March 6, 2012


Boy Interrupted documentary film screening


Did you know?...

  • This film was an Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival?
  • Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit bipolar research at U-M?
  • Psychologists and social workers can earn continuing education credits for attending?
  • A panel discussion with the filmmaker and Depression Center researchers will follow the screening?
  • Advance tickets are only $7 for students and seniors, and $12 for adults?

Please join us this Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m. for this special benefit event for the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund at the Depression Center. Learn more...

Theater performance to focus on managing stress and emotion in college

Pictured: UMetc performers

Join us for the premiere performance of “Finding our Footholds: College Students Reflect on Positive Mental Health,” an original work by the U-M Educational Theatre Company (UMetc). The production is based on discussions with U-M students about how they strive to maintain balance and stay emotionally healthy while facing the stresses and challenges of college life.

This performance will be staged as the final session of the U-M Depression on College Campuses conference on Thursday, March 8, 3-4 pm at the Rackham Auditorium. No registration is required to attend this performance, which is free and open to the public. For more information on the overall conference, please visit our website.

Military Family Support Forum adds Clinton-Macomb-area sessions

Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) announces an additional location for its Military Family Support Forum events. Along with Ann Arbor, the Clinton-Macomb area will now host these free programs for the family members of OEF/OIF service members or veterans. Each forum session focuses on a topic of interest and offers an opportunity to connect with other families through a facilitated discussion. Spouses, significant others, children, parents, siblings and other relatives are welcome. Please visit the M-SPAN website for more information and the events schedule.

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

Run, walk, wheel, or stroll the Big House Big Heart 10K, 5K or 1-Mile! All races start at U-M's "Big House" football stadium and finish on the 50-yard-line. Visit the BHBH website for more information about the events. Everyone is welcome to participate on the Depression Center's team!

There are two ways to give your support on behalf of the Depression Center through the BHBH:

1) Register here to walk or run as part of the Depression Center team. Choose "University of Michigan Depression Center" as your BHBH Charity Team. For more information, please email Paul Barr, team captain.
2) Make a tax-deductible donation in memory of a friend or loved one, or in honor of someone who is participating in the race by clicking on this link: Proceeds will support Dr. Rich Dopp's studies on adolescent depression and exercise.

Psychotherapy Training opportunities for mental health professionals

The Frankel Program for Improved Access to Quality Mental Health Services for Youth and Young Adults, a new donor-funded Depression Center program, is offering a range of psychotherapy training opportunities designed for mental health professionals at U-M, within the Ann Arbor community, and throughout the state of Michigan. View this program’s webpage for more information and a schedule of upcoming trainings.



Short film offers an inside view of the Depression Center

Depression: Into the Light takes an insider’s look at the Depression Center’s innovative approach to improving diagnosis, research, clinical translation, education, and public policy.  The video was produced by Depression Center member Reg Williams, Ph.D., R.N., B.C., F.A.A.N., professor of nursing and psychiatry, with collaborators Alan Scafuri, Eric Protiva, and Eileen Meirer.

PBS segment focuses on surviving cancer, features Depression Center expert

The PBS series A Wider World featured Depression Center Associate Director Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S, in segments devoted to sharing individual stories of cancer survivorship. Dr. Riba is the founding director of the PsychOncology Program, a collaboration between the U-M Comprehensive Depression Center and Comprehensive Cancer Center to treat cancer patients who also suffer from depression. There she leads a multidisciplinary group of clinicians who care for the emotional needs of cancer patients and their families, including physicians, nurses, social workers, art therapists, child life specialists, and psychologists. View clips from the show that discuss fighting depression as a cancer survivor, and adjusting to a “new normal” after cancer treatment is over.



Green named to new national committee addressing chronic pain

Depression Center member Carmen R. Green, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and health management and policy, has been appointed to the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, just created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The committee, made up of national experts in pain research and patient care, will work to identify critical gaps in basic and clinical research on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of pain, and will recommend federal research programs in these areas. Read about some of Green’s recent work below in “In the News.”

Greden appointed board president of national suicide prevention organization

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) recently announced that U-M Depression Center Executive Director John F. Greden, M.D., has been named its new board president.  “We are fortunate to have Dr. Greden in this important volunteer role within AFSP. As president of the board, he will help to guide our organization over the next several years as we expand suicide prevention research, education, and advocacy, as well as programs for those bereaved by suicide,” says AFSP Executive Director Robert Gebbia. Read more...



Few college students with depression get adequate care

Fewer than one in four college students with symptoms of serious depression receives minimally adequate treatment, and services currently available on campuses might not be sufficient for delivering good quality mental health care, according to a new study in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry. The ideal campus mental health care service would be a collaborative one that combines psychiatrists, general physicians, and psychologists with other health care providers, lead author and Depression Center member Daniel Eisenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of health management and policy, said in an interview with Health Behavior News Service. "Most campuses are not close enough to that ideal."

