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Mary Christie Quarterly A publication of the Mary Christie Foundation

Not the Country Promised by University of Massachusetts President Martin Meehan p. 21

Creating a Well-Balanced Business Student

by Bentley University President Gloria Larson p. 24

Issue 6 | Second Quarter | 2017


Mary Christie Quarterly The Mary Christie Quarterly is a publication of the Mary Christie Foundation, a thought leadership and philanthropic organization dedicated to the health and wellness of young adults.

STAFF Publisher & President Editor & Executive Director Program Manager Staff Writer & Communications Coordinator

Robert Meenan Marjorie Malpiede Dana Humphrey Ashira Morris

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair

John Sexton

Vice Chair

John P. Howe, III

President

Robert F. Meenan

Secretary

Marjorie Malpiede

Treasurer

Amy Feldman

Member

Frederick Chicos

Member

Robert Caret

Member

Erta Hysenbegasi

Member

Zoe Ragouzeos


CONTE NTS 04 Emotional Health and Social Activism at Howard 09 Q&A: Dr. Gene Beresin 14 Veteran to Veteran 21 Opinion: Not the Country Promised 24 Bentley’s Big Idea 28 Opinion: Getting to Graduation 30 Q&A: Dr. Theo Manschreck 35 Shared Practices: Scaling Success 38 Mentoring with a Mission 45 Science Summary

Cover art by Daniel Chang Christensen Spot illustrations by Jia Sung


Emotional Health and Social Activism at Howard The D.C.-based HBCU steps up efforts to support its unique student profile By Marjorie Malpiede THIS year, Howard Uni- ican college kids face – home-

versity celebrates its 150th anniversary as the most comprehensive historically black college and university (HBCU) in the country. Offering degrees in medicine, law, arts, sciences, and humanities, Howard attracts talented students to its rich history, academic excellence, and African American immersion experience.

Many of its students are legacies and have dreamed of coming to the school since they were children, hoping to join the ranks of famous alumni like Thurgood Marshall, Toni Morrison and Taraji Henson. Just two miles from the Capitol in Washington, D.C., Howard’s social justice mission is also a significant draw for students, many of whom enter government, law, teaching, and advocacy. As teens and young adults, Howard students experience the same emotional and behavioral issues that all Amer04

sickness, stress, relationship issues, substance abuse. But as HBCU students at a particularly polarizing time in our country, they have a unique set of health and wellness issues that the school is working hard to address. Choosing Howard Sixty percent of Howard students are Pell grant-eligible. Their SAT scores parallel those of peers at highly competitive schools across the country, giving Howard the reputation as a school for high-achieving, low-income students of color. This is a profile that is sought after by diversity-conscious, prestigious institutions everywhere. Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick wants high-performing Black students to choose Howard for reasons beside its comforting environment where students and professors reflect their race and culture.

“No one does it better than we do when it comes to sending African American students to graduate programs or into the workforce,” said Frederick. “We have produced more Black physicians than any academic institution in the country.” Frederick, who is a physician and an alumnus from Howard, says that unlike many schools, Howard doesn’t just admit Black students, it sticks with them. One of Frederick’s top priorities since becoming president in 2015 is to better support students financially by adopting an innovative approach to degree completion. Examples include combining courses to allow for additional credits, expanding the amount of credits students can take, and adding a robust, year-round academic calendar that allows many students to graduate within a shorter time frame. “All of the focus on affordability has been on loans, and


that’s a part of it, but we need to talk about innovative ways to cut down on the student’s financial burden,” said Frederick, who thinks this kind of system innovation can save students as much as 25 percent on their tuition bill. A Community Concern Student health, and addressing the unique physical, be-

havioral, and emotional needs of Black students, is another, major priority for Frederick and something he views as an additional advantage for Howard. His position is both personal and professional. Frederick, who grew up in Trinidad, has sickle cell anemia. His mother said that if he wanted to study in a foreign

country, it would need to be at Howard, which has a sickle cell anemia center. “We want health and wellness here to be just as important as what you learn in the classroom and we need to apply that same sense of rigor to it,” he said. “We are constantly asking ourselves: Are we offering enough healthy choices

Photo by Justin D. Knight, Howard University

The Founder’s Library on Howard’s campus in Washington, D.C. 05


in our dining halls? Are we doing all we can to promote exercise?” Frederick is particularly concerned about students’ emotional and behavioral health, and believes Howard, and schools everywhere, need to take more of a preventative approach. The school is working hard on the front end, trying to do more screening to better understand the problems students are arriving with. A major target is overcoming stigma about mental health, which remains a problem in the African American community and in the cultures of many of their international students. “We don’t talk about mental illness in the ways that we need to,” he said. “We treat it differently than we do physical ailments, but just like having sickle cell, someone can have a major depression. We need to embrace the challenge by talking more openly about it.” According to a 2015 survey conducted by the Steve Fund and the JED Foundation, “Af06

rican American students are more likely than Caucasian students to say they tend to keep their feelings about the difficulty of college to themselves (75 percent vs. 61 percent). Among the barriers to seeking help, students reported “stigma and fear of what their family and community would think.” “Historically, people just never talked about mental health in the African American community,” said Kenneth Holmes, Howard’s Vice President for Student Affairs, who points to assimilation factors as one of the reasons. He hopes to increase help-seeking behaviors with better communication on campus. Holmes, with strong backing from Frederick, has made a significant effort to better support LGBTQ students, who he also believes have been impacted by a lack of acknowledgement within the African American community. “We have students who are just coming out now that they are in college, and we have to make sure they are getting the

support they need,” Holmes said. Dr. Ayana Watkins-Northern runs Howard’s well-regarded Counseling Center, which is staffed by several psychologists and a psychiatrist and benefits from close proximity to Howard’s hospital. She, like most of her peers, is seeing an increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety, depression, and stress-related illnesses. She says that there are fewer reported incidences of eating disorders at Howard compared to non-HBCUs and there may be fewer cases of sexual violence reported than expected at Howard compared to other schools. Substance abuse is “alive and well,” primarily alcohol and marijuana. She thinks more permissive marijuana laws, including legalization in the District of Columbia, has impacted prevalence as well as confusion. Watkins-Northern and Holmes both believe that Black students face unique


stressors that, in any individual, can lead to mental health problems. These include persistent exposure to prejudice, a higher likelihood to have experienced trauma, and financial anxiety. Tragic incidences like the death of Trayvon Martin and other high-profile police violence cases have caused increased anxiety among Black students. Watkins-Northern says the Black Lives Matter movement, while empowering, gives a voice to heightened concern over racism that today’s students are less familiar with and notes this can trigger a depressive response in students who are predisposed. Socio-economic stressors as well as many socio-political challenges faced by Howard students are major contributors to life-long mental health risks, according to Watkins-Northern. She also describes the early separation of parent and child caused by the demands of the work force as a contributor to mental health concerns.

here to avoid the same economic and social plight of their families but often are still worried sick they can’t stay, or even survive, based on the internalization of these challenges,” she said. Group therapy has been especially effective at Howard in addressing these types of concerns, said Watkins-Northern. “It allows them to see that other people are experiencing similar problems,” she said. “You’re not so different and you’re not alone.” Activism in an uncertain time Howard’s current students were only in grade school when the first African American family moved into the

White House. President Frederick says his young children, “have never known a president to be other than Black.” But these same students may have a new appreciation for the civil rights movement of their grandparents as they struggle with the racial overtones of the 2016 presidential campaign and the racist rhetoric of a re-energized white supremacy movement that has been active on college campuses. Student leaders at all HBCU’s have expressed concern over their administrations’ cooperation with President Trump and his ultra-conservative team at the White House. President Frederick attended an early meeting with Trump and newly appointed Educa-

“We don’t talk about mental illness in the ways that we need to. We treat it differently than physical ailments.” - Wayne A.I. Frederick, President, Howard University

“Many of our students come 07


tion Secretary Betsy Devos in what Ken Holmes said was an expression of cooperation regarding the federal government’s role in higher education funding. The students, however, were not pleased and joined peers throughout the country in vehemently opposing any association of HBCU’s with the Trump administration. Holmes

believes

adminis-

trators are more on the same page with the students than they think. He and Frederick have held several meetings on the subject with student leaders from Howard, as well as other schools in the District. “The students are telling us they want to understand our viewpoint,” he said. “What they really want to know is, ‘Do we share their passion on these issues?’ The answer is, ‘We do.’”

As Howard embarks on its next 150 years, how the institution and its students relate to the world around them remains a grounding principle. In acknowledging the advantages that Howard students have in attending a predominantly Black institution, Frederick says his goal for students is to prepare them well for the environment they will join once they leave.

