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Dr. Aisha Holder speaks about the manifestation and impact of microaggressions at department Town Hall


Aisha Holder, PhD, left, Clinical Psychologist at Columbia University, participated in a panel discussion about gender-based microaggressions at a Yale Department of Psychiatry Town Hall on Oct. 26 at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Holder presented research about the impact of microaggressions on physical and mental health, and suggested ways to address and manage microaggressions directly experienced or witnessed. She was joined on the panel by, from left, John Krystal, MD, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry; Cindy Crusto, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Assistant Chair for Diversity; and Ismene Petrakis, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Psychiatry, VA Connecticut Healthcare System. The event was held in conjunction with the department's celebration of 100 years of women at Yale School of Medicine. Watch Dr. Aisha Holder's talk, "The Manifestation and Impact of Microaggressions"  

100 Years of Women, Yale Department of Psychiatry: Meet Ke Xu, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry


In conjunction with the Yale Department of Psychiatry's year-long celebration of 100 years of women at Yale School of Medicine, the department is featuring a female faculty, staff, or trainee each month in this newsletter. Featured this month is Ke Xu, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry.

Q: Tell us about your journey in the department.

A: "I joined the Department in 2007, first as a resident, then as a ladder faculty. The residency training opened a door for me to become a physician scientist to follow my passion in studying the links between genes and human behavior. My reflection on this journey is mixed with intellectual excitement, enjoyment, accomplishment, friendship, as well as frustration, and disconnection. I have amazing mentors, colleagues, collaborators, and trainees. For that, I am very fortunate and forever grateful to be part of this academic community."

Q: What is/has been challenging as a woman in your journey in the department?

A: "As a minority woman faculty member, I have had challenges not only academically, but culturally, with underlying challenges based on ethnicity and language barriers. I feel hurt and frustrated whenever I face discrimination from colleagues inside and outside of Yale and from patients sometimes. Fortunately, I have learned a great deal from my patients about vulnerability and resilience. I think that helps me overcome many challenges moving forward."

Q: What has your personal life been like and how have you achieved a work-life balance during your career?

A: "As a mother, scientist, and a physician, work-life balance has been very difficult for me. I do my best to spend time with my husband and daughter, to exercise, dine out, and to travel together. I enjoy reading for recreation and I dream of a day when I have time to write a novel in Chinese. I also enjoy watching my daughter grow up. She gives me the motivation to better balance my work and family life."

Q: What are some lessons learned?

A: "I learned from my mentors and psychotherapist not to take rejections personally. I also learned the importance to get out of a comfort zone and to connect with people. Perseverance is a key for success."

Q: What advice would you give to women now?

A: "My advice to women and men is to be kind and generous. It does not really take a lot of effort for us to do this and the benefits are great. I wish that I could advise other women with a 'be yourself' meme because I know how difficult it is to speak out. But I also realize that we must be engaged in the cultural shift that is happening now in order to allow our daughters to be themselves."

Researchers explain how LSD changes perception

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD have a profound impact on human consciousness, particularly perception. Researchers at Yale and the University of Zurich, including Alan Anticevic, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, and Katrin Preller, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich and visiting professor at Yale, provide new insight into the psychedelic effects of LSD on the brain and potential therapeutic uses of the drug. The findings were published in the journal eLife. Read more  

Rosenheck, Rhee analyze prescription rates without a psychiatric diagnosis

A new study by Robert Rosenheck, MD, left, Professor of Psychiatry and of Health Policy, and Greg Rhee, PhD, MSW, right, Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale School of Medicine, estimates the national rates of psychotropic medication prescriptions for patients who do not receive a psychiatric diagnosis. The paper, published in Health Services Research, found that no psychiatric diagnosis was recorded for 60 percent of visits at which a new psychotropic prescription was initiated between 2006 and 2015. Read more 

Carr, Forray elected to Faculty Advisory Council

Erica Carr, PhD, left, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Ariadna Forray, MD, right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, have been elected to represent the Yale Department of Psychiatry on the Dean's Faculty Advisory Council (FAC). Carr will represent clinician-educator faculty, and Forray will represent Yale New Haven Health faculty. The FAC provides a forum to discuss issues that affect the medical school faculty and a conduit for concerns to be brought to the attention of the Dean.

Fehon to serve term on board of Council of Clinical Health Psychology Training Programs

Dwain Fehon, PsyD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Chief Psychologist of Psychiatric Services at Yale New Haven Hospital, was recently elected to serve a three-year term as board member on the Council of Clinical Health Psychology Training Programs (CCHPTP), the national training council affiliated with the American Psychological Association's Division 38 (Health Psychology). The council is composed of representatives from graduate, internship, and postdoctoral training programs in clinical health psychology and behavioral medicine.

