Michelle Harrison, MD, joins The American Mental Health Foundation professional-advisory board as of June 1, 2018. She is also nominated for its board of directors. Dr. Harrison is a U.S. physician of family medicine, psychiatry, and obstetrics with international stature. From 2006 to the present, Dr. Harrison directs Childlife Preserve Shishur Sevay, which she founded. […]By: Evander Lomke
Category: Individuals with Special Needs
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
The Winter 2016 issue of the University of Toronto—where I did graduate work forty years ago—alumni magazine features an article on the college response to a rise in mental-health needs among its students. In an evermore diverse society, in a faster-changing culture amid the brave new world of social media, college-aged students in North America […]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
The idea of equal and quality medical treatment for all Americans was promoted by Hillary Clinton in her efforts to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system in 1992-93. Many believe this goal has now been brought to fruition via the Affordable Care Act. But as it is impossible to ascertain every special medical need through legislation, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
I do not typically “get personal” in posting News Items and Blogs on the AMHF Web site. This one is an exception. I was inspired by a July 21, 2014, article in The New Yorker from reporter Seth Mnookin entitled “One of a Kind”. Several letters to the editor, appearing in the August 11 & […]By: Evander Lomke
Since April 2013 in Washington, D.C., fifty-eight people have been relocated: from nursing homes to their real homes. These transitions are part of a program, under the auspices of the DC Office on Aging, called Nursing Home Transition. Individuals who qualify for Medicaid received funded services at home. For those who do not, the Office […]By: Evander Lomke
This subject interests me on many levels. At the beginning of my career in clinical psychology, I worked directly with hundreds of people with developmental disabilities. Serving as an expert witness for parents, I helped to implement the federal laws noted below. Later, as clinical director of a day-treatment program, and serving as a Board […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For several years the New York Times has devoted investigative reporting to the issue of abuse in group homes for the developmentally disabled in New York State. This can be an extremely sensitive topic for parents, who read a story like this and wonder how widespread the problem really is. The Times article implies that […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This is the final blog in the AMHF series of twenty-one films relating to “Hollywood and Psychiatry.” These blogs have taken us from ca. 1921, and the release of silent classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, a mere three years before The American Mental Health Foundation was organized, into the twenty-first century. The first blog […]By: Evander Lomke
The Washington Post reports (August 2, 2013) that a woman with Down syndrome can go against the wishes of her parents regarding where she lives. Jenny Hatch had been under temporary guardianship, being in group homes, and thus “removed from the life she knew.” Hatch wanted to continue living with her friends while continuing to […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Pediatrics, the flagship peer-reviewed journal of that profession, recently reported on a study of over 200 young people who have been bullied., according to an article in the New York Times. The researchers discovered that almost one third of this group reported being singled out for a food allergy. For children with peanut butter allergies, the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
It has always been a concern for parents of the developmentally disabled or children with other handicaps: what will happen when the parents die. Now that life span of many of these individuals has increased, there is even a greater focus on the lives of adults who may in older age become “orphaned” by the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
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.
Today’s Washington Post offers yet another article on the effect of (often) well-meaning privacy laws when they are applied to potentially violent persons who are not following treatment guidelines or showing premonitory signs of becoming psychotic along with a chance of potential violence. Wide-ranging privacy laws came into effect under the Health Insurance Privacy and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
For three days last week American Mental Health Foundation Books shared a booth with its distributor, Lantern, at the annual BookExpo America—which is held at the Jacob Javits Center on New York City’s West Side. (New York remains the publishing capital of North America, even with the multitude of changes the industry has seen.) The […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
A feature story in today’s Washington Post, written by Stephanie McCrummen, offers an intensive look at the week of a 19-year-old man who, two years ago, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. It is the story of Spencer Haskell, and of his mom, Naomi, who has taken on the task of monitoring her son and making […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Here are some worthwhile books that can be ordered from the American Counseling Association (ANA): 1. Hays, D. G. (2013). Assessment in Counseling: A Guide to the Use of Psychological Assessment Procedures. Fifth Edition. This is a bestselling text, and the latest version includes updates and changes in assessment procedures. Test selection, interpretation of findings, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Most of us, unless we have the personalities of saintliness, find ourselves in an irritable mood once in a while. Parents may be particularly prone to these episodes. One hopes that they pass without even a cranky word; although it’s difficult to stifle one’s facial expression. Justin Meyer, writing in the Washington Post, brings refreshing […]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.
Several months ago the Cuomo administration announced that budgets for nonprofit agencies serving the developmentally disabled would be cut. This had led to an outcry from parents, community members, and those who work at these agencies. Recently it was announced that the cuts would be changed. Although this is helpful, it still leaves most organizations […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Mid-Hudson Valley in New York State may be atypical from many other localities: it has the highest proportion of developmentally disabled persons in the country. Over 10,000 developmentally disabled residents from Willowbrook, Letchworth Village, and Wassaic Developmental Center have been re-integrated into the community. A large number of jobs—private and nonprofit—are part of the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
A young man with Down syndrome has died at the very hands of the police he idolized, the Washington Post reports. The death of Robert Ethan Saylor, aetat. twenty-six, occurred while being handcuffed with at least three set of cuffs as he was being taken by three deputies from a theater in Frederick County, Maryland. […]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.
More and more in our society, any kind of testing that compares people with each other is viewed negatively. Different kinds of testing: No Child Left Behind, End of Year testing, and Intelligence Testing are all types of testing that come under criticism. Here is a different spin on the kinds of tests given by […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Word from ABILITIES FIRST in Poughkeepsie, NY October 5, 2012, Poughkeepsie, NY—As Dr. Lori Crispi’s term on the board of Abilities First, Inc., a Dutchess County based nonprofit that serves children and adults with disabilities, was coming to an end, she felt that she couldn’t just walk away. “I enjoyed being part of the organization […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Previously I’ve written about Recovery International, founded by psychiatrist Abraham Low in the 1940s in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Low initiated a revolutionary brand of treatment that we now call cognitive therapy: by changing one’s thoughts, one could change troublesome feelings and through practice attain better mental health. Dr. Low used the word apprenticeship to denote […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Two important areas in mental health are prevention and resiliency. Prevention includes all efforts to prevent a person from developing a mental-health problem. One of the most effective prevention programs has been Head Start—from the 1960s, these centers have been a path for positive adjustment for many young persons of disadvantaged backgrounds. Another prevention program […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Successes of all kinds—academic, vocational, monetary, and material—are highly valued and obsessively pursued. But even those who “have it all” may find themselves spiritually adrift and existentially empty. Paul Wright, M.D., a cardiologist, found himself in this position after having made it to the top in a demanding medical specialty. On November 9, 2012, I […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.