Articles

April 14th, 2021

Online continuing education gets mixed reviews

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Just over one year ago, the whole world shut down. People stopped going to work, to school, to restaurants and movie theatres. There are some Americans who have still not gone back to doctors, dentists, or therapy sessions, at least not in person. For those in the working world who are lucky to still have jobs, things did not shut down so much as move online. A new verb, “to Zoom,” became common. Individuals slowly figured out where the mute button was and to remember to shut the door and to hide the dog’s squeaky toy before logging on. As [More]

April 13th, 2021

Massachusetts launches schools’ initiative to address mental health

By Phyllis Hanlon

Throughout the last year, schooling has looked significantly different than in any other year. The spread of COVID-19 prompted the state to temporarily suspend in-classroom learning. In some cases, schools opened and then shuttered their doors shortly after as cases of the virus increased. Although some in-person learning has resumed, students have the option of remaining remote or attending school in a hybrid model. This February in Massachusetts, a new initiative was launched to address the mental health issues that might arise for students during the current pandemic. School principals and administrators, teachers, guidance, and adjustment counselors will attend virtual [More]

April 13th, 2021

COVID-19 is impacting pediatric mental health

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. The increase in requests for treatment and lengthy wait [More]

April 13th, 2021

Providers object to bill removing audio-only option

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In July of 2020, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill into law that required insurance companies to cover telemedicine at equal rates to in-person treatment. The move was lauded by both health care and mental health care professionals as a positive step toward expanding services, especially in remote areas where access may be more limited. This year, one of that bill’s original sponsors, Jess Edwards (R-Rockingham 4), joined forces with two other Republican representatives to sponsor a bill that will remove the parity and audio-only pieces of the 2020 law. “This past summer, the Senate inserted a provision [More]

April 13th, 2021

College students feel the mental health toll of pandemic

By Eileen Weber

In the past year, the pandemic has taken a significant mental and emotional toll. Mask wearing, social distancing, isolation, and quarantining are practically second nature. And, none of this is lost on college students who have had a very different school experience since last March. Jacqueline Alvarez, Ph.D, associate dean and director of the counseling center at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., acknowledged increased depression and anxiety in college students has been a top concern for the past several years and it’s no different this year. But as she put it, “it’s complicated.” “Students have to carry their academic load [More]

April 12th, 2021

Five ways professionals can cope with suicide

By New England Psychologist Staff

Professionals who work in the mental health field are not immune to loss by suicide. In fact, they and professionals in every field can succumb to suicidal thoughts themselves or lose patients or family members they are trying to help. The aftermath is often filled with additional burdens centering around their career role. Counselors, ministers, and others may or may not have specialized training or experience in this area but often feel they should have been able to help. This is a common agony before and after suicide, but when you are responsible for care and aware of this kind [More]

March 8th, 2021

MPA seeks better care, quality, and coverage in 2021-2022 legislative session

By Eileen Weber

The Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA) highlighted three specific aspects of mental health to be focused on during the 2021-2022 legislative session: access to care, quality and continuity of care, and consumer and professional protections. These focal points are further broken down into other topics needing attention: ensuring health plans are meeting current mental health parity requirements; standardizing insurance cards to show whether the plan is state or privately funded; and allowing coverage for providers for treatment, not just testing and assessment. Jennifer Warkentin, Ph.D, MPA’s director of professional affairs and a psychologist with her own private practice, noted that the [More]

December 7th, 2020

Survey: Highest stress levels found in Gen Z adults

By Phyllis Hanlon

The American Psychological Association (APA) issued the results of its first Stress in America Survey in 2008 as part of its Mind/Body Health Campaign. The results of that survey, which measure attitudes and perceptions, leading causes, common responses and the impact of stress on our lives, found that women experienced the highest stress levels and the economy emerged as a major stressor. More than a decade later, while the economy still remains a significant stressor, other factors have had a profound impact on the current survey results, specifically, the COVID-19 virus, racism, and the presidential election. The findings suggest a [More]

November 6th, 2020

COVID-19 has tripled depression rate

By New England Psychologist Staff

A new study finds that 27.8 percent of U.S. adults had symptoms of depression as of mid-April 2020, compared to 8.5 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic. “This represents a three-fold increase over what it was before COVID,” says lead author Catherine Ettman, a doctoral student at the Brown University School of Public Health and director of strategic development in the Office of the Dean at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). Not surprisingly, the study found that money was a defining factor in who was reporting new symptoms of depression. “People with lower income were twice as likely to [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]

window.dojoRequire(["mojo/signup-forms/Loader"], function(L) { L.start({"baseUrl":"mc.us19.list-manage.com","uuid":"322e35fa4c6f5b901ca93b808","lid":"51a8cbcdae","uniqueMethods":true}) })