Horizons – Fall 2023

A publication for friends and supporters of McLean Hospital

November 17, 2023

The increase of public awareness is a crucial positive aspect of our nation’s mental health crisis. It is an important step in the right direction. But we also need effective treatments backed by solid research and delivered by skilled caregivers. Even with all of that, we need ongoing efforts to reduce stigma and increase access to care.

These are all vital aspects of McLean’s mission, and in this edition of Horizons, we share stories about each of them.

You’ll read about a substantial gift to neuroscience research—which was celebrated this spring, along with the philanthropists who made it happen and the brilliant researcher who will shepherd the work for years to come.

We also share a story about our Division of Women’s Mental Health and the vital training that donors are supporting for clinicians and researchers in this young field.

And, after a three-year hiatus, we celebrate the in-person re-convening of the McLean Board of Visitors. The joyful reunion brought together old friends and new for a day of connection, learning, and support.

Lastly, we hear from a man whose goal is to be the best caregiver he can be and to share what he’s learned with others. He also expresses his gratitude to McLean with a legacy gift that honors his loved one.

Read the Articles

Cover of Horizons Fall 2023

Celebrating a New Era in Psychiatric Research
“It’s an honor and a responsibility to live up to the traditions of everyone whose work and dreams have been supported by the Rappaport Foundation in the fields of medical research, the arts, and public policy,” said Bill Carlezon, PhD, chief of McLean’s Rappaport Center of Excellence in Basic Neuroscience Research, in his remarks at an event celebrating the Rappaport Foundation’s transformational gift to McLean.

Understanding Gender Differences in Mental Illness
Late in her medical residency, Amanda Sedgewick, DO, was running treatment groups for women with substance use disorders. Patients would disappear from treatment for weeks at a time and Sedgewick realized they were in abusive relationships—which was keeping them away from the clinic. So, she began addressing the abuse—enlisting the assistance of a domestic violence shelter, police, and free legal services.

McLean Board of Visitors Convenes in a Day of Learning and Connection
After two years of gathering virtually, the McLean Board of Visitors came together in person on May 3, 2023, for the group’s annual meeting. For many, it was a reunion of sorts—old friends getting reacquainted after a prolonged absence and new members introducing themselves and forming connections.

Read more in the full issue:

I Can’t Change It, But I Can Cope With It

Larry Blumsack and his wife will always be grateful for the care she received at McLean. She has struggled with depression for the past 50 years but, according to Larry, never let it get in the way of her work.

A highly successful psychotherapist, artist, writer, and poet, she has always shown extraordinary determination to live life to the fullest. They both believe that the treatment she received at McLean was life-changing, but they also understand that her illness will never completely go away.

Larry takes his role as caregiver seriously and wants to support his wife to the best of his ability. He is involved with McLean’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and shares his experience and perspective with incoming groups of nurses and other clinicians.

As a member of the PFAC anti-stigma committee, he’s also helping others navigate the mental health system. Recently, Larry told us that he has made a provision for McLean in his estate plans.

“We are so thankful to McLean for the treatment and for the support they’ve provided,” he said.

“I learned ‘the Cs’ in a support group, and it’s become a mantra for me,” he explained. “I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, I can’t cure it, and I can’t change it. But I can cope with it.”

To learn more about how you can make a legacy gift to McLean, contact Keith Raho.


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