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  • Eric M. Plakun, MD is the Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, outlines four tools to help maximize appeal success when insurance claims are denied.

  • Photos from the Austen Riggs Center’s Centennial Conference-The Mental Health Crisis in America: Recognizing Problems, Working Toward Solutions.

    The Austen Riggs Center welcomed more than 200 individuals to our Centennial Conference–The Mental Health Crisis in America: Recognizing Problems, Working Toward Solutions–at Tanglewood’s new Linde Center for Music and Learning.

  • The Austen Riggs Center is proposing the Four Freedoms of Mental Health, owed to all people struggling with mental illness, one of which is the Freedom to Pursue Recovery.

    One of our proposed Four Freedoms of Mental Health is the freedom to pursue recovery. 

    Recovery from mental disorders is a process that unfolds over time; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2019). Living a self-directed life is a cornerstone of recovery—and a central focus of treatment at Riggs. Given the real obstacles posed by stigma, limited clinical models to help address mental illness for many individuals, and lack of access to medically necessary treatment—especially in the tendency of many insurance entities to limit access to care to crisis stabilization—the prospect of achieving recovery can be daunting. 

  • Tom Insel, MD, will present at the Austen Riggs Center's centennial conference on the Mental Health Crisis in America on September 21-22, 2019.

    Co-founder and President of Mindstrong Health, former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and recently appointed “Mental Health Czar” for the state of California

    Dr. Insel will give the Session 1 keynote presentation, “Beyond Magical Thinking” on Saturday morning at the Austen Riggs Center Centennial Conference, “The Mental Health Crisis in America.” 

  • Celebrating 100 years of lives reclaimed at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.

    If you are a journalist who covers topics related to suicide, mental health, access to care, the politics/economics of health care, and related issues, this conference will provide you with access to leading thinkers and policy-makers.

  • Austen Riggs Center Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms in Mental Health Care

    Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms of Mental Health Care

  • Jed Yalof, PsyD, is the staff neuropsychologist at the Austen Riggs Center.

    What is neuropsychology and neuropsychological assessment, and how can this service be of assistance to patients? Neuropsychology seeks to understand how brain-behavior relationships influence thoughts, feelings, and everyday psychosocial adjustment.

  • The Austen Riggs Center has a therapeutic community in an open treatment setting.

    Entering the open setting here at Riggs produces a kind of culture shock—this holds for patients, for their families, and for new staff. As a psychiatric hospital, Riggs is unique, and it is the open setting that makes it unique: no locked wards, no security guards, no pass system. Patients have cars, hold jobs, come and go to college, sit (or work) in the coffee shop down the street.

  • Recreational marijuana is now sold legally in Massachusetts. What does that mean for Austen Riggs?

    Recreational marijuana is now sold legally in Massachusetts. What does that mean for Austen Riggs?

    Massachusetts voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2012 and approved the sale of cannabis for recreational use in 2016. This has led to the recent opening of the state’s first dispensaries—one of them less than 10 miles from Stockbridge and at least two others in Berkshire County with still more planned. Given that half of the patients who come to Riggs for treatment have a diagnosed substance use disorder, the relatively easy access to legal cannabis could add to the challenges they face. 

  • Laura M. Morrell, LICSW, is a clinical social worker at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Clinical social work is an integral part of the interdisciplinary psychodynamic treatment approach at the Austen Riggs Center. 

    Hear Laura M. O’Neill, LICSW, speak about the multifaceted role of the clinical social worker at Riggs. 

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