Here Comes Summer

June 18, 2020

Hopefully, the season will bring us a new sense of freedom, as we make progress in the fight against COVID and the possibility of returning to a more normal life.

FROM THE CHAIRMAN

June means summer is here. When we were young, the very word summer instilled excitement. It was a time of freedom—from school, homework, and strict schedules; freedom from cold weather, early dark evenings, and being stuck inside. And it meant freedom to wander and freedom to take family vacations.

Hopefully, June 2020 will bring us a new sense of freedom, as we make progress in the fight against COVID and the possibility of returning to a more normal life. Already, states and regions are starting to open up, and there is a promise of beach visits, intimate barbecues, and even (virtual) ballgames. Although we need to be cautious as we dip our feet back into the waters of the world, the teases of summer freedom are there.

Although the shadows that the pandemic casts on this summer will mean things will be different, different is not necessarily bad. The pandemic has helped us find silver linings. For example, the necessity of telepsychiatry use has increased its acceptance and this, in turn, is making psychiatric care more accessible to patients. Similarly, since there are ways in which this technology can enhance patient care, it could become an important tool alongside in-office care as the country reopens. If you are interested in learning more, I invite you to read about the tools and tricks that were discussed in Psychiatric Times’ recent webinar on telepsychiatry during COVID-19 and beyond; if you were unable to join us for the webinar, you can read the highlights on page 18.

The pandemic has also placed a spotlight on psychiatric care, as the country begins to better understand the importance of mental health in addition to physical health. This new dialogue may lead to advancement in mental health parity, which is sorely needed in this country. Our cover story reviews the progress that we have made since the passing of the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the challenges that remain.

As we ponder our summer freedoms, this month’s Special Report explores freeing pre-conceived notions of care to think creatively about psychosis. For example, Patrick D. McGorry, MD, PhD, explains how a staging philosophy adds utility and sophistication to treatment selection, involving timing, sequence, intensity, and therapeutic variety. Patricia E. Deegan, PhD, challenges psychiatry to redefine the term recovery as well as the tools used in achieving this treatment goal. Leveraging her experiences as a clinician as well as a patient, Dr Deegan provides insights into effectively engaging and empowering patients by incorporating goals and preferences that are important to them.

As always, this issue is packed with practical clinical articles and timely commentary to keep you connected to the field and to help you care for your patients. And, you are free to read more online at psychiatrictimes.com.

Mike Hennessy Sr

Chairman and Founder, MJH Life Sciences

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