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Street Psychiatry at CMHC joins Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center for Overdose Awareness Day


In recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center, the City of New Haven Health Department and many community organizations came together to provide resources, increase awareness, and educate about treatment options for those struggling with substance use disorders. The Street Psychiatry Program at Connecticut Mental Health Center was invited to join alongside the community partners. Since 2013, Connecticut has experienced a vast increase in the level of opioid use, underscoring the need for concerted efforts to address this important issue with urgency. For more information on Opioid Overdose Prevention and Narcan, visit the Connecticut 211 website. Pictured are, from left, Diana Desmondes, Oyin Akinpelu, Lily Balasuriya, Phil Costello, Jessica Arroyo, and Emma Lo.

Changes in alcohol use after metabolic and bariatric surgery: Predictors and mechanisms

Valentina Ivezaj, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, is the first author of a review published in Current Psychiatry Reports that synthesizes the literature on predictors and mechanisms of post-bariatric alcohol problems in order to guide future research on prevention and treatment. Research findings suggest patients who undergo bariatric surgery have an elevated risk of developing problems with alcohol following their procedure. Ivezaj is a researcher with the Program for Obesity, Weight and Eating Research (POWER) at Yale. Read more 

Yale study: Implementing motivational interviewing for substance misuse on medical inpatient units: A randomized controlled trial

Steve Martino, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, and Kimberly Yonkers, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, are the first and senior authors, respectively, of a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine that looks at the effectiveness of three strategies for implementing motivational interviewing for patients who misuse substances. The study involved 1,173 patients and 38 providers (physicians, physician assistants, and nurses) from 13 general medical inpatient services. Read more  

Endocannabinoid system alterations in posttraumatic stress disorder: A review of developmental and accumulative effects of trauma

Anahita Bassir Nia, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, is the first author of a paper published in Chronic Stress which reviews the long-lasting effects of trauma and chronic stress on the endocannabinoid system. The authors discuss that the developmental and accumulative effects of trauma could explain seemingly conflicting results of trauma studies in humans and animal models. They propose that trauma's effect on the endocannabinoid system is different if the trauma occurs during childhood or adulthood. Read more  

Yale study evaluates effectiveness of simulation-based training for resident physicians

Clockwise from top left, J. Corey Williams, MD, former resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry; Lilanthi Balasuriya, MD, MMS, a fourth-year resident; Aaron Alexander-Bloch, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Zheala Qayyum, MBBS, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry are co-authors of the study, "Comparing the Effectiveness of a Guide Booklet to Simulation-Based Training for Management of Acute Agitation." The study, published in Psychiatry Quarterly, will be used to inform management practices for psychiatry and internal medicine trainees to improve patient care. The results of the study suggest that simulation-based training for resident physicians produced improvements in subjectively reported confidence as well as objectively measured knowledge as compared to residents who read an on-call psychiatry booklet. The findings suggest that utilizing simulation-based training is more effective teaching tool than a reading of a resident guide booklet. Read more  

Psychiatric Services names article by Wasser, Pollard, and Srihari an 'Editor's Choice'

From left, Tobias Wasser, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Jessica Pollard, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Vinod Srihari, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry are the authors of a 2017 article recently named an "Editor's Choice" by Psychiatric Services. The article reviews evidence that points to a heightened risk of aggression and subsequent criminal justice involvement in first-episode psychosis. Read more  

Gupta, Cahill, Miller co-author book 'Deprescribing in Psychiatry'

From left, Swapnil Gupta, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; John Cahill, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; and Rebecca Miller, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry are co-authors of "Deprescribing in Psychiatry," the first book to present considerations for prescribers on how to decrease or discontinue psychiatric medications in a systematic, holistic way. The book is published by Oxford University Press. Read more  

