Kathy Cronkite honored with Mike Wallace Leadership Award

Mental health advocate, journalist, and author Kathy Cronkite was presented with the Mike Wallace Leadership Award at the 9th Annual Depression on College Campuses conference on March 29. The award recognizes an outstanding individual who has personally and publicly demonstrated exceptional commitment, courage, support, and leadership in a manner that is consistent with the Depression Center’s mission to conquer depression, bipolar illness and related illnesses. Pictured: Depression Center Executive Director John Greden, M.D., presents Kathy with her award medal.

Waltraud (“Wally”) Prechter recognized as mental health advocate

The Mental Health Association in Michigan (MHAM) will honor Waltraud (“Wally”) Prechter, the founder of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund, at the MHAM Annual Tribute Dinner on Thursday, May 26, 2011 at Glen Oaks Golf Course in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Students commended for leadership in campus mental health

Mara Minasian, a junior psychology major at U-M, and Kristina Saffran, a freshman psychology major at Vanderbilt University, are the 2011 Student Mental Health Advocate Award recipients. Mara (pictured middle left) and Kristina (pictured middle right) received their awards at the 9th Annual Depression on College Campuses conference. Read more about these inspiring students and their work.


In the Wake of War

The U-M component of the Welcome Back Veterans (WBV) program, a national initiative to support military service members in successful reintegration, is profiled in the newest edition of Medicine at Michigan. The article features WBV’s Buddy-to-Buddy program (below), which engages veterans to serve as advocates for other veterans facing reintegration, and Strong Families, a WBV program that supports partners and children affected by the deployment cycle.

Connecting Veterans

Former Marine Brendan Brogan and his work as the coordinator for Buddy-to-Buddy, a program of the U-M Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry, were featured in Inside View, a publication of the U-M Health System.  Brogan helps recently returned veterans connect with resources they need to better manage reintegration challenges by pairing them with other veteran volunteers.

Addressing depression can also improve diabetes

A year-long intervention involving phone-based counseling and a physical activity component effectively improved symptoms of both depression and diabetes, an evaluation by investigators at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and U-M found.  Depression Center members contributing to the study included lead author John Piette, Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and a senior research scientist at the VA; senior author Marcia Valenstein, M.D., M.S., associate professor of psychiatry and VA research scientist; Sonia Duffy, Ph.D.; and Joseph Himle, Ph.D. The study was featured on MSN, MD News, and elsewhere.

Genetic variation may contribute to alcoholism risk

A U-M study has found evidence suggesting that a genetic variation may contribute to the risk of alcoholism by influencing impulsive behavior, at least in part through a particular brain region involved in craving and anxiety. The study, which was featured in articles in ScienceDaily, US News & World Report, and AnnArbor.com, included the following Depression Center members: senior author Margit Burmeister, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and human genetics and MBNI research professor; lead author Sandra Villafuerte, Ph.D., research investigator for MBNI and the Department of Psychiatry; Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D.; and Robert Zucker, Ph.D.

Pain medication and overdose risk

A Reuters article featured a U-M study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that patients who were prescribed higher doses of opioid drugs were more likely to die of accidental overdose, although the risk was still small. Depression Center members involved in the study included lead author Amy S. B. Bohnert, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry; senior author Frederic C. Blow, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry; Marcia Valenstein, M.D., M.S.; John F. McCarthy, Ph.D., M.P.H.; and Mark A. Ilgen, Ph.D.

“Nightcaps” reconsidered

Depression Center member Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program and assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology, was featured in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthbeat podcast about alcohol’s disruptive effect on sleep.



April 28: Kadima Healthy Body/Healthy Mind fundraiser
Keynote speaker: Clark Flatt, President and CEO of The Jason Foundation, dedicated to the prevention of the “silent epidemic of youth suicide.”

April 29: Depression Center Colloquium series
Mood Repair and Positive Affect in Childhood-Onset Depression
Presenters: Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, U-M Department of Psychology, and Maria Kovacs, PhD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine 

May 7: 2011 Mind Over Matter (MOM) 5K Run/Walk
Registration is now open for the sixth annual MOM 5K Charity Run/Walk for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention is scheduled for  Per usual, the race and will start and end at Starr Jaycee Park in Royal Oak.

May 20: Depression Center Colloquium Series
The Neuroscience of Meditation
Presenters: Richard J. Davidson
, Ph.D.,Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry; Director, Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Anthony King, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, U-M Department of Psychiatry

June 1: NFL Community Huddle: Taking a Goal Line Stand for Your Mind & Body
Hyatt Regency, Dearborn, MI
A free town hall-style forum to help communities develop strategies for preventing and reducing the risk of dementia and stigma related to mental disorders. The event will feature former Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Depression Center Executive Director John Greden, M.D., and former NFL players and family members, including Depression Center Outreach Coordinator Eric Hipple.

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