November 12, 2013


IMPACT highlights Depression Center accomplishments

What have we doing lately in research, education and outreach, and fighting stigma? As it turns out, quite a bit! Our IMPACT activity report for FY2013 tells the story.

Ask the doctor: Putting the reins on your active brain

Sleep is critical for keeping a healthy balance in our emotions and for our general brain health. For people living with bipolar disorder, recognizing significant changes in the urge to sleep (whether too little or too much) can help prevent the onset of full-blown episodes. In the fall issue of bp Magazine for Bipolar, Depression Center Associate Director Melvin McInnis, M.D., the principal investigator of the Prechter Fund, offers strategies for identifying sleep problems and "repairing" disrupted sleep to help improve symptoms of bipolar illness. Read more...

Prioritizing military family mental health

HomeFront Strong (HFS), a program for military spouses that focuses on building resilience and coping skills, will expand its reach into several additional southeast Michigan communities with the support of new funding from the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation. Read more...

Military mentality, vulnerable veterans

Michael Seyffert, M.D., a neurologist, U-M psychiatrist-in-training, and a flight surgeon in the Air National Guard, has a unique perspective on the demands of military service and the challenges veterans face. In this blog post, Dr. Seyffert talks about military mental health, stigma, and resources for vets and families.

A positive start for moms and babies

An article in My Jewish Detroit magazine highlighted Starfish Family Services’ “Baby Power” program in Inkster, Mich., which provides comprehensive outreach to young moms and pregnant teens at risk for depression and other factors that can hinder mother-baby bonding. Baby Power, based on the work of a team led by Depression Center members Maria Muzik, M.D., M.S., Kate Rosenblum, Ph.D., provides a unique combination of prenatal education, home-based assessment and support, a multifamily group therapy modeled on the Mom Power intervention, community outreach, and social events. Starfish is a community-based nonprofit organization serving thousands of vulnerable children and families annually in Metro Detroit. Read more...

Tips for great sleep

Most of us are familiar with the connection between our mood and the quality of our sleep. Depression Center member J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., director of U-M’s Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, recently spoke with ABC News about some important tips for getting the best rest (a hot bath right before bed, for example, may actually make it harder to fall sleep). Read more...

Afterward: Helping a surviving spouse face the dark days

Losing a spouse or partner to cancer can give rise to many conflicting emotions during the grieving process. Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., an associate director of the Depression Center and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center’s PsychOncology Program, discusses how family and friends can help if they’re concerned that the surviving partner’s grief may have turned to depression. Read more...

Opinion: How Americans’ view of black men affects mental health care

 William Lawson

National Advisory Board member William Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Howard University College of Medicine, wrote an opinion piece in the October 17 issue of Psychiatric News discussing some persistent stereotypes about African-American men that may contribute to suboptimal treatment and access for mental health services. Read more...

Chronic stress of childhood poverty may have lifelong effects on brain function

Childhood poverty and the stressful experiences that are often a part of growing up poor can trigger psychological problems in adulthood, according to a brain imaging study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Some of the anxiety disorders, depression, posttraumatic stress disorders, impulsive aggression and substance abuse we're seeing in adults might be traced to a stressful childhood,” says Cornell University's Gary W. Evans, one of the study’s co-authors. U-M Depression Center members Chandra Sripada, M.D., Ph.D., James Swain, M.D., Ph.D., and Israel Liberzon, M.D., were also study authors. Read more...

Neurologists on the sidelines of college football

A New York Times article about the use of football sideline neurologists to assess whether a player has suffered a concussion during a game featured Depression Center member Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., associate professor of neurology and the director of Michigan NeuroSport. The story was written by a journalist who spent a year shadowing Kutcher and his team through U-M’s Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship. U-M and Michigan State University are the only Big Ten teams with a neurologist on the field for all home and away games. Read more...



Annual Prechter Lecture videos now online

Did you miss this year’s Prechter Lecture on “Managing Moods – The Human Computer Interface”? View the presentations and event photos on the Prechter Fund website!



Akil receives national award for outstanding research

Depression Center member Huda Akil, Ph.D., a neuroscientist who probes the intersection between brain biology and mental health, received the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences earlier this month. Akil, the Gardner C. Quarton Professor of Neurosciences in Psychiatry, co-director and senior research professor at U-M’s Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, and a co-chair of the Depression Center’s Scientific Advisory Board, received AAMC’s top award for outstanding clinical or laboratory research conducted by a medical school faculty member.



November 12:  Bright Nights Community Forum
Genetic Testing for Autism and Psychiatric Disorders in 2013: A Rapidly Moving Target

November 13: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

November 21: Fashionable Charity Shopping Event to Benefit Bipolar Research

December 4: Family Education Workshop

December 11: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

January 8: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups

January 22: Department of Psychiatry's Autism Spectrum Disorders Program Parent Education Seminar – Solutions for Common Feeding Issues in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

January 22: Depression & Bipolar Support Groups



November 14: Depression Center Colloquium
Mental Health Interventions to Support Military Families

December 6: Depression Center Colloquium
Circadian Regulation and Mood Disorders

January 31: Depression Center Colloquium
The Role of Fibroblast Growth Factor System in Depression

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




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