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Q&A: Dr. Gene Beresin The executive director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds is making mental health information engaging and accessible Interviewed By Marjorie Malpiede

There is something immediately familiar about Dr. Gene Beresin. Perhaps it is because, as a national expert on the mental health of young people, he has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. It may be that his unique background as a musician, educator, and clinician makes him as relatable as he is credible. Credibility is a big deal to Beresin. As the Executive Director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, an educational institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), he has advised Hollywood on the authentic depiction of mental health and has produced a platform of multimedia resources for parents, teachers, and students on how to recognize and address mental illness. Beresin started the Clay Center to fill a critical gap in evidence-based information about the mental health of children, adolescents, and young adults. Now in its fourth year, the Center is increasingly focused on college students, a cohort with

a confluence of mental health issues contributing to what Beresin and others see as a national crisis. The Center’s “sweet spot” is presenting information in multiple ways over media platforms to make it accessible and effective for young people. This spring, the Center released its first film, “Looking for Luke,” which follows the parents of Luke, an Asian-American Harvard sophomore who took his own life, as they try to understand their son’s suicide. It is now being pre-screened on select campuses across the country, and in September, the Center will launch its formal tour with an accompanying discussion guide on suicide prevention. Beresin believes that stories and humor are the best ways to reach people. Both were in ample supply as we sat down to talk about the Clay Center’s latest work and its aspirations for the future.

Mary Christie Quarterly: Tell us about the Clay Center. How did it come to be? Gene Beresin: A lot of my clinical work has been focused on the 14 to 26 age group, so middle school through to young adulthood. I specialized in eating disorders for a long time, which is of course a huge issue among high schoolers and college students, but the Clay Center work came together around a couple of important dynamics. I was a musician before I became a doctor — I was very ambivalent about medical school. I knew I wanted to work with kids and families, and I always wanted to bring art, media, and narrative to my work. I first got involved in the media when “ER” started. At the time, Neal Baer (writer and producer of “ER”) was a Harvard Medical School student I knew, and after his pilot was produced, he asked if I would be the psychiatric consul09


tant for the show. I ended up spending six years consulting on the psychiatric problems patients and characters had on “ER.” I worked on a number of different TV projects, including four HBO specials, such as “Through a Child’s Eyes,” which was about young children’s understanding of the terrorist attack on 9/11. The more I got involved in TV, the more it became clear to me that the pop culture education the public was getting about mental health was awful: It was providing a lot of misinformation and reinforcing stigma, which is already rampant in our society and globally.

mental health beats? Did we really have to get all our information from Dr. Phil? Eventually, I came to the realization that I wanted to do public education on these issues. I was very fortunate to receive a generous grant from the Clay family, philanthropists who do a lot of great work in medical research and education.

So, the first assumption in founding the Clay Center was that a lot of what is being disseminated out there is not accurate. You Google mental health diagnosis and treatment and guess what? You get a lot of garbage. And then you get more garbage because the As a result of my work with Internet knows how to follow TV, I started to get calls from you to barrage you with simnews stations to talk about ilar, inferior information. I mental health. If some- sometimes try to trick Google one said, “Let’s bring in the by Googling information that shrink,” they often called me. doesn’t indicate I am a psychiatrist. It became clear to me that The second assumption is many reporters didn’t know what they were talking about. that when you work with Many were asking all the kids this age, you really can’t wrong questions and didn’t get around pop culture. You have a good sense of mental have to know what’s going on illness at all. Where were the in music, in movies, in social

Reliable information for the public always has to be backed by evidence-based research, but it also has to be entertaining and compelling. It has to be driven by narrative.

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media, and you have to communicate with them in a way that allows them to receive the information. That’s true for all audiences. We have the best data and the most highly regarded researchers in the world right here at MGH, but who wants to read citations? Reliable information for the public always has to be backed by evidence-based research, but it also has to be entertaining and compelling. It has to be driven by narrative. MCQ: What is the basic product? GB: We founded the Clay Center as an online platform that provides education about mental health sourced from medical professionals. We have three main areas of focus: normal development, current events, and psychiatric disorders. From the very beginning, we’ve tried to be the go-to place for this information. It’s a website where anyone can come and get evidence-based information in a simple-to-understand, narrative style. Storytelling is best done in multiple modalities, so we provide text, podcasts, and videos. People all learn differently, and we want our resources to be accessible to everyone. MCQ: Who is your primary audience?


Photo by John Gillooly

Dr. Gene Beresin, director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, in his Boston office.

GB: We started with a baseline of information-rich material focused primarily on answering parents’ questions: How do you know what’s normal? If something does not seem right, or if your child has a disorder, what are the sound tips for taking care of things? How do you talk to your kids about traumatic events? We have 300 posts on a variety of subjects from psychiatric disorders (“What is bipolar disorder?” “What is ADHD?”) to normative issues in families (“How do I deal with the death of a pet?” “What should I look out for at prom?”)

Over time, however, we found that a third of our audience is actually transitional-age youth. We are now revamping our material so it’s more tailored to that age group. We’re building out more multimedia. We need to reach that pre-millennial and millennial audience who wants to listen to a podcast while working out or watch a quick video on the train. We also want to write blogs in a style they can relate to. This fall, when we launch our new multimedia platform, we’ll be putting out videos tailored toward both adults

— parents, caregivers, school administrators, therapists — and younger audiences, such as college-age students. We will also include webinars for both groups, to provide an interactive component to the Center. MCQ: What brought you to focus so intentionally on the college age population? GB: The Clay Center is the psychiatric consultant to SAAD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), and we have worked with groups like Active Minds and other peer counseling organizations. It 11


became apparent to me that we have a major college mental health crisis in this country and more has to be done with this population and with parents, teachers, counselors, and university administrators.

about every school has long waiting lists for an appointment with a therapist.

The students probably don’t have easy access to the counseling services they need. Even if they did, they might not reach out to the counselWhen kids are in high ing center because there’s school, they’re still at home huge stigma on college camunder supervision with a sup- puses about going for psychiport structure. When they go atric help. off to college or into the “real There are all kinds of barriworld” at 18, we treat them ers to seeking help, including like autonomous adults. the fact that students worry But they aren’t. College stu- what others in their life will dents are at high risk – there’s think, that this will remain on a lack of supervision, their their permanent record, or brains don’t fully develop that it will not be confidential. until 26, and they do stupid The good news is that they’re things, often out of impulse seeking out the information and driven by emotions in the on their own. Today’s college moment. kids are eager It’s a very vulto learn about nerable poputhemselves, lation. When I and they’re started looking used to going at the onset online and of psychiatric looking things disorders, 50 up. percent ocWe can be cur before age an enormous 14, and up to resource for 75 percent occur by age 26. College-age students are at them as part of the solution. high, high risk. Half of college They also appreciate forums students will have a mental where they can talk about their challenges. health crisis. The ratio of counselors to college students averages about one certified counselor for 1,000 to 2,000 students, which is woefully inadequate. Just

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MCQ: How are you helping administrators deal with these issues? What are some of the things colleges can do?

GB: It’s very similar to the approach we take with parents: Here’s the data, and here’s what the experts are advising. So it’s education, education, education. We also give them ideas for what they can do to actually change the culture around mental health on campus. Ultimately, there needs to be a cultural change. We can’t just say, “This is just a phase that’s going to take care of itself.” I think the culture will change when the parents and students demand it. Some of this is going to cost money, but a lot of it can be integrated into what they already do. I think that ongoing programming is key. Freshmen get one or two talks on mental health during orientation that usually say, “If you’re stressed, we have this service. If you’re depressed, we have that service.” And that’s it. There’s no reason why they can’t have ongoing reminders and seminars that continually reach out to students and provide them with information that’s pertinent to their year in the college trajectory. I think making this education an ongoing, four-year part of the college experience would be incredibly valuable. Schools could also establish required group discussions around stress, anxiety, and depression to catch these


things early. We know that April to an audience of over can ask questions. We want there’s chronicity to mental 500 Asian and Asian-Ameri- to interact with the public and illness; the more episodes you can parents, faculty, and stu- answer concerns in real time. have, the more you’re going dents at Harvard. If I had my druthers, I’d host to get. If a mental health cona talk radio show with Steve cern is going Schozman. to start in colFor colleges, lege, spotting my goal it early can often prevent Ultimately, there needs to be a cultural change would be to it. Many al- [on college campuses.] We can’t just say, “This is not just have a platform ready have just a phase that’s going to take care of itself.” of material peer-counselthat’s going ing services to be shared, such as Acbut a stratetive Minds. gy for schools But more ongoing work in We made this film to doc- on how to organize all of this seminars, group discussions, ument the life of a student, information in a customized film, and art forums is need- Luke Tang, who died by sui- fashion for their own campused. But — and this goes back cide while at Harvard, after es. to the culture change — it also suffering from depression There are certain modes needs to be acceptable, if not since he was 13. The real powmainstream, to seek profes- er of the film is de-stigmatiz- that will change, but most of sional guidance, whether it is ing depression and suicide in this information is timeless. about a relationship problem, the Asian-American culture, We’re always looking for the a learning issue, a traumatic which typically does not rec- next Snapchat or the next Inexperience on campus, or a ognize depression as a mental stagram, but so many of these interventions — peer counbona fide psychiatric disor- illness. seling, group work, the use der, such as depression. The narrative largely focused of art, narrative and self-exAre we going to eliminate on his parents’ realization of pression, as well as learning psychiatric disorders? No, be- depression as an illness and how to better understand the cause some of the genetics that their mission to help educate mind-body-environment reare involved and some of the other parents about depres- lationship — can last a long, unfortunate traumas that we sion and its risks. We will long time. endure are going to happen, launch a full tour of the film, Dr. Gene Beresin is a full probut preventative programs, along with a tutorial, this fall. fessor of psychiatry at Harvard starting in grade school and Overall, our game plan for Medical School and senior continuing through college, the Clay Center is to go from educator in child and adoleswould be very helpful. “informational” to “interac- cent psychiatry at MGH. He MCQ: What are some of tive,” so we will supplement received a B.A. in music from your new initiatives? pre-produced video podcasts Princeton University and an and blogs with webinars and M.A. in philosophy along with GB: We screened our first other live, online venues, like his M.D. from the University of film “Looking for Luke” in Facebook Live, where people Pennsylvania. 13


Veteran to Veteran Peer networks work to overcome the stigma that student veterans face in accessing care By Ashira Morris SINCE 2009, more than a

million veterans have used their Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to attend colleges and universities across the country. That number is only expected to increase in the coming years as more military personnel return from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, seeking degrees to bolster their civilian careers. For many, the transition from military to campus life can be challenging for a host of reasons, including the fact that a large percentage are returning with physical and non-apparent disabilities acquired during training and in combat. These conditions, along with other challenges related to re-entry, have prompted schools to step up their efforts to support those who have served. The question now is how to create an environment where student veterans will access the services that are becoming available to them. 14

Peer networks may be the answer.

