The Riggs Blog
The Riggs blog is a mix of news about clinical work, research and educational activities from the Austen Riggs Center, as well as a source for information beyond our walls that we find interesting and thought-provoking.
The Austen Riggs Center has a long history of treating patients who have tried and failed to respond to previous treatment efforts. Early on, Riggs clinicians recognized the importance of so-called “treatment resistant” psychiatric disorders and their associated societal, financial and personal burdens – including death by suicide.
Benedict Carey, in his recent New York Times article, “Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts,” explores the recent move by the American Association of Suicidology to recognize those who have attempted suicide and survived and what this acknowledgment means for the survivors, the clinicians who treat suicidal individuals, research into suicidality and how society discusses suicide.
On March 26, Pamella Weeks, former therapeutic community staff member, lost her long and valiant struggle against ovarian cancer. Pam worked at the Austen Riggs Center for almost 20 years, starting in 1987 as a psychiatric worker. She became the Center-Wide Community Coordinator in the Therapeutic Community in March of 1994, a position she held up until she left Riggs in 2006.
In 2013 the Austen Riggs Center conducted a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in order to identify and evaluate the key mental health needs of the national, regional and local communities we serve.
One highlighted concern was to enhance access to quality mental health care services for low-income populations in Berkshire County. To that end, Riggs has begun conversations with the staff at the Brien Center, which serves a low-income population, to identify opportunities for Riggs staff to provide education and training to Brien Center clinicians.