This is the sixth Annual Report of The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a research organization formed in 1924, incorporated in New York State December 31, 1954. In 2017, AMHF celebrates 93 years of philanthropic service and activities—“Advancing Mental Health: A Century of Excellence in Mental Health Research.” Vision: Building a More Compassionate Society—Get Involved! Mission: AMHF endeavors […]By: Evander Lomke
Category: Alcohol and Substance Abuse
The title of this blog is in quotes since it derives from the second part of a series Dick Cavett published in the New York Times. Part 2 appeared on July 11, 2008. The link is highly recommended. Comments received on part 1, Cavett notes, approached 500 in number, an extraordinary volume of mail and […]By: Evander Lomke
Following is the fourth Annual Report (November 1, 2013, to October 31, 2014) of The American Mental Health Foundation (AMHF), a research organization formed in 1924, incorporated in New York State December 31, 1954. In 2014, AMHF celebrates ninety years of philanthropic service and activities—“Advancing Mental Health.” Vision: Building a More Compassionate Society—Get Involved! This […]By: Evander Lomke
On our AMHF blogs we have tried to feature information about where the Venn diagrams of spirituality and counseling intersect. It seems peculiar that many religious people–from many religions–are reticent to link the spiritual resources and traditions of their faith with modern psychology and psychiatry. When people are depressed, psychotic, or anxious, there is a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Newly minted pastor Ed Stetzer, writing in CNN.beliefnet, writes of his dealings with a man in his congregation. This person would often disappear for days at a time, and later Stetzer would hear that the fellow had spent hours praying the psalms. Later the man killed himself, leading Stetzer to reflect of aproaches churches could […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As Edward R. Murrow said, there are two sides to every story. Our previous probing into an increase and acceleration in funding for research into the brain waxed positively. A different viewpoint—now taken by major pharmaceutical industries—suggests that their interest in brain research is waning. Reuters reports the following: “Many pharmaceutical companies harbor deep doubts […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
President Barack Obama made headlines with his proposal to encourage American scientists to work toward understanding the great mysteries of the brain. Done as a massive project, this could rival past collective enterprises such as Getting a Man to the Moon; when President Kennedy suggested this, it took everyone’s breath away. It looked unattainable in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Consumers of mental-health services may not realize the extensive system of codes that go into insurance billing and medical records, both for mental-health services and other medical services. For mental health, every person who receives insurance reimbursement receives a diagnostic code from the most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, as […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
After physicists split the atom, unanticipated positive effects emerged—such as medical isotopes—and many negative ones as well. Where do we store the waste? How do we understand fallout and its deadly effect? What happens when there are nuclear plant accidents? Biologists work in a similar environment as they work to split the genome. Once again, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
It seems we are reminded every day about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It reveals itself in soldier suicides, which are occurring in a way that is more than we can bear. Shootings continue. In one city (Chicago), one mother has been so badly traumatized: She has lost four children over the years to street violence. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
A new documentary film presents the emotional health history of a famous American family of artists—the Hemingways—according to CNN, whose sources we quote. This film, Running from Crazy, premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival. Oprah Winfrey is executive producer. “‘Suicide has no rhyme or reason,’ [Mariel] Hemingway said. ‘Some people, it’s 20 dark […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Although the therapeutic dimension of sports on the highest level, which is usually the professional, is well accepted, players are often assessed—or worse, judged—by club executives and fans alike based on issues or “characteristics” of mental health. This can be unfortunate. As the Major League Baseball Cy Young (for pitchers) and Most Valuable Player Awards […]By: Evander Lomke
A few months ago I wrote about Marsha Linehan and Dialectical Behavior Therapy here on this blog. It is a creative and empirically-supported treatment that combines cognitive and behavior therapy as well as wisdom from philosophical and religious traditions. Last week, at the 120th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association in Orlando, Florida, Linehan […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Edward Hallowell and John Ratey have published a follow-up to their successful book Driven to Distraction. On a hopeful note, it is titled Delivered from Distraction. The first book was written in the 1990s. It contains much good advice on ADHD: diagnosis, medications, telling it apart from other conditions as well as finding it in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On May 2, 2012, it will be sixty-five years since release of Miracle on 34th Street. But the film is hardly ready for retirement. It is one of twenty-one movies identified by AMHF for discussion relevant to the Foundation mission statement. Released one year before Dr. Stefan de Schill assumed directorship of research at AMHF, […]By: Evander Lomke