Ten years ago, Adam LeGrand was on his final deployment as an Air Force medic in Qatar when a serious accident led to a medical discharge for the resulting back injuries. After going back and forth between dead-end jobs and suffering a debilitating panic attack that set him back emotionally, he heard about the veterans support program at Syracuse University and immediately applied to the school. The private school in upstate New York has had a large vet-

eran presence since the original GI Bill in 1918 brought nearly 800 vets to campus. Like many colleges, it has a Student Veterans Organization and a veteran’s lounge. It’s also home to the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), the first interdisciplinary academic institute of its kind, and an active chapter of Student Veterans of America, a national network for student veteran groups on campus. (The current president of SVA earned a degree at Syracuse and came to the presidency from the IVMF.) LeGrand was accepted at Syracuse and started classes last August. Since arriving on campus, he has been deeply connected with the veterans organizations on and off campus. Because of these relationships and his candid approach to his own disability, the SVA named him one of the first Disabled Veteran Disability Services Liaisons (DSL) as they pilot the program.


Photo by Stephen Sartori

The annual Syracuse University Student Veterans Resource Center group photo.

In this role, LeGrand is the link between fellow student veterans, the office of disability services, the veterans recruiting office, the Veterans Administration (VA), and academic campus departments,

ensuring fellow vets receive the health services and classroom accommodations they need. It’s a critical link. An estimated 20 percent of student

veterans have post-traumatic stress or depression. Nineteen percent have a traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to a national survey by Syracuse’s IVMF, nearly half of the student veterans were think15


ing about suicide; twenty percent had a plan.

world, coming forward and asking for help can be a tall order.

While veterans often don’t transition out of the military in time for orientations that begin weeks before classes, most issues aren’t because of poor communication about what’s available. Stigma is a much higher mountain to climb.

Encouraging help-seeking behaviors in student veterans Veterans are physically and is one of the biggest challenges psychologically in a different advocates like LeGrand face. place than most freshmen After spending years on a reg- who show up straight from imented military schedule, high school. campus life can be disorienting and open-ended. “We’re teaching veterans that ‘disability’

“The culture around doesn’t disability for veterans is “You don’t mean ‘broken.’ It just means you have to do things w e a k n e s s , ” take care a little differently.” Standage of yourself - Dan Standage, Director of Disability in said. “That when you’re culture and in,” said Dan Education, Student Veterans of America pride gets in Standage, Dithe way of rector of Disstudent vetability in Education for SVA. They have often lived over- erans getting the help they “You take care of yourself seas; some have seen combat. need, and that’s assuming last. [A supervisor] tells you They are in their mid-20s or they even know the services when you go down to medexist.” ical. When you get out, that older. Many have families. The VA reports that 38 permentality still prevails. You’re They joined the military afwaiting around for someone ter high school in good health, cent of all veterans returning to tell you what to do.” then may have acquired a dis- from Post-9/11 missions have a disability and as many as 20 On a college campus, the ability – physical or mental or percent have a mental health onus is on the student to seek both – during their service. condition. out the health services they The stress of a military deYet only 14 percent of vetneed; for student veterans, ployment, even without seewho also carry the military’s ing combat, can be enough to erans who are eligible for services on campus are us“tough-it-up” attitude toward lead to mental health issues. ing them. Considering 51 mental health into the civilian 16


percent of student veterans report having some kind of service-connected disability, and 80 percent of those reported that their disability has a negative impact on their academics, these statistics are concerning, especially since veterans with disabilities are using higher education to transition into civilian society. “We’re teaching veterans that ‘disability’ doesn’t mean ‘broken,’” Standage said. “It just means you have to do things a little differently.” “Differently” can mean going to a psychiatrist or a peer-counseling group specific to student veterans. It also can mean asking for accommodations, such as additional testing time, different testing locations, and note takers – all of which can have an enormous effect on a student veteran’s success. Just sitting in a classroom can be hard, as veterans tend to constantly scan the room for danger and feel uneasy sitting with their backs to the door. Concentration can be difficult, especially if they have an un-

treated TBI. For infantry soldiers who have experienced combat, the sound of students walking through the halls in flip-flops can sound like a machine gun.

barrassed of their disability or don’t feel they deserve testing accommodations.

For veterans who return with a physical disability, pain and other symptoms associated with their injuries can make their attendance in class less consistent. They also may be on pain medicines that affect their ability to concentrate and take notes. The more alienated veterans feel for making the requests they need, the less likely they are to set themselves up for success. Conversely, Standage notes, veterans want to help their peers out and can be the key to normalizing help seeking. LeGrand understands this. As a veteran himself, his encouragement carries more weight than a recommendation from an administrator who hasn’t been in a conflict zone. He is conscious of providing the best approaches for 23-40-year-olds who have life experience but might be em-

“Some students perceive the counseling center as a place where an 18-year-old goes when their pet dies, not a place where their service-related, post-traumatic stress can be addressed,” Standage said. This semester, LeGrand helped out one recently enrolled veteran with a diagnosed learning disability due to a brain injury. He talked

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him through the process of how to access accommodations on campus, then walked with him to the VA to help set up medical services. “Adam has the pioneering spirit that defines servant leadership, the genetic code of the DSL,” Standage said. “He’s using leadership to reframe disability in the student

LeGrand also leads by example: He is upfront and public about his own post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. He brings his service dog, Molly, a Yellow Lab/Golden Retriever/Wolfhound mix he received from the K9s for Warriors program, wherever he goes on campus. He mentors student veterans in the process of being admitted to Syracuse so they know where to go from day one. It’s not only a lesson in how to access care, but also, implicitly, a statement that it’s okay to do so. “I can’t be a combat medic anymore, physiologically and emotionally, but I can still take care of my veteran family,” LeGrand said. “My duty is to continue the mission.”

veteran space. Mentorship is instinctive to veterans, and Adam is bringing that familiar element to a place [disability in education] that is largely unfamiliar to veterans.”

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As the programs at private universities like Syracuse have proven, veteran peer networks are a powerful way to support student veterans. The same is true of community colleges, where over 30 percent of veterans using Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits go for their degrees. But for these

schools, encouraging student veterans to access help is only part of the problem. Community colleges face challenges to provide health services for any of their students: They tend not to have fully staffed counseling centers or robust help-seeking cultures. For a veteran already reluctant to seek out services on his or her own, this can be detrimental. This spring, Ann Cheney co-authored the first published study on the mental health concerns of veterans enrolled at community colleges. It surveyed 11 community colleges in rural regions throughout Arkansas. “Community colleges are already underserved and under-resourced,” said Cheney, now an assistant professor at the University of California-Riverside. “We wanted to talk to student veterans at these schools about their mental health burden and their ideal models for care.” The study’s authors listened to stories from veterans


whose trauma led to sleep disturbance, hypervigilance, irritable or aggressive behavior, and difficulty concentrating. “Our findings underscore the need for supportive services in higher education to integrate student veterans into campus communities and refer them to mental healthcare resources [to help them work] toward improving their academic success,” Cheney said. Despite the need, a scant 12 percent of community colleges have a psychiatrist or other licensed prescriber on staff or contracted to provide services. Most do not provide suicide prevention resources. This means that student veterans have to seek out care from community services, usually the VA. In rural areas like the ones Cheney studied, the students needed to drive to access care. “Even with VA benefits, they may not have the gas money to get there,” she said. “It becomes low on their priority list.”

“I can’t be a combat medic any more, but I can still take care of my veteran family. My duty is to continue the mission.” - Adam LeGrand, Disability Services Liaison, Syracuse University Many veterans struggle financially, and they often don’t see their personal mental health as a direct concern. But they do recognize the stress that comes from a tight budget. Like many community college students, veterans often need to work a job in addition to attending classes. On a daily basis, they are juggling roles as an employee, student, partner, and parent. On top of that, Cheney said, there’s also their history of combat or general exposure to violence, which exacerbates mental health issues and stigma. Like Standage, she notes that the military culture toward help-seeking carries over when they transition into the civilian world. They still see it as a weakness, still adhering to a “suck it up

and get through it” mentality. One of the combat veterans Cheney interviewed in Arkansas told her that his experience in combat is his “cross to bear,” and that it was his duty to suffer from it. Throughout the interviews, the veterans consistently listed a peer-led model as their preferred way to connect with information and care. Cheney and her team worked with the student veterans, administration, and the community to create the suggested peer-topeer system. They established peer advisors and had strong support from the school administration. In the schools with institutional and community support, the program took hold.

