Ariadna Forray, MD, is a psychiatrist who treats medical and surgical patients at Yale New Haven Hospital who have psychiatric needs. She specializes in psychiatric and substance-use disorders in unique and complex patient populations that include pregnant and postpartum women, and adults living with sickle cell disease.
One of the few psychiatrists in the U.S. with expertise in mental health issues in patients with sickle cell disease, Dr. Forray was recruited in 2012 as the psychiatry director of a newly developed, interdisciplinary Yale Medicine Adult Sickle Cell Program, which successfully transitioned care from high-cost inpatient and emergency care to integrated outpatient services, and led to improved care and services.
Dr. Forray also has a keen interest in mental health in women across the reproductive lifespan, which she says was inspired by an experience during her residency, when a patient was transferred to the ICU following an intentional overdose. “This was a 30-year-old postpartum woman, who in the two months following the birth of her first child had attempted suicide twice and failed three different medication trials with seven different medications,” Dr. Forray says. “When I met her, I was struck by how much she was suffering—she was restless, she couldn’t sleep, she was extremely anxious, and ruminated over her baby’s well-being to a degree that was unhealthy.” The case inspired her to learn more about why only some postpartum women develop mental health issues, what role hormones might play, and how such struggles might impact a newborn infant. “It was this curiosity combined with the desire to help women during this vulnerable period of their life that defined my path in psychiatry,” she says.
In addition to her other roles, Dr. Forray is the director of the Center for Well-being of Women and Mothers, a reproductive psychiatry research program at Yale, where she studies novel treatments for perinatal substance use. She is currently working on a study that is evaluating two models to help obstetrical providers deliver substance-use treatment to pregnant women with an opioid use disorder across 12 sites in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale Medicine, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital