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Harvard Psychologist To Head Mental Health Efforts At Marathon

By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV
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Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV Medical Reporter Dr. Mallika Marshall
Dr. Mallika Marshall is WBZ-TV News’ Medical Reporter and contributes...
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118th Boston Marathon

 

BOSTON (CBS) — Dr. Jeffery Brown, a Harvard psychologist, is heading up the mental health efforts at the Boston Marathon.

He says unlike last year when there were only two psychologists in the medical tent, this year there will be about 60 mental health professionals, stationed along the route, not only at the finish line but also in Hopkinton.

“We’ll also have people at the start this year. This is a first. Not giving people strategies tips for running but being there for people to support them to talk to them,” Brown said.

Brown has worked with runners for over a decade.

“Runners tend to be a little bit obsessive and like information and always want to do better so it’s fun working with them and working with them to get outside of their heads sometimes,” he said.

Even though Brown’s team doesn’t expect a huge number of people to have mental health needs on the day of the race, they want to make sure there are plenty of counselors on hand.

“People who experience traumatic events only about less than 10% go on to have chronic problems but if someone is in need of having support along the course or want to talk at the Expo or at the finish line, we’ve got somebody there for them,” he said.

At the Expo at the Hynes Convention Center, there will be private areas set up to give runners, their families, volunteers and anyone who wants talk, the ability to do so with someone who has been specially trained.

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