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But others died after the research team left. Because of the high turnover rates at two-year programs, maintaining traction in a peer program can be a challenge. This, Cheney said, is where SVA and other national organizations can make the difference: their institutional support is consistent even as students and staff turn over.

The SVA’s Disability Services Liaison has the potential to carry forward the peer model with national, institutional backing. Although the program is currently in a pilot phase, of the 11 schools that current have the toolkit, three have been especially active: Syracuse and two community colleges, Riverside City College and

Substance Abuse on College Campuses New Solutions to a Perennial Problem

Pima Community College. This fall, Adam LeGrand will be a senior at Syracuse, a year away from completing his degree in communications and rhetorical studies. He’ll continue serving as the school’s SVA Disability Services Liaison, meeting other student veterans peer to peer, soldier to soldier.

Join national leaders in higher education, substance use prevention and policymaking to discuss the latest trends, challenges and innovations in addressing student substance use on America’s college campuses.

October 17, 2017 v University of Maryland Presented by:

For more information and to RSVP: HazeldenBettyFord.org/Solutions 20


Opinion: Not the Country Promised The federal government’s travel ban sends an unwelcome message to international students and faculty By Martin T. Meehan, MPA, JD

Martin T. Meehan, President, University of Massachusetts system

undocumented students. We have U.S. citizens with dual nationality, legal permanent residents, and people with pending green cards who are worried about their ability to travel, their rights if approached by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and their safety and security on and off campus. Meanwhile, U.S. citizen students, faculty, and staff are understandably concerned for their international peers.

headlines, sparked protests and legal challenges, and created anxiety and confusion among a large population in this country who are no longer sure if they’re welcome here.

Shortly after the first immigration order in January, two UMass Dartmouth engineering professors — both Iranian immigrants who have lived in the United States as lawful permanent residents for more than a decade — were detained at Boston’s Logan Airport on a return trip from an academic conference in Paris.

At the University of Massachusetts, these policies have sowed a real sense of fear on our five campuses — and not just among Visa holders or

With help from ACLU lawyers, they were released after four hours, but their detention sent a clear message about how directly these pol-

RECENT federal immigration policies have made

icies would affect us as a university. The incident had a profound impact on our university community. We have 7,300 international students, 850 international employees with temporary visas – mainly post-docs, faculty and medical residents – and 1,300 employees — largely faculty — who immigrated and are now permanent legal residents. Of those, more than 300 students and 166 faculty and staff hail from the six countries targeted by the President’s initial immigration order, many of whom were — and still are — confused, scared, outraged, or a combination thereof regarding the administration’s plans and their own fate. In response to these policies, we have taken decisive steps to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students, regardless of immigration status, and to reaffirm our commitment to welcoming international scholars. 21


In February, UMass joined Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s lawsuit against the federal government over the first executive order. In March, the university joined — also through Healey’s office — a suit brought by the State of Washington over the second executive order.

We welcomed our first international student to UMass in 1870. Today, we actively recruit the most innovative faculty, the brightest minds, and the most promising entrepreneurs from around the world. We invite them here to enrich our campuses with their knowledge and their perspec-

And we are not alone. Every sector of society is enhanced by the intellectual contribution of non-citizens. Every sector is harmed by an attempt to marginalize or exclude them. Closing our minds and our borders weakens our stature in every sense, and it strikes at the very concept of what it means to be American.

We have established a s y s t e m - w i d e These international scholars are not just a These polii m m i g ra t i o n welcome addition to our campuses – they are an task force, essential part of our mission, our identity, and cies are disheartening. hosted immiour success. This is simgration town ply not the hall sessions, country we launched a promised voluntary tives, to spark the economy our international students travel registry, and created with cutting-edge ideas and campus-specific immigration inventions, and to work on and scholars when we invited resources to support our stu- collaborative research that them to study, teach, and conduct research here. dents and faculty. solves global problems like We are assessing the need for summer housing for students who are not comfortable leaving the country or traveling for academic breaks, and we continue to work with various higher education industry organizations to lobby against harmful immigration policy. We will do everything in our power to mitigate the effects of these ill-advised, harmful actions, because our mission as a public research university dedicated to advancing knowledge and transforming lives is at stake.

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HIV-AIDS and Ebola.

These international scholars are not just a welcome addition to our campuses; they are an essential part of our mission, our identity, and our success. They make us more competitive, more innovative, and more empathetic, and the intercultural bonds we develop make us stronger and safer. We can’t be a world-class research institution and not reach out to scientists, scholars, and faculty members from all over the world.

While many on our campuses have been shaken, we feel strongly that the true spirit of America — a nation of immigrants in search of a better life, a land of opportunity, where liberty and justice are promised for all — will prevail. University of Massachusetts President Martin Meehan is the first undergraduate alumnus to lead the five-campus UMass system. He is also a former member of the U.S. House or Representatives


MCF Launches Young Adult Council The Mary Christie Foundation welcomes its inaugural thought leadership council of college students By Ashira Morris AS part of its agenda to support the health and wellbeing of college students, the Mary Christie Foundation has launched a Young Adult Council, a group of students or recent graduates who are passionate about these issues. The growing list of members will serve as a thought leadership council, bringing the knowledge and insight of their college experiences to the Foundation’s work to share best practices and convene influencers in the area of student health and wellbeing. The three inaugural Council members are: Kyle Bodge (University of Vermont ‘19), Molly Hawes (Brown University ‘17), and Yema Yang (Brown University ‘19). All three are student leaders who have already made an impact on the health and wellness cultures on their campuses. For two years, Bodge has lived in UVM’s Wellness Envi-

ronment, a housing program dedicated to incentivizing healthy choices over high-risk behaviors through education. He also served as president of UVM Students for Disability Advocacy and Awareness. Hawes and Yang have both served as peer mental health advocates with Project LETS (Let’s Erase The Stigma), a peer mentoring and advocacy group founded at Brown University. They helped plan the Ivy League Mental Health Conference this February. Since her graduation in May, Hawes is now the Director of Expansion for Project LETS, working to bring the organization to more campuses across the country. Yang has contributed to various Project LETS activities, including a high school mental health awareness program and a student mental health handbook. Over the course of the year, the Council members will par-

ticipate in Foundation meetings, contribute to the Mary Christie Quarterly, and give feedback on special projects, lending their perspective as college students on how administrators and policymakers can help improve student health and wellness on campus. The Council will be chaired by Blair Ballard, a previous MCF Young Voices winner, and will be supported by Mary Christie Foundation staff members Dana Humphrey and Ashira Morris. “Suffering from a mental illness as a college student comes with distinct challenges that administrators, faculty and on-campus providers are often unable to see or understand,” Ballard said. “Bringing the student perspective to the Foundation through the Young Adult Council will empower students to actively engage with our thought leaders to drive more effective changes to the way we support mental illness on campus.” 23


Bentley’s Big Idea Cultivating wellbeing and engagement in our future business leaders By Gloria Larson, Esq.

IN higher education, the proficient in applying knowl- proper level of support and

term “readiness” has traditionally been associated with attaining an appropriate level of skill within a certain discipline. As a corporate buzz word, readiness is now a euphemism for “making it in the real world” which, as the research shows, can mean everything from technical proficiency to cultural competency to communicating well with your colleagues.

At Bentley University, our interpretation of readiness has increasingly leaned toward the development of our students’ wellness and well-being. As a business school, our thinking is formed by the proven correlation of well-being to employee engagement, the types of strengths employers are seeking, and what “success” means to our students and alumni. According to an Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) study, which surveyed over 400 private and non-profit organizations, fewer than three in 10 think that recent college graduates are

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edge and skills in real-world settings or areas such as critical thinking and communication. Another recent study by PayScale found that skills such as communication, leadership, ownership, and teamwork were lacking in newly graduated job seekers.

Today’s organizations are less hierarchical and more reliant on teams. Collaboration and joint problem solving are valued competencies. Other evidence suggests that these “softer skills,” including empathy for people of different backgrounds and ties to your community, are also what make graduates more productive workers. The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index, which surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. college graduates, found that those who were emotionally supported during college, and who had experiential and deep learning, were more likely to report higher levels of longterm well-being. A college program that is designed to give students the

learning leads graduates to engaging jobs after graduation. Gallup’s research over 30 years has found that those with high levels of engagement at work after college — meaning they are intellectually and emotionally connected with their organizations and work teams — will in turn report high levels of well-being, putting them on track for a rewarding career and life. Gallup gauges well-being through five key elements: a sense of purpose, social connections, community engagement, financial security, and physical health. Bentley commissioned a Gallup study of our alumni the same year the Gallup-Purdue Index was released, giving us tremendous insight into how our alumni faired among these dimensions against the national average. The results were exciting: Bentley alumni averaged 5.4 percentage points above the national average on each of the five well-being elements, and the number of Bentley


graduates thriving in all five elements was 44 percent higher than the national average. Through the survey, we were able to identify the factors that played into those numbers from an undergraduate perspective: Those with higher levels of well-being reported having faculty members who showed a level of concern for them, a mentor who encouraged their aspirations, internships that connected them with their strengths, and leadership positions on campus. With this as the baseline, Bentley conducted our own survey with current students and dug deeper into the notion of well-being. One of the factors we studied was hope. We asked: Are you hopeful about what will happen in the future? The other was strength in self-efficacy: Do

ing more than five athletic events a semester were more likely to report high levels of well-being than those who did not (80 percent vs. 55 percent). Students who were Resident Assistants or pursued service learning also drove up higher levels of engagement and well-being. you know y o u r strengths and are you relying on those rather than overcompensating for what you don’t do well?

