Category Archives: Uncategorized

“The agony of weekend loneliness: ‘I won’t speak to another human until Monday’” – The Guardian

“For growing numbers of people the weekend is an emotional wilderness where interaction is minimal and social life non-existent. What can be done to break this toxic cycle?”

loneliness“I wake up on a Saturday and feel down. It’s a struggle to pull myself out of bed if I have nothing planned.” – Illustration: Monika Jurczyk/The Guardian

by Paula Cocozza

“On Saturday morning, Peter got up and went to the supermarket. He carried his shopping home, and took care of his laundry and ironing. In the afternoon, he browsed a few record stores and later he cooked himself dinner; always something adventurous on a Saturday night. Afterwards, he hit Netflix. And in all those hours, in common with many of Peter’s Saturdays, not to mention his Sundays, he had no meaningful interaction with another human being. ‘The only person I spoke to,’ he says, ‘was the lady who came over to verify my bottles of beer at the supermarket self-checkout.’

“During the week, Peter, 62, is too busy to be lonely. His commute from Brighton to London means that his working life is ‘a tunnel’ he enters on a Monday and from which no daylight is glimpsed until Friday. But just when Peter re-emerges, he is stymied by an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Instead of providing respite from the stress of office life, a chance to reconnect with family and friends, the weekend looms as a vast emotional and social wilderness that must be traversed before work takes hold again.

“Peter dreads the weekend.”

Read this article in its entirety at The Guardian, click here.

“What Neurobiology Can Tell Us About Suicide” – The Scientist

“The biochemical mechanisms in the brain underlying suicidal behavior are beginning to come to light, and researchers hope they could one day lead to better treatment and prevention strategies.” 


Source: CDC, 2017 data © ISTOCK.COM, LOFTYSTYLE

by Catherine Offord

“The first time Kees van Heeringen met Valerie, the 16-year-old girl had just jumped from a bridge. It was the 1980s and van Heeringen was working as a trainee psychiatrist at the physical rehabilitation unit at Ghent University Hospital in Belgium. As he got to know Valerie, who’d lost both legs in the jump and spent several months at the hospital, he pieced together the events leading up to the moment the teenager tried to end her life, including stressful interactions with people around her and a steady accumulation of depression symptoms.

“Van Heeringen, who would later describe the experience in his 2018 book The Neuroscience of Suicidal Behavior, says Valerie’s story left a permanent impression on him. ‘I found it very difficult to understand,’ he tells The Scientist. He asked himself why anyone would do ‘such a horrible thing,’ he recalls. ‘It was the first stimulus for me to start studying suicidal behavior.’”

Continue reading this article at The Scientist.

Volunteers sought for autism research study

autism study

Here is information about an opportunity to participate in a research project through Penn State Health/Penn State College of Medicine Hershey that may be beneficial to you or someone you know. The project is called PARSEC, which stands for PArticipation in Rural Settings to Engage in Communities. PARSEC is a research project; it is voluntary and certain criteria for eligibility may apply.

PARSEC is a program for young adults (ages 18 – 25) diagnosed with ASD, and is a one-year program designed to see if participating in a telehealth intervention compared to receiving no intervention results in young adults with ASD doing more in their community. The young adult with ASD will be required to have an individual that knows them well (typically a parent, guardian, family member) that we call the natural supporter. The natural supporter will also be asked to fill out surveys about the young adult with ASD, as well as surveys about themselves. PARSEC is a randomized controlled trial. This means that not everyone who signs up for PARSEC will be entered into the intervention.

50% of people who enroll will be randomly assigned to receive the intervention. These individuals will participate in 15-minute, weekly phone calls or online meetings with a coach. Both the young adult with ASD and the natural supporter would need to be available for weekly phone calls/meetings. In addition to the phone calls, there will be videos on a PARSEC channel online for viewing and missions you will be asked to complete weekly.

50% of people who enroll will be assigned to receive treatment as usual, which will include monthly emails individualized for you with information on things you can do in your community.

If you or someone you know may be interested in participating in PARSEC, please contact the Psychiatry Department Research Assistants at 531 – 0003, x285543 or email Jayde Nagle at They are happy to answer any questions you may have about participating.

“Department of Human Services Releases Report on Medical Assistance Transportation Program”

Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Human Services has released its report on the potential impact on the state’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP) being administered by regional brokers for all regions of the commonwealth. MATP provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers who do not otherwise have access to no-cost transportation. DHS oversees the entire MATP and the commonwealth offers and provides funding for MATP in all 67 counties.


“The Medical Assistance Transportation Program is a vital resource for people who would otherwise not be able to access transportation to their physician, pharmacy, dentist, or other necessary services,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “We want to be sure we are choosing the correct path forward so we can guarantee MATP’s sustainability and consistency for years to come.

Act 40 of 2018, which amended the Human Service Code, required DHS to issue a solicitation for statewide or regional brokers where the broker is at full or partial‑risk to provide MATP services. The MATP currently operates differently across the 67 counties – a broker model in Philadelphia County and as in-house or county-administered models in the other counties.