Become Your Child's Sleep Coach: The Bedtime Doctor's 5-Step Guide, Ages 3-10

Lynelle Schneeberg, PsyD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, has written "Become Your Child's Sleep Coach" to guide parents who want to help their preschool and elementary school children sleep well. The book provides a five-step plan to prepare a child's bedroom for successful sleep, use a nightly bedtime routine, teach children to self-comfort as parents work their way out of the room, limit "callbacks and curtain calls," and manage night and early morning wakings. Schneeberg treats sleep disorders such as insomnia in children, adolescents, and adults. Read more  

Picciotto to be recognized with Marion Spencer Fay Award

The Institute for Women's Health and Leadership of Drexel University College of Medicine will award its 2020 Marion Spencer Fay Award to Marina Picciotto, PhD, Charles B.G. Murphy Professor of Psychiatry and Professor in the Child Study Center, of Neuroscience and of Pharmacology. The award annually recognizes a woman physician or scientist who has made an exceptionally significant contribution to health care as a practitioner, medical educator, administrator, or research scientist. Picciotto studies basic neurobiological processes relevant to both normal behavior and psychiatric illness. Read more  

American Psychological Association honors Resnick with its Michael S. Neale Award

The American Psychological Association Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) has honored Sandra Resnick, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, with its Michael S. Neale Award. The award is presented to a person whose commitment to serving patients with serious mental illness is demonstrated through advocacy, research, program development, and/or service delivery. Resnick oversees the program evaluation of Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) vocational rehabilitation programs and has a leadership role in the national Measurement Based Care Initiative. Read more  

Klee recognized with APA Outstanding Contributions in Psychosocial Rehabilitation Award

Anne Klee, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, has been honored with the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) 2019 Outstanding Contributions in Psychosocial Rehabilitation Award. The award, presented by the Veterans Affairs Section of APA Division 18, is given to a person who has demonstrated widespread influence in treatment, research, or advocacy for people with serious mental illness. It recognizes accomplishments such as advances in community-based programs, evidence-based treatments, and destigmatization. Read more  

Miller honored with Goldberg Leadership in Education Award

Rebecca Miller, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, received the Goldberg Leadership in Education Award from the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service). The award was presented at Division 18's annual business meeting in August. It recognizes an educator with an outstanding record of teaching or training at any level of education. Recipients are nominated by their peers. Miller is Director of Peer Support & Family Initiatives at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Read more  

Yuen awarded first PRMS-endowed fellowship for child psychiatry with Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry

Eunice Yuen, MD, PhD, a member of the Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program, is the first recipient of a Professional Risk Management Services (PRMS)-endowed fellowship in collaboration with the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP). She is interested in cross-generational cultural issues in parent-child relationships and how they may influence child development and emotional well-being. She ultimately hopes to focus on cultural psychiatry and how the experiences of international immigrants and refugees affect their mental health. Read more  

Lipkes earns semi-finalist honors in national poetry contest

A manuscript of poems by Celeste Lipkes, MD, MFA, third-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, has been judged a semi-finalist for the 2019 Berkshire Prize, a national poetry contest sponsored by Tupelo Press. The award recognizes an author's first or second book of poetry and is highly competitive. Lipkes' manuscript, Radium Girl, has been recognized in other contests, including as a finalist for the 2019 University of Wisconsin Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prize and a semi-finalist for the 2018 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Read more  

Kapoor: The brutality of 'suicide watch'

"This is the tragedy nobody's talking about: That mental health services in most jails and prisons are so bad that people would rather die than ask for help," writes Reena Kapoor, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, on the website Cognoscenti. Kapoor's essay was published days after Jeffrey Epstein's death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan. She writes that inmates need better access to mental health professionals who can provide compassionate, high-quality care, and that long-term prisoner safety is best achieved by keeping prisoners as healthy as possible. Read more  

What's OT got to do with it: The benefits of an occupational therapist on an interdisciplinary inpatient team

