What I Learned During My Summer Vacation

September 3, 2020
Mike Hennessy Sr
Volume 37, Issue 9

It has been a tough and unusual summer, but perhaps it is best to focus on gratitude for what we have learned and what we can do with that information.

From the Chairman of MJH Life Sciences

Usually, summer is about vacations, new adventures and excursions, and time off to explore, learn, and recharge. This year, our summers were a bit different—in fact, they were like no other in recent history. Traditional travel was not an option, but there was still much to learn. New data poured in about the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). And, as regions began to re-open, we learned what happens when you do so too quickly or without enough caution.

Clinicians like Elliott B. Martin Jr, MD, tackled new challenges associated with the COVID-19 virus. In this issue, he describes the neuropsychiatric sequelae seen on the consultation-liaison service in his hospital. Lessons learned from our frontline C-L psychiatrists will be helpful in the days, weeks, and months to come. Some have been hard lessons, but they can be enlightening and empowering as the next sets of patients arrive at their doorsteps.

We have also learned the importance of tempering enthusiasm with the patience of doing what’s right not just for ourselves, but also for our community. A case in point is the coming school year. The debate over opening in-person versus online must weigh the benefits of protecting children and school officials from the virus against the mental and psychiatric challenges associated with quarantining. Unfortunately, nobody has a one-size-fits-all answer.

In this issue of Psychiatric Times®, child and adolescent psychiatrist Abhijit Ramanujam, MD, sheds light on the debate, including what we know about the risks to children, what the expert organizations have to say, and the emotional impact of the pandemic and isolation. He also shares resources and guidance to work toward the best outcomes possible, regardless of how we move ahead, especially for children with preexisting psychiatric disorders. The hard-earned lessons of emergency online schooling in the spring and our new knowledge about the impact of the virus on younger patients will enable society and psychiatry to prepare and react better than before.

Although it has been a tough and unusual summer, perhaps it is best to focus on gratitude for what we have learned and what we can do with that information. Knowledge, after all, is power, and so we hope this issue of Psychiatric Times® will inspire you to continue to be successful, safe, and serve your patients well. ❒

Mike Hennessy Sr

Chairman and Founder, MJH Life Sciences

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