If you’ve been diagnosed with depression, how do you know if you’re doing everything you can to get better?  Do you have a treatment plan, and if so, how well is it working?  How effectively are you involving your family and friends in your treatment and recovery?

Regardless of where you are in your journey to recovering from depression, evaluating the elements of your treatment and support plan is a worthwhile exercise.  Visit our Depression Toolkit site to complete a quick “self-check” to help you determine if you’re staying on track, and to identify steps you might consider taking to make your plan work even better. Read more...

Veterans helping veterans

In an interview with Michigan Radio, Brandon Brogan, program manager of Buddy-to-Buddy, explains how the program uses a peer-to-peer model to help recently returned veterans transition back to civilian life.  Buddy-to-Buddy is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), which includes programs developed by the U-M Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry along with other collaborators.

Listen to the interview here.

Suicide risk among pregnant women and new moms

Increased screening of pregnant women and new mothers for major depression and intimate partner conflict may help identify those at risk for suicide, concludes a study led by Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and a member of the Depression Center. Only a small percentage of women who take their own lives are pregnant or have recently become mothers, but their frequent interactions with the health care system may provide important opportunities for providers to intervene if risk factors are better understood, according to the study team, whose findings were published online ahead of print publication in General Hospital Psychiatry. The story was featured in US News and World Report,,, and NBC New York.

Surviving holiday anxiety

Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., professor of psychiatry and associate director of the Depression Center, was quoted in an article on about ways to reduce the tension that often builds in families at Thanksgiving get-togethers. “Don’t wait for the usual affront, if you know it’s going to happen. Take control,” Riba said. Read the full article here.

Also, a feature on our Depression Toolkit reflects on the foundations of a variety of harvest festival traditions and how they can offer lessons for focusing on wellness during sometimes stressful holiday periods.

Pain and brain expectations

Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., the Phil F. Jenkins Research Professor of Depression, professor of psychiatry and radiology, and research professor at the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, spoke with Tikkun Magazine regarding the effects of placebos on pain.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)

Advances in Alzheimer’s research

Bruno Giordani, Ph.D., a Depression Center member and associate professor of psychiatry, neurology, and psychology, was quoted in an article on MLiveabout recent advances in diagnosing and monitoring the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

S.A.D.?   "Sun in a box" may provide relief

With the winter months upon us, bringing shorter days and less sunlight, some people find themselves feeling down, with low energy, problems with sleep and appetite, and reduced concentration. These can be symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A recent New York Times article highlighted the benefits of using daily light therapy to treat depression that is associated with seasonal changes. In addition, the Depression Center’s Bright Nights series has featured presentations on SAD by Drs. Melvin McInnis, John Greden, Randolph Nesse, and others – visit our website to view slides and other materials to learn more about this condition and how to find help.



New child and adolescent psychiatry professorship established

Carlos Solano-Lopez
Rosa Casco Solano-Lopez

Carlos Solano-Lopez, M.D., who completed his residency in psychiatry at U-M in 1990, has devoted his life to the psychiatric care of United States military veterans. This year, he established a professorship in the Department of Psychiatry to serve as a memorial to his mother and to benefit children and adolescents with a very specific problem. The Rosa Casco Solano-Lopez Professorship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry will enable the department to recruit a world-renowned researcher who specializes in the psychiatric issues that sometimes result from speech impairment. Read more



Kim serves on Parkinson’s research institute faculty

In November, Scott Kim, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and a member of the Depression Center, served as a faculty member the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) Clinical Research Learning Institute-Northeast Region in Florham Park, New Jersey. By serving as faculty, he helped prepare people touched by Parkinson’s to join PDF’s national advocacy network known as Parkinson’s Advocates in Research. He presented an educational session entitled, “Bioethics and Parkinson’s Research” to the Research Advocates – all of whom either live with Parkinson’s or are care partners to those living with it.



December 10: Military Family Support Forum
Theme: Children and Parenting

January 7: Military Family Support Forum
Theme: Mental Health

January 24: Bright Nights – Mood, Food, and Attitude: Metabolic Syndrome in Depression
7:00-8:30pm, Ann Arbor District Library, Downtown Branch

February 17: Depression Center Colloquium – Suicide Risk Management

March 7-8, 2012: Depression on College Campuses Conference
Rackham Graduate School

March 11: Boy Interrupted documentary screening

A special screening and panel discussion to raise public awareness of bipolar disorder and benefit the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. We thank Michigan Radio for their media sponsorship of this event.



Registration now open for the 10th Annual Depression on College Campuses Conference

March 7-8, 2012
Rackham Graduate School

Many protective factors can help individuals at risk of depressive illnesses to maintain wellness and prevent relapse, including resilience, social connections, mindfulness, and positive thinking. How can we reframe the campus mental health mission to include prevention of depression through a focus on student strengths?

Join us for the 10th Annual Depression on College Campuses Conference to learn about new research findings and innovative strategies to help college campuses integrate prevention, resilience, and positive mental health into their ongoing efforts for students.

Registration is now open online and is FREE for all students from any campus, and $130 for non-students (before February 1). For more information, please visit our website or contact Trish Meyer at 734-763-7495 or

We welcome suggestions about the content and format of this publication – please email with your feedback.

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