February 7, 2012


Tenth annual Depression on College Campuses conference to focus on student strengths

The annual Depression on College Campuses Conference, scheduled for March 7-8, marks its 10th anniversary this year. Conference workshops and sessions will focus on how college students can draw upon their own strengths, resilience, and sense of social connectedness to help maintain mental health and wellness. Read more...

Join the Depression Center’s Big House Big Heart Run team!
New date for 2012: April 15

Consider supporting the Depression Center and its mission through the Big House Big Heart Run, an exciting event on April 15 that starts and ends at the U-M football stadium! Registration is now open to walk or run the 10K or 5K race as part of the Depression Center team. Choose “University of Michigan Depression Center” as your BHBH Charity team when registering.

Everyone is welcome to join the team!

Stay tuned for more information on how you can make a financial donation to the race (either in memory of a friend or loved one, or in honor of a race participant) that will support Dr. Rich Dopp’s work at the Depression Center on adolescent depression and exercise.

U-M evaluating brain stimulation technique for depression treatment

Pictured: Drs. Patil and Taylor, co-investigators on the DBS Study

For decades, deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has been used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other conditions (see “In the News” below). Now, new research at U-M is investigating whether a DBS device, sometimes referred to as a “pacemaker for the brain,” could be a safe and effective option for those living with treatment-resistant depression.  Find more details here.

Latest issue of UPDATE newsletter now available

The Depression Center has just released the winter issue of UPDATE, our quarterly print newsletter. “Struggling to understand suicide” is the theme of this issue, which offers resources and tools for support and coping, and updates on our work to prevent suicides through education and outreach. Download a PDF of the latest issue here, or ask to be added to our mailing list to receive a copy in the mail.

Saks Fifth Avenue partnering with the Prechter Research Fund

During the month of February, customers at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in Troy, MI, can designate the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund at the U-M Depression Center to receive a donation equal to 5% of their purchases – contributed by Saks – when they use their Saks Fifth Avenue credit card.



A blood test for depression?

A U.S. News & World Report article quotes Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., Depression Center associate director and a professor of psychiatry, on the potential usefulness of a blood test that could detect depression. Harvard Medical School research has found promising early results from its evaluation of a blood-based diagnostic test for depression, although further study is needed to confirm its accuracy.

Outreach to veterans, students, and families

Depression Center outreach coordinator Eric Hipple recently participated in a "Game Day" event with U.S. Marines and other former NFL players at Camp Pendleton (Calif.) as part of the Real Warriors Campaign. The campaign was established in 2009 by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury as a way to encourage military members, veterans, and their families to ask for the help they need to deal with mental health issues. The Tri-County Times (Fenton, Mich.) also ran a series on Hipple’s community outreach efforts and his work with Community Parent, a Michigan-based nonprofit focused on youth safety and education.

Disclosing depression in the workplace?

Whether or not to discuss personal experiences with depression at the office can be a particularly difficult decision.  In an article on Health.com, Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., Depression Center associate director and a professor of psychiatry, discusses factors to think about when considering if, how much, and with whom to share. Our Depression Toolkit also provides some guidelines to help you evaluate the positives and negatives of talking to family, friends, and co-workers about a depression diagnosis or treatment.

Help for people living with Parkinson’s

A Michigan Today article describes the role of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) in helping people overcome the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The article quotes Depression Center member Parag Patil, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery, who performs 30-40 DBS procedures each year at U-M for the treatment of Parkinson’s, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other movement disorders. Patil describes a DBS system as the “oboe that begins a concert,” coaxing neurons to perform in harmony and helping to resolve tremors. Dr. Patil is also the co-investigator on a new research study at U-M examining at DBS as a potential treatment for severe depression (see “Featured” above).

Manage stress to help your heart

Battling traffic, engaging in heated arguments, and dealing with workplace stressors can all take a toll on the heart.  A Chicago Tribune article offering various approaches for dealing with common sources of tension includes advice from Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., Depression Center associate director and a professor of psychiatry.  Developing the skills to manage stressful scenarios may not always be easy, but it can do wonders for your cardiovascular health and mood. Read more.

Trends in misuse of prescription painkillers

U-M Addiction Treatment Services Director Kirk Brower, M.D., a Depression Center member and professor of psychiatry, was quoted in a Source (Shelby Township, Mich.) article about recent trends in overdose deaths and ER admissions due to the misuse of powerful prescription painkillers.

Obesity prevention programs may promote unintended behaviors

A new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health examines the possible association between school-based childhood obesity prevention programs and an increase in eating disorders among young children and adolescents. David Rosen, M.D., M.P.H., a Depression Center member and a clinical professor of pediatrics, internal medicine, and psychiatry, said of the report’s findings, “When obesity interventions are put in place without understanding how they work and what the risks are, there can be unintended consequences.” Rosen offered suggestions for how parents can be more engaged with their children’s eating habits and their school’s obesity prevention efforts.



Laurence Polatsch (“L.P.”) was a bright and outgoing graduate of U-M’s political science program who was working as a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald when he lost his life in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. His family and friends established a memorial fund in his name that has supported a multitude of opportunities in education, medicine, and research to help others lead full lives.

The Laurence Polatsch Memorial Fund recently announced its support for the work of Julie Kaplow, Ph.D., ABPP, a child clinical psychologist, assistant professor of psychiatry, and a Depression Center member. Dr. Kaplow’s work focuses on helping young children cope with the loss of a loved one, and the fund will help enable the further development and implementation of a mental health intervention program for bereaved children who are struggling excessively with their grief.

Read more about Laurence’s life on his memorial website.



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.

April 15: Big House Big Heart Run
Please consider joining the Depression Center’s team – everyone is welcome!

April 20: Depression Center Colloquium
Management of Pain and Depression

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



Depression Center Home

The Director Discusses

Give to the UMDC









e-update Archive | U-M Depression Center | U-M Psychiatry | U-M Health System | U-M Home