Ravven elected Vice President of Vermont Medical Society

Simha Ravven, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Law and Psychiatry Division at Yale School of Medicine, has been elected Vice President of the Vermont Medical Society (VMS). Ravven is Interim Chief Medical Officer at Brattleboro Retreat, a psychiatric hospital in Brattleboro, VT. She completed her Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship at Yale School of Medicine and served as Medical Director of the Brattleboro Retreat's Birches Treatment Center prior to returning to Yale in 2016. VMS is the leading voice of physicians in Vermont. Read more  

Potenza receives Marvin A. Steinberg Lifetime Achievement Award

Marc Potenza, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and in the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine and Senior Research Scientist at the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG), received the Marvin A. Steinberg Lifetime Achievement Award from the CCPG on Oct. 23. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of problem gambling in Connecticut. Recognition is based on a person's commitment and outstanding efforts around the issue of problem gambling in research, advocacy, fundraising, professional practice, policy making, training and/or volunteerism. Read more  

How to make meaning in aftermath of Pittsburgh and other violent acts

Joan Cook, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, writes in The Conversation that there is no one formula to recover from traumatic events, like the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. But creating meaning and finding a coherent narrative can be beneficial. "In an attempt to make sense out of extremely stressful and traumatic events, some people find that finding or creating meaning or purpose helps them transcend the pain. Meaning-making goes beyond a surface understanding of the facts. It is a concerted attempt to process and resolve violations by restoring a sense that the world is meaningful and life worthwhile." Read more  

Atkins releases new book on assessing, treating, and recovering from opioid use disorders

Charles Atkins, MD, Lecturer in Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, has released the book, "Opioid Use Disorders: A Holistic Guide to Assessment, Treatment and Recovery." The book, according to Atkins, is pitched for both the professional and general reader and includes real stories and rich case studies among the didactic material. It walks the reader through ways to create relationships and foster positive change in the midst of challenges and complex circumstances. There is material on special populations: women, pregnancy, adolescents, and older people. Read more  

Siggins to retire from Yale Health after 30 years

Lorraine Siggins, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, who has spent the last 30 years as director of Mental Health & Counseling at Yale Health, will retire in June 2019. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Siggins arrived at Yale in 1962 as a resident and, in 1965, became a staff psychiatrist in what was then called the Department of Mental Hygiene. As chief, Siggins became one of Yale's most respected, beloved, and visible leaders. Under her supervision, the department's staff grew to over 30 clinicians. She has received numerous awards for clinical excellence. Read more 

Yale, community provider to pioneer new program for survivors of domestic violence

Yale will collaborate with a local provider in the Greater New Haven area to create a new community-based, peer-led intervention program for survivors of domestic abuse. Tami Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Family Violence Research and Programs at Yale School of Medicine, will develop and supervise the program with representatives of the Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) based in North Haven. The program aims to improve the health, safety, and well-being of domestic violence survivors. Read more 

Imani Breakthrough Recovery Program brings people out of depths of addiction

The faith-based Imani Breakthrough Recovery Program launched by Ayana Jordan, MD, PhD, left, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Chyrell D. Bellamy, PhD, MSW, right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, is helping people who struggle with addiction. The program is focused on the black community at churches in New Haven, Waterbury, Hartford, and Bridgeport where participants form bonds with other members of their group and address dimensions of wellness that include physical and emotional health, spirituality, intellect, and finance. Read more  

Wilkins, Goldenberg, Cyrus present workshops to help doctors manage mistreatment by patients

A Yale Department of Psychiatry program to help doctors manage mistreatment by patients was recently highlighted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). From left, Kirsten Wilkins, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry; Matthew Goldenberg, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of Psychiatry; and Kali Cyrus, MD, MPH, a 2017 graduate of the Yale Psychiatry Residency Program, created the framework for the program, known as ERASE. Read more  

MOMS Partnership® launches racial equity initiative

The MOMS Partnership┬« announces an initiative to ensure that the guiding principle of equity is reflected within its organization: the development and implementation of a racial equity action plan, a set of measurable objectives on racial equity for MOMS to achieve over the next 18 months. Under the leadership of Racial Equity Fellow Janet Yim, BA, MOMS will craft strategies to accomplish these goals which draw from the body of research and practice literature, then document its progress throughout implementation of the action plan. Read more  

Yale Psychiatric Hospital's ECT program an alternative to traditional antidepressants

Brandon Kitay, MD, PhD, an Instructor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry and attending physician at Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, works with other doctors to administrate the hospital's electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, program. ECT evolved from a series of psychiatric treatments from the mid-to-early-20th century and is used today as a tool to reduce symptoms in treatment-resistant patients with depression. The goal of ECT, according to Kitay, is to administer a quick pulse of electricity to the patient's head in order to cause a therapeutic seizure. Read more 

Sullivan comments on taskforce recommendation that women be screened for intimate partner violence

Tami Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Family Violence Research and Programs at Yale School of Medicine, spoke to Reuters about a recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that women of reproductive age be screened for intimate partner violence by their doctors. "Routine screening is important for at least two reasons," she said. "The first is that patients may feel more comfortable disclosing over time rather than at the time of the first screening, and they may need a prompt each time to consider the opportunity to disclose. The second is that patients' relationships change over time ..." Read more  

