B E H A V I O RA L  H E A L T H  N E W S

Press Release: 
Dr. Tonmoy Sharma, Sovereign Health's CEO, Addresses Orlando Tragedy and Offers Hotline Support 888-376-3032 

San Clemente, Calif. - June 22, 2016 - Dr. Tonmoy Sharma, Sovereign Health's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), speaks out about the Orlando tragedy in newly-released footage. The senseless shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando took place in the early morning hours of June 12, 2016, in what's now the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.

Dr. Sharma has launched the Orlando Hotline to provide support to survivors, victims' families and loved ones, and to residents of the Orlando area who may be struggling with the repercussions from the shooting. The Hotline is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. ET and is a source of information and referrals to a broad range of behavioral health treatment providers and other support services. Hotline operators are standing by to receive calls at 888-376-3032.

"At this time of national tragedy and mourning, as a leading provider of behavioral health treatment services and a member of the Florida healthcare community, Sovereign Health is committed to providing support to the citizens of Orlando," says Dr. Sharma. 

Dr. Tonmoy Sharma Speaks About the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

In this first of four videos, Dr. Sharma speaks about the initial reaction to the tragedy in Orlando and introduces the plan Sovereign has created to offer support for victims and loved ones.

White River Academy, part of Sovereign Health Group, receives 2016 Best of Delta Award
A message from Justin Nielson

White River Academy is the 2016 recipient of the Best of Delta award, which in this case, honors local schools that enhance the small-town positive image through community service. WRA's program director Jason Nielson took time out to share his appreciation for the award as well as his excitement over the 2016 goals the academy's staff has already achieved.

Becoming part of the community

The staff and I here at White River Academy are happy to receive the distinction, and add it to our three other exemplary service recognitions from the city of Delta and the local Bunker Hill Motocross Track.

The Delta Award Program pinpoints companies who have achieved outstanding marketing success locally. For us, marketing is not pursued; it grows organically from rubbing shoulders with community members in sincere service.

When we first began in 2002, I went to the neighbors to listen to what they thought about residential therapy for boys. I heard the stigmas and explained what we do: provide therapeutic positive growth through holistic treatment. 

At this point, people understand White River Academy is an asset to their neighborhood, not a threat. Truth speaks for itself where pretty brochures can't - it naturally works. 

For our students, you can't be self-centered and engaged at the same time. Likewise for residents, when they are standing side-by-side filling sandbags with our young men, natural conversation takes place. They realize these boys are sincere and willing to put in time and effort. People want to get involved with that kind of momentum. As a matter of fact, we have 10-15 volunteers on our staff who go through all the rigor of application and background check just to be a part of what we're doing. 

Enhanced aftercare and postgraduate assessments

We have intertwined our aftercare program with discharge planning. A centerpiece to each boy's rehabilitation is a self-governed service project from design, to fundraising, to implementation. Now, we've woven phases of the student's aftercare into his discharge in incremental doses well before he leaves us. Two home visits, replete with family feedback sessions, are interspersed throughout his service project process. This way, milestones can be achieved naturally and the transition back to home and school life will be smooth.

WRA has also incorporated our emotional outcome tools assessment into aftercare. Now, students are given the survey 30 days after graduating our program and once a month for six months. We aim to give the assessment every six months for two years after they graduate WRA and every other year thereafter. 

Initially the kids try to give the answers they think you want to hear, not unlike how adults do on job personality questionnaires. But when they see their development charted, they get encouraged and become transparent. We want to maintain that self-awareness through adulthood.

I'm excited to say we're going through our archives to gather data on alumni from the last 14 years to check in on their development since graduating and see how they've navigated life's challenges.

Other new additions to the program 

We've added a weekly group specifically for sex-related process addictions such as pornography and sexting. Katie Soli, MFT, has made great strides with students in this area. We are improving upon reactive attachment therapy and look forward to adding two dialectical behavior therapy sessions a week.  

We're also preparing to provide monthly webinars by psychologist Dr. Daniel Sanderson for students' families. Sanderson has a wealth of information we'd like to share with struggling parents and caregivers.

Equine therapy is doing remarkable

This alternative therapy provides a level of self-regulation and a return to compassion that is unmatched in other modalities. A horse doesn't care if you have an attitude or roll your eyes or cry. Neither do they respond to aggression. Through grooming maintenance, walking the horses, saddling, bridling and eventually riding, the boys absorb the calm assertive presence of the horses and learn how to set aside their emotions for the good of another. 

