March 19, 2013


Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity

The Depression Center is proud to host author Andrew Solomon on Friday, April 12 for a discussion of his latest work, Far from the Tree. This book tells the stories of parents who find deep meaning through the challenges involved in raising exceptional children, including those living with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, and multiple severe disabilities. Solomon is also the National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression. Register now for this special event!

Research summit: Military family mental health

On April 25-26 in Ann Arbor, researchers, military leadership, national advocacy organizations, and clinicians from across the country will come together to share best practices for addressing the mental health needs of military families and present cutting-edge research in this special field.  Register now for the National Research Summit on Reserve Component Military Families, presented by M-SPAN (Military Support Programs and Networks).

Depression Center Community Volunteer Committee Flower Sale

Visit the Rachel Upjohn Building Lobby on March 25 from 7am – 7pm to pick up your spring flowers! Hydrangeas, azaleas, pansies, and more. The Depression Center Community Volunteer Committee organizes this fundraiser, which benefits Depression Center projects. Learn more...

Big Boy International partners with Prechter Bipolar Research Fund

Big Boy is a registered trademark of Big Boy Restaurants International LLC

Through the month of March, Big Boy company-owned restaurants in Michigan and Ohio are promoting bipolar disorder research efforts by providing informational materials and donation cans to benefit the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund’s projects. Big Boy International is a restaurant chain headquartered in Warren, Michigan. Look for promotions at your local Big Boy!

Cookbook Sale to Benefit the Prechter Fund

Sue Ferus-Mancuso of the Eric Ferus Foundation is publishing and selling a cookbook with all proceeds benefiting the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. If you would like to submit recipes, which you can do in honor or in memory of someone, please visit and log in with name: Sue387, password: eggnog363. Deadline for entries is March 31, 2013. If you would like to pre-order a cookbook, which will be sold for $20, please contact Sue at The book(s) will be mailed to you; please allow 4 weeks for print.

We are very thankful to Sue for organizing this fundraiser and for everyone who submits recipes and places an order for the book!



Journaling as a tool for depression management

The more you know and understand about depression and how it may affect you, the more active your role can be in overcoming it. Keeping a journal can help you uncover powerful insights about your thoughts, behaviors, and reactions throughout the day. It can also help you become more aware of counterproductive thoughts and explore alternative ways to react to stress, handle relationships, and even develop a greater appreciation for positive moments. Read on for some strategies for how to make journaling an effective habit.

An alternative treatment for depression

Have you heard of TMS? This relatively new, FDA-approved treatment for depression works by stimulating a part of the brain that regulates mood.  TMS is completely non-invasive and has been proven safe and effective for reducing the symptoms of depression in adults who have not improved with traditional treatments, including medication or psychotherapy. It can also be an alternative treatment for those who cannot tolerate antidepressant medications or do not wish to take them. Learn more about TMS, which is offered through the U-M Department of Psychiatry and Depression Center...

New concussion guidelines to help coaches, athletes

More than 1 million young and adult athletes in the U.S. suffer concussions each year, yet until now, coaches and physicians had no consistent standards to guide them in evaluating and treating sports-related brain injuries. Yesterday, the American Academy of Neurology released its first updated guidelines since 1997 for managing athletes with head injuries, developed by a team of researchers led by concussion specialists from the U-M Health System and the University of California, Los Angeles. The new recommendations are entirely science-based, resulting from four years of meticulous analysis of previous studies of sports-concussion patients, and they have been endorsed by the National Football League Players Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Athletic Trainers Association, and other groups.

“If in doubt, sit it out,” says co-lead author Jeffrey S. Kutcher, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at the U-M Medical School, director of the U-M Neurosport program, a member of the AAN, and a Depression Center member. “Being seen by a trained professional is extremely important after a concussion. If headaches or other symptoms return with the start of exercise, stop the activity and consult a doctor. You only get one brain; treat it well,” said Kutcher, who was quoted by CBS News, NPR, the New York Times, and other media. Read more about the guidelines.,,

Striving for new understanding – we need YOU!

Managing chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes relies on the use of various clinical measurements to detect disease, manage treatment progress, and predict long-term outcomes. Yet depression and bipolar disorder have no such reliable tools – known as “biomarkers” – to monitor disease progression or determine which treatments are likely to be the most successful. How can you get involved in the search for depression and bipolar biomarkers and the quest to improve knowledge about prevention and treatment? Read more...

Also, read one participant’s perspectives on why she finds her involvement in research on bipolar disorder so personally meaningful.

