November 13, 2012


IMPACT highlights 2011-12 Center accomplishments

IMPACT, the Depression Center’s annual activity report, chronicles the Center’s most significant initiatives, innovations, and milestones over the past year. This report demonstrates the measurable progress and achievements of the Center’s programs and projects in the areas of research, outreach, education, and clinical translation. Download a copy of IMPACT here, or request a hard copy.

Doing what works

In the fall issue of UPDATE, the Depression Center’s quarterly newsletter, we look at several evidence-based therapies and programs, including some common psychotherapies used by Depression Center clinicians, and some innovative programs with validated, effective methods at their core. Download the full issue here, or request a hard copy.

CBT: Changing how you think to help change how you live

One of the most widely used forms of psychotherapy is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, which has been proven effective in treating everything from depression and anxiety to impulse control and eating disorders. This short-term therapy relies on a dialogue process to help patients discover how their thoughts are related to how they feel, and homework exercises to practice problem-solving skills. Read more...

Improving health outcomes across the wellness spectrum

A unique brief intervention known as Life Goals Collaborative Care (LGCC) integrates psychotherapy and collaborative care across medical and psychiatric services to improve health outcomes for people with bipolar disorder. LGCC is an evidence-based approach that helps motivate people to set and accomplish personal wellness goals through a combination of self-management, individualized lifestyle coaching, and symptom management. Read more...

Family-based treatment for eating disorders

Eating disorders can contribute to a range of serious physical and psychological problems, including depression and anxiety. U-M’s new partial hospitalization eating disorders program is built on the principles of an evidence-based treatment model known as the Maudsley approach, in which family plays an integral role in the recovery process. Read more...

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for depression

One evidence-based treatment for depression known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a behavioral intervention that focuses on identifiable and workable life goals. The objective of ACT is two-fold:  to learn the skill of accepting unpleasant and painful experiences while continuing to commit to behaviors that are consistent with the personal definition of a “life worth living,” or a “values-driven life.” Read more...



Join the quest for personalized depression care

Learn more about a unique opportunity to help researchers find new answers to guide depression treatment decisions for individuals.

New Prechter bipolar research projects

Searching for longitudinal voice patterns

One of bipolar disorder’s main symptoms is changes in speech. During mania, speech increases in rate, rhythm, and volume. During depression, the opposite occurs. A new study will use special smart phones and computer software to analyze the sound waves of speech and identify changes that may happen before a mood episode. Read more...

Circadian rhythms and bipolar disorder

In this study, an “actiwatch” records physical movement and light exposure

Circadian rhythms play an important role in synchronizing our body’s various systems and helping regulate our routine daily activities. How well our circadian rhythms are coordinated may influence our overall health and well-being, and in bipolar disorder we know that these rhythms can be “out-of-tune.” A new study strives to learn more about the relationship between an individual’s biological rhythms, daily routines, and mood, with the ultimate goal of improving treatments for bipolar disorder. Read more...



Helping military spouses and partners through deployment distress

While many military mental health initiatives emphasize the needs and wellbeing of service members, a unique U-M program is focused on improving the lives of military spouses and partners experiencing the stress of deployment. M-SPAN’s HomeFront Strong is designed to help military family members build social support and positive relationships, learn new approaches to self-care and understand resiliency and positive coping.

A vision for more effective childhood OCD treatments

Dr. Fitzgerald with an MRI simulator used to prepare participants in her OCD study

Kate Fitzgerald, M.D., a Depression Center member and an assistant professor of psychiatry, was recently awarded a pilot grant from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) to study how the brain responds to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in children with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Fitzgerald says that she hopes this work will help explain more about how CBT successfully treats the symptoms of pediatric OCD, with the ultimate goal of helping make CBT more effective and rapidly acting for children with this anxiety disorder. Read more...

Probing elevated suicide risk among physicians

Doctors who commit suicide appear to be under-treated for mental health problems, despite their seemingly good access to health care, a new U-M study shows. The study, which provides a deeper look at why physicians may have a higher-than-average suicide rate, found that although more physicians than non-physicians had known mental health problems prior to suicide, this didn’t translate into a higher rate of antidepressant use. Major depression is a known risk factor for suicide, particularly for female physicians. Stigma, lack of confidentiality, and desire to self-treat may explain why physicians don’t seek formal treatment for mental health problems, says lead author Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology, and a Depression Center member. Read more...

