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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. Senior clinical experts, researchers, and editors review all clinical content on this blog before it is published.

  • On February 28, 2019, Judge Joseph Spero of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued the findings of fact and conclusions of law in Wit v United Behavioral Health (UBH), a class action brought against the country’s largest behavioral health insurer. On November 3, 2020, Judge Spero issue a ruling related to the remedy phase of this case. Based on his knowledge and experience, Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, served as plaintiffs’ expert on adult mental disorders for this case. Dr. Plakun is an authority on access to care, implementation of mental health parity, and other advocacy issues.  

  • David Mintz, MD, Team Leader/Staff Psychiatrist at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Austen Riggs Center Director of Psychiatric Training David Mintz, MD, receives award for “Recovery from Childhood Psychiatric Treatment” article. 

  • Read all of the latest news from the Austen Riggs Center.

    Read and download the latest issues of the ARC News from this year. If you do not already receive the ARC News and would like to, please fill out our general contact form and let us know.  

  • Read all of the latest news from the Austen Riggs Center.

    Read the fall 2020 issue of the Austen Riggs Center’s newsletter, ARC News, featuring stories on Moral Injury and Blocked Mourning, Measuring Psychological Pain, Improving Mental Health Outcomes in Berkshire County, and A Commitment to Social Work Education. 

  • Highlights from the ARC News - Summer 2020 issue include: Zooming in the Pandemic, Social Distancing and Loneliness, and Mental Health, Suicide Risk, and COVID-19.

    Highlights from the ARC News - Summer 2020 issue include: Zooming in the Pandemic, Social Distancing and Loneliness, and Mental Health, Suicide Risk, and COVID-19.

  • Read the spring 2020 issue of the Austen Riggs Center’s newsletter, ARC News, featuring stories on Riggs treatment, planned giving, and the Health and Wellness Program.

    Read the spring 2020 issue of the Austen Riggs Center’s newsletter, ARC News, featuring stories on Riggs treatment, planned giving, and the Health and Wellness Program. 

  • The Importance of Health and Wellness, Now More Than Ever - a blog on the Austen Riggs website.

    What can we do when are faced with loss, when we are faced with a world that seems unrecognizable? The pandemic has forced many of us to reckon with difficult feelings and situations, and is having a documented negative impact on the mental health of a growing number of people. In the same breath, some are finding new paths of resilience as well as the time and space to slow down and reconnect with family, friends, and themselves. One powerful tool some are turning to are contemplative practices such as yoga or mindfulness.  

  • As the pandemic wears on and claims more lives, reported mental health issues including suicidal thoughts are continuing to rise. How are COVID-19 and the necessary social isolation measures impacting suicide rates? What are the other individual and societal factors at play and how can we understand and combat them? 

    In an effort to address these and other questions, the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to present a VIRTUAL conference for clinicians, scholars, and mental health advocates, Suicide: Culture & Community on Friday evening and Saturday, October 16-17, 2020.  

  • Exploring the Impact of Client Suicides on Clinicians

    “For a limited time, a special collection of articles on treating the suicidal patient is free access for all readers. The collection includes 12 articles from our Law and Psychiatry and Psychotherapy columns concerning Therapeutic Risk Management, Chain Analysis of Suicidal Ideation and Behavior, the Pros and Cons of Introducing a Suicide-Specific Diagnosis, Psychotherapy with the Suicidal Patient, and Balancing Confidentiality and Patient Care.” 

  • “Trust and Consequences” by Hannah Dreier Selected for 2020 Austen Riggs Erikson Prize.

    We were honored to recognize and hear from Washington Post/Pulitzer-Prize-Winning reporter Hannah Dreier during a virtual presentation and Q&A in early August, 2020. She spoke about her piece "Truth and Consequences," a painstakingly researched exploration of how US immigration authorities shattered professional standards of patient confidentiality by compelling mental health workers to turn over notes from their sessions with detained migrants to use against them in court.  

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