May 1, 2012


Perhaps you’re troubled by lingering sadness or hopelessness.  Maybe you’re noticing changes in sleeping or eating habits, a lack of energy, trouble concentrating, or a loss of interest in activities you used to find pleasurable. These symptoms may indicate depression or a related illness...but how do you know for sure?

Talking with a doctor is the most direct way to figure out what’s wrong and take action to remedy the problem.  But for many people, the idea of discussing a mental health problem with their regular care provider can be almost as worrying as the problem itself. Read on for 13 tips to help you prepare for that conversation, and for what happens next.

Campus mental health program provides essential layer of support

These days, greater numbers of college students have experience with therapy and psychiatric medications before they arrive on campus. Yet it is also clear that, for a variety of reasons, many students who need psychiatric care on campus do not receive the services they need, even with low-cost or free mental health care options available.  At U-M, students who face challenges in managing their mental health on campus are benefitting from the outreach services of the Campus Mind Works (CMW) program, a partnership between the Depression Center and the College of Engineering now in its second year. Read more...

The CMW program was also featured in the Michigan Daily’s recent overview of mental health resources available on U-M’s Ann Arbor campus.

Focus on research: rumination and “self-distancing

Depression Center member Ethan Kross, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, directs U-M’s Emotion and Self-Control Laboratory. Part of his research looks at how people can constructively make meaning out of negative experiences, rather than ruminating over those memories in ways that make them feel worse. “Self-distancing,” in which people take a mental step back when thinking about past experiences as a “fly-on-the-wall” observer, is one technique that can help lessen distress and lead to emotional relief. We asked Dr. Kross about the practical implications of his research...

New UPDATE newsletter now online

The spring issue of UPDATE, our quarterly print newsletter, explores the topic of positive mental health on college campuses, with articles on programs and resources specifically designed to meet the mental health needs of college students on U-M’s campus and beyond. View UPDATE online, or send an email to be added to the mailing list.



Remembering  Mike Wallace, friend and advocate

The millions who struggle with depressive illnesses and their associated stigma lost a tremendous voice with the death of Mike Wallace, revered journalist and passionate advocate for people living with mental health conditions.  Read more about Mr. Wallace’s loyal support of U-M, his contributions to the work of the Depression Center (he was a member of the center’s National Advisory Board), and his forthrightness in speaking about his own experiences with depression, which compelled others to listen, learn, and perhaps reconsider their previous conceptions about the disease.

Research on bipolar disorder and stem cells boosted by $1M gift

With the help of a recent $1 million commitment, the Depression Center will continue its mission to unravel the unknowns about bipolar disorder using stem cell lines developed from skin cells. The donation establishes the Steven M. Schwartzberg Memorial Fund at the Depression Center, and the initial funds will help promote stem cell research underway as part of a collaboration between the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program and the A. Alfred Taubman Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies. Read more about this research in our newsroom and in articles featured in Ann and Heritage Newspapers.

Public less willing to pay for treating mental illnesses

A new study reveals that people are less willing to pay to avoid mental illnesses compared to other medical conditions, such as diabetes or partial blindness. While study participants rated depression and schizophrenia more ‘burdensome’ and understood their potential negative impact on quality of life, they were significantly less willing to pay for effective treatments for these illnesses than they were for other chronic conditions. Depression Center member Scott Y.H. Kim, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and co-director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, co-authored the study, which is featured in the April issue of Psychiatric Services.

Research collaborations to help the victims of abuse

Fifteen Swedish social workers, researchers, psychologists, and those who provide services to abused women and their children recently met with Sandra Graham-Bermann, Ph.D. (pictured, center), professor of psychology, psychiatry, and women’s studies, to learn about evidence-based interventions for this population. The group will create a research collaboration plan to evaluate the programs when implemented throughout Sweden. (Photo credit: Rick Richter)

Veterans can help unite mental health agendas

Prioritizing the mental health care needs of our nation’s veterans – and removing the stigma around tending to their “invisible wounds” – can help unify various research organizations and advocacy efforts focused on mental health, Patrick Kennedy, former Rhode Island congressman and a member of the Depression Center’s National Advisory Board, told a crowd in Kalamazoo last week. Kennedy has launched an organization called One Mind for Research, a 10-year effort to galvanize collaborations and dramatically boost private and public funding in the area of brain research.



Making a difference in mental health care, a comprehensive resource for people interested in learning more about research participation and finding opportunities to volunteer for studies, has launched a new Mental Health Research page. The page’s videos, part of a series produced by the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), feature researchers and participants speaking about what potential volunteers can expect from participating in mental health studies, the benefits that research volunteers may experience for themselves or provide for others, and the critical need for participants in mental health research.

Men and depression

In this video interview, Depression Center Outreach Coordinator Eric Hipple speaks with Minneapolis-St. Paul's NBC-11 about the unique issues facing men with depression.



Greden honored for advancement of depression and bipolar research

John F. Greden, M.D., executive director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center, has been named the 2012 recipient of the Gerald R. Klerman Senior Investigator award from the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). The award recognizes Greden’s significant contributions to research that improves the lives of people living with mood disorders. Read more...

Conroy elected AASM Insomnia section chair

Deirdre Conroy, Ph.D., a Depression Center member and an assistant professor of psychiatry, has been elected to serve a one-year term as chair of the Insomnia Section of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) Membership Sections Committee. Each section reflects one of the main classifications of sleep disorders as defined in the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 2nd Edition. The eight section chairs form the Membership Sections Committee, serving as a link between the AASM’s section members and the AASM Board of Directors.

Green appointed to American Cancer Society council

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 American Cancer Society’s Council for Extramural Grants, a committee of senior scientists that recommends funding for grant applications and advises the society on research policy issues and health professional training.

Congratulations to all Big House Big Heart Run participants!     

Nearly 70 people of all ages registered to participate in April’s Big House Big Heart race as part of the Depression Center’s team, and pouring rain on the morning of the event did not dampen the runners’ enthusiasm! Tax-deductible donations can still be made in memory of a loved one or in honor of a race participant through this link: Proceeds will support Dr. Rich Dopp’s studies on adolescent depression and exercise.



Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Retreat (MBCT): Last chance to register!

Register now for the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) retreat from the Frankel Psychotherapy Training program, held May 13 -18 at the Weber Retreat and Conference Center in Adrian, MI. Led by Susan Woods, MSW, LICSW, and Claire Weiner, AM, LMSW, this highly interactive professional training aims to provide the clinician with the key teaching aspects of the MBCT program.  Ongoing individual follow-up MBCT supervision following the training is also an option. Visit the Frankel Program webpages for more information.

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.

May 5: Mind Over Matter (“M.O.M.”) 5K Run/Walk

This event promotes mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and a portion of the proceeds benefits Depression Center research. Read more...

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 with your feedback.




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