Media Coverage

Daniel Antonius, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry, was interviewed for an article about the Toronto driver who killed 10 pedestrians in a van attack. Antonius noted the driver’s history of posting misogynist statements and praise for other misogynists who have committed murders and said that these actions constitute another form of terrorism. “That feeling that someone is out to get you, maybe not you personally but you as part of a group you represent, that is terror,” he said.
An article about the avalanche of fan mail offering friendship, encouragement and sexually provocative photos that is being sent to Nikolas Cruz, the teen accused of killing 17 people in a shooting rampage at a Florida high school last month, in jail interviews Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry, who said some people get a kind of “notoriety and fame by association” with heinous killers. “It’s like hanging out with a rock star or being a groupie,” he said.
First-year medical students discuss the Health in the Neighborhood course at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and their experiences learning about health care disparities directly from those who are experiencing them in Buffalo. “In order to the learn from the community, it is important to engage as listeners and learners,” said Linda F. Pessar, MD, founder of the course and professor emeritus of psychiatry. The story focused on the national attention it’s drawing from the American Medical Association. “It’s important to have an organization like the AMA be involved in what we’re doing because they have a lot of influence,” said Lisa Jane Jacobsen, MD, associate dean of medical curriculum.
New UB research shows that parents who offer their children a sip of wine or beer on occasion may be contributing to an increased risk of alcohol use and problems later in adolescence. The vast majority of children who sip alcohol don't end up being alcoholics, yet the findings show there is a real effect, and suggest a cautious attitude, said Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Research Institute on Addictions.
Sourav Sengupta, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, was interviewed for a story about the mass shooting at a Florida high school and about how parents can talk to their children about the tragedy. “As a child psychiatrist, one of the first things I want parents to know is we need to create a safe and nurturing place for kids to come to so if there’s a question or concern or fear, they can come to mom and dad … and explore what’s really going on,” he said. “But part of that also means keeping adult concerns on the adult side.”
A story about the mix of emotions students are experiencing at the Florida high school where the mass shootings recently occurred interviews Steven L. Dubovsky, PhD, professor and chair of psychiatry. “(Counselors need to) emphasize that the situation is now safe,” he said. “The second thing that is important is an element of exposure, that is that you review the event and you may go back to the school sooner rather than later so as to not become phobic of the school.”
An opinion piece submitted by 26 brain injury experts about calls for the elimination of youth tackle football after a study found a link between sub-concussive hits to the head and chronic traumatic encephalopathy suggests that evidence linking youth casual sports play to brain injury, brain injury to CTE and CTE to dementia is not strong, and is signed by John J. Leddy, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation sciences, and Barry S. Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry. “We believe that further scientific research and data are necessary for accurate risk-benefit analysis,” the authors write.
A new Erie County wraparound program offers at-risk youth more services, like counseling, and has been effective in decreasing arrests. “For some youth, this is the first opportunity they have to find some underlying issues,” said Peter S. Martin, MD, MPH, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry. “In the juvenile realm, there’s an increasing push to make it so that children and adolescents aren’t penetrating further into the system.”
End Overdose NY is a coalition that is lobbying for a bill in the New York State Assembly that would authorize safe injection sites to operate legally in the state. “You would actually have the medical community in contact with the user community, and that opens up opportunities with moving them into treatment,” said Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Research Institute on Addictions. “A number of the places that have been open for a while do see people moving from going to inject ... to moving into treatment.”
UB’s Research Institute on Addictions is leading a statewide program to train medical professionals in high-need regions, including Erie and Niagara counties, in providing medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. “Once you get trained, it's not an easy transition to getting your first patient. And, once you are treating patients, you have to make sure they are monitored. That can be difficult, especially if you are a single provider,” said Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, RIA director and research professor of psychiatry.
Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry, talks about the mass shootings occurring around the country and the growing feelings of fear and loss that are affecting people as a result. He said people can empower themselves by asking what things they can actively do to keep themselves and their communities safe. “That way, you won’t feel like you’re passively waiting,” he said. “You will feel less anxious and more in control.”
After a gunman fired 20 rounds of ammunition at a Dollar General store in Cheektowaga, Steven L. Dubosky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry, was interviewed about the issue of mass shootings. “It’s not a gun-control issue, and it’s not a mental health issue either,” he said. “It’s a bad behavior issue.”
Michael R. Cummings, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, co-authored an editorial that argued the community should be able to talk about mental illness in the same way people talk about any medical condition.
An article about the extensive coverage of the Las Vegas shooter and concerns that it will lead to copycats who will use the tragedy as a template for their own horrific schemes interviews Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry. “I would not see new mass murderers as copycats so much as competitors who are attempting to best the record of the previous murder and get more air time. The motivation for many of these horrible acts is not psychiatric — it is simply a desire to feel famous, powerful and influential,” he said.
A story on WIVB-TV reports a new state grant will help UB train physicians and nurses on how to medically treat people addicted to opioids, and interviews Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Research Institute on Addictions, who said doctors and nurses need to be properly trained to distribute an FDA-approved medication that is available on the market. “Buprenorphine is one of the medication-assisted treatments that is used for … prescription opioids and heroin,” he said.