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A Study In This Month's Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease Reveals Hope For Recovery From Suicidal Thinking And Treatment Resistant Mental Illness
Date:1/15/2009

s into perspective in their lives. So where treatment in the past was just crisis management, now they can manage themselves well enough to consolidate the change."

As powerful as it is, the Austen Riggs experience is hardly available to everyone. The hospital cares for only seventy or so patients at a time. And most insurance companies will cover only acute inpatient hospitalizations of a few days at a time. Without coverage, the average cost to a patient at Riggs -- including four-times a week psychotherapy, groups, activities, medication, housing and meals -- is about $600 a day.

But the lessons learned from Riggs can be enormously helpful to the broader medical community. "This place is an exquisitely attuned instrument for learning about people's psychological functioning," says Shapiro, "in terms of trauma, character formation, the impact of the social and psychological context on people's lives, and the kinds of care and social environments that help people get out of the holes they're in. My hope for the future is that we increasingly help the field learn how to apply what we're learning at Riggs to the treatment of patients who never come here. If we simply offer excellent treatment to a small number of relatively affluent folks, we are vital for those patients, but we'll become socially and culturally irrelevant. But if we're learning on behalf of others -- and developing a language that allows us to extract insights and apply them to other settings and other treatment cultures -- then Riggs can have a social relevance that transcends the smallness of the institution."

A small, not-for-profit psychiatric treatment center founded in 1919, the Austen Riggs Center, located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is internationally known for its respectful work with patients whose serious emotional disturbances have not responded to treatment efforts. Consistently ranked a "Best Hospital" by U.S. News & World Rep
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SOURCE Austin Riggs Center
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