April 3, 2012


Students honored for mental health advocacy

Pictured: David Catalan, Catherine Kim, John Greden,
and Patrick Hannah

Since 2007, the Depression on College Campuses conference has recognized outstanding student leadership in the area of campus mental health. The 2012 Student Mental Health Advocate Award winners are David Catalan (University of Michigan), Patrick Hannah (Wayne State University), and Catherine Kim (Cornell University). Read about these students’ exceptional contributions toward promoting mental health awareness, services, and access to resources on their respective campuses.

Novick named inaugural Jenkins award recipient

Danielle M. Novick, Ph.D., a U-M psychiatry research fellow, is the recipient of the first Phil F. Jenkins Award, an award established through the Depression Center to spur creative advances in the treatment or self-management of depression by empowering students and faculty to bring original ideas to life.  Dr. Novick’s project will identify ways that current technology might allow individuals to better monitor their moods, increase their treatment engagement and adherence, and also help guide mental health care providers in making more informed and personalized treatment decisions for their patients.  Read more...

Sen receives inaugural Stern research award

Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, has been named the first recipient of the Oscar Stern Award for Depression Research. The goal of this award is to transform the quality of life of those living with depression or bipolar disorder by promoting innovative and translational research by Depression Center members.  Dr. Sen’s project will examine the relationship between measures of cortisol (a stress hormone) obtained through hair samples and the development of depression symptoms under stress.  Sen will assess whether this unique measure of cumulative stress can be used as a biomarker for major depression and serve as an inexpensive way to diagnose depression, aid in treatment selection, and help monitor how patients respond to treatment.  Read more...

Blow and Ellingrod receive research mentor awards

Depression Center members Frederick Blow, Ph.D., and Vicki Ellingrod, Pharm.D., are two of the eight winners of the inaugural MICHR Distinguished Clinical and Translational Research Mentor Award from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research. The awards recognize Blow, professor of psychiatry and director of Psychiatry’s Mental Health Services Outcomes and Translation Section, and Ellingrod, associate professor of pharmacy and psychiatry, for demonstrating consistent, high-quality mentoring in clinical and translational research as advisors, teachers, advocates, sponsors, colleagues, and collaborators.

Inaugural Greden Scholar in Residence Lecture

Pictured: Drs. Greden, Manji, and Department of Psychiatry Chair Dr. Gregory Dalack

In 2007, John F. Greden, M.D., stepped down after more than 22 years as chair of the U-M Department of Psychiatry to devote his attention to his role as executive director of the U-M Depression Center. To recognize Dr. Greden’s leadership, mentorship, and academic achievements, the department established the John F. Greden, M.D., Scholar in Residence Program, allowing a distinguished expert in depression and other mood disorders to spend time at the U-M each year, give a lecture, meet with faculty and trainees, and expand the center’s focus on the study and treatment of depressive illnesses. On March 28, Husseini Manji, M.D., FRCPC, Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience Janssen Research & Development, LLC., delivered the inaugural Greden Scholar lecture, “Developing Novel Plasticity-Based Therapeutics for Severe Mood Disorders.”

Riba inducted into League of Clinical Excellence

Depression Center Associate Director Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., was one of 31 individuals inducted into the League of Clinical Excellence, which recognizes U-M Medical School faculty physicians who exemplify the provision of the finest care to patients and their families. This inaugural group included those who have been awarded the Medical School’s annual Outstanding Clinician Award since its inception in 2001.

Hipple recognized for military outreach

On April 2, representatives from the U.S. Army Garrison-Detroit Arsenal presented Depression Center Outreach Specialist Eric Hipple with an award recognizing his service during the Arsenal’s 2012 suicide prevention leadership training event. Pictured are Alan Parks, Detroit Arsenal Garrison Manager (L), and Eric Hipple.



Film tells personal stories of resilience

Just released, Reflections on the Experience of Cancer includes rich narratives from people who have lived through the anxiety, depression, and other challenges that cancer may bring. In this video journal, individuals and their family members describe how they coped during difficult times following cancer diagnosis and treatment.  This project was made possible by Dr. Marylen Segal Oberman, a psychologist and cancer survivor.

Mental health research video series features Depression Center associate director

In a new video, Depression Center Associate Director Patricia Deldin, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and psychology, speaks about the critical need for participants in mental health research, what potential volunteers can expect from participating in mental health studies, and the benefits that research volunteers may experience for themselves or provide for others.  The video is part of a series produced by the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) that is featured on the new Mental Health Research page of UMClinicalStudies.org, a comprehensive resource for people interested in learning more about what participating in research is all about.