O f all of these factors, we learned that co-curricular activities were key drivers for engagement and well-being. For example, students who reported attend-

Armed with this information, we asked ourselves, “If these factors are so important for so many reasons, how do we make engagement and well-being an institutional priority?” In some ways, Bentley is the ideal beta site for this work. As a medium-sized residential school of business students, our students are a self-selecting, homogenous cohort. We are proud of our history of having graduates who “hit the ground running,” 25


but as an institution driven by equal parts data and instinct, we needed to explore that dynamic and understand how to make it even better. Our effort started in Student Affairs which, at Bentley, has always had a prominent seat at the president’s table. All of these leaders, whether in residential life, athletics, the health center, or the workstudy program, had a student-centered mindset. At the same time, we believed working with them to create more intentional opportunities to interact with students would establish an even higher expectation among students that there are many people here who care about them. Operationally, Bentley is creating a model to ensure that all programs are designed to impact a student’s well-being and engagement. This includes examining how our programs help students understand and use their strengths. We created a self-assessment tool for current and future programs that helps determine if what

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we are offering includes best practice opportunities like mentorships, self-efficacy, and reflection. We conducted a gap analysis to understand where we fall short and we are using that information to identify opportunities for improvement.

Our approach to this work includes some important assumptions. We want students to be thinking about their own wellness and to help them understand well-being with a much broader perspective. Following Gallup’s premise that it is not where

The Women’s Leadership Program at Bentley’s Center for Women and Business Bentley’s Center for Women and Business is focused on advancing women leaders at all stages of their careers. While all Bentley students receive the same best-in-class business education, the CWB provides female students with strategies for self-advocacy and leadership advancement within the reality of workplace gender dynamics. According to a 2016 study from Bain and Co. and LinkedIn, women not only enter the workforce with less confidence and lower aspirations for top management than men, the gap persists as they reach mid-career. The CWB recently launched a four-year leadership program that empowers

young women with critical skills and strategies before they enter the workforce. Students participate in co-curricular and classroom learning and gain real world perspectives from business leaders. The program fosters confidence by enhancing communications and leadership competencies and building an understanding of gender equity issues. The CWB received $1 million in seed funding from corporate partner Liberty Mutual Insurance. “The program is designed to empower women to lead, to give them the skills training and exposure to be more successful, satisfied and happy in their careers,” said Director Deborah Pine.


you go to college but how you go to college, we worked with student leaders to create a marketing program that helps all students develop their own road maps to well-being and engagement. We divided our programs into three areas: leadership opportunities, co-curricular programs, and counseling/advising programs. Soon, we will be able to map out exactly how an individual can follow his or her own personal journey to well-being through four years of college.

up for everything,” we should encourage them to pursue only those activities that are beneficial and authentic, and not just resume-worthy.

Like all highly competitive schools, we must examine our culture and how that plays into the wellness and well-being of our students. Ours is an environment focused on success, with career path training that begins freshman year and highly motivated students that tend to over-extend. Instead of accepting — or even tacitly rewarding — this intensity, we should be encouraging balance and rest. For students who tend to stand apart, we should find pathways for positive relationships. For those who “sign

We view women’s confidence as a specific health and wellness issue as well and are looking at student engagement and well-being through a gender lens. Our Center for Women and Business offers programs designed to empower women to lead by giving them the

Students of color and first-generation students have both similar and unique wellness issues. We want to do much better in supporting these students specifically, both in terms of improving diversity in our community, and in making diversity education an experiential learning opportunity.

skills and the knowledge to be more successful and satisfied in their careers. It addresses what research continues to show as a “confidence gap” between men and women, a phenomenon that is evident as women enter the workforce and persists as they reach mid-career. In each of these categories, we look forward to measuring our progress and identifying the gaps, though not everything can be quantified. We will consider this effort a success if we continue to give our students the skillset, as well as the mindset, to be passionate about what they do and how they’re engaged in the world around them. Gloria Cordes Larson, Esq., is the President of Bentley University. A prominent lawyer, public policy expert, and business leader, Larson was elected to the presidency in 2007 and is the first woman to serve in this post.

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Opinion: Getting to Graduation Helping low-income women obtain community college degrees requires comprehensive approach By Lynne Bannister security, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation for Women & Girls launched a pilot program aimed at addressing the problem head-on. They worked with Norwalk Community College to help women access the higher education and skills training they needed to gain higher earning jobs and improved financial stability.

Lynne Bannister Systems Coordinator, Supportive Housing WORKS Inc.

A new report chronicling that work provides evidence that a “bundled service” approach to addressing the gap has had significant success.

THE paradox of communi- United States Department ty colleges is that they are the of Education research found institutions best positioned to close the wage gap, and yet many students do not graduate due to socio-economic stressors that transcend the classroom. In 2008, based on research indicating that the most critical need of low-income women in Fairfield County, Connecticut was better economic

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that from 2003 to 2009, fewer than half of US students who entered two-year public colleges earned credentials or transferred to a four-year school within six years of enrollment. When these students drop out, their loss is compounded by the fact that they may have spent years and invested tuition money in a program that didn’t result

in the degree that would open career doors. Community college students face a host of challenges generally not experienced by more affluent students at four-year universities. They are likely working a job in addition to attending school. Over a third of community college students are the first in their family to go to college. Forty percent begin enrolled in non-credit remedial programs that must be completed before beginning their degree-earning courses, making the experience longer and more expensive. On top of these situational factors, most community colleges do not have fully-staffed counseling and psychiatric service centers, or other student support services tailored to the needs of working, low-income female students, many of whom are sole providers of dependent children. In response, the Fund for


Advocates believe, and prior evidence indicates, that providing a comprehensive package of services can maximize a student’s chance of success. Women & Girls of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation created the Family Economic Security Program in 2008. Its goal was to assist low- and moderate-income working students, with an emphasis on single parent women, in earning post-secondary education degrees — credentials that would, in turn, lead to careers that provide family-sustaining wages and benefits. The pilot Family Economic Security Program was a partnership with Norwalk Community College. Students identified as lower-income parents, working a job while in school, received “hightouch” academic and financial counseling, peer support, and scholarship assistance. The program believed that frequent contact and support for

students would increase their chances of graduating with an associate degree or transferring to a four-year program. Four years and three cohorts of participants later, their theory was proven correct. Early evaluations showed the FESP students were outperforming other students in both academic credits and graduation rates. The average Norwalk Community College student earned 17.7 credits in two years. The FESP participants earned over 30. The average Norwalk Community College graduation rate is 14 percent. The FESP participant graduation rate, although varied across cohorts, is consistently higher than 25 percent. The program’s success led to an additional program at Housatonic Community Col-

lege in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Launched in 2015, the HCC pilot formed a larger staff than the NCC pilot and set its intention to leverage off-campus services. The HCC pilot will serve 400 low and moderate income students over four years and will provide more intensive and integrated academic, career development, and financial coaching services than the NCC effort. Advocates believe, and prior evidence indicates, that providing this comprehensive package of services can maximize a student’s chance of success. We hope it can serve as a model for community colleges throughout the country that know all too well that just offering an academic experience is not enough. Lynne Bannister is the Systems Coordinator for the Social Innovation Fund grant at Supportive Housing WORKS, Inc. which pairs supportive housing with improved health outcomes for very vulnerable men and women. She has had a long career in public health and social services in both the Connecticut and Boston area. 29


Q&A: Dr. Theo Manschreck The psychiatrist and scholar schizophrenia in young people

shines

light

on

Interviewed By Marjorie Malpiede

Dr. Theo Manschreck has spent his entire career helping people with mental illness live well in a challenging world. The nationally renowned psychiatrist and researcher is a leading authority on schizophrenia, a progressive disease that afflicts 3.2 million Americans.

Stigma and misinformation compound the problem, as he learned from his subsequent work in other institutions, with veterans, and as a social worker on the South Side of Chicago.

