April 2014:

Recent CT Forum featuring Dr. Schwartz to be aired on CPTV on April 8th, 14th and 20th

Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Vice President for Behavioral Health at Hartford Hospital/Institute of Living, was a panelist at the Connecticut Forum at The Bushnell on March 7, 2014. The topic was “An Honest Look at Mental Illness,” and the Forum was hosted by Hartford HealthCare. This unscripted evening of unforgettable conversation supported HHC’s efforts to further the national dialogue on mental health and to help “Stop the Stigma” that surrounds mental illness. About one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. There are dozens of such disorders, from depression and bipolar disorder to schizophrenia and panic attacks. “By helping combat the stigma associated with mental illness, we can help increase the number of people who seek treatment,” said Dr. Schwartz. HHC’s Behavioral Health Network – Natchaug Hospital, Rushford, The Institute of Living and programs at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, MidState and Backus – offers comprehensive care and programs for people living with mental illness. Most of the time, proper treatment – such as the options and support provided by the Behavioral Health Network – enables people with mental illness to lead fulfilling and productive lives. But there persists a stigma about mental illness in our society, and patients often feel shame and isolation. “Shame and discrimination can add to the suffering of those living with mental illness. Stigma can prevent people from seeking treatment and getting better,” said Dr. Stephen Larcen, Senior Vice President for Behavioral Health. That’s why HHC launched a public campaign to “Stop the Stigma.” Our goal is to have 10,000 people take the pledge. To date, more than 7,000 people have done so. The pledge is online at www.StopTheStigmaCT.org. The Connecticut Forum presentation will be broadcast on CPTV on April 8th at 8PM, April 14th at 10PM, and April 20th at 10AM.


March 2014:

Dr. Linda Durst appointed Medical Director of the IOL

Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the IOL, recently announced that the position of Medical Director of the IOL has been filled. Dr. Linda Durst, currently the Chief Medical Officer at Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at PennState Hershey College of Medicine has accepted the position and will begin her duties here as Medical Director on June 2nd. Dr. Durst has had a distinguished clinical, administrative, and teaching career marked by positions of increasing responsibility, most recently at the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, and prior to that at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She is recognized by her peers as an outstanding clinician (Best Doctors in America) and was the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013) at PennState Hershey College of Medicine.

Kim Brownell, M.D., newest member of the Psychiatry faculty at the IOL

Dr. Kim Brownell recently completed her Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Residency Programs at The Institute of Living. Dr. Brownell received her medical degree from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and performed her Pediatric Residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She has also performed clinical and teaching services within the Indian Health Service and the National Service Corps and has provided exceptional pediatric outpatient, inpatient, normal newborn, and emergency work to the greater Hartford community, primarily at Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Dr. Brownell's IOL duties will include: the TOPS extended day program, the Child Partial Hospital Program, and the DBT Program.

CT Forum Panel on Mental Illness Sponsored By HHC

Hartford HealthCare's Behavioral Health Network is hosting an event in the Connecticut Forum series called "An Honest Look at Mental Illness," on Friday, March 7th at the Bushnell. Dr. Harold I. Schwartz, Psychiatrist-in-Chief at The IOL, will be on the panel. Other panelists will be Royce White, NBA draft pick as well as authors Andrew Solomon and Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison. The panel will be moderated by John Dankosky, host of WNPR's "Where we live." The forum is described as "a conversation about perceptions, realities and what it's like to work and live with the stigma of mental illness." For more information or tickets, click here or call 860-509-0909.


January 2014:

Black & Red Gala raises more than $1 million to benefit The Institute of Living

Hartford Hospital celebrated its most successful Black & Red Gala ever on Saturday, January 25th, at the Bushnell. More than 1,200 guests attended the annual fundraising event, which this year benefited The Institute of Living. The gala netted more than $1 million, a record for the 23rd annual fund-raiser. The Black & Red Gala attracted a soldout crowd who enjoyed an evening of fine dining, and a performance by the Barenaked Ladies.The event also featured a live TV broadcast by FoxCT that created awareness of the hospital’s “Stop The Stigma” campaign, which is aimed at eliminating the stigma and discrimination that makes it hard for people with mental illness to get the help they need.


