Screening for Suicide Risk in Teens During the COVID Pandemic 1/28/2021

With the ongoing stressors of the pandemic and media reports of apparent increases in suicidal behaviors, concerns about suicide and about suicidal and self–harm behaviors is an ongoing concern for which the medical and mental health community needs to retain front-of-mind. Even prior to the pandemic suicide was the second leading cause of death in […]

Antidepressants and Movement Disorder Side Effects 1/21/2021

Although quite rare, this week’s newsletter discusses some of what is known about the various types of movement disorder that have been reported in association with the use of antidepressant medications that are regularly prescribed to treat depressive disorders and anxiety disorders along with some lower frequency psychiatric and non-psychiatric diagnostic indications. The data reported […]

Tobacco and Nicotine Dependence 1/7/2021

The good news is that the past 50 years have seen a tremendous decrease in the incidence of Americans who are smoking, with rates of prevalence dropping from over 40% in 1965 to roughly 15% in 2017.   This said, 16 million Americans have a smoking-related health condition and smoking remains the #1 preventable cause of […]

Suicide Prevention Information & Resources for High Priority Groups 12/17/2020

This week’s newsletter provides a plethora of suicide prevention information and resources relevant to groups of youth for whom suicide prevention and intervention is of particular importance. We hope that our readers will retain this information in their files for potential future reference—both with respect to the resources for special populations but also for those […]

Tools for Parents: Some A, B, & Cs of Behavior Management 12/10/2020

Evidence-based behavioral intervention trainings for parents are one of the many techniques that, when effectively implemented, can be associated with sustained behavioral improvements among children with oppositional and disruptive behaviors. (Kazdin, 2017) Use of these interventions can strengthen positive bonds between children and their parents and may also reduce the need for referrals for higher […]

Medication Management for Adolescent Anxiety 11/20/2020

For a more than a decade there has been evidence in the literature that Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibiters (SSRI) can help teenagers with anxiety disorder feel and function better (Ipser et al., 2009). While these medications are not FDA approved for anxiety in adolescents, it appears clear that medications, in particular in combination with therapy […]

Challenges Adapting to Acute and Ongoing Stressors: Revisiting the Adjustment Disorder Diagnoses 11/13/2020

Social distancing and other pandemic related changes to our lives appear to be correlated with an increase in adult substance abuse, and to an overall increase in mental health symptomatology with onset or exacerbation of mood symptoms, sleep difficulties, irritability, increased worry and cognitive strain. Stress does that; isolation magnifies the hurt; and uncertainty keeps […]

Psychotropic Polypharmacy with Children and Adolescents 11/6/2020

The challenges of addressing behavioral health problems in children and adolescents remain an ongoing dilemma because of the high incidence of youth with significant problems, coupled with the ongoing difficulties for families and providers in accessing and optimizing care in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.   Particularly in the arena of prescribing psychotropic medications, there are […]

Adolescent Substance Abuse in the Time of Covid-19 10/29/2020

While our understanding of the psychosocial impacts of the pandemic remains limited as would be expected of an externality that is constantly changing, there is clear evidence that the rates of substance use among adults in the time of the coronavirus pandemic are increasing (Spagnolo et al, 2020).  Increased use of alcohol has been reported […]

Autism and Aggression 10/22/2020

With autism currently affecting nearly 2 in every 100 people to some degree or another, most healthcare providers will be treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at some point in time. Particularly for those more significantly affected, the issue of agitated and aggressive outbursts is often a major concern, though even in those with […]