Zachary M. Harvanek, MD, PhD, a second-year resident in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, and Hun Millard, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, co-wrote a column in the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry's AACAP News that touts the benefits of having an occupational therapist on a treatment team to increase positive hospitalization outcomes for patients. "OTs can ... be instrumental in maintaining a positive milieu, running groups, and in discharge planning," they wrote. Read more  

Working in recovery: A medical student's experience

Eli Neustadter, MSc, a fourth-year Yale School of Medicine student, wrote in Psychiatric Services about the role of recovery on his first psychiatry subinternship on an inpatient service. He highlighted the importance of recovery-oriented practice as a valuable perspective for medical students that is conciliant with their medical training. He hopes the piece, written under the mentorship of Yale Department of Psychiatry faculty Dale Sebastian, MD, and Larry Davidson, PhD, inspires students to seek out clinical experiences working with people with severe mental illness, and to foster an approach that incorporates patients' own goals through trust and shared process. Read more  

VA Connecticut to be nationally designed Clinical Resource Hub

The VA Connecticut Healthcare System has been selected as the New England site for a VA nationally designated Clinical Resource Hub (CRH). The Hub is funded by the VA Office of Rural Health and VA New England Healthcare System and will work to provide much needed primary care and mental health services to sites throughout New England that lack on-site providers. Jennifer Doran, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, will direct the mental health program. David Moore, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, will oversee the development of the Hub. Read more 

Greene presents lecture to China Institute students

Les R. Greene, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, presented via Zoom the invited lecture "Foundations of Group Psychotherapy" to about 60 students enrolled in the China Institute of Psychology in Beijing, China. The material was based on Greene's forthcoming co-edited book, "Core Principles of Group Psychotherapy: An Integrated Theory, Research and Practice Training Manual," published by Taylor and Francis. Greene has practiced psychotherapy for over four decades, and in his role as a clinical professor at Yale supervises residents and trainees.

Nasal spray offers hope for severely depressed patients

John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, spoke to the Connecticut Health I-Team for a story about the new nasal spray Spravato, which after receiving Food and Drug Administration approval in March is being prescribed for treatment-resistant depression. Krystal is best known for leading the discovery of the rapid antidepressant effects of ketamine in depressed patients. Spravato's chemical name is esketamine, a derivative of ketamine. Read more  

Suicide is preventable: So, how can we help our teens?

Hilary Blumberg, MD, left, John and Hope Furth Professor of Psychiatric Neuroscience and Professor of Psychiatry, and in the Child Study Center and of Radiology, and Jennifer Dwyer, MD, PhD, right, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, spoke about recognition and prevention of teenage suicide in a recent Yale Medicine article. Suicide is preventable, but rates of suicide are increasing worldwide, and it is now the second leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults. Read more  

Women experience pain and addiction differently

Carolyn M. Mazure, PhD, Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor in Women's Health Research and Professor of Psychiatry and of Psychology, and Director of Women's Health Research at Yale, spoke with NPR in August about the differences between how women and men experience pain and addiction. These differences can have serious consequences for the health of women, particularly in relation to the ongoing opioid crisis. Women have a greater sensitivity to pain than men and are more likely than men to begin their misuse of opioids through medical treatment. Read more  

Alumni Spotlight

Smith honored by New York County Psychiatric Society

The New York County Psychiatric Society has presented Andrew H. Smith, MD, PhD, with its 2019 Resident Research Award. The award recognizes work on the genetic basis of alcohol withdrawal severity which Smith carried out in the laboratory of Joel Gelernter, MD, Foundations Fund Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Genetics and of Neuroscience. Smith and co-authors linked variants in the SORCS2 gene to the severity of alcohol withdrawal in people who have European ancestry, about one in 10 of whom carry the variants. Read more  