Electroconvulsive therapy’s enduring effectiveness

Pictured: U-M’s ECT treatment team

A Detroit Free Press profile of a Detroit-area woman’s struggle with severe depression highlights the role that electcroconvulsive therapy (ECT) sessions, performed at U-M, played in her recovery. For more than 70 years, ECT has been an effective treatment for a number of psychiatric illnesses, and in recent decades it has become an important option for improving symptoms of severe depression in people who have failed to find relief through other treatments, or who need a more rapid response than medications can provide. The article quotes Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Daniel Maixner, M.D., who directs the ECT program at U-M Hospital and is also a Depression Center member.

Severity of chronic pain and related mood disorders linked to neighborhood status

Living in a poor neighborhood was linked with worse chronic pain among young adults, although young black patients faced difficulties with pain management no matter where they lived – this is according to a new study by Depression Center member Carmen R. Green, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and health management and policy, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Pain. Living in a lower socioeconomic neighborhood was associated with increased chronic pain, pain-related disability, and mood disorders like depression and anxiety. The study demonstrates that the characteristics of where a patient lives – including structural barriers, affluence, and access to resources such as pain medications – play an important role in pain management.

Green was also quoted in a recent Click on Detroit article about managing osteoarthritis. "For many individuals, the main goal is to effectively treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis and stay active," she said. "Treatment may include a mix of physical therapy, acupuncture, massage and prescription pain medications, including over-the-counter products, anti-inflammatory drugs and opioid medications."

Experts probe psychiatric diagnosis guide

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) will see its first revisions in nearly 20 years, and not without controversy. Proposed changes to the definitions of autism and depression, among others, are causing the greatest stir, and some experts have larger concerns about the manual’s overall approach to categorizing psychiatric conditions.  “The problem is not the DSM criteria,” according to Randolph Nesse, M.D., a Depression Center member and a professor of psychiatry and psychology. “The problem is that the untidy nature of mental disorders is at odds with our wish for a neat, clean classification system.” Nesse was also quoted in an article on, in which he discussed the ramifications of the proposed abolition of the “grief exclusion” in diagnosing major depression (currently, people experiencing normal bereavement in the period following the loss of a loved one are not given a depression diagnosis).

Self-prescribing declining among young doctors

Rates of self-prescription and the use of prescription medications by medical interns have declined significantly over the last decade, according to a study co-authored by Depression Center member Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry. In contrast to the largest previous study on this issue, which found the practice of self-prescription was widespread, Sen’s study found that only a small proportion of physicians-in-training use prescription medications during internship, and that most obtained those drugs from personal physicians or colleagues. Sen and co-authors posit that the decline in the rate of self-medication that they found can be largely explained by newer restrictions on direct interactions with representatives from pharmaceutical companies. The study was featured in the International Business Times, MSNBC, and the Chicago Tribune.

Suicide and the African-American community

Don Cornelius

A Huffington Post article about the death of Soul Train creator Don Cornelius and the stigma of suicide among African Americans quoted Depression Center member Sean Joe, L.M.S.W., Ph.D., associate professor of social work and psychiatry, and faculty associate of the Research Center for Group Dynamics. Joe said that across racial and ethnic backgrounds, today’s young people tend to view the concept of suicide with less stigma than their older counterparts and are more willing to talk about it openly.

Reaching out to help college students take on depression

Depression Center Outreach Coordinator Eric Hipple recently visited Youngstown State University to speak with students about recognizing depression and helping peers who may be struggling. Read about his visit and watch a video interview produced by YSU students. Hipple was also interviewed on WOOD-TV8 (Grand Rapids) last week.

Yoga as a stress-reliever for kids?

A Chicago Tribune article about the growing practice of teaching yoga in schools to help boost students' academic performance, behavior, and overall health quotes Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., Depression Center associate director and a professor of psychiatry. Riba argues that rather than concentrating on repairing the damaging aftereffects that stress can exert on young people, greater attention should focus on reducing the sources of children’s stress in the first place.

Common vaccine does not present increased seizure risk

In an article in U.S. News & World Report, Depression Center member Gary Freed, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the division of general pediatrics and director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at U-M’s C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, commented on a recent study which found that children who receive a routine combination vaccine known as DTaP-IPV-Hib have no significant increased risk of febrile seizure (a convulsion triggered by a fever) during the week after vaccination.



Ongoing : Workshops and support groups

The U-M Depression Center and Ambulatory Psychiatry offer free workshops and support groups for patients and families to help everyone learn more about risk factors, treatment options, communications skills, healthy living, and more.

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

March 10: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)
Emotional Cycles of Deployment

March 10: Military Family Support Forum (CLINTON-MACOMB)
Emotional Cycles of Deployment

March 11: Boy Interrupted documentary screening

April 14: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)
Topic TBA

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

May 5: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)
Topic TBA

May 18: Depression Center Colloquium
Reducing suicide risk through depression treatment

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




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