Decades later, after degrees from Cornell and Harvard, esteemed positions and fellowLike bipolar disorder and ships, Manschreck remains other mental illnesses, schizo- a compassionate champion phrenia most often presents for people with mental illness in young adulthood, making and a strong believer in the rethe identification and address- search that will help improve ment of the disease an import- the quality of their lives. ant issue for parents, caregivWhile he still sees patients, ers, and colleges, as well as Manschreck works with the individuals. Massachusetts Department of The pursuit and application Mental Health as Chief Medical of emerging information about Officer for southeastern Masmental illness is the pinnacle sachusetts, where he hopes to of Manschreck’s long career introduce a new, holistic model in mental health, which began for treating early schizophrein college when he took a sum- nia. mer job as a hospital mental In our interview, he demonhealth worker. It was then that strates his deep knowledge of he first realized that people generally have a poor appre- the discoveries that have been ciation for the pain of mental made in the past and talks about the important work that illness. lies ahead. 30

Mary Christie Quarterly: What information are you learning about schizophrenia that will help people struggling with this disease, as well as those who may eventually become schizophrenic? Theo Manschreck: I think things are changing about our concept of schizophrenia; the work that is being done in early intervention is teaching us new ways of looking at the disorder. In the last few decades, there were a number of international centers, most notably in Australia, that had delved into the differences between younger people with early schizophrenia and those that have been living with the established disease. They found that the young people often had very different needs than those that were ten years older; those who were at early stages had different manifestations characterized more commonly as


“behavior” problems, such as substance abuse problems, legal entanglements, and academic struggles.

it. The earliest manifestations were not necessarily psychosis symptoms but anxiety, depressed m o o d , Meanwhile, and other there has been a lot of great non-specific symptoms — exwork done in linking early periences that most anyone diagnosis to outcomes. Wer- could have as a problem. ner Mendel, a psychiatrist at UCLA, followed about 500 There was something differpeople who had the disease ent about these people, but it for many years. wasn’t clear what that was, how to identify them, and ultiIn delving into the histories mately, how to manage them. of the people who became ill, he discovered that many of MCQ: Why is early diagnothem had experienced earli- sis so important? er episodes of illness three or TM: One of the key concepts four times before they were ever admitted to a hospital for in understanding how this illtreatment and first diagnosed ness develops is to understand that the duration of time a with the disease. person is ill before treatment The reason was that these begins is a critical variable. episodes were characterized This is called DUP, duration of by things like social with- untreated psychosis. drawal, truancy from school, This is really the crux of it getting arrested — events that were associated with “trou- because the earlier you know, bled kids” whose parents and the earlier you can medicate, peers saw them as “having a or manage, and the better the patient outcomes will be. tough time.” Some very important research was done in the early ‘90s by Richard Wyatt and others that showed that the amount of time the person had been psychotic before The problem was we didn’t he or she was treated was a have good ways of identifying better predictor of outcome What Mendel discovered was that for these individuals, the disease had actually started long before the first diagnosis.

than they had ever anticipated. It became pretty clear that something was going on in the psychosis experience that was important. Wyatt suggested that it was a reflection of the fact that psychosis was a symptom, like a fever. Underlying that symptom was a subtle but continuing and significant form of brain damage. Logic has it that the sooner you can intervene, the better the patient outcomes will be. In fact, there is some evidence — and I think this needs to be amplified — that some of the efforts at early intervention may be pretty successful at averting much of what we think of as the illness. That makes schizophrenia more in line with other progressive diseases like cancer or Parkinson’s. If you make a positive intervention, you may be able to not only stop it; you might actually arrest it to some extent. Unfortunately, this is very new and I’m not sure the evidence is there to say much more than, “It seems possible.” MCQ: So how do you address this challenge? TM: Certain criteria are being developed to objectify what we can diagnose. A fundamental question is:

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Photo by Trey Piepmeier

Dr. Theo Manschreck at his home in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

If you have a group of people with non-specific symptoms and you really can’t reliably make a diagnosis of a schizophrenia illness, how do you segregate out from all the symptomatic phenomena the ones that are most predictive of “conversion to psychosis” and which may indicate more definitively that schizophrenia is present?

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Many of the people evaluated and followed may not experience these conversions and may actually get better and not have the same pattern of a typical case of schizophrenia. Some of what we know is that there are cases associated with genetic (familial) background, but many, if not most, cases do not have such a family history.

There’s another category of greater risk we call “schizotypal disorder.” These are people with odd beliefs or peculiar behaviors, some believing they experience peculiar sensations, have telekinetic abilities, or fortune telling capacities. They may be seen clinically and a subgroup of them will go on to have a schizophrenia illness.


Then there is the traditional psychotic diagnostic presentation that usually is clearly easier to diagnose — being delusional and disorganized in your behavior, and so on.

and various stressful factors: Most were 18 or 19, and this was the first time they had been away from home.

They were in the military going through rigorous and daunting MCQ: What are some of the psychologically implications of this for col- training. Their efforts were demanding, the separation leges? from familiar circumstances TM: If you consider that such as home and family was schizophrenia is typical- abrupt and challenging, and ly diagnosed before your the disconnection from prior mid-twenties, and that the on- social ties fostered a sense of set of the disease could occur loss and anxiety. several years earlier, there The ingredients were asare college-age students who could have this happen to sembled for possible clinical them.

sities need to be able to identify the people who are at risk early on. Hence, it is useful to provide opportunities for counseling and support in various aspects of student life, especially at the beginning of college life. The stresses begin at the outset of a college career, so early recognition is useful to plan for when it comes to student health, campus life, and academic settings.

It’s not altogether clear to me that effective interventions can be guaranteed without the contributions There are a lot of profesof others who If the master quest is to understand what’s going s i o n a l s , get through colbut peer lege and only on with people as early as you can and to get them s u p p o r t experience such the help that they need as quickly as you can, we and other illness later. must confront the fact that stigma continues to sources of This is importassistance ant because pa- be a barrier. are likely tient outcomes to be valuare largely deable on termined by troubles. Those troubles had campus as well. where you are on the train of a clear base rate with each inScreenings through health life when you get the illness. coming group of recruits. services of general and psyYears back, I did some conNot unlike the military, col- chological health, as well as sultations with young people lege can bring various forms information about health priwho were recently recruited of stress. There is a big dif- or to college, can be useful, of into the military to observe ference between the cohort course. those who were hospitalized that is experiencing typical Interviews or well-supportfor psychotic breaks and to stress-related disorders and determine who needed to those that will develop schizo- ed, clinically-reliable quesbe discharged from military phrenia, but there are defi- tionnaires may be important duty. It was a very sad experi- nitely a number of people in to identify those who are at some risk. ence in many ways. college who will be at risk. A lot of what I saw was a collision between young people

As much as possible, univer-

By estimating stress and psychological distress factors ac33


knowledged by individuals as important and registering an impact on them, these tactics can help college personnel identify people who are at greater risk.

into the proper diagnostic categories?

These are young people who may or may not have schizophrenia. They may have other disorders. This is a model that Also, in a campus setting, works for bipolar disorder, there is much opportunity to which is by far more prevaobserve and monitor how stu- lent. dents are doing. The first episode programConsider what may be ming assumes there are learned through academic multi-components — that performance, for example. you will need a variety of eviCareful research, designed dence-based supports to make to answer the questions re- it work — from medication quired to find the keys to ear- and psychiatric assistance, ly identification, has promise vocational and educational in achieving relevant useful assistance, and other supports that keep people on the train. ends. One of the most useful comThere is so much informa- ponents to this, especially for tion of course to be learned in kids who are pretty young, is this area — we are at an early what’s called “family psycho stage in this set of endeavors. education.” MCQ: What are some of the This brings family members strategies that are working together to learn how to probin this area? lem solve, educate themselves TM: One of the innovations about illness, and learn how that started overseas and is to be most helpful. For many coming here now is program- families, useful teaching may ming that is referred to as be about insurance and navigating the systems of care “first-episode psychosis.” provided to those with mental It is getting people in early illness. through a network of associIt may also be a critical factor ations like teachers, pastors, in shoring up confidence. and parents. We’re going to start something similar here in Massachusetts. The challenge is: How do you get people in, and once you do, what do you do to help them by getting them

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MCQ: What are the ongoing challenges? TM: The biggest problem, which is related to everything we talked about today, is removing stigma from the equa-

tion. If the master quest is to understand what’s going on with people as early as you can and to get them the help that they need as quickly as you can, we must confront the fact that stigma continues to be a barrier. Stigma affects the individual with mental symptoms in many ways. Fear of stigma in young people at risk may dishearten those who are seeking help, make them withdraw socially, and ultimately not get help. And it may make them feel ashamed, isolated, and discouraged. Parents and other relatives may also become affected by stigma. Stigma is a disgrace and reflects on us all.


Shared Practices: Scaling Success NASH applies a collective impact approach to student success By Marjorie Malpiede THE National Association “What NASH does is put best the metrics that track a stuof System Heads (NASH) in- practices on the table, connect dent’s trajectory from oriencludes 46 public university systems in the United States, representing 5.6 million students. With this span and reach, NASH is well positioned to fulfill its mission to take higher education’s best practices to scale.

people with each other, and give them an opportunity to develop these relationships,” said Rebecca Martin, NASH’s Executive Director. “It’s up to them to take it back and make it work for their particular system”

NASH was formed in 1979 as a loosely organized forum for system heads to converse with their peers about their corresponding work.

In 2014, NASH launched a new student success initiative, Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3). Twenty-three NASH systems are now actively involved in this network.

As representatives of public colleges and universities, consistent themes included: access and completion, post-graduate employment, and equity gaps for certain populations. Increasingly, NASH has provided a more tangible service: the ability to break through the silos that exist among institutions by offering evidence-based and practice-tested solutions to common challenges.

