Sunday, April 21, 2013

Psychologists and Health Care Reform

Psychologists have been working in primary health care settings for over 30 years (McDaniel & LeRoux, 2007) providing assessments and treatment to patients and their families. Research shows that 24 % of patients who present themselves to primary care physicians suffer from a well-defined mental disorder, and 69 % of these patients present to physicians with physical symptoms and many of their mental health needs remain undetected (APA, 2010). According to a quote in the Monitor (January 2010) by Katherine Nordal, Ph.D. (Executive Director, APA Practice Directorate) “Psychologist are the leading experts…We have the skills to improve quality of life, reduce the level of disability associated with illness and at the same time dramatically reduce cost in our health-care system”.

Psychologists Role in Primary Health Care Settings (APA, 2010; Blount & Miller, 2009; McDaniel & LeRoux, 2007):
  • Conduct cognitive, capacity, diagnostic, and personality assessments that differentiate typical behavior from pathology across the lifespan, side effects of medications, adjustment reactions, or combinations of these problems
  • Offer behavioral health assessment and treatment that provide youth and adults with the skills necessary to effectively manage their chronic conditions
  • Diagnose and treat mental and behavioral health problems (e.g. depression or suicide risk).
  • Offer consultation and recommendations to family members, significant others, and other health care providers
  • Contribute research expertise to the design, implementation, and evaluation of team care and patient outcomes
  • Develop interventions that are responsive to specific individual and community characteristics that may impact the treatment plan

Want your voice to be heard? Take action and contact your locate state representative. Ask them to support The Mental Health Awareness and Improvement Act of 2013 

Copyright 2013 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D. 

Version previously published by Erlanger Turner, Ph.D. at

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tips on Coping with Tragedy: In the wake of the Boston Marathon Explosion

On yesterday, we experienced another tragedy in Boston when an explosion occurred near the finish line at the Boston Marathon. According to the New York Times, almost 23,000 runners participated in the race and approximately three-quarters of the runners had crossed the finish line prior to the bomb exploding. President Obama made a statement following the explosion and stated “I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.

In the wake of another tragedy, below are some resources to help children and their families cope and process the event.

What Parents Can Do To Help Children

            Spanish version: Que Pueden Hacer los Padres

Tips of talking with children: A guide for teachers and parents


Copyright 2013 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.

Follow me on twitter @DrEarlTurner


Image from the Boston Globe