It’s Not All Work During Residency

Posted: March 10th, 2015

While the MGH/McLean Psychiatry Residency program provides a rigorous training environment, we make sure our residents have time to relax and explore our historic city. Click here to find out what our residents and faculty enjoy most about living in Boston.

Click here for the complete set of MGH/McLean Psychiatry Residency videos.

Today is National Depression Screeing Day

Posted: October 9th, 2014

National Depression Screening Day has been taking place since 1991 and is designed to screen those who may be suffering from depression but not know it. Participants fill out an anonymous questionnaire and, depending on their answers, are referred to mental health professionals for follow-up.

The screenings are given at colleges, workplaces, community-based organizations and military installations and will be available on line at the organization’s special web site, www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org. The website also lists local sites where screenings will be given.

A study done in 2009 showed that depression screenings are effective in connecting at-risk individuals with treatment. It showed that 55 percent of those who completed the screening online and who agreed to take part in a follow-up survey sought depression treatment within three months.

While McLean has held screening events in the past, this is the first time the hospital will be co-sponsoring the national event and will publicizing it via social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

The questionnaire allows individuals to screen themselves, in an anonymous way, for mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders and alcohol use disorders. The online screenings provide an assessment of the user’s mental health, information on whether the user’s results are consistent with a mental health disorder, an overview of signs and symptoms of treatable disorders and help getting access to local treatment options.

More than 700 colleges and over 300 community-based organizations participate, resulting in more than 120,000 screenings each year.

If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or a mental health professional.

Article content sourced from a McLean Hospital press release. Image source: Recovery Friendly Taos.

Using Advances in Genomics and Molecular Biology to Untangle the Brain

Posted: August 1st, 2014

As part of a new WBUR's new WBUR weekly feature Brain Matters, Carey Goldberg interviewed Dr. Steve Hyman. Dr. Hyman, who currently serves as the Director of the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute explained the current challenges faced by Neuroscientests and the new methodologies which promise to solve them.

Goldberg: The Obama BRAIN initiative. We’ve had a ‘decade of the brain’ before, in the 1990s —

Dr.Hyman: It accomplished nothing. Because it was a media blitz, it wasn’t based on new science.

Goldberg: So — Why this? Why now? What’s different?

Dr. Hyman: Part of the growing public interest in the brain, and certainly much media attention, is a little bit unfortunate because it focuses on people applying tools, such as brain imaging, in ways that are untutored and underpowered but yield interesting — if not really scientifically valid — ideas about say, why a certain person is liberal or conservative, or why a certain person takes risks or is very self-protective. A subset of those may be scientifically addressable questions, but we’re a long way from understanding them deeply. Nonetheless they’re irresistible to the public and then of course it’s given rise to a new generation of debunkers — fair enough. So maybe we can set aside this false interest, this prurient interest in the brain and focus on the serious matters at hand.

The bottom line is the brain is well recognized to be the linchpin of being human in the sense that it is the substrate of thought, emotion, control of behavior, and therefore, undergirds our life trajectories, our actions, our morality. And when the brain gets sick in any way we realize that it exacts an extraordinarily severe toll on the sufferer, on families, on society. Just think about Alzheimer’s disease, heroin addiction, major depression, schizophrenia, autism, intellectual disability — these are common conditions in which people can no longer exert reliable, effective agency on their own behalf and therefore society often has to step in for them at great cost and often really great pain.

Tragically, for the longest time there wasn’t so much we could do about it. Using medications that were really discovered by luck, by prepared serendipity; using, in more recent years, the few psychotherapies, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, which have been empirically tested, we have been able to help a lot of people manage their symptoms, in some cases to become better stoics. With imaging technologies we began some decades ago — though at really still very relatively poor resolution — to get spatial maps of what’s happening in the brain. But we were really stymied in terms of getting a deeper understanding, a better picture, for several reasons:...

For the full WBUR interview and links to the full Brain Matters series, click here.

Boston Stronger

Posted: November 1st, 2013

It took the Red Sox 6 games to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, a very successful baseball franchise in their own right. After an emotional championship run, fans are looking back on the moments that define what these Red Sox mean to Boston.

Fans got swept up in the moment after the Red Sox victory in Game 6 of the World Series. Light poles were climbed, “Let’s Go, Red Sox” and “Yankees Suck” were a chanted alternately. All in all it was a great moment for a city which has a difficult year. For more in depth coverage of the Red Sox's championship run, and what this season meant for the city, click here.

Source, Boston.com

Red Sox Start Playoffs with Best Record in Baseball

Posted: October 4th, 2013

With the NFL season underway, the MLB playoffs more than half way done, the NHL regular season starting and the NBA preseason coming to a close, there is no better place for a sports fan to be than Boston in October. Boston has historic teams in every major professional sports league in North America. Many of them, like the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, and Boston Celtics, are historic franchises and perennial playoff contenders.

(more…)

Over 150 Literary Celebrities Set to Speak at the Fifth Annual Boston Book Festival

Posted: October 2nd, 2013

The annual Boston Book Festival is fast becoming a favorite tradition among Boston locals. The festival, held in Copley Square on October 17-19, will feature more than 40 free adult activity sessions. These sessions include workshops and flash fiction open mike events, in which attendees can perform three-minute short stories for the audience. In addition, there will be plenty activities for kids including scavenger hunts, workshops, and craft projects. All daytime events at the book festival are free.

(more…)

Restoration of 2,500 Year-Old Mummy at MGH

Posted: June 26th, 2013

Padihershef, originally a stonecutter from the Necropolis in Thebes, now resides in the Bulfinch Ether Dome at MGH. In June, 2013, he underwent some protective refurbishing by professional conservators. The process, viewable by the public, corrected salt deposits on his face and wardrobe inaccuracies. MGH received the mummy as a gift from the city of Boston in 1823. The mummy will now remain on display in a custom-made, climate-controlled case.

Read the full Boston Globe article here.


Healing a city’s psyche

Posted: April 18th, 2013

As Boston recovers from Monday's bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, mental health specialists from around the city are advocating attention be paid to the psychological, as well as the physical trauma of this event. Children in particular are at risk, and may need help from parents and teachers in processing the events.

Drs. Eugene Beresin of the MGH and Michael Leslie of McLean Hospital were both quoted in a recent article in the Boston Globe. Speaking of the need for witnesses and victims of the bombing to regain a sense of safety and security in their lives, Leslie advocates “Activities which are grounding, which they are able to participate in in a mindful way, which help them realize they are currently safe, and they don’t need to be in a constant state of dread.”

Our hearts go out to all of the victims of this tragedy. We hope that MGH, McLean, and all of Boston's hospitals can continue to provide the exceptional care that will help the victims and this city to heal.

Read the full article in the Globe hereSource: Boston Globe, April 17, 2013