Rising drug, alcohol problems tied to painkiller abuse

Depression Center member Amy S. B. Bohnert, Ph.D., M.H.S., an assistant professor of psychiatry, was quoted in a Reuters article about new research which shows that painkiller abuse contributed to a 70 percent rise in drug and alcohol problems between 2001 and 2009. "It is quite a large increase, and it does really highlight that this is a substantial problem in terms of this being a growing trend," said Bohnert, who was not involved in the research. The article was picked up by CNBC, FOX News, the Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

Not everyone is happy about turning back the clock

For people with insomnia, the extra hour provided by the end of Daylight Savings Time usually does not translate to an additional hour of quality sleep. Instead, the time change often further disrupts circadian rhythms (which play a major role in regulating sleep) in people already struggling with sleep problems. Depression Center member Roseanne Armitage, Ph.D., director of U-M’s Sleep & Chronophysiology Lab and a professor of psychiatry, was quoted in an Ottawa Citizen article on the topic.

New mobile app tracks concussion recovery

A new mobile phone app from U-M allows young athletes who have suffered a concussion to track their activities, injuries, and symptoms, and share that information easily with their doctors, coaches, or trainers. Called Return2Play , the app was developed by experts in the U-M Pediatric Trauma Program in partnership with Michigan NeuroSport. Depression Center member Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., the director of NeuroSport, was quoted in an Ann Arbor Journal article about the application, noting that Return2Play allows tracking of “the important details of concussion recovery that will lead to better management of this injury. Proper recovery involves a step-by-step gradual process. We hope to raise awareness of that process through the use of this app."

Placebo effect may depend on genes

Depression Center member Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., was quoted in a story featured on Yahoo!News and FOX News about a new study which found that people with a gene variant, or allele, that codes for higher levels of the brain chemical dopamine respond better to placebos than those with the low-dopamine version. "It speaks about an interaction between the environment and the gene," said Zubieta, the Phil F Jenkins Research Professor of Depression, professor of psychiatry and radiology, and research professor at the Molecular and Behavioral Neurosciences Institute, who has conducted extensive research on the placebo effect but was not involved in this particular study. "It's very possible that individuals with this allele are more able to process those positive environmental cues."



Children’s Grief Awareness Day and parent workshops

Thursday, November 15 is Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which strives to remind children who have experienced loss that they are not alone. Children's Grief Awareness Day seeks to bring attention to the needs of grieving children and their families, and to recognize that caring support can make a tremendous difference in their lives.

New educational workshops at U-M are designed for bereaved parents/caregivers who have experienced the death of a loved one and have a child under the age of 18 who is also grieving. Offered as part of the Frankel Psychotherapy Access Initiative at the U-M Depression Center, “Growing through Grief” workshops are held monthly at the Rachel Upjohn Building in East Ann Arbor and at the Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti and are facilitated by licensed clinical psychologists. These workshops are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Learn more and find the schedule of upcoming workshops here.

Survivors of suicide support group

The U-M Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry are now offering a support group for adults who have lost a loved one to suicide. These meetings will be held twice-monthly for cycles of eight sessions. This support group provides the opportunity to:

  • Develop a caring support network
  • Learn healthy coping and healing skills
  • Provide a safe place for survivors to share thoughts and feelings
  • Learn about bereavement and grief and their impact on us

The group will meet at U-M’s Turner Senior Resource Center the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. The support group is free, but pre-registration is required, and only adults 18 years or older may attend. Sessions will be professionally facilitated by social workers from U-M’s Psychiatric Emergency Services. Contact Kim Ballard at 734-936-4855 to register or learn more.

Autism Spectrum Disorders parent education seminars

The U-M Department of Psychiatry's Autism Spectrum Disorders Program now offers a free monthly educational seminar for parents. The seminars are intended to provide evidence-based education on diagnosis, treatment, access to care, and coping strategies to caretakers of children and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Seminars are held at the Rachel Upjohn Building on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6-7:30 p.m.; please contact Sue Wonnacott at 734-764-0250 for more information and the schedule of upcoming topics. The next seminar will take place on Nov. 28.



November 14: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

November 16: Depression Center Colloquium
Stress sensitivity as a biological marker for depression

November 17: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)

November 27: Bright Nights Community Forum
The Adolescent Brain: A Work in Progress

November 28: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

November 29: Growing through Grief workshop (YPSILANTI)

December 5: Family Education Workshop

December 8: Military Family Support Forum (CLINTON-MACOMB)

December 12: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

December 13: Growing through Grief workshop (ANN ARBOR)

December 15: Military Family Support Forum (ANN ARBOR)

December 20: Growing through Grief workshop (YPSILANTI)

January 2: Family Education Workshop

January 9: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

January 10:  Growing through Grief workshop (ANN ARBOR)

January 17: Growing through Grief workshop (YPSILANTI)

January 23: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

January 25: Depression Center Colloquium
Impact of Concussive Injuries on Cognitive Functioning and Mental Health

February 6: Family Education Workshop

February 13: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

February 14:  Growing through Grief workshop (ANN ARBOR)

February 21: Growing through Grief workshop (YPSILANTI)

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




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