Media Coverage

  • 28 People Named to Buffalo 5/14 Survivor Fund Steering Committee
    Business First reports that Mike Cummings, MD, vice chair of community affairs and outreach for the Department of Psychiatry and associate medical director at Erie County Medical Center, is among community and business leaders who have been named to a steering committee charged with setting policies for eligibility and dividing $3 million raised so far for the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund. The committee is led by co-chairs Rev. Mark Blue, president of the Buffalo NAACP, and Paul Vukelic, president and CEO of Try-It Distributing Co. The fund is being administered by the nonprofit National Compassion Fund.
  • Even for Moderate Drinkers, Going on a Binge Can Raise Health Risks
    Healthline quotes Kenneth Leonard, PhD, director of the Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, in a story that covers topics including surveys on drinking trends during the pandemic. Leonard said these surveys should be taken with a grain of salt, because changes in alcohol consumption varied across the country. “COVID didn’t really strike everybody in the same way,” he said. “Overall, there was probably some increase in drinking, and [this was] likely among those people who are most at risk of heavy drinking.”
  • CBT? DBT? Psychodynamic? What type of therapy is right for me?
    Rappler republished a piece by Sourav Sengupta, MD, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics in the Jacobs School, about choosing the right type of mental health therapy. “In thinking about what kind of therapy you might benefit from most, consider how you tend to approach and solve problems in your daily life,” he wrote. “Just as important as the type of therapy is how well you connect with your therapist. Finding a good match can be a challenge. A recommendation from people you know and trust, such as your friends or primary care provider can help point you in the right direction.” The Pittsburgh Courier also published the story, which originally appeared in The Conversation.
  • WNY mental health specialists on how to talk to children about mass shootings
    Spectrum Local News spoke to Sourav Sengupta, MD, MPH, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, about parents talking to their children about the mass shooting in Buffalo. "We don't want to be using a lot of adult words and concepts,” he said. “We really want to try to get down to their level and communicate in a way that they're going to understand. It usually means sometimes not giving a lot of details.”
  • Have you been drinking more or less during the pandemic? [WBFO]
    A WBFO-FM story about alcohol use during the pandemic quoted Kenneth Leonard, PhD, director of the Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions and senior research scientist in the Jacobs School. "Impact of COVID on people's stress levels was, to some extent, highly individualized, depending on what their resources were in order to deal with the specific issues that were impinging on them," Leonard said.
  • Winter blues or something more? It may be Seasonal Affective Disorder [WBFO]
    WBFO reports on seasonal affective disorder. “The days get shorter, you have less daylight. And light of that intensity is a cue to biological rhythms and keeps them synchronized as the days get shorter,” said Steven Dubovsky, MD, chair of psychiatry at the Jacobs School. “People who are prone to getting depressed, what happens is those circadian rhythms, those daily rhythms of hormone secretion, energy production and so forth, they get thrown out of sync with each other. And that's what brings on the depression.”
  • 2 The Outdoors: Does technology disconnect us from nature? [WGRZ]
    WGRZ interviewed Sourav Sengupta, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics in the Jacobs School, on a report on whether technology disconnects us with nature. "It does! You know, and I'd say, even more than that I think it disconnects us from other people. And as part of that, I think a lot of that is mediated from an increasing disconnection from nature," he said.
  • This One Habit Makes Your Divorce Risk Skyrocket by 50 Percent, Study Says [Best Life]
    Best Life referenced UB research in an article on the impact of alcohol on marriages. The 2013 UB study, led by Kenneth Leonard, director of the UB Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, found that half of couples where only one partner drank heavily ended up divorcing. However, for couples where neither drank heavily, just 30% divorced. The divorce rate was also lower for couples when both partners drank heavily, although, that is not necessarily a good thing, said Leonard. “Heavy drinking spouses may be more tolerant of negative experiences related to alcohol due to their own drinking habits,” said Leonard. “While two heavy drinkers may not divorce, they may create a particularly bad climate for their children.”
  • Pandemic compounds seasonal mental health concerns [WGRZ]
    WGRZ interviewed Sourav Sengupta and Michael Cummings, both assistant professors in the Department of Psychiatry in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, about the best ways to handle anxiety during this holiday season. They discussed the challenge of having children at home during the break after the difficulties of remote schooling and getting them back to in-person school this year.  “It's going to be important to give them free time and be flexible,” said Cummings, “but also kind of keep them a little bit on schedule so they can go back smoothly again."
  • Leonard Comments on ‘Gray Area’ Drinking During Pandemic [Healthline]
    A story on “gray area” drinking — considered the realm between healthy levels of alcohol consumption and a diagnosed alcohol use disorder — during the pandemic quotes Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, who cautioned against various surveys on alcohol consumption. “COVID didn’t really strike everybody in the same way. Overall, there was probably some increase in drinking, and [this was] likely among those people who are most at risk of heavy drinking.” 
  • Aerobic Exercise After Sports-Related Concussion Accelerates Adolescent Athlete Recovery
    Adolescents can speed their recovery after a sport-related concussion and reduce their risk of experiencing protracted recovery if they engage in aerobic exercise within 10 days of the injury, according to UB research. John J. Leddy, MD, first author and clinical professor of orthopaedics, was quoted as part of its coverage. “The study clearly demonstrates that strict physical rest until symptoms spontaneously resolve is no longer an acceptable way to treat sport-related concussion in adolescents,” said Leddy. Barry S. Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry and senior author, was also quoted.
  • How This New Program Is Training College Freshmen About Sexual Misconduct Prevention [Healthline]
    Healthline reported on new simulation-based programs designed to help college students better navigate issues they may encounter such as substance misuse and sexual assault and violence. The story quotes Kenneth E. Leonard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and director of UB’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions, who said that education with skills training geared to reducing risky drinking behaviors can be effective. He noted that the “vast majority” of alcohol education programs, for example, usually “provide classroom instruction about how alcohol is metabolized, the amount of ethanol, or alcohol, in usual alcohol beverages, and the consequences of excessive drinking.” He added that is “no evidence” that this kind of education “has any influence on drinking.”
  • Refresh Takes: The Start of the New School Year Wasn’t So Bad [Buffalo News]
    The Buffalo News reported on how parents can help ease the back-to-school transition and quoted Michael S. Adragna, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, who said, “Progress is not a straight line. There are certainly going to be some setbacks along the way. Some people will get sick. Some schools will … probably have kids quarantined. But just because there’s a setback doesn’t mean that the cause is lost and doesn’t mean that it’s not a worthwhile endeavor to keep plugging ahead.”
  • Sengupta Answers Questions About Easing the Back-to-School Transition [WIVB-TV]
    WIVB-TV interviewed Sourav Sengupta​, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, about mental health considerations as students return to school this fall. The Q&A covered several topics, including signs that parents can look out for, and tips for helping children make the transition. “Kids thrive on good positive structure and routine, and that’s a lot of what (the) early school years really teaches kids,” Sengupta says. “And so parents can help kids especially in these last couple of days and weeks before school gets going by just returning back to a nice structured routine as they get ready for school.”
  • Dealing with Back-to-School Anxiety: What Can Parents Do? [In Good Health]
    In Good Health reported on back-to-school anxiety and quoted Michael Andragna, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry in the Jacob School, who said: “If the child is anxious about the first day of high school or middle school and a new building, drive to the school a couple times. Go inside, if possible. That takes a lot of the pressure off the first day.”