We have a partnership with the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Facility; the boys who've participated in equine therapy have assisted the ranch with several service projects and even joined in the recent "Days of the Old West Rodeo!"

We are thankful for the Delta award and are encouraged to keep up the meaningful work WRA is doing here in Utah!

Read more: Press Release - White River Academy, part of Sovereign Health Group, receives 2016 Best of Delta Award
M E D I C A L  N E W S

Breakthroughs in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Reach Texas
As the substance use epidemic in the United States continues to worsen, current drug use trends show that Texas is no exception. Some people avoid treatment because they don't want to take time off or worry that others will discover their secret. Many others simply do not realize that their health care insurance plan will cover treatment expenses. Then there are the ones who think they can do it on their own as things go from bad to worse.

Dr. Tonmoy Sharma's Vision for Sovereign Health Profiled in New Video

In this video Dr. Bhatt talks about his working relationship with Dr. Sharma and discusses Sharma's desire to bring cutting-edge, evidence-based treatment to the behavioral health field and to provide the best quality care to those struggling with substance addiction and mental health disorders.

C L I N I C A L  N E W S

The Problem With Outcome Switching in Clinical Trials

Conducting scientific research is necessary for drawing inferences about the types of relationships between two variables and expanding understanding, but a degree of skepticism is always necessary when approaching any scientific research study.

F E A T U R E  N E W S

Sovereign Health Group's sixth installment takes a closer look at the states with the lowest reported opioid overdose rates. The articles goes more in depth about what these states are doing to truly combat opioid abuse, what other problems they may still be facing and the need of individualized plans by state to truly address their needs. To read more about "A Closer Look At The States With The Lowest Overdose Rates", go here:
Freeing the Mind From the 'Capture' of Mental Illness

It's that nagging feeling in your head, in your heart, in your gut. Wherever it manifests, that feeling is your mind's way of saying it wants that certain thing. For some people it can be a favorite food or contact with a loved one. For others it can mean another line of cocaine or a few more sessions of hand-washing to make the nagging feeling go away.

Whether these are cravings, compulsions, obsessive thoughts or emotions that you can't get rid of, they all boil down to one main notion: capture. Mind and body captured by that one thing.

Mental illness and substance abuse put people in invisible bonds, body and soul. David Kessler, M.D., understands that fact.


Hispanic and African Americans in the U.S. are at a Higher Risk for Mental Health Issues

Recent research published in the journal Psychological Trauma found that Hispanic and African American citizens in the U.S. were disproportionately affected by mental health issues and chronic illnesses.

 T E S T I M O N I A L
Troy H's Escape From 10 Years of Opioid Abuse

At the age of 17, Troy H. was a technology enthusiast and athlete. At Hopewell High School in Virginia, he enjoyed playing tennis, football and baseball, even joining his classmates to become the state champions in baseball during his junior year. Little did he know that during one random tennis outing, his whole life would change.

 L E T T E R S  T O  T H E  nbsp;E D I T O R

Most With Schizophrenia Prefer to be Left Alone; Family Members Should Avoid Aggressive Interactions

To the Editor: Thank you for the well-written article Unlocking the Black Box of Schizophrenia - 7 myths about schizophrenia. As a nurse and a parent of a son with schizophrenia, I've frequently had to address point #2: Schizophrenia makes people dangerous. Unfortunately, 3-5 percent [of people] with untreated neuropsychiatric illness do commit violent crimes, but most with schizophrenia are withdrawn and prefer to be left alone. Co-occurring substance abuse, mood disorders, anti-social personality disorders and/or conduct disorders are often unrecognized contributors, as is poverty, early exposure to violence and a history of maltreatment.

Family members and mental health personnel should always avoid aggressive interactions, especially when there's residual or untreated psychosis, when the person lacks self-control, or shows signs of irritability, agitation or combativeness. De-escalation techniques can prevent situations from escalating further.


