Horizons – Spring 2015

A publication for friends and supporters of McLean Hospital

May 2, 2015

Finding quality psychiatric care for children and adolescents can be difficult for many reasons, including too few clinicians trained in child-focused therapies and a scarcity of specialized programs. Every day at McLean, we see the benefits of early intervention as well as the pain experienced when illness goes untreated.

This issue of Horizons highlights the many ways that McLean is bringing the best evidence-based care to young people. You’ll meet Joseph Gold, MD, chief of the Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, who is constantly thinking about how to better serve the needs of our youngest patients. That charge led to our creating a new residential program for youth struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder. You’ll also learn how McLean is addressing the lack of services for teens and young adults with borderline personality disorder and the ways in which supporters like you are helping make all of this possible.

Horizons Cover Spring 2015

Fellowship Creates Ripples of Expertise to Change Lives
For a young woman struggling with borderline personality disorder (BPD), waiting weeks or months for treatment can be devastating. People with the disorder often harm themselves and are sometimes suicidal, so the scarcity of therapists trained in one of the gold standard treatments—dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—leaves many vulnerable.

Supporting McLean Today and Tomorrow: One Donor’s View
Betsy Wilgis is clear about why she has donated to McLean every year since 1999 and written a bequest to the hospital into her will. “They saved my life.” Mrs. Wilgis, a personal finance and health care manager from Baltimore, had been struggling with treatment-resistant depression when her medical team in Baltimore felt that hospitalization was called for. A relative of her husband’s—a McLean psychiatrist—suggested that a visit to McLean’s Pavilion might help get to the root of her illness.

Question and Answer: Joseph Gold, MD, Chief of the Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The Nancy and Richard Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was launched in 2012 through the generosity of the Simches family. The hospital’s chief medical officer, Joseph Gold, MD, heads up the division and we sat down with him recently to get an update on its activities.

Earlier Treatment Promotes Better Lives for Young Patients With OCD
A young boy spent eight hours a day on rituals to ensure that his dog was safe, including securing windows and doors and patrolling his home for perceived danger. A teenager’s dread of contracting AIDS cut her off from ordinary experiences like a first kiss. Children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are consumed by performing rituals to make terrifying thoughts and images go away, and thus struggle to enjoy childhood. Developmental milestones are missed, family life can be upended, and physical problems may appear from the constant stress.

Horizons is published by the McLean Hospital Development Office.

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