NASH has produced almost a dozen webinars on a variety of strategies that have worked in certain locations and has held a number of convenings for administrators and faculty members to share ideas. Academic affairs is NASH’s primary focus area, and student success is its number one priority. The current work is based on the collective impact approach and is focused on

tation to degree completion. Through this approach, NASH looks at graduation rates as well as “persistence” rates, which include first or second year retention as well as persistence into third and fourth years and number of degrees awarded. Martin says the collective impact approach leads to better and faster outcomes. It suggests that organizations that work together to focus on a common definition of success and a similar approach to achieving goals have a better chance of reaching them than individual organizations that work on parallel tracks. NASH is testing this model with “Taking Student Success to Scale,” which is based on practices that have been demonstrated through data to improve student success, to close equity gaps, and to be scalable in at least one system.

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These are: 1. Redesigning pathway

the

math

components to completion as well as enhancing criteria for degree certification.

3. Requiring high-impact practices for all students.

The first focus area, redesigning the math pathway, involves matching appropriate math skill attainment with different disciplines and helping students complete the credit-bearing math requirement as quickly in their college trajectory as possible.

These interlocking initiatives are student-centered and focused on eliminating unnecessary barriers or incongruent

Most colleges require a credit-bearing math course for graduation, and the data show that those who pass this

2. Using predictive analytics to track student progress and guide decision-making and

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in their first year are more likely to graduate. But many students do not have the math skills coming out of high school to pass the course and are taking remedial classes for which they pay yet receive no credit. NASH is working with schools on models that combine remedial and credit-bearing work into “wrap around� courses that can be completed in the first year. Other strategies include in-


troducing other types of math, such as quantitative reasoning or statistics, to replace the standard calculus requirements for students who enter the humanities or other non-STEM-related majors. The second category in “Taking Student Success to Scale” is predictive analytics and guided pathways — using student data to guide course decision-making.

The third area of focus in “Taking Student Success to Scale” comes out of the national student engagement survey work that has identified the 10 best student engagement opportunities. These include mentoring, community service, and study abroad programming, among others. While most schools make these practices available to students, NASH is working with them to capture these activities and credential them in some cases.

Underpinning all of these interconnected dynamics is new research about student mindset, which leads to improved student satisfaction as well as completion rates. Student mindset dynamics include having a sense of belonging, being connected to the university, managing time well, and having “grit,” or “sticking with it.”

NASH is currently working on all of these best practices “We are now developing with the TS3 Network of 23 more and more information systems that are in contact about how online, on the students are phone and in experiencperson at coning college,” “We’re not saying to schools, ‘Here is how venings. Five said Martin. you do it.’ We’re saying, ‘Here are the proven systems at the “What we’re strategies that are out there for you to look at forefront of trying to do is these innovathis differently.’” take the best tions are proof this infor- - Rebecca Martin, Executive Director, NASH viding leadermation and ship. help students understand The key, actheir strengths and make “We want to encourage peo- cording to Martin, is to make sound choices about their ple to take these opportuni- this information available, coursework so they don’t ties seriously — particularly but not standard. “We’re not waste time and money.” first-generation students who saying to schools, ‘Here is how see them as ‘extras.’ We know you do it,’” she said. “We’re This involves identifying a that the students who are do- saying, ‘Here are the proven “meta major” — an area of ing undergraduate research strategies that are out there interest that allows students with a faculty member, who for you to look at this differto assemble their courses in a are in a learning community, ently.’” way that leads to their degree, [or] who have a peer mentor, even if they are not ready to are much better persisters,” declare their majors. said Martin.

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Mentoring with a Mission The Deaton Scholars Program at the University of Missouri pairs partners in global change By Marjorie Malpiede IT is well documented that

mentoring relationships in college have a positive impact on student success, from retention and completion rates to life-long satisfaction levels. A new program at The Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development hopes mentoring will have an impact on global food security. At the Deaton Institute at the University of Missouri, students interested in international development have come together in pairs to learn more and do more to positively impact communities throughout the world. Unlike some mentoring programs that are designed for at-risk students who need extra support in academics, the Deaton program enlists high-achieving students with each other at varying stages in their university work to produce higher impact outcomes. 38

The program is one of many initiatives within the new Institute, founded by former Chancellor of the University of Missouri, Brady Deaton. Founding Principles When Brady Deaton stepped down as the University of Missouri’s Chancellor in 2013, after serving in that capacity for 10 years, the Board of Curators asked him if there was an area in which he’d like to continue working. Without hesitation, Deaton said, “global food security and removing people from poverty.” In Jan. 2014, The Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development was launched. Its mission is to support and develop interdisciplinary research and applied programs focused on the food insecurity within developing countries and the US. Its aim is to help eliminate the contributing circumstance of extreme pov-

erty, a goal Deaton had embraced decades earlier. As is often the case when organizations are formed in one’s honor, the Deaton Institute strongly reflects the intellect, philosophy, and character of its founder. The inclusion of Deaton’s wife, Anne, in the Institute’s name, reveals both his humility and his deep appreciation for human partnerships. “Anne has been such a strong force in everything I’ve done, including this program,” he said. “In fact, Anne had already served as an Appalachian Volunteer before we met, and we became acquainted while serving in extremely poor villages in Ecuador. “From there, we went on to found a food pantry in our garage in Knoxville, Tennessee and organize a neighborhood delivery system. We’ve been committed to these issues [for] a long time.” Deaton is one of the coun-


Photo by Maria Kalaitzandonakes

The 2017 Deaton Scholar Program (DSP) class. The program was founded by Brady Deaton, the former Chancellor of the University of Missouri.

try’s premier scholars and policy experts on agricultural economics and global affairs. He splits his time heading the Deaton Institute with his work on the Board of International Food and Agricultural Devel-

opment (BIFAD), to which he was recently re-appointed by outgoing President Obama. Deaton earned a master’s degree in diplomacy and international commerce at the

University of Kentucky in 1968. He went on to the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a master’s degree in 1970 and a doctorate in 1972, both in agricultural economics. 39


But it was his rural roots, growing up as one of nine children in Appalachia, that shaped his view of the world and his place in it. When he was 10, he began a long-standing involvement with 4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization. When he was 20, he joined the Peace Corps.

nomic and human dimension – the improvement of the human condition that stems from economic change and progress. Deaton believes, though not all his colleagues agree, that to do this work, the focus must be on agricultural development, with particular attention paid to smallscale farmers, because that is where so much of the poverty in the world is concentrated.

around the world. John Sexton was the dinner speaker for the university leaders attending the conference and a participant in conference dialogue.

“It was a transformational event for me and I suspect for many who attended,“ said Sexton, President Emeritus of NYU and Chairman of the Deaton believes that higher Mary Christie Foundation. education – specifically high“The key to er education this approach leadership is under– should be standing our applied to interconnectsolving glob- The scholars work within the “whole person” edness as al problems, concept focusing on each other’s total success. humans and because the leveraging point of highthat power to er education improve conis to change ditions for the world. whole comPartnerships in global munities. The energy level “In starting the Institute, I re- change and commitment in the room ally felt like the most important thing we could do in terms The Institute has conducted was remarkable.” of food security issues was to several conferences, includDespite, or perhaps because increase higher education’s ing last year’s 11th annual of, the cynicism and violence role in the development pro- Universities Fighting World around the cess,” he said. Hunger (UFWH) summit, a experienced world, the students involved 350-person forum on global He describes international food security that was broad- in the Institute are equally development as economic de- cast to partners and students aspirational about their role in creating change. They are velopment with a socio-eco40


aware of their inter-dependence in a way that Deaton says he has never seen before. Social media has been a powerful tool as well. “Students today realize they are part of a global community,” said Deaton. “Our students are working with many groups around the world. They keep each other informed on what’s happening. Everything that goes on here gets tweeted out, and they’re not superficial tweets.” After the conference, the Deatons approached the student leadership group, undergraduate and graduate students who conduct research and run programs within the Institute, and asked what they would like to see the Institute take on to further its mission. The students responded with a desire to start a peer mentoring program with a focus on disciplinary and cultural diversity in terms of domestic and international students. They told the Deatons that they were interested in developing the “whole person con-

cept:” to work with one another and focus on each other’s total success. “These are all very successful students who have a lot to share and a lot to give,” said Chuka Emezue, the Institute’s research and communications coordinator. “You’ve got freshmen who are just starting out and medical students and grad students that feel they have so much to pass on. But it feels like we never have the time as students to sit down and have those conversations.” Critical to the program are the diverse pairings. Domestic students are paired with international students, engineering majors with business students, Each “dyad” focuses on complementing each other’s knowledge and working together to develop tangible strategies by

way of proposals. Each proposal is referred to as a “deliverable,” a document that pinpoints a topical issue to provide recommended solutions to the same. The Deatons were receptive to the concept and felt the premise of the program closely aligned with the Institute’s mission. “There is an interface among these knowledge bases that allows us to go forward and service society more effectively,” Deaton said. The Deatons believe that through the mentoring program, students will become aware of the key role they play in realizing the issue of global food security in their lifetime, whether they are directly involved in it through their future careers or indirectly remain informed about 41


public policy and the influence of elected and appointed leaders. The students named themselves “The Deaton Scholars.” While students had to apply to the program, it was available to any student open to the “whole person” development theory, which emphasizes the value that is received through forming a relationship with a partner.