The American Psychological Association has announced, in the January 2012 issue of American Psychologist, “Guidelines for Assessment of and Intervention With Persons of Disabilities.” This document lists twenty-two practice-guidelines for psychologists who work with persons displaying disabilities of various kinds. The task force for this report was chaired by Kurt F. Geisinger of the University […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
American Psychological Association Announces Guidelines for Psychologist Involvement in Pharmacological Issues
In the recent yearly “Reports of the Association” issue of the American Psychologist (December 2011), the American Psychological Association announced “Practice Guidelines Regarding Psychologists’ Involvement in Pharmacological Issues.” This report notes several factors that will make psychologists more involved in medication-management issues. One survey noted that the number of Americans using antidepressants increased from 6.7 […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, and opiates have had a varied and ambiguous legal and political history prior to the 21st century, and these substances will continue to need study, examination, policy, and law-making into the 21st century and beyond. Dwight Vick and Elizabeth Rhoades have written Drugs and Alcohol in the 21st Century: Theory, Behavior, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
In most cases psychiatric drugs are not valuable commodities on the street: antipsychotics and antidepressants with names such as Thorazine, Haldol, Resperidal, Tofranil, SSRIs, Wellbutrin, Abilify, Lithium, and others generally must build up a therapeutic dosage in the bloodstream to become effective. There is no immediate “rush” or feeling of euphoria. In acute-psychiatric illness, a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
From the 14th edition of Abnormal Psychology by James N. Butcher, Susan Mineka, and Jill M. Hooley (Boston: Allyn and Bacon): “The concept of mental disorder, as we have seen, suffers from the lack of a truly objective means of what is disordered and what is not. It is also in the financial interests of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
AMHF attended the 51st Annual Meeting of the New England Psychological Association (NEPA), held October 28-29 at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut. After a wonderful dinner, hosted by Drs. Robin Crabtree and Susan Franzosa, deans at Fairfield, participants heard child-development expert Dr. James Garbarino speak of “Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On Friday, October 28, 2011, AMHF attended the 17th Annual Meeting of the Northeast Conference for Teachers of Psychology. This is a group of psychologists, who teach in colleges and universities, dedicated to improving their teaching of undergraduates and graduates. Participants of the group come from a wide range of specialties and interests including developmental, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
PREVENTING YOUTH VIOLENCE PART 2: INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP APPROACHES Raymond B. Flannery Jr., Ph.D., FAPM, Harvard Medical School, The University of Massachusetts Medical School Part 1 of these two essays on youth violence examined the basic cultural, biological, sociological, and psychological theories of youth violence and the continuum of early (disrupted mastery, attachment, meaning), serious […]By: Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
PREVENTING YOUTH VIOLENCE PART 1: ITS GENERAL NATURE AND WARNING SIGNS Raymond B. Flannery Jr., Ph.D., FAPM, Harvard Medical School, The University of Massachusetts Medical School Recent months have seen outbreaks of mindless violence by youth in Canada, Europe, and the United States. These acts have included homicide rape, robbery, assault, arson, and rioting among […]By: Dr. Raymond B. Flannery Jr.
Some good new books from American Counseling Association: Cyberbullying: What Counselors Need to Know, by Sheri Bauman. This book is geared toward counselors, teachers, school leaders, and all professionals who work with children and teens. In a reader-friendly style, the author addresses real-life dangers on the Internet, including offensive, confrontational, and harassing messages; disclosure of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
With Betty Ford’s passing, we are again reminded that there is a great deal of work to be done in the field of alcohol and substance abuse. Margarita Alegria, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research and full professor at Harvard University’s Medical School in psychiatry. In her work she examines […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
In the news: Betty Ford, former First Lady of the United States of America, has died. The much-beloved wife of President Gerald Ford died at the age of 93, as reported in the July 11, 2011, edition of The New York Daily News. Mrs. Ford was born in Chicago, reared in modest circumstances, became a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.