Graham Burt Blaine Jr., chief of psychiatry at University Health Services (UHS) from 1964 to 1971, died April 7 from complications arising from a stroke. He was 84.
Blaine ’40 headed psychiatric services at UHS at a particularly challenging time, the years when protest against the Vietnam War, student radicalism, and widespread drug use caused turmoil in the lives of individuals and threatened the stability of the institution.
Blaine responded to this challenge with empathy and understanding, lecturing widely, appearing on television, and writing books and articles aimed at helping the older generation understand and deal with the issues faced by their children.
Blaine’s levelheaded analyses of student issues offered insight into the adolescent’s struggle with identity, relationships, morality, and freedom, while placing these problems within the context of the larger society. In a 1967 article, “Loneliness at Harvard,” published in the Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Blaine discussed the reasons students felt isolated at Harvard despite the fact that UHS at the time had a larger staff of mental health professionals than any other school in the country. In another article on student political activity, he made the pronouncement, “Activism is not a sign of illness.”
Blaine received his M.D. degree from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1943, and from 1944 to 1946 he served as a medical officer in the U.S. Army. He began practice as a general physician in Connecticut, but his interests soon led him to become a psychiatrist. From 1950 to 1951, Blaine was a resident in the psychiatric division of Bellevue Hospital and at the Veterans Administration Mental Hygiene Clinic. He completed his residency at the Austen Riggs Foundation (1951-54).
He was a consultant in psychiatry at Williams College from 1952 to 1954 and became an associate psychiatrist at UHS in 1955. In 1957, he became an assistant in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and became an instructor in psychiatry in 1966. From 1957 to 1958, he served as associate director of the University Project in Religion and Mental Health.
In addition to his work at Harvard, Blaine consulted to Williams College and Simon’s Rock College. An interest in psychological growth and learning disabilities led him to establish a summer school at St. George’s School in Newport, R.I. He was an active and popular member of the Northfield Counseling Institute, now the Stanley King Counseling Center. He also worked at Children’s Hospital, Boston; the Lower Eastside Service Center, New York City; and the Chelsea Clinic, Boston.
In his later years, he was primarily in private practice in Cambridge until a debilitating stroke in 1997 forced his retirement.
In addition to numerous journal articles, Blaine wrote “Patience and Fortitude: The Parent’s Guide to Adolescence” (1962) and “Youth and the Hazards of Affluence” (1966). He contributed two chapters to “The Adolescent: His Search for Understanding” (1963) and was an editor and contributor to “Emotional Problems of the Student” (1961).
An avid sailor, Blaine enjoyed sailing his catboat, the Chat Eau, in Wellfleet Mass., where he and his wife had a summer house.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra Lovell Blaine; a sister, Lorna Halper of Pawling, N.Y.; three daughters, Christine Blaine of Berkeley Calif., Victoria Blaine-Wallace of Marblehead, and Lily Outerbridge of Bermuda; two step-children, Lexy Lovell of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Douglas G. Lovell III of Washington, D.C.; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for 10:30 a.m. May 24 at the Story Chapel in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be sent to the Big Brother Association of Boston.