There is also a professional mentorship component to the program with speakers and presentations that allows students to better understand how they can be involved in the international development process. “It will be very interesting to see how individual students from diverse departments come together to solve actual problems. This is not hypo-

thetical,” said Emezue at the launch of the program. Seventy students from diverse racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds passed the criteria, which included a GPA minimum, and got to work in January of this year. Once they were paired, each of the dyads identified a project that they would work on together, with the hope that their initiative would be ad-

Photo by Chuka Emezue

The 2017 Deaton Scholar Program (DSP) class during a collegial conversation day activity.

42


vanced beyond the semester and awarded a seed grant.

These are things that are really important to young people. They pick up on this more than most people think.”

er like-minded people from many other disciplines, and each of them is discovering that they have the heart, and the talent, to empower the lives of others in multiple of a global ways.”

They were informed that three of the pairs would receive an award for their work “Students today realize they are part and seed money to community. Our students are working with many turn their groups around the world.” projects into Brady Deaton, Chancellor Emeritus, action. Inspiration within

University of Missouri

To inspire the students, Deaton enlisted some of the best faculty on campus. He said he looked for people with the right values, the right commitment, and an understanding of the importance of education in achieving outcomes across the world – people, he said, that really understand knowledge and value it over individual achievement. “These are people that sort of believe that a person is made up of a lot of other people,” said Deaton. “There’s a moral foundation to what they’re doing and an integrity in every aspect of their relationships.

One of these individuals is Anne Marie Foley, who had a long-standing connection to Deaton’s work through her own. Foley is the Director of the Office of Service Learning at the University of Missouri and runs multiple service programs overseas and domestically that involve hundreds of students a year. The program bestows a minor in leadership and public services, which many of the Deaton Scholars have received. “The synergy that is created in that kind of mentoring program is just magical,” said Foley. “They’re relating to oth-

What Foley loves most about her own work is the impact it has on students.

“Today’s students are thirsty for meaning and eager for the validation that comes from discovering that they are important and effective and have skills that can change people’s lives,” she said. “There is something really emotionally essential about the kind of activities and experiences that students engage in with service.” The Deaton Scholars just completed their first semester. Each of the pairs of students were encouraged to develop approaches or strategies to alleviate some aspect of food and hunger issues. 43


Seventeen projects were developed and reviewed by three external faculty members, who then selected the top projects for seed grants. The projects outlined by the students addressed both domestic and international concerns about food security. Deaton said the quality of the proposals was surprisingly high, given the extra-curricular nature of this work. “As we reviewed the projects, we saw that every one of them could make important contributions to addressing the problems of food insecurity and/or mitigating extreme poverty,” he said. “We are committed to helping grow each of the proposals submitted.” At the awards dinner in May, a panel of three faculty members and two of the Deaton Scholars shared their experiences in broad discussion with the students involved in the program. Due to the quality of proposals, the decision was made to award four seed grants of $500.00.

44

Of the projects recognized for seed grants, one focused on implementing a program of food, health, and nutrition literacy for international students in the local high schools. It will be implemented by visiting local food and vegetable producers, food stores, and other components of the food value chain. Another proposal focused on translating the matching funds program of government feeding programs SNAP and WIC to enable a broader range of people to participate, with a focus on recent immigrants to the Columbia, Mo. community coming from the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Myanmar, who speak diverse, rare languages. Two analytical proposals involved studying “food pantry deserts” to identify greatest domestic food challenges where the neediest families can be helped; and analysis of data for the past five years on the Urban Agriculture Center, Opportunity Gardens Program, with hopes of more effective targeting of the pro-

gram. Overall, the inaugural year of the Deaton Scholars program was a resounding success. Many of this year’s participants will continue these scholastic relationships into next semester, as a new class of scholars comes on board. Staff is abuzz with new ideas for next year, with modifications based on what they learned. Deaton believes the skills that develop through programs like the Deaton scholars are the essence of higher education and bring value to students as much as they produce results. “We want good accountants for sure, but we want them to be broader than that, have an ethical base, and be able to quantify all kinds of dimensions, including how their work relates to the rest of the world,” he said.


Science Summary A recap of research worth noting. By Dana Humphrey

1.

New research shows that undergraduate college classes have start times that may be too early for young adult brains. While most colleges begin classes around 8:00 a.m., researchers suggest an ideal time would be closer to 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. Previous studies have shown that later start times that result in longer and more consistent periods of sleep can improve health and school performance in teenagers with some evidence suggesting these benefits continue into your twenties.

Later Start Times Provide Health Benefits for Undergraduates

The latest study by Evans et. al. used two approaches to determine ranges of optimal class start time for undergraduates, when cognitive performance can be expected to be at its peak: a survey of 190 mostly first and second year university students, and a theoretical synthetization of research in sleep, circadian neuroscience, and sleep deprivation impact on cognition. The results confirm and extend past results, indicating that later start times for undergraduates are best; after 11:00 a.m. or noon is optimal. The Mary Christie Quarterly discussed the dangers of college sleep deprivation with sleep expert, Dr. Charles Czeisler in its June 2016 issue.

.2

Parental over involvement, often Sex Differences in Effects of called “helicopter parenting”, has “Helicopter Parenting” been shown to be harmful for a child’s adjustment wellbeing. A recent study now shows that helicopter parenting, which is particularly harmful during emerging adulthood, affects male and female college students differently. In a sample of 118 undergraduate students, researchers found that over-involved parenting was found to reduce the overall wellbeing of young women, but not young men. Additionally, a failure to encourage independence was shown to affect the mental health of college males, predicting higher levels of life dissatisfaction and social anxiety.

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3.

“Imposter Syndrome” Affects Mental Health among Minority Students, but Effect is Different by Groups

A new study published in the Journal of Counseling Psychology suggests that feelings of “imposter syndrome,” a phenomenon felt by high-achieving individuals who cannot believe their own success, are associated with poorer mental health for black and Asian college students. The study investigated how impostor feelings affect the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health in 332 ethnic minority college students at an urban public university. Researchers found that black students who felt significant “impostorism” also reported higher levels of anxiety and depression related to discrimination. Higher feelings of imposter syndrome among Asian students were associated with increased depression and anxiety, separate from any perceived discrimination. Higher imposter-related feelings among Latino students were not associated with anxiety or depression. Kevin Cokley, one of the authors of the study and director of the University of Texas Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis said, “We sometimes have a tendency to homogenize the experiences of students of color. They all experience discrimination to some extent, but it’s very different experiences. It’s important to be nuanced and to appreciate and to understand the experiences.”

.4

Recent results on the prevalence and Longitudinal Study of Drug Use incidence of drug use among college Among College Students Shows students, part of a longitudinal study Lasting Outcomes at the University of Maryland’s Center on Young Adult Health and Development, suggests drug use is prevalent among college students, and drug use persists among young adults, even after many have graduated college. The data presented in “Prevalence and incidence of drug use among college students: an 8-year longitudinal analysis” is based on annual interviews with 1,253 students, originally enrolled as first-time, first-year students. Of the seven illicit drugs and three prescription drugs studied, marijuana has consistently been the most commonly used drug, with highest annual prevalence estimates recorded in the third year of college. Several years post-college, 29 percent reported used marijuana during the past year. Nonmedical use of prescription drugs was more prevalent during college than in the years after graduation. Although the prevalence of cocaine and ecstasy use was low (cumulative prevalence estimates of 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively), incidence for these drugs was high in the later years of the study.

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.5

A recent study examined an inAttending College a Risk Factor crease in initial marijuana use among college students compared to in Marijuana Use their non-college peers before and after 2013, the recognized turning point in growing tolerance of marijuana use. The longitudinal study, Monitoring the Future, has collected data since the 1970s from a nationally representative sample of young adults, starting in 12th grade. College attendance has been found to be a risk factor for marijuana “initiation.” This report determines that the risk has grown significantly since 2013. In 2015, college students were 51 percent more likely to have used marijuana in the past year compared to their non-college attending peers. This is up from an increased probability of past-year marijuana use of 31 percent in 2013, a change of 20 percent in two years. The change in probability of past year use from 1977 to 2012 was 5 percent. The report suggests colleges take note and react with new or modified programming on marijuana use.

6.

Alcohol-related emergency department visits increased at a faster rate than overall emergency department visits, according to a collaborative report by Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy and the University of Maryland Center on Young Adult Health and Development. The report, “Harmful Drinking Patterns: a Persistent Cause for Concern” comes amid new concerns that a substantial proportion of young adults are engaging in “high intensity drinking,” defined as consuming at least two times that of the binge drinking threshold.

Alcohol-Related Emergency Visits Increasing

From 2005 to 2015, 11 percent of young adults were classified as high-intensity drinkers, a group that binge drinks almost twice as frequently as those who do not engage in high-intensity drinking. Dr. Aaron White, Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, believes high-intensity drinking is behind the rise in alcohol-related hospitalizations and deaths among young adults during the past few decades. This report stresses the importance of early identification and intervention with young people who engage in binge drinking or high-intensity drinking.

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Issue 6 | Second Quarter | 2017  

The Mary Christie Quarterly is a publication of the Mary Christie Foundation, a thought leadership and philanthropic organization dedicated...

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