DHS has completed an analysis created in collaboration with the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation and Aging as required by Act 19 of 2019 and has issued its report to the Legislature. The report focuses on the potential impact of the MATP being administered through a brokerage model in all areas of the commonwealth.

To read the full report,click here

  • MATP consumers are a mix of low‑income, medically needy, and aged populations who are sensitive to disruption to care. It would be important to have measures in place to ensure a successful transition if the delivery model is changed.
  • DHS could save money with a broker, but a potential for county transit budgets to suffer proportionally exists depending on how much brokers might disengage from other public transportation programs. The extent of any such disengagement is not known.
  • Regardless of the model Pennsylvania uses, oversight and quality metrics are critical to MATP.
  • The commonwealth currently has an efficient program. Even outside of metro areas, rural counties are keeping trip costs low, and regardless of the model, MATP is a cost‑saving benefit to the commonwealth.

“Transportation is critical to our quality of life, especially for medical care,” Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. “We are continually looking at ways to efficiently provide services while also supporting and enhancing the tools that Pennsylvanians rely on.”

“We appreciate the opportunity to review our program and we are always looking for ways to improve our services for the people who use them,” said Secretary Miller. “Now that we have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of MATP, I’m confident that we will find solutions that will continue to best serve the commonwealth.”

DHS will work with entities involved in MATP discussions, including the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association, to explore options for the administration and service delivery of the MATP. While these options are being explored, DHS will not award a statewide brokerage contract.

SOURCE: news release

Happy New Year! Welcome 2020.

happy new year2

“Careers & Degrees in Healthcare: A Guide for Students with Disabilities”

person in front of laptop

Healthcare can be a great career path for individuals with disabilities as they can provide valuable perspectives and experiences that directly benefit patients. However, they also face many unique challenges in school and later as professionals, and it can be difficult to know where to turn for quality information.

To help, EduMed produced a comprehensive guidebook that addresses these challenges, gives students career recommendations that accommodate their disabilities, helps explain their rights under the ADA, and much more. You can read the entire guide at the link below.

Careers & Degrees in Healthcare: Guide for Students with Disabilities

EduMed knows that higher education can be the ticket to a rewarding career in medical and health. We also know that every student needs different things when it comes to education, whether a fully online program to maximize flexibility or help finding and securing financial aid or scholarships. To get students moving in the right direction, we work with hundreds of healthcare and higher education experts to provide well-researched and user-friendly content, from detailed school rankings of schools and programs to interviews with online program leaders at colleges and universities across the country. Learn how EduMed can help you succeed.

SOURCE: provided

How popular is your name? Believe it or not the Social Security Administration has this information.

popular names

What were the most popular names when you were born?

Top 5 Names in Each of the Last 100 Years

The following table shows the five most frequent given names for male and female babies born in each year 1919-2018. Over the last 100 years, the male name Michael has held the top spot most often (44 times), while the female name Mary has been ranked number one 37 times over those years.

Click here to see that list.

Click here to see the top names list for each decade back to the 1880s.

Click here to see the top names list for by state.



Grandparents raising grandchildren: unanticipated new roles for many.

“… grandparents who are thrust back into the role of parents, their duties include instilling discipline, enforcing the rules, and, of course, paying the bills to feed, clothe, and shelter the children, who now depend on them for stability and security. It’s a lot to ask, especially as many grandparents have already retired and live on a limited budget.” 

This is a tall order, yet it’s happening across the nation. This Boston Globe article, A grandmother takes on an all too familiar role as the primary caregiver for her granddaughter,” is just one story that shows just how tough it is.


The number of grandfamilies in America has been growing and Generations United expects that to continue. Some of this is due to the population increase of older adults, but a lot has to do with poverty, substance abuse (especially during the current opioid epidemic), the death of a grandchild’s parent and extended military deployment.
Read more at this next avenue article.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Aging has this to say:

Significant life changes occur when a grandparent or relative assumes care of a child.  It can be challenging emotionally, legally, and financially.  Children may also experience emotional or behavioral issues and require additional support.  Connecting with related caregivers of children in similar situations often offers support.  

“Contact your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to find out if any support groups for grandparents or relatives raising children are available in your area. Some additional resources are provided below.”

“Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: No matter how much you love your grandkids, raising them comes with many challenges as well as rewards. These guidelines can help you succeed at parenting the second time around.”

If you’re a person with a disability | Help test a voting system for use in Pennsylvania

help test a voting system

“Frail Older Patients Struggle After Even Minor Operations” – The New York Times

These patients are not aware of the true risks, and surgeons aren’t telling them, new research suggests.

older surgeryJames Steinberg

by Paula Span

“The patient, a man in his 70s, had abdominal pain serious enough to send him to a VA Pittsburgh Healthcare hospital. Doctors there found the culprit: a gallstone had inflamed his pancreas.

“Dr. Daniel Hall, a surgeon who met with the patient, explained that pancreatitis can be fairly mild, as in this case, or severe enough to cause death. Recovery usually requires five to seven days, some of them in a hospital, during which the stone passes or a doctor uses a flexible scope to remove the blockage.

“But ‘because it can be life-threatening, after patients recover, we usually take out the gall bladder to prevent its happening again,’ Dr. Hall said.”

Read this article in its entirety at The New York Times.