NextGen Healthcare

In the Shadow of the Pandemic: The Suicide Crisis in America

The pandemic, overdue confrontations of racism, and fears about the outcome of the 2020 election have diminished America’s alarm about rising drug overdose and suicide rates. But these epidemics continue, albeit in the shadow of COVID-19. This fall 2020 issue of Behavioral Health News is...

Behavioral Health During and After the Pandemic

The response of the behavioral health system to the COVID pandemic has been rapid and remarkable. But it is, of course, imperfect and incomplete. What are the challenges still to be met? And what will happen after the pandemic, hopefully, ends and we move on to a new normal? What Has Been Done...

Pain and Its Impact on the Opioid Epidemic

In several past articles on the opioid epidemic in America, I have complained that the problem of severe, chronic pain has been overlooked as a contributing factor. It appears that that is no longer true. For example, a very recent report by the National Academies of Science to the Food and Drug...

Deinstitutionalization Did Not Cause Homelessness: Loss of Low-income Housing and Disability Benefits Did

I recently read yet another article that blames homelessness on deinstitutionalization. Yes, a disproportionate number of homeless people have long-term mental disorders, and yes some—perhaps a third—of these people would have been in state hospitals 65 or 70 years ago when that was pretty much...

Addressing the Psychological Fallout of The Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic in the United States has led to great efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and to prevent fatalities. But the problems that people will face due to the pandemic will go beyond medical issues. In addition, it will be important to address a variety of psychosocial...

Pain and The Nation’s Opioid Epidemic: An Interview with Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS

The so-called “opioid epidemic” is a far more complex social phenomenon than it appears to be when politicians and pundits propose solutions to it. They work largely from a simplistic and only partially true narrative that lately concludes that the villains are the drug companies that promoted...

Put Mental Health into “Healthy Aging”

In June 2019 the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) issued a report on the health of older adults5. That’s good news since it reflects serious recognition of the aging of the population of New York City and of the need for the field of public health to pay greater attention to...

The Behavioral Health Workforce Crisis: Past, Present, and Future

First on the list of topics for this issue of Behavioral Health News was “The Workforce Crisis Today.” That’s interesting because the workforce “crisis” is anything but new. For example, when I first entered this field during the height of deinstitutionalization in New York—the early...

Caring for Older Adults

We are now eight years into the “elder boom.” Sadly, the implications of this vast demographic shift are still not taken seriously. Yes, there is anxiety about sustaining Social Security and Medicare. And yes, there’s increasing talk about “healthy aging.” But even with these most obvious...

Leading the Way in Older Adult Mental Health: Recommendations for New York State

In 2005, New York State enacted the Geriatric Mental Health Act, the first act of its kind in the nation. With this legislation, New York demonstrated a significant commitment to older adults with mental health challenges, allocating $2 million per year in funding for statewide geriatric mental...