Author Archives: bob

Letter to the Editor

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker made me mad when he submitted his new budget. So I wrote a letter to the editor of The Worcester Telegram. In some strange Turing Test, they published it today.

Here is the link.

Here is the letter. They added the title:

Governor shouldn’t cut RLC funding

When my teen-aged daughter first attempted suicide, the Collaborative Assessment Program came to her rescue and helped save her life by getting her hooked up with the Department of Mental Health. Later, when the Legislature cut that program for everyone except children of families with Mass Health, I told them it will be their fault every time the next kid with private health insurance dies because of their shortsightedness.

They still haven’t fixed it.

Now, years later, my no-longer-quite-so-suicidal daughter has found a safe and welcoming place at one of a small number of DMH-funded Recovery Learning Communities across the state. Here she has found innovative and cost-effective solutions, including peer supports and a hearing-voices group, a place to accept and find meaning in her voices — the very same voices that always come back no matter how hard the doctors and hospitals and their antipsychotics try to silence them.

And here she finds the camaraderie of others, struggling, as she does, to remain in the community rather than locked away in some more terrible place. Now the governor wants to cut RLC funding by 50 percent. This seems to me like another shortsighted, unsafe, and, ultimately costly idea.

BOB LARSTED
Holden

Published in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 23, 2015.

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Join Us In Holden on May 6

A May Is Mental Health Month Author Event
Bob and Patricia
A Frank Talk on Mental Health
Join me in Holden as Patricia and I talk about her battle with anxiety, depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and schizoaffective disorders. Share our journey through the minefield of school, family, and today’s healthcare system as we struggled to find a way for her to survive, and, ultimately, thrive.

When:
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
6:15 pm

Where:
Gale Free Library
23 Highland Street
Holden, MA 01520

Free and open to the public.

Flyer

I promise only a memorable experience. At previous talks we’ve had props, dramatic book readings, some giggles. And some tears.

Bob

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May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month. Patricia and I are working on scheduling some Central Massachusetts appearances. Stay tuned.

Bob

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Join Us In Clinton on September 17

Bob and Patricia – A Special Author Event: Join me on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 7 pm at the Bigelow Free Public Library in Clinton, Massachusetts, as Patricia and I talk about her battle with anxiety, depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and schizoaffective disorders. Share our journey through the minefield of school, family, and today’s healthcare system as we struggled to find a way for her to survive, and, ultimately, thrive.

Bob With Books

It is free and open to the public. Here is the flyer.

I promise only a memorable experience. At previous talks we’ve had props, dramatic book readings, some giggles. And some tears.

Bob

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Unforgettable Jane Dutton

Bob Jane

I went to my friend Jane Dutton’s memorial service today to say goodbye. But somehow, I don’t think she is really gone from my life. Jane enabled me to talk with my children. I’ve had a different – and better – and happier life because of that. And for at least one of my kids, it probably saved her life. Thank you, Jane.

It all had to do with reading aloud to my children – even after they were old enough to read on their own – something Jane taught me was possible – even though not enough parents continue to do so. After reading tens of thousands of pages and hundreds of books together, once you’ve read the Funeral Oration of Pericles out loud to your eight-year-old, you can talk about anything – even the kinds of things no one wants to discuss.

I’m so happy for Jane and the courageous decision she had to make to move to the Netherlands a few years ago. But in doing so, Jane also pulled off something incredible: and that was that she didn’t abandon us – she was still here – and in many ways closer – from her new home so many miles away. And I was blessed to have a front row seat witnessing her having that same kind of different – and better – and happier life. I miss my friend: Unforgettable Jane.

Bob

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Placebo Facts

I went to Novel Approaches in the Treatment of Depression at Mass General Hospital on June 14, 2014. Cristina Cusin, MD, gave a great lecture on The Role of Placebo in Clinical Practice. She shared some fun facts about placebos:

  1. Expensive placebos work better than less-expensive ones.
  2. Two placebos per day work better than one.
  3. Blue placebos work best for sleep.
  4. Red placebos work best for pain.
  5. Brand name placebos work better than generic ones.
  6. Placebos work best if administered by someone in a white coat.
  7. Homeopathic placebos work just as well as conventional-medication placebos.
  8. An injected placebo works better than a placebo pill.
  9. A surgical placebo works better than a placebo pill or injection.
  10. Placebos with unpleasant side effects work better than those with no side effects.

Bob

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Placebo Facts 9

I went to Novel Approaches in the Treatment of Depression at Mass General Hospital on June 14, 2014. Cristina Cusin, MD, gave a great lecture on The Role of Placebo in Clinical Practice. She shared some fun facts about placebos:

9. A surgical placebo works better than a placebo pill or injection.

See the complete list here.

Bob

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Placebo Facts 8

I went to Novel Approaches in the Treatment of Depression at Mass General Hospital on June 14, 2014. Cristina Cusin, MD, gave a great lecture on The Role of Placebo in Clinical Practice. She shared some fun facts about placebos:

8. An injected placebo works better than a placebo pill.

See the complete list here.

Bob

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Placebo Facts 7

I went to Novel Approaches in the Treatment of Depression at Mass General Hospital on June 14, 2014. Cristina Cusin, MD, gave a great lecture on The Role of Placebo in Clinical Practice. She shared some fun facts about placebos:

7. Homeopathic placebos work just as well as conventional-medication placebos.

See the complete list here.

Bob

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Placebo Facts 6

I went to Novel Approaches in the Treatment of Depression at Mass General Hospital on June 14, 2014. Cristina Cusin, MD, gave a great lecture on The Role of Placebo in Clinical Practice. She shared some fun facts about placebos:

6. Placebos work best if administered by someone in a white coat.

See the complete list here.

Bob

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