"Stop the Stigma":  A Campaign to End the Stigma of Mental Illness

An estimated 26.2% of Americans ages 18 and older (about one in four adults) suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. And adults are not the only ones affected. Children and adolescents struggle with mental illness as well. For some people, a mental illness may be a lifelong condition, like diabetes. But as with diabetes, proper treatment enables many people with a mental illness to lead fulfilling and productive lives. The fear of stigma and discrimination has a devastating effect on those living with mental illness and on their families. By helping to combat the stigma associated with mental illness we can help increase the number of people that seek treatment. The Institute of Living offers many treatment options for people living with mental illness, as well as support for their families and loved ones. One thing we cannot do alone is break down the stigma of mental illness in our society. But you can make a difference. You can help change the way people view mental illness. We invite you to take the “Stop the Stigma” pledge to change the way we think and talk about mental illness. Our goal is to obtain 5,000 individual pledges.
The pledge reads: I pledge to ...

  • Show compassion by reaching out to those in need of help. I will not let anyone suffer in silence.
  • Have the courage to speak up and challenge stereotypes and attitudes. I will not tolerate or perpetuate stigma.
  • Teach by sharing my own experiences with mental illness and encouraging others to share their stories with me. I will learn in order to change.
  • Demand a change in how we view and address mental illness. I will help lead the way.

Please ask everyone — fellow employees, volunteers, patients, the community — to take this pledge. It is online now at www.StopTheStigmaCT.org


Out of the Shadows: A Community Conversation on Mental Health

On January 14, 2014, Hartford Healthcare Behavioral Health Network Senior Vice President Stephen Larcen, Ph.D. and Harold I. Schwartz, MD, Regional Vice President and Psychiatrist-in-Chief for The Institute of Living were featured panelists during the live Town Hall Meeting, Out of the Shadows: A Community Conversation on Mental Health. This event was held in collaboration with the Connecticut Civic Health Advisory Group, the Connecticut Commission on Children, the Connecticut Network (CT-N), Everyday Democracy and the Secretary of the State’s Office, with funding provided by Connecticut Humanities. This event was broadcast live on the CT-N website.


Seeking entries from high school students for BrainDance Awards

The 11th Annual BrainDance Awards competition is seeking entries from all high school students in Connecticut. The competition (sponsored by the IOL) is for high school student projects on mental illness designed to decrease the stigma of mental illness. The BrainDance Awards encourage high school students to gain knowledge about psychiatric diseases and develop a more tolerant and realistic perspective toward people with severe psychiatric problems. The competition also aims to promote students’ interest in careers in mental health care. To receive a BrainDance Award, a student must submit an academic project or an art project on themes related to severe mental illness. Projects must be submitted using a flash drive or dropbox format only. Awards up to $1,000 will be given to the best submissions. The deadline for submissions is February 1st. The BrainDance Awards will be held on April 24, 2014. To apply for the awards, please visit www.nrc-iol.org and follow the link to BrainDance for application forms, information, and procedures. Email Nancy Hubbard for more information.


David F. Tolin, Ph.D., ABPP to be honored with a lifetime achievement award

Dr. David Tolin, Director of the Anxiety Disorders Center/Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy at The Institute of Living, will be given a lifetime achievement award at the annual meeting of the Connecticut Psychological Association in October of this year.


The Anxiety Disorders Center is seeking participants for several research projects

The Anxiety Disorders Center is seeking participants for clinical trials. Study treatment is provided at no cost to participants. We are currently seeking adult patients with any of the following primary diagnoses:

  • Panic disorder
  • Hoarding disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

For more information, please call 860-545-7039 or visit http://www.harthosp.org/InstituteOfLiving/AnxietyDisordersCenter/CurrentResearch/default.aspx