In the News

​2019 News 

Smartphones may help predict relapse in schizophrenia, UW study finds
The Daily | May 30, 2019
For mental health conditions such as schizophrenia whose symptoms worsen with social isolation, preventing relapse can be challenging due to a health care provider’s lack of accessibility in consistently monitoring a patient’s shifts in behavior.

Commentary: State sets a new course for mental health care
HeraldNet | May 26, 2019
With funding and policy, state lawmakers cooperated to rebuild a behavioral health system that works for all. Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA provided legislators with the insight and inspiration needed to make this a reality.

Understanding consequences of marijuana use
KIMA | May 10, 2019
The Yakima Health District held an educational forum to help local health care providers understand the impact marijuana use has on youth. Jason Kilmer, PhD, is featured.

Inslee signs bill to make daylight saving time permanent in Washington; next step Congress
Seattle Times | May 8, 2019
David Avery, MD, an expert in seasonal affective disorder (SAD), opposes the move and says it would be devastating from a wellness perspective, especially for those with seasonal depression.

Training developed to help families dealing with psychosis
UW Newsroom | May 7, 2019
When a loved one is going through a psychotic episode, it’s hard to know what to do. How do you communicate? How do you offer support? A program to teach evidence-based skills to help people whose loved ones have a psychotic disorder is being held May 14, and a promising smartphone-based intervention for people with schizophrenia is being deployed at 20 health clinics across the state.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention honors two national researchers at event in New York
PR Newswire | May 7, 2019
Gregory Simon, MD, MPH was honored at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's annual 2019 Research Awards Dinner in NYC. Dr. Simon received the research award for his work using artificial intelligence with electronic health records to identify individuals at risk for suicide.

Opinion: Chronic opioid therapy needs to be individualized, but most people aren't getting that
The Hill | May 6, 2019
"We agree that pain management and chronic opioid therapy needs to be individualized. But right now most people are not having their needs adequately assessed or met," write the UW's Virginia Weir and Drs. Gary Franklin and Andy Saxon, MD.

Dr. Raymond Vath receives 2019 MEDEX Pioneer Award
The UW Daily | May 6, 2019
Can marijuana treat autism? A new clinical trial is looking to see if cannabidiol (CBD) gel is a safe and effective method of treating Fragile X syndrome, a type of autism linked to deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system, which controls emotional responses, behavioral reactivity to context, and social interaction. Raphe Bernier, PhD, is the principal investigator.

Editorial: Expand access to mental health telemedicine
The Everett Hereld | April 30, 2019
"Cell phones and the internet get enough blame — only some of it deserved — for various social ills that result from their misuse, but both are tools and have the potential to do a lot of good," writes The Everett Herald Editorial Board. One of those potential tools is telemedicine. The editorial board cites two bills, one that passed and one that didn't, that mention the UW.

Dr. Raymond Vath receives 2019 MEDEX Pioneer Award
The Huddle | April 29, 2019
"Congratulations to Raymond Vath, MD, a former psychiatry resident and clinical faculty member in our department (now retired). We congratulate him on this honor and thank him for his outstanding service to UW and to our community. We are very proud to have him as one of our graduates.

The movies that haunt Us
The Record | April 24, 2019
"How to get through horror movies, such as Jordan Peele's Us, and maybe even enjoy them. Kristen Lindgren, PhD, discusses why people like horror movies and how fear affects us with Bill Radke. Segment starts around the 17 min mark.

Smartphone interventions benefit schizophrenia patients
MDedge | April 23, 2019
Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, said that, despite the many differences in the habits and experiences of people with schizophrenia, there do not appear to be many differences in the way they use mobile technology, compared with the general population.

Permanent daylight saving time passes Washington state House 90-6, heads to Inslee's desk
Seattle Times | April 23, 2019
"Lovers of the winter sunset, rejoice. A bill to put Washington state permanently on daylight saving time has passed the state House of Representatives 90-6 and now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for a signature. David Avery, MD, clinical faculty member, is quoted.