Reflections on positive student mental health

Finding our Footholds: College Students Reflect on Positive Mental Health, the closing keynote presentation from the Depression on College Campuses conference, is now available online. View this performance by the U-M Educational Theatre Company, as well as the opening keynote presentation by Brittany Snow and Courtney Knowles of the Love is Louder project, on our website. You may also find presentation slides and other materials from the conference there.



New U-M research investigating potential treatment for severe depression

As part of a nationwide clinical trial, U-M researchers are examining whether a medical device that directs electrical stimulation to the brain may offer an effective therapy for people with severe depression. Much like how a pacemaker uses pulses of electricity to help regulate the heart, a deep brain stimulation (DBS) system uses a neurosurgically implanted medical device to deliver mild electrical current to specific areas in the brain. In this new study, the DBS system’s target is a structure in the brain that appears to be overactive when people are profoundly sad and depressed and is believed to function differently in people with major depression. Read more...



Depression management through innovative use of technology

The Michigan Depression Outreach and Collaborative Care (M-DOCC) program was featured in a News-Herald story about creative uses of technology in medical care. M-DOCC is a unique telephone-based depression management program that complements the care that patients get from their primary care doctor.

Coverage of the Depression on College Campuses conference

New research and strategies for integrating prevention, resilience, and positive mental health into college campuses’ ongoing efforts for students were the focus of the 10th Annual Depression on College Campuses conference, held March 7-8 on U-M's Ann Arbor campus.. Conference events were featured in articles in AnnArbor.com, the Ann Arbor Journal, and other publications.

Boy Interrupted event opens new conversations

Thank you to everyone who attended or supported the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund’s 2012 fundraiser, a screening of the acclaimed documentary Boy Interrupted. More than 600 people participated in the event, which included a presentation of the film, followed by a captivating panel discussion. Read more and view event photos...

For cancer patients, the benefits of psychotherapy

General emotional distress, unhelpful coping strategies, and conditions such as anxiety and depression are common in cancer patients. But psychotherapies developed especially for cancer patients can greatly improve quality of life, according to a recent article in Psychiatric News.  The article quotes Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., Depression Center associate director and director of U-M’s Psycho-Oncology program.

PTSD label often misused

Staff Sgt. Bales

When Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was arrested last month for allegedly killing 16 Afghan civilians, many were quick to attribute the incident to posttraumatic stress disorder. An ABC News story about the Bales case quoted Israel Liberzon, M.D., professor of psychiatry and a Depression Center member, who said, “Creating a link [to PTSD] without really knowing what causes a crime stigmatizes hundreds of thousands of people who have such a diagnosis who are contributing members to society and are no harm to anybody,” Liberzon said. Read more...

The evidence against physical punishment

Many studies have shown that methods of physical discipline – including spanking, hitting, and other means of causing pain – can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury, and mental health problems for children. Yet although growing numbers of parents recognize that using physical means of punishment as a short-term method for stopping problem behavior has been shown to cause lasting harm to children, the majority of American parents still view spanking as an acceptable behavior.  According to Depression Center member Sandra Graham-Bermann, Ph.D., professor of psychology and principal investigator for U-M’s Child Violence and Trauma Laboratory, “It’s a very controversial area even though the research is extremely telling and very clear and consistent about the negative effects on children. People get frustrated and hit their kids. Maybe they don’t see there are other options,” Graham-Bermann says in an article in the April issue of Monitor on Psychology.

Eating disorders and making super-skinny unfashionable

On the Charlie Langton Show on WXYT-AM 1290, Depression Center member David Rosen, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics, internal medicine, and psychiatry, provided an overview of the most common eating disorders and also discussed the potential implications of Israel’s recent ban on extremely thin models. You can listen to his talk here.

Toward greater transparency in decisions about medical necessity

In a letter published in The New York Times, Marianne Udow-Phillips, a member of the Depression Center’s National Advisory Board and director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT), points out that decisions made by health plans about medical necessity are now confidential and not subject to public dialogue. A new entity created by the Affordable Care Act, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will change that for the better by supporting research on the cost effectiveness of treatments, evidence that will likely be used by health plans in making benefit decisions, she says.



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.

April 4: 23rd Annual Albert J. Silverman Research Conference
Lifespan Approaches to the Development of Risk for Substance Abuse

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
Unraveling the Mechanisms of Pain and Depression: Implications for Personalized Treatment Strategies

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

May 13-18: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) retreat training

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

May 20: NAMI Washtenaw County event
A screening of the film
A Sister’s Call, which documents a woman’s journey to support her brother through schizophrenia, homelessness, and their family’s complicated dynamics. 
Reception at 5pm, screening at 6pm, discussion to follow.
Depression Center Auditorium, 4250 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, MI
Tickets are $10 or “$2 open-door” suggested donation.
Call 734-994-6611 for more information.

June 9: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)
Topic TBA

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




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