June 26, 2012


Depression Center giving report available online

We are incredibly grateful to the many individuals, families, and organizations who have made financial contributions to support the Depression Center over the years. Philanthropy Update, our annual report on giving, shares the stories of some of our donors and what inspires them to give. It also describes the significant impact that their gifts have on the work we do every day. Read the 2012 report here.

Supporting those balancing military and family life

Depression Center member Kate Rosenblum, Ph.D., a clinical developmental psychologist and clinical associate professor in psychiatry, leads the STRoNG Families initiative at U-M, providing support to military families with young children. Rosenblum co-authored a Father's Day editorial published on CNN's Security Clearance blog, reminding us that military parents have a dual commitment – to protect their children and protect our nation – and that the need for support and a strong community continues for military families during the period of reintegration after a service member returns.

Can ancient lifestyles cure modern ills?

Shots, NPR’s health blog, recently discussed the growing traction of the “Paleoithic lifestyle,” a movement that promotes a diet based on consuming primarily meat, fruit, and vegetables and avoiding modern processed foods, with the idea that this can help today’s humans achieve better health and prevent obesity, diabetes, and other diseases relatively unknown by our ancestors. The article quotes Depression Center member Randolph Nesse, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and psychology and one of the key figures in evolutionary medicine theory, which offers principles for understanding disease, but not, as of yet, direct applications for treatment. Nesse expressed skepticism about growing numbers of medical professionals now using evolutionary medicine theory in their clinics. Read more...

Resetting sleep clock could decrease depressive symptoms

Individuals with depression often experience disrupted sleep patterns. A technique called “chronotherapy” involves manipulating irregular sleep patterns in an effort to improve psychiatric symptoms. A recent study by Depression Center member Michael Casher, M.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry, found that chronotherapy produced significant reductions in depression and improved symptoms and sleep patterns in individuals with significant depressive histories.

A message from our director:
Adherence to treatment can improve, and save, lives

Sticking with medical treatment plans is difficult for most of us. Adherence to treatments for depressions or bipolar illnesses is no exception. The stress of managing an illness, feeling like you don’t have the support you need, and facing financial strains, uncertainty about change, or what seems like a lack of forward progress – all of these can make it hard to follow through with recommendations. The good news is that many of these obstacles are surmountable, and following the treatment regimen that you and your provider have worked out can bring great improvements in your overall wellness. Read more...



We are grateful to Harris (LSA 1989) and Nicole Schwartzberg for a $100,000 gift to implement an 18-month pilot program aimed at raising awareness of adolescent anxiety, stress, and depression. The program will include education and training sessions at Byram Hills High School in the Schwartzberg’s hometown of Armonk, N.Y. Earlier this year, the Schwartzbergs, together with Harris’ parents, Al and Florence, made a $1 million pledge to the Depression Center to establish the Steven M. Schwartzberg Memorial Fund, in honor of Harris’ brother, Steven, who died three years ago following a long struggle with bipolar disorder. The fund will support stem cell research related to bipolar disorder.



Health research pilot grant awardees include four from Depression Center

The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) recently awarded more than $671,573 in pilot grants for health research studies at U-M. The first round of 2012 MICHR pilot grant recipients included the following Depression Center members:

  • Vicki Ellingrod, PharmD, Department of Clinical Social & Administrative Sciences, College of Pharmacy
    Project: Pharmacometabolomics of Bipolar Disorder Treatments
  • Kate Fitzgerald, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Medical School
    Project: Neural Predictors of Response to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Melvin McInnis, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Medical School
    Project: Longitudinal Patterns of Speech in Bipolar Disorder
  • Maria Musik, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Medical School
    Project: Moms 4 Moms:  Community-Participatory Parenting Project for African American Teen Moms in Metro Detroit

Read the full list of awarded projects here.



Clearinghouse connects people to depression and bipolar disorder research

WeSearchTogether, a partnership between the Depression Center and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), recently launched a website devoted to connecting mental health researchers and participants: www.WeSearchTogether.org. This research needs you! Visit WeSearchTogether.org to learn more, and please pass this along to friends, family, and colleagues who may be interested. Volunteers living with depression or bipolar disorder as well as people not affected by these conditions are urgently needed to get involved.



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.

July 21: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)

July 28: Military Family Support Forum (CLINTON-MACOMB)



Welcome desk seeks volunteers

Patients, families, and other visitors to the Department of Psychiatry and Depression Center in the Rachel Upjohn Building are now greeted by a volunteer concierge seated at a newly installed desk at the building's front entrance. Interested volunteers should contact Luann Stewart at 232-3385. Each potential volunteer concierge will need to complete training through UMHS Volunteer Services.

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




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