Recess can be isolating and chaotic for children with autism. UW researchers say it doesn't have to be.
Seattle Times | April 20, 2019
"For a child with autism, recess may be seen as a loud, chaotic, and exhausting activity — making it all the more difficult to read social cues or find a way to connect and make friends. But new research led by Jill Locke, PhD, (faculty member of the SMART Center) suggests recess doesn’t have to be something that children with autism can’t enjoy alongside their peers.

Opinion: Time to put mental health at the heart of our schools
Seattle Times | April 19, 2019
"Our community, state and nation are in the midst of a children’s mental health crisis," write Eric Bruns, PhD, and Jennifer Stuber, PhD (social work).

Husky 100
University of Washington | April, 2019
"Alec Gibson, a PhD student in John Neumaier's, MD, PhD, lab, was chosen as a Husky 100. The Husky 100 recognizes 100 UW undergraduate and graduate students who are making the most of their time at the UW. Congratulations, Alec!.

White House tries to standardize CBD rules and regulations
Fox News | April 17, 2019
"The Farm Bill passed by Congress last year, which took effect in December, specifically makes CBD legal nationwide, but that new law is now creating inconsistencies with local health regulations in a number of states. Raphe Bernier, PhD is quoted.

Improving care through remote tracking of patient-reported symptoms
Psychiatric News | April 16, 2019
Denise Chang, MD discusses the benefits and challenges of integrating electronic patient health questionnaires into electronic health records.

Opinion: Sobriety is just one pathway to recovery. Harm reduction is another
STAT News | April 11, 2019
"As counselors and researchers, my colleagues and I at the University of Washington’s Harm Reduction Research and Treatment Center decided to go back to the drawing board. We asked the people we were working alongside — people with lived experiences of alcohol-use disorder and homelessness — how they would redesign alcohol treatment. Ninety-four percent of them favored harm reduction approaches," writes Susan E. Collins, PhD.

Today's vets seek mental health help sooner than peers
UW Medicine Newsroom | April 9, 2019
A new study in Psychiatric Services found that veterans who served post-9/11 are seeking PTSD care in 2.5 years, compared to 16 years for veterans serving before 9/11, and 15 years for civilians. John Fortney, PhD, is quoted.

Today's vets seek mental health help sooner than peers
Medium Elemental | April 5, 2019
For people experiencing mental illness, popular productivity hacks don't work. Understanding your mental capabilities and taking breaks is crucial to productivity. Pat Areán, PhD, is quoted.

The Top Doctors in Seattle for 2019: 19th annual list of the 397 best physicians in 65 medical specialties
Seattle Magazine | April 2, 2019
Congratulations to the following people who were voted a “Top Doctor” by their peers: Richard Ries, MD, (addiction psychiatry), Ray Hsiao, MD, (child and adolescent psychiatry), Ian Kodish, MD, PhD, (child and adolescent psychiatry), Hower Kwon, MD, (child and adolescent psychiatry), Mark Snowden, MD, MPH, (geriatric psychiatry), Jesse Fann, MD, MPH, (psychiatry), and Gregory Simon, MD, (psychiatry).

Meet the Seattle Top Doctor working to understand opioid addiction and treatment
Seattle Magazine | April 2, 2019
Richard Ries, MD, FAPA, FASM, named one of Seattle Magazine’s Top Doctors in its 19th annual list, shares insight on the ways treatment of addiction has changed over the years. Getting addiction treatment integrated into the medical system is one of his goals.

UW launches clinical trail on CBD treatment for autism
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance | April 2, 2019
Jesse Fann, MD, MPH, named one of Seattle Magazine’s Top Doctors in its 19th annual list, has spent more than two decades acknowledging that cancers attack not just a person’s body but that person’s psychological, social and spiritual bedrock.

UW launches clinical trail on CBD treatment for autism
The Stranger | April 2, 2019
There is no current therapy for Fragile X syndrome, a form of autism caused by a genetic mutation. But that could soon change. Researchers across the country, including Raphael Bernier, PhD, are launching a clinical trial looking at how a topical cannabidiol (CBD) gel can reduce the symptoms of this genetic disorder.

