Omega-3 and brain health

Depression Center member and Research Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Simon Evans, Ph.D., focuses on the nutritional choices we can make to help keep our brains healthy.  Dr. Evans discusses the role that omega-3s can play in promoting wellness and provides tips on how to boost our omega-3 levels in an interview on the Depression Toolkit website.

Guyer quoted on forced medication ruling in Loughner case

Melvin J. Guyer, Ph.D, J.D., professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, commented on a July 12 federal appeals court ruling that Tuscon shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner can refuse anti-psychotic medication that prison officials had forced him to take. “State and federal courts have faced these questions in a line of precedent-setting cases, including a line of cases from the U.S. Supreme Court that seek to balance the constitutional rights of persons to refuse forced psychotropic medication as against the right of the state to control dangerous behaviors,” Guyer told ABC News.

Fewer displays of happiness may indicate depression risk in children

Children who seldom laugh, smile, hug a parent, or otherwise rarely exhibit positive emotion may be at increased risk for developing depression, according to research from Nestor Lopez-Duran, Ph.D., Depression Center member and assistant professor of psychology. The study was featured in R&D Magazine,, and

Debunking suicide myths

Marcia Valenstein, M.D., M.S., associate professor of psychiatry and Depression Center member, spoke to MSN about suicide risk factors and prevention. Some facts about suicide you may not have known: suicide is more common among the elderly than among youth, and successfully treating depression reduces suicide risk, but depression is not always the underlying cause of a suicide attempt.

The brain’s self-improvement program

Hisashi Umemori, M.D., MBNI research assistant professor, assistant professor of biological chemistry, and Depression Center member, was quoted in the publication io9 about his research demonstrating how the memory circuits in our brains refine themselves through intercellular competition.  If you’ve heard of the “Buffalo Theory” and/or are a fan of Cliff Clavin from Cheers, this column makes for an entertaining read.

Urban psychology and character featured an analysis of character strengths among residents of the 50 largest U.S. cities by Depression Center member and Associate Professor of Psychology Nansook Park, Ph.D., that appeared in American Psychologist last year. Park and her coauthor argue for the need for an “urban psychology” that considers the variation across cities and focuses on the strengths and benefits offered by urban areas as much as the problems of urbanization.

U-M alumni honor their son through support for bipolar research

Liz Cooper Guz and Brian Guz, both U-M alumni, honor their son’s memory through the Michael Guz Memorial Fund, which benefits the Prechter Bipolar Research Program. Read more about the Guz’s efforts to promote public understanding of bipolar disorder and support research into new treatments.

Buddy-to-Buddy program highlighted as resource for vets

The volunteer veteran program Buddy-to-Buddy, which helps returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans connect to financial, educational, health care and counseling resources upon returning home, was mentioned in an article in the Observer & Eccentric.

Follow-up care for depression

Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., associate director of the Depression Center and professor of psychiatry, was quoted in a Medscape article on the importance of taking individual patient differences into account when considering the effectiveness of online messaging strategies for follow-up for patients with depression. Riba was also interviewed for a Medscape article profiling Jeremy A. Lazarus, M.D., a psychiatrist and president-elect of the American Medical Association.