Promoting healthy self-care among college students

The 11th Annual Depression on College Campuses Conference on Feb. 26-27 emphasized strategies to promote and advocate for healthy self-care among college students, including ways that campuses can better identify students who may be using unhealthy coping mechanisms and support them in moving toward better self-management and treatment. The conference drew a large and engaged audience of college mental health professionals, researchers, and students.  

Stories about college students’ growing use of social media to communicate about depression were featured in Ann  and Michigan Radio, and the Michigan Daily and Ann also discussed the conference’s focus on stigma reduction and the role of brain development and stress in the risk of depression among college students.  A blog in about how depression and alcohol can conspire to create a “debilitating duo” for many college students also mentioned the conference. Read about the 2013 student mental health advocate award winners below in “Kudos.”



Students honored for mental health advocacy

Pictured: Awardees Piper Keyes (L) and Mariah Williams (R) with Will Heininger, a 2011 U-M graduate, four-time Academic All-Big Ten award winner, and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, who presented the awards.

Since 2007, the Depression on College Campuses conference has recognized outstanding student leadership in the area of campus mental health. The 2013 Student Mental Health Advocate Award winners are Piper Keyes (University of Michigan), and Mariah Williams (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University). Read about these students’ exceptional contributions toward promoting mental health awareness, services, and access to resources on their respective campuses.

Sleep researcher Conroy receives 2013 Berman Award

Deirdre Conroy, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Director of the Department of Psychiatry’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, will receive the 2013 Jack L. Berman, M.D. and Barbara A. Berman, Ph.D. Depression Research Award for her project, “A novel sleep strategy to augment depression treatment in adolescents.” The overall goal of the project is to improve sleep to reduce the risk of recurrence and relapse to depression in teens. Read more about this study and previous Berman Award-winning projects here.

Best Doctors in America List

Several members of the U-M Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry were among the more than 500 U-M physicians named to the 2013 Best Doctors in America® list, placing them among the top 5 percent of doctors in their specialties. They include:

  • Norman E. Alessi
  • Elissa P. Benedek
  • Ronald M. Benson
  • Harvey H. Falit
  • Thomas E. Fluent
  • John F. Greden
  • Gregory L. Hanna
  • Andrew J. Haig
  • Helen Kales
  • Michael S. Klinkman
  • Charles Gale Krasnow
  • Jeffrey Kutcher
  • Parag G. Patil
  • Michelle B. Riba
  • Yolanda R. Smith
  • Michael Alan Taylor
  • Delia M. Vazquez

The list is compiled every two years by Boston-based Best Doctors, Inc., and based on an in-depth survey of more than 45,000 physicians in 40 specialties and more than 400 subspecialties of medicine. View the full list of U-M physicians who were recognized here.

Green appointed to UMHS health equity and inclusion post

Last month, the U-M Board of Regents appointed Depression Center member Carmen R. Green, M.D., as the first-ever Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Health Equity & Inclusion for the U-M Health System. An outcomes researcher, Green has uncovered inequalities in pain and pain care based on race, ethnicity, gender and other factors across the lifespan. An innovator, her research has transformed the understanding of health inequities and influenced public policy. A national leader, she has worked locally and nationally to develop and enhance the health sciences pipeline for underrepresented minorities and women. Read more...



March 19: Bright Nights Community Forum
Current Treatments for Adolescent Eating Disorders

March 21 and 28: Parenting Challenges Workshop

March 25: Depression Center Community Volunteer Committee Flower Sale
7am-7pm, Rachel Upjohn Building Lobby

March 27: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

March 27: Autism Parent Education Seminar
Social Skills, Problem Solving, and Higher Order Language Abilities in ASD (Part 2)

April 3: Family Education Workshop

April 10: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

April 12: Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
An Evening with Author Andrew Solomon

Book signing and discussion

April 18 and 25: Parenting Challenges Workshop

April 24: Bright Nights Community Forum
Mindfulness-Based Techniques to Help Manage Depression

April 24: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

May 1: Family Education Workshop

May 8: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

May 22: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

May 23 and 30: Parenting Challenges Workshop


March 20: Introduction to Mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions

March 22: Depression Center Colloquium
New Advances in the Theory, Measurement, and Treatment of Childhood Grief

April 3 - May 29: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – 8-week course

April 12: Depression Center Colloquium
Social Isolation and Mental Health

April 25-26: National Research Summit on Reserve Component Military Families: Best Practices & Dissemination Strategies

May 17: Depression Center Colloquium
Depression Interventions to Improve Work Function and Productivity

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




Depression Center Home

The Director Discusses

Give to the UMDC








e-update Archive | U-M Depression Center | U-M Psychiatry | U-M Health System | U-M Home