Alumni Spotlight

Heck brings a '(Not So) Hidden Agenda' to Philadelphia airwaves

Stephanie Heck, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the Philadelphia area and a former researcher in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has become a familiar voice on the radio in her community as host of the live show "The (Not So) Hidden Agenda," which airs every Sunday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Heck interviews local artists, authors, musicians, actors, politicians, professionals, and activists about their work in the community. Her interviews focus not only on each guest's current work, but also on who they are as individuals and what led them to pursue their passion. Read more 

Krupitsky addresses United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs

Evgeny Krupitsky, MD, PhD, Chief of the Department of Addictions at St. Petersburg Bekhterev Research Psychoneurological Institute in Russia, addressed the most recent United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs. Krupitsky, a Visiting Exchange Scientist in the Yale Department of Psychiatry in 1996 and 1997, has published many papers in Russian and international psychiatric journals and is the author of several chapters and two books on the treatment of alcoholism and addictions. The UN Special Session was convened to review the world drug problem and to develop a plan to address it.

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British mental health campaigners share their story at Yale


Jonny Benjamin, second from right, a British mental health campaigner, was preparing to take his life by jumping off Waterloo Bridge in London a decade ago when Neil Laybourn, center, a passerby on his way to work, stopped to talk and convinced him not to jump. Six years later, Benjamin launched a social media campaign called Find "Mike" in an attempt to locate Laybourn. The two were able to reunite and formed a close friendship. In the past four years they have traveled throughout the world to help others who struggle with mental health. They shared their story -- which was featured in the documentary "Stranger on a Bridge" -- at Yale on Oct. 26. The talk was sponsored by the Yale Department of Psychiatry, Poynter Fellowship, and Yale School of Management. Philip Corlett, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, third from right, hosted Benjamin and Laybourn, who were introduced at the talk by John Krystal, MD, left, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Benjamin and Laybourn are working on advancing mental health awareness programs in the United States with Johnny Quinn Alston, second from left, and his brother, Wesley Alston, third from left. At far right is Sheril Frano, Assistant Director of Internal Communications, Yale School of Management. Watch a video of the presentation  

Carlson, Addy honored; present Grand Rounds


David Carlson, MD, left, Training and Supervising Analyst at the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Nii Addy, PhD, center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, were honored Nov. 2 with the 2018 Yale Department of Psychiatry Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award and Chairman's Award, respectively. At right is John H. Krystal, MD, Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry. Carlson and Addy presented Grand Rounds at the Connecticut Mental Health Center after receiving their awards. Watch a video of the Grand Rounds  

Law & Psychiatry Division honored with Veteran Justice Award


Howard Zonana, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Law and Director of the Law and Psychiatry Division at Yale, accepts the Veteran Justice Award on behalf of the division Nov. 8 at the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center's (CVLC) annual fundraiser gala, "Saluting Service." The division was honored for helping CVLC document post-traumatic stress disorder and other service-related mental health impacts for veterans seeking VA benefits. CVLC is a national leader in veteran justice. It works closely with the VA and other medical and social service providers to help Connecticut veterans overcome legal barriers which assist them as they recover from PTSD, addiction, and other mental health and medical scars of service.

Large turnout at women's speed networking event


Dozens of faculty and trainees attended the annual Yale Department of Psychiatry Women's Speed Networking event Nov. 2 at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Participants enjoyed lunch and conversation with mentors and colleagues in the department. The event was organized by (in photo at top left) Kristin Budde, MD, MPH, left, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Allison Ponce, PhD, center, Associate Professor of Psychiatry; and Cindy Crusto, PhD, right, Associate Professor of Psychiatry.

Stamey, Holsapple perform at Yale Department of Psychiatry's Elite Songwriter Series


Songwriters Chris Stamey, left, and Peter Holsapple performed original music and discussed their songwriting careers before a packed house at the Yale Department of Psychiatry's Elite Songwriter Series, held during Grand Rounds on Nov. 9. Stamey and Holsapple formed the critically acclaimed group the dB's, a popular guitar band in the 1980s. Both have performed solo and in other bands (Holsapple toured with R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish) but said they especially enjoy plyaing music together.

Administrative team presents at New Faculty Orientation event


Steven Gentile, Deputy Chair for Finance & Administration, and Mary Kate De Marco, Senior Operations Manager, were among the Yale Department of Psychiatry's administrative team members who presented at the annual New Faculty Orientation on Oct. 24. The department sponsors the session every fall so new faculty can learn more about the offices of faculty affairs, medical education, human resources, communications and marketing, pre- and post-award research, and clinical administration. Information was also provided about diversity, equity and inclusion, and the department's psychology section.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, November 16, 2018; 10:15-11:30 am

Biomarkers and Precision Medicine for Depression

Madhukar Trivedi, MD, Professor, Chief of the Division of Mood Disorders, Director of the Comprehensive Center for Depression, Department of Psychiatry, UT Southwestern Medical Center

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, November 23, 2018

No Grand Rounds

Friday, November 30, 2018; 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Far from the Tree

Andrew Solomon, writer, lecturer

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

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