The 2008 Law concerning parity for mental health treatment–making mental health care covered by insurance to be on a level with medical care–apparently is being circumvented by some businesses, the Boston Globe reported today. Therapists, previously required to only fax in treatment information, now are reported to participate in lengthy and sometimes intimidating phone interviews. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Many of the public and well as the mental health professions have never heard of the phrase “sports wound.” This refers to males who do not display athletic prowess or good eye-hand coordination. As much as we may want to deny this, boys who lack sports ability often are teased and bullied through their growing […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Today on the news, television reporters spoke of a new law that will mandate school officials to intervene and report instances in bullying. The bill was proposed after one student committed suicide following bullying. One of the more-fascinating aspects of the increased awareness or incidence of bullying, and what appears to be ineffective adult intervention, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Does brain chemistry equate with emotional welfare or mental illness? We recommend respectful consideration of Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic, recently published by Crown Publishers. As a reporter who is not on the front lines of severe mental illness and emotional trauma, Whitaker, of course, could not have all the answers.By: Evander Lomke
There’s too much bullying going on and not enough being done to stop it. In all fairness, many have the good will and courage and desire to confront bullying but want to make sure it is done properly so as to not make a bad situation worse. AMHF is monitoring the psychological damage done to […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The New York Times today announced the death of Alice Miller. Dr. Miller is a writer in the psychoanalytic tradition who did not publisher her first book until her late forties and much experience in the field. The Gifted Child was the first of many books written by a first-class intellect who had the great […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Being released this week is an exceptional book. Bruce Feiler, best-selling author and historian, writes of being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. He calls upon some of his friends to be resources for his daughter should he not survive, and calls them “The Council of Dads.” If you have children, read the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
While riding the Lake Shore Limited–Ensconced in a small sleeping room, surrounded by a bag or two of books–I am sometimes reminded of Paul Theroux and his captivating books on Riding the Orient Express or going coast to coast on a train in Canada. In today’s New York Times, Theroux reflects on the Boy Scouts […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As everyone is just beginning to sort out what exactly is in the new health-care laws, how they will apply, and whom they will affect, and when, AMHF is monitoring this legislation with a special interest with respect to mental-health care. More to come as the politicizing dies down and the implications become manifest.By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, by Randy Frost and Gail Skeketee, is a book of interest to many, a cautionary tale in some respects, and a message of help for a group of others. The latter are those who suffer from one of the varieties of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): compulsive hoarding. For […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) now allows pilots to continue their in-air responsibilities if they are on certain antidepressants. Historically, pilots have not been allowed to fly while taking antidepressants as many of the original antidepressants had side effects which could be extremely serious if they occurred in flight. Side effects such as seizures or […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This week brings an intriguing story from Germany that raises questions concerning the duty to warn others when there is imminent danger of behaviors such as child abuse, suicide, or violent behaviors. In a story reported by the New York Times, a German psychiatrist has made public allegations that he warned a Roman Catholic Archdiocese […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
How might the manner of treatment in which behaviors indicative of mental-health problems on campuses be related to violence? The recent murders by a professor who was denied tenure in Alabama bring the issue of FACULTY mental health to the fore. Heather Munro Prescott has some tantalizing ideas on the massacre that recently occurred in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The profession of psychiatry is now in the fourth edition of the book that classifies mental disorders: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV. The revised version will be published in 2013, and there continues to be debate about what will and will not be included. The New York Times brings this and a spirited discussion in […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Headlines everywhere proclaim sad news: *In 2009 alone more than 330 active servicemen and women have committed suicide *Shocking new figures show the number of soldiers who commit suicide in January could top the number of soldiers killed in Iraq *Tough old soldier battles new enemy: suicide *Every day, five US soldiers try to kill […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Too many US soldiers are attempting or carrying out suicide attempts; many succeed. One reason for this is the tremendous ambivalence over current military actions. This is not like World War II, a so-called good war, although this phrase also causes many to wince. Viktor Frankl, concentration-camp survivor, wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There is a touching story in the news about Dr. Jeriyn Ross, a therapist who was especially helpful to those who had phobias, especially phobias involving the fear of heights. She was well known and esteemed for her compassionate accompaniment of persons with phobias as they faced their fears directly. This approach has now become […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The following article by William Van Ornum appeared in the Hudson Valley News on January 19, 2010. RIVER REFLECTIONS ON PSYCHOLOGY AGING GRACEFULLY As a clinical psychologist, resident of the Hudson Valley, and recent member of the +55 Club, what might I offer to a subject that is on a lot of our minds—getting older? […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Time reports on the use of antidepressants as well as anti-anxiety drugs by our troops overseas. This brings up a question: Are these drugs a cure for something or a Band-Aid? The article is about how substances have been used to medicate soldiers in the past, in wars as diverse as the American Revolutionary and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
We are all aware of the psychosurgeries near the turn of the 20th century and how many of these had drastic side effects. There is a new version of psychosurgery, reserved for patients who have profound OCD, whose illness causes incredible suffering and loss of personal freedom. They are patients that have tried all of […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
There are some political topics and issues that one party or another seems to own. These concerns are part of the history and ideology of a particular political party and they present themselves, sometimes in slightly or radically different forms, as the years go by and the elections occur every two to four years. From […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I had the distinct honor to receive an invitation to the Fall Harvest Festival presented by Suicide Prevention International. Suicide is now recognized by the World Health Organization and the United States government as a global health problem. Suicide Prevention International has developed four distinctive projects: – Youth Suicide Prevention – Recognition of an Individual […]By: Evander Lomke
The presentation of the Stefan de Schill Award was noted by Reverend Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of NY.By: Evander Lomke
The tragic violence at Fort Hood first kept a nation in suspense, then brought the nation to high levels of powerful emotions, and now has our country looking back to find answers. Why did this happen? What were telltale signs that might have been missed? Can we learn something from this mass shooting to prevent […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As Evander Lomke mentions on this blog and in the accompanying video, AMHF gave the first Stefan de Schill Award to Astor Services for Children last week. The generosity of the Gould Foundation meant that this presentation could occur in the financial district of New York City. Interestingly, the New York Stock Exchange stood solidly […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
On October 21, 2009, AMHF awarded Astor Services the first Stefan de Schill Award. This is a $5,000 grant plus the framed citation pictured on our homepage. The ceremony was hosted by Dr Sapna Parikh, medical reporter at Fox News. Overall, some 35 people, representing AMHF and Astor Services, were in attendance. Jazz saxophonist Tony […]By: Evander Lomke
Tomorrow, October 10, 2009, is World Mental Health Day! world mental health dayBy: Evander Lomke
For further information please contact: Sonia Barnes-Moorhead The Astor Home for Children Foundation (845) 871-1117 firstname.lastname@example.org Astor Services for Children & Families Receives the first American Mental Health Foundation’s Stefan de Schill Award FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rhinebeck, N.Y. (October 8, 2009) — Astor Services for Children & Families is the first recipient of the Stefan […]By: Evander Lomke
I am recently back from attending the annual American Psychological Association, the major organization of practicing and research psychologists in North America. With 150,000 members, the venerable APA convened for the 117th time in Toronto. Over 10,000 members, representing major universities and clinical programs, attended, as well as many psychologists who are in private practice. […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.