Mary Palafox RN
Board of Directors

We now welcome letters to the editor in response to any of our articles on any topic in the behavioral health field. Letters cannot be longer than 200 words and should be submitted to news@sovhealth.com. Please list your full name with academic credentials, organization, what your official title is, which department you work in, email address and phone number. Submissions that do not include this information cannot be published. Letters may be edited for space or style and will appear in our external, internal and continuing care newsletters. You will be contacted if your letter is a candidate for publication. We look forward to reading your work. 
E V E N T S  A N D  W E B I N A R S

Barriers To Treatment & Long Term Recovery 

Presented By Scott Silverman 

Individuals in high-profile professions pose a unique challenge to treatment providers. They face the real fear that discovery of their addictions risks their licenses, their badges and their community standing. All three jeopardize their careers. They fear that participating in treatment groups, a strong component of recovery, will compromise their anonymity. This C.E. and networking event will take place on Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 at 11:30 A.M. in El Cajon, CA.

Webinar: What Do We Do With Couples?

Robert Navarra, Psy.D., M.F.T., M.A.C.

Historically treatment approaches for substance use and behavioral disorders has minimized couples work, yet, research informs us that the couple relationship plays a significant role in addiction recovery outcomes. While addiction takes a traumatic toll on the couple relationship, so does recovery; divorce rates are highest for couples with addiction histories. This webinar will occur on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 11:00 A.M

Past Event: Dr. Tonmoy Sharma's presentation on "Unfrying the Neurons: Reversing Cognitive Deficits in Addiction Treatment and Mental Health"

Presented By Tonmoy Sharma, CEO, Sovereign Health Group

Tonmoy Sharma's talk titled "Un-frying the Neurons" examined how the proactive application of cognitive remediation can be valuable in reversing deficits created by substance abuse and mental illness.
A Portrait Of Resilience

Presented By Monica M. Powers, Psy.D.

In reference to persons dealing with traumatic experiences and recovery, it is often confounding how some people are able to recover, while others struggle and drown in it. This presentation explores the common attributes that are associated with resilient people discusses survivors of trauma and the difficulties our patient population often faces. Finally, the presentation will provide examples of what skills can increase resilience in people across different circumstances. This C.E. and networking event will take place on Thursday, Jul 21, 2016 at 11:30 A.M. in Chandler, AZ.

Event: Boost Recovery Outcomes by Treating Shame

Presented By William Feuerborn, DSW, LCSW, CSATS

This presentation explains shame and guilt from an experiential perspective, helping participants feel the difference between the two. Also included here are research outcomes of studies looking at sex addiction and shame as well as other co-occurring emotions and qualities.  A model (the Compass of Shame) will be presented, illustrating how clinicians and treatment staff can better recognize shame in their patients/clients.This C.E. and networking event will take place on Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 at 11:30 A.M. in Costa Mesa, CA.

N E W S  A R C H I V E S

The United States is often compared to a melting pot where inhabitants of many other countries aim to call America home. Each new entry into America contributes something unique to this conjoined collective of diversity, just as each state sets a special scene for communities to thrive in. California is no exception of this trend; in fact, it is the best example. 

S O V E R E I G N  I N  T H E  N E W S 

Dr. Tonmoy Sharma's Vision for Sovereign Health Profiled in New Video 
- Bloomberg
A D D I C T  I O N  P R O F E S S I O N A L
P S Y C H O L O G Y  T O D A Y

What We Learn From Furry Felines

-By Ralph Ryback, M.D., and Courtney Lopresti, M.S., senior staff writer for Sovereign Health Group

Animal-human bonds have sparked a literary epidemic for years; everyone enjoys reading about furry critters. Furry companions are in movies, books, on television shows and play an integral role in households and society.


Can You "Grow Out Of" ADHD?

-By Ralph Ryback, M.D., and Kristen Fuller, M.D., senior staff writer for Sovereign Health Group

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is typically thought of as a childhood illness. When you use a search engine to look up signs and symptoms of the disorder (for instance, shortened attention span, impulsivity, excessive speech and restlessness) or treatments (such as behavioral therapy and medications), many of the websites focus exclusively on children.

S O V E R E I G N  U P D A T E S 
O T H E R  R E C E N T  
H E A D L I N E S  O F  I N T E R E S T

Press Release: The Addict's Mom: Lights of Hope 2016 - The Addict's Mom

The Addict's Mom is proud to announce their annual nationwide campaign "Lights of Hope" which is a candlelight vigil to those lost to addiction

"The House of Representatives passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2646)" - SARDAA

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