William, Like you I am getting ready to ring in the new year with family and friends. For me that means a night with my heroes: my sister Jessie who lives with Bipolar Disorder and my wonderful nephew Calen who lives with Schizoaffective Disorder. They have become fearless advocates for people living with mental illness, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Category: Public Policy
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.
The December 22, 2011, edition of the New York Times brings out another article on the problems and abuses in New York State public groups homes where developmentally disabled persons reside. It is important to note that the focus of the NYT articles has been on “public” rather than private group homes. Many of the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Here is a letter I received from Jesse Close: Dear William: Share your story with Bring Change 2 Mind. I was 47 by the time I was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For most of my life, my illness went undiagnosed and untreated. Life is much better now. A proper diagnosis and treatment helped tremendously, […]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.
Hudson River Psychiatric Center was a massive development built in the 19th century in Poughkeepsie, New York. The solid-brick buildings, many with iron window bars to prevent escapes, formed a city unto itslef, with capacity being over 5,000 patients who required hospitalization from illnesses we now term schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychotic depression, late-stage alcohol and […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This past week the Order of Malta (Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta) met in New York City. This is a lay religious order of the Roman Catholic Church whose members are dedicated to serving the poor and the sick. They represent a 900-year-old history of helping the […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. I want to take a few words to reflect on this baffling, often-misunderstood condition, especially within the mental-health profession. Epilepsy has been known since ancient times. In the New Testament, Jesus cures an epileptic, recommending fasting and prayer. Such might be the genesis of the ketogenic diet, developed since […]By: Evander Lomke
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.
American Mental Heath Foundation Annual Report November 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011 This is the first Annual Report on the American Mental Health Foundation, a research organization founded in 1924, incorporated in New York State in 1954. The new Vision Statement on the homepage of the Web site: Building a More Compassionate Society. The […]By: Evander Lomke
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.
I wanted to continue the discussion points Evander Lomke recently raised (following an article published by University of Toronto) regarding what may be a plethora of new categories of pathology in the upcoming DSM V. It would appear that the psychiatric profession indeed is creating labels of “sickness” for many of the woes of everyday […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
AMHF Advisory Board member Dr. James Quick has authored an extensive comment in the recent American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association. In that journal there has been an extended discussion about the role of psychologists in working with the military as well as questioning as to whether or not psychologists ought […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Kathryn Lopez in National Review Online brings to our attention a young lady with Down syndrome who was elected Homecoming Queen of her high school. In juxtaposition to this is a news report from Ann Curry, from Serbia, showing that abuse of the kind that occurred at Willowbrook continues to occur in Serbia. These three […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Claudia M. Gold, MD, is a behavioral pediatrician who writes for the Boston Globe. She offers some excellent thoughts on the topic of psychiatric medication and children: “In the last chapter of my new book Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums, and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World through Your Child’s […]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.
No matter what position you take, the effects of abortion on the state of mental health is filled with controversy. The controversy comes from all sides, at root with a theological basis, but also secular: sociological and, of course, psychological in origin. The British Journal of Psychiatry published an extensive study on the subject (uniquely, […]By: Evander Lomke
The New York Times continues its coverage of the abuse of the developmentally disabled in New York State: “Moving to end the…lax oversight of the developmentally disabled, the Cuomo administration on Wednesday announced an agreement with the State Police to establish guidelines for reporting possible crimes against the disabled to law enforcement authorities.” The entire […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III (BSD III) are an important tool for measuring the cognitive, motor, and sensory development of the very young. But why is there a need to test infants and small children? We may even recoil from this process, thinking that early testing and assessment may imprint a […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Sallie Mae has recently added tuition-refund insurance to its spectrum of financial offerings, according to the July 22 edition of the New York Times. This can refund tuition that has already been paid when a student withdraws from classes due to illness. There is a catch, however: although the coverage will pay for 100 percent […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Once focus of American Mental Health Foundation this past year has been to increase awareness and research of suicide. We have done this through our support of Suicide Prevention International. Recently ex-major-league pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead in his home in California. He had apparently committed suicide by hanging himself. What made this even […]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 Chicago, on June 20, 2011 Vice PresidentBy: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Time magazine on June 20, 2011, reports that a certain Misery Index has reached a 28-year high. This survey tool, when it was concocted in the 1960s, wasn’t meant to be a scientific and comprehensive measure of human behavior. Rather, it is a shorthand measure combining unemployment and inflation to gauge the effect of both […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Over on The Corner at National Review, Jack Fowler (AMHF Board Chairman), shows protesters in Madison, Wisconsin, disrupting a Special Olympics visit to the state capital. Special Olympians rarely if ever disrupt or protest the peaceful activities of others, as they are so absorbed in their sport and the joy and fellowship accompanying this. They […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Since part of the mission of AMHF is to keep continual focus on the mental-health needs of the developmentally disabled, a recent article deserves our attention. On June 5, 2011, the New York Times reported that Jonathan Carey, a thirteen-year-old boy who has autism, was asphyxiated and died in the back of a NYS-owned van […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
As part of the AMHF series on Bullying, we call your attention to the American Psychological Association (APA) new video by Dr. Norman B. Anderson, CEO of the APA. Dr. Anderson states… The problem of bullying has received a great deal of media attention recently, and for good reason. Bullying can lead to lasting psychological […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s pledge to bring Americans to the moon within the end of that decade. The goal was met. Now his nephew, former Representative Patrick Kennedy (D., R.I.) is using one of what was arguably his uncle’s greatest achievements as a metaphor in fighting mental illness, […]By: William Van Ornum, Ph.D.
Piers Morgan hosted the Axelrods who eloquently and movingly diagnosed the sorry state of epilepsy research in the United States and their 29-year-old daughter’s battle (along with her family) against this condition. Epilepsy is a so-called orphaned disease in the United States. (Two new anticonvulsants are currently available in Canada, finally set for FDA approval […]By: Evander Lomke