Social workers lead 'Dialogues on Difference' at CMHC


Respect. Empathy. Compassion. Connection. Awesome. Those are some words staff members at Connecticut Mental Health Center use to describe "Dialogues on Difference," a monthly convening that is deepening the workplace conversation about cultural and racial differences and how these factors impact people's mental health. Maria Oliva, LCSW, CMHC's Director of Social Work, facilitates the Dialogues, which she and her social work department launched in the fall of 2018. Since the beginning, every meeting has been packed with an average of 50 people (sometimes, all chairs are filled and people sit on the floor). The high attendance testifies to staff members' desire for dialogue and the effectiveness of the conversations. Dialogues on Difference, Oliva explains, was born out of social workers' desire to be more effective in cross-racial work. They also wanted to know each other and their colleagues better. Pictured are members of the CMHC social work staff including, front from left, Rebecca McKeon, Naseem Obaydou, TerriLee Waller, Josina James, Jeannette Knipe, and Lisa Lanouette. Back from left, Michael Piliero, Athena Jenkins, Jeanne LeBlanc, Maria Oliva, Melissa Dennis, Molly Whitehouse, and Jennifer Lewis. Read more

CMHC junior faculty hold retreat in Massachusetts


Members of the Yale Department of Psychiatry's junior faculty at the Connecticut Mental Health Center held a retreat September 7 at the Massachusetts home of Jeanne Steiner, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Director at CMHC. Attending the retreat were, from left, Dale Sebastian, Ayana Jordan, Carmen Parker, John Cahill, Sarah Fineberg, Michael Sernyak, Jeanne Steiner, Keith Gallagher, and Emma Lo.

Yale's Innovation to Impact team announces start-up grant recipients


The Innovation to Impact team at Yale (I2I) on September 6 announced that six start-ups will each receive $10,000 in grants to help bring a product to market to combat substance abuse. These grants are awarded to promising innovators who are committed to addressing addiction by launching proven innovations into the marketplace. The grants must be used within three months toward the company's innovation. I2I is led by an interdisciplinary team of faculty and researchers at Yale who train substance abuse researchers in entrepreneurship. The program sponsors a free five-day bootcamp (participants in last year's bootcamp are pictured) on entrepreneurship and product development, virtual office hours to access an extensive network of new venture mentors, seed funding for new ventures, and training in how to promote a culture of entrepreneurship locally. Seth Feuerstein, MD, JD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, is Director and PI of I2I. The co-director is Patricia Simon, PhD, Associate Research Scientist in Psychiatry. Read more

Special Events

Ensler to be keynote speaker at Women's Mental Health Conference

Tony-award winning playwright Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues," will deliver the keynote address at the first Women's Mental Health Conference at Yale on October 25. The conference will bring advocates, researchers, and clinicians together to share knowledge with health trainees and the Greater New Haven community. It was founded by a group of dedicated medical, public health, and law students and aims to destigmatize women's mental health issues through education, open dialogue, and collaboration. Registration is free and the conference is open to the public. Learn more and register  

2019-2020 Postdoc Seminar Series call for presenters

Research scientists, clinical fellows, and postdocs are invited to present at the 2019-2020 Postdoc Seminar Series. Talks are generally 20-25 minutes in length. The program aims to foster collaboration among fellows and trainees from various disciplines and departments. Please email Karim Ibrahim at with your talk title, dates of preference, and lab information. Talks are held each month from October to May (excluding December) from 12:00-1:00 pm in the Senn Room at the Yale Child Study Center. This year's talks will be: October 24, November 21, January 16, February 20, March 19, April 16 and May 21.

Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Friday, September 13, 2019; 10:15-11:30 am

Neuronal Ensembles Underlying Internally-Generated Representations

George Dragoi, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of Neuroscience, Yale School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, September 20, 2019; 10:15-11:30 am

Understanding Disinhibition: From Diagnosis to Mechanism to Treatment

Arielle Baskin-Sommers, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology and of Psychiatry

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

Friday, September 27, 2019; 10:15-11:30 am

Brain Network Oscillations as a Therapeutic Target: Identification, Engagement, and Validation

Flavio Frohlich, PhD, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

CMHC Auditorium, 34 Park St.

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