Psychologists explain how to stop being scared after a scary movie | March 30, 2019
Most people who hate horror films are fed a simple refrain: It's not real. That viewpoint neglects how horror movies make some of us feel once they're over: chilled by lingering creepiness. Kristen Lindgren, PhD, relays that this experience isn't fear, but anxiety.

Youth often become homeless just after leaving juvenile detention. Can Washington State really stop it?
The Seattle Times | March 29, 2019
WA State vows to keep young people from becoming homeless after exiting publicly funded systems of care: juvenile detention, foster care, and mental health care and drug treatment. Eric Trupin, PhD, and Sarah Cusworth Walker, PhD, are quoted.

How a new UW teaching hospital might help Washington state’s mental-health crisis
The Seattle Times | March 25, 2019
Washington State is close to funding what would be a national model in treating psychiatric patients and training medical residents. Jürgen Unützer, MD, MPH, MA, envisions a state-of-the-art hospital, up to eight stories high, with rooms for up to 150 patients and a key role in helping the state care for its mentally ill residents.

Scientist hopes CBD product will help kids with intellectual disabilities
Q13 FOX News | March 22, 2019
The popularity and the touted benefits of CBD, an extract derived from cannabis, continue to spread. Raphe Bernier, PhD, is embarking on a new clinical trial studying CBD in hopes of helping children with a rare disorder called Fragile X syndrome.

News from Olympia: House Passes Speaker Chopp Bill That Plans for a UW Behavioral Health Campus
UW State Relations | March 14, 2019
The House unanimously passed legislation (HB 1593) to launch plans to establish a new behavioral health innovation and integration campus with the UW Medicine. The proposal plans for a new teaching facility with a capacity for 150 patients and the ability to train current and future health care providers to address the urgent need for mental health and substance abuse treatment across the state.

If sobriety isn’t an option, ‘harm reduction’ can work for homeless people with alcoholism, study finds
The Seattle Times | March 14, 2019
Sobriety-based treatment programs have been an ineffective approach for the vast majority of people struggling with alcoholism. Susan Collins, PhD, and colleagues conducted the first randomized controlled trial of alcohol treatment for alcohol use disorder that does not ask people to get sober, with positive results.

Car crashes, psychosis, suicide: Is the drive to legalize marijuana Ignoring Major Risks?
USA Today | March 6, 2019
In less than 25 years, marijuana has gone from illegal everywhere in the United States to legal for at least some uses in all but four states. Andrew Saxon, MD, comments on legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use.

UW fraternities ban hard alcohol ahead of nationwide ban
KIRO 7 | March 5, 2019
A new policy from the North American Interfraternity Conference bans alcohol above 15 percent at chapter events and on chapter property. Jason Kilmer, PhD, says the impact of this new ban needs to be evaluated to see if it actually acheives the intended results.

It's Not Elementary: Examining the Ethics of IBM's Watson
Endocrinology Advisor | March 4, 2019
David Luxton, PhD, MS, cautions clinicians about the legality around using Watson, IBM’s computer system that has the ability to see patterns and data that can help diagnose and treat a patient.

Benzo Crisis
KUOW | February 25, 2019
The opioid epidemic has been in the news for years as a crisis. But right next to it is one you might not know about: benzos. Benzo-involved overdose deaths have increased eightfold between 1999 and 2016. KUOW host Bill Radke talks with Rick Ries, M.D., to find out why. Scroll down to fourth story.

Yes, Your Heart Can Really Break
Right as Rain | February 14, 2019
Once in a while, a perfectly healthy heart can stop functioning properly due to a stressful event. Mark Sullivan, M.D., PhD, talks about the psychological recovery from a traumatic event.

It Doesn’t Take Much For Soldiers To Feel Cared For
UW Medicine Newsroom | February 14, 2019
In 2018, the U.S. military experienced the highest number of suici​des among active duty personnel in six years. A study led by UW Psychiatry researchers Kate Comtois, PhD, Amanda Kerbrat, MSW, Christopher DeCou, PhD, David Atkins, PhD, and Rick Ries, MD, found that caring texts to at-risk active duty military members can have positive effects. Lead author Comtois and corresponding author Kerbrat were quoted in multiple news stories: The OregonianTuniseSoir NewsHealioGlobal Health News Wire. and Deccan Chronicle​.

