psychology and neurobiology of trauma and stress resilience,” [More]

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]

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