By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
By Phyllis Hanlon
As a young man, Rick Barnett sought to “find himself” through psychedelic drugs. His journey began as exploration but in time became problematic.
However, during this experimental stage, Barnett, Psy.D, LADC, MS clinical psychopharmacology in Stowe, Vermont, discovered that hallucinogenic substances “had the potential to change people’s minds and perceptions.”
Some 25 years later, Barnett became reinvigorated and reinterested in benefits attributed to hallucinogenic drugs through Michael Pollan’s book, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.”
Barnett’s past personal experience and newfound interest in this area led him to enroll in the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).…
By Phyllis Hanlon
Research clearly demonstrates that the pandemic is having a significant negative effect on the younger generation.
A November 2020 article, “Impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on mental health of children and adolescents: A narrative review with recommendations,” found both short-term and long-term “psychosocial and mental health implications” in this population. The article was published in Psychiatry Research.
The authors noted that severity of the impact is subject to certain vulnerability factors including developmental age, educational status, pre-existing mental health conditions, low economic status, and quarantine because of or fear of infection.…
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 routines and social connectedness can adversely affect people in many ways.…
By Catherine Robertson Souter
Within the field of psychology, there are very few Black professionals. According to the American Psychological Association, in 2015, only four percent of all psychologists were Black/African-American. Meanwhile, the general population of this country is just over 13 percent Black.
How does that play out for Black psychologists, working in a field that is predominately white? What stressors are they seeing in patients and colleagues? Are there things that should be done to increase Black representation in the field? And, in these turbulent times, is there hope that social justice will prevail?…
By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.
The man is smiling now, released from the grip of the terrible depression that brought him to the hospital so many years ago. He smiles often as he anticipates his next trip to a restaurant in the city with his social worker. Movement from the locked hospital setting to the community is slow.
Evaluations for safety must be completed, tribunals of experts convinced, judges brought on board, permissions given, obstacles anticipated, solutions planned, and steps taken, one at a time, into the wider world.
He has run the course of illness and recovery, guilt and forgiveness, and has begun the journey back to a better version of the life he left behind.…
By Eileen Weber
Puerto Ricans experience higher rates of depression and anxiety on the U.S. mainland than when at home. After nearly 20 years of research and about 2,000 people interviewed, the Boricua Youth Study discovered that fact.
The study compared kids ages five to 13 as they transitioned to early adulthood from 15 to 29 under similar conditions of income and exposure to violence in both Puerto Rico and the South Bronx, a region with one of the highest Puerto Rican populations on the U.S. mainland.
Research focused on four categories that influence mental health: environmental/social factors, cultural and minority stress, parent/peer relations, and family/individual vulnerability.…
By Janine Weisman
One in four members of Harvard University’s Class of 2023 is Asian-American, according to demographic statistics on the university’s website. So, a recent report by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting that found six of at least nine Harvard undergraduates who died by suicide between the years 2007 and 2017 were of Asian descent should raise an alarm for college mental health services.
One of those suicides was Luke Tang, who took his own life in a campus residence hall at the start of his sophomore year in September 2015.…
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 executive functioning difficulties, according to Timothy DiGiacomo, Psy.D,…