General, Articles

May 28th, 2019

New Hampshire organization uses peer approach to provide kinship, hope

By Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

One of the worst parts about struggling with mental illness is the loneliness. You feel like you’re the only person on the planet to suffer with these symptoms or stressors. You feel like you’re abnormal, inherently wrong, or “other.” So, when someone truly listens to you, cares, and says “me, too,” it can be transformative. People who have felt alone their entire lives can find connection and purpose, said Peter Starkey, executive director of the Monadnock Area Peer Support Agency (MPS) in Keene, New Hampshire. MPS is one of 10 agencies of this type across the state. Staff was involved [More]

January 5th, 2019

Forensic psychologists bring psychological science to court

By Phyllis Hanlon

Television shows give the impression that forensics involves allure and excitement while specially trained professionals unravel subtle clues to track down serial killers. But those who are in the field of forensic psychology tell a different story. Shannon Bader, Ph.D, ABPP, chief of forensic evaluations for the state of New Hampshire, dismissed the notion of “glamour” in relation to forensic psychology; rather she noted that she occasionally gives testimony in court, but spends a significant amount of time reading, interviewing, and writing reports. Bader said that her religious background, in part, led her to this particular field where prisoners and [More]

January 4th, 2019

Home for the holidays

By Alan Bodnar Ph.D.

In exile, the heart longs for home. You can hear the longing in the voice of the man from the other side of the world, who has been stuck in the hospital for a decade through a combination of mental illness and legal problems. He recalls his childhood in a rural village and the spring where he filled a wooden bucket every day with fresh water for his family. That was long ago, and the world has changed. The spring is still there, and it still draws people from throughout the region, but that is about the only thing that [More]

October 6th, 2018

500 million, but the need still grows

By John Grohol, Psy.D.

Psych Central just reached an amazing milestone in our 23 years online. We’ve just passed 500 million visitors who’ve come to our site to learn more about mental illness symptoms and treatments, psychology, personality, parenting, or a relationship issue. We’re proud of this achievement, but we also realize we have a much longer road to travel. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the annual suicide rate in the United States has increased 24 percent since 1999. During this same time period, the availability of mental health information and support online has increased dramatically. We went from [More]

August 29th, 2018

Goldwater Rule is re-visited

By Phyllis Hanlon

In 1964, presidential candidate Barry Goldwater issued some alarming “extremist” statements, drawing criticism from the general public and some mental health professionals. The uproar prompted FACT magazine to survey 12,356 psychiatrists regarding Goldwater’s mental health status. While none of the respondents had personally spoken with or examined Goldwater, they provided negative opinions on his psychological health, deeming him unfit to serve as president of the United States. In the wake of serious backlash following the release of the survey results, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) passed the “Goldwater Rule,” which made it unethical for a psychiatrist to issue a statement [More]

June 14th, 2018

Connecticut’s troubled adolescents lack coverage

By Eileen Weber

One in every five children between 13 and 18-years-old have or will have a serious mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Based on its statistics in 2015, only a little over half of children aged eight to 15 received mental health services. Laura Whitmore, associate minister at Southport Congregational in Southport, Conn., has first-hand experience with this situation. With approximately 100 kids and teens in the church’s middle and high school youth groups, she has seen an uptick in issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. But, there have been more alarming problems as well. “I [More]

May 13th, 2018

Psychologists weigh benefits, challenges of working in inpatient hospital settings

By Phyllis Hanlon

Psychologists today have opportunities to pursue several different professional career paths. New England Psychologist spoke to psychologists who practice in inpatient settings and found that this venue offers both rewards and challenges. Before retiring, Robert J. Kamman, Ph.D, of Raymond, Maine, spent 32 years working at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center in New York, where he conducted initial screenings on every admission and determined the necessity for assessments. His responsibilities also included administering tests, running group therapy sessions, collaborating with the art and music therapist, occasionally treating patients on an individual basis and frequently working with families. Throughout his career, the [More]

May 10th, 2018

Transitional housing bridges gap for people with mental illness

By Eileen Weber

For a number of years, New Hampshire Hospital, the only psychiatric hospital in the state, has been massively overcrowded with too many patients and not enough beds. Patients had little choice but to leave the hospital only to find themselves living on the streets or seeking treatment in already crowded emergency rooms. “There needs to be an array of treatment that used to exist,” said Ken Norton, M.D., executive director of the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Right now, when patients are discharged, there’s very little step-down.” That’s starting to change. Legislation was recently passed [More]

March 5th, 2018

DMH initiative aims to expedite psychiatric inpatient admissions

By Phyllis Hanlon

People with mental health conditions routinely experience long wait times in hospital emergency departments. Acknowledging this problem, Executive Office of Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders convened a task force last spring to develop appropriate interventions. EOHHS, together with the Department of Mental Health (DMH), MassHealth and the Department of Public Health (DPH) created the Expedited Psychiatric Inpatient Admission Policy, a multi-pronged approach that launched on February 1. Daniela Trammel, DMH director of communication and community engagement, explained that the EOHHS chaired and partnered with the Division of Insurance (DOI) in convening a task force comprised of insurance carriers, psychiatric [More]

February 10th, 2018

New Hampshire to develop 10-year mental health plan

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Looking to design a better system, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently awarded a contract to Keene University’s Center for Behavioral Health Innovation to develop a 10-year mental health plan for the state. To be released in June, the report will offer a roadmap for the state’s mental health services moving forward. “The last plan was issued in 2008. A lot has changed since that time,” said Katja Fox, director of the DHHS Division for Behavioral Health. “The state wants to be able to look at how services can be delivered to address the needs [More]