Digital Psychotherapy Has Yet to Overcome Trust Barrier
UW Medicine Newsroom | February 13, 2019
Digital psychotherapy could help improve access to mental health treatment, especially in underserved communities, but consumers still have significant concerns. Patricia Areán, PhD, weighs in.

Sleep Patterns Can Change With Aging Does That Mean Health Troubles Ahead?
Washington Post | February 10, 2019
Aging can have impactful effects on sleep patterns. According to a national poll, 46 percent of adults 65 and older have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis. Michael V. Vitiello, PhD, comments on sleep in aging. 

Technology is Taking On Addition — Now There Are Smartphone Apps to Help Prevent Relapses
KNKX | February 7, 2019
Every week, tens of thousands of Americans complete intensive drug and alcohol rehab programs. The next months after treatment, however, are fraught with risk of relapse. Dennis Donovan, PhD, professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the UW, is quoted.

Got the Winter Blues?
Right as Rain | January 24, 2019
Amy Burns, M.D., offers practical tips for beating the January blues and keeping yourself motivated, whether that’s so you can stick to New Year’s resolutions or just find the bright side of the dreariest few months of the year.

Ways to Help Kids Cope With — And Help Combat — Climate Change
The Washington Post | January 22, 2019
As the tone surrounding climate change becomes more dire, our conversations about it with children grow more important. Laura Kastner, PhD, explains the importance of being realistic with kids but also teaching them agency and action.

Who's Making Sure Your Mental Health App Is Safe? No one, experts say
Deseret News | January 21, 2019
Less than half of the 44 million people in the U.S. with mental health disorders receive any form of treatment. Mobile applications can help address the issue of accessibility to mental health resources. Patricia Areán, PhD​, and Dror Ben- Zeev, PhD, chime in on the subject of regulating mental health mobile apps.

What is Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder?
ADDitude | January 2019
A child who consistently acts cranky and moody and then flies into intense rages with seemingly no provocation might have Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. William French, M.D., is quoted.

Partnering With Community-Based Organizations to Improve Collaborative Care for Late-Life Depression
Psychiatric News | January 18, 2019
Collaborative care can go a long way toward improving access to care for common mental health problems. Theresa Hoeft, PhD,describes how partnerships between clinic-based collaborative care programs and community-based organizations can further enhance depression care for older adults.

UW capital planning and employee compensation make Gov. Inslee’s proposed budget
UW Daily | January 15, 2019
In this new proposed budget for 2019-2021, Governor Jay Inslee has included significant funding for the UW campus and its employees, including pre-design funding for a new teaching hospital for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

To Be Blunt: The Real Risks of Marijuana Use
UW Daily | January 7, 2019
Just as the potency of marijuana is getting higher, college students’ perceived harm of the drug is plummeting. Jason Kilmer, PhD, talks about the risks of marijuana use and some of the common misconceptions among young adults.
Could You Have a Drinking Problem Without Even Knowing?
Right as Rain | January 4, 2019
Kristen Lindgren, PhD, talks about the importance of minimizing risks when consuming alcohol and offers some practical takeaways such as setting and keeping limits, drinking at your own pace and knowing your reasons for drinking.
What's Coming In 2019? Global Thinkers Make Big, Bold Predictions
NPR: Goats and Soda | January 4, 2019
One prediction for global health and development in 2019 is that people who need mental health help will find it on their phone, and researchers around the world are also testing a variety of apps. The work of Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD, is cited.

A Slow Climb to Stability for a Lifetime of Hope
bphope | January 4, 2019
Advancement colleague David Chow talks about his decade-long struggle to find workable medication and a wellness plan for his bipolar disorder.

'DeepSqueak' helps researchers decode rodent chatter
UW Medicine Newsroom | January 4, 2019
Russell Marx, and Kevin Coffey, PhD, researchers in the Neumaier Lab, are investigating rodent vocalizations in an effort to better understand how drugs change brain activity, and ultimately, to develop treatments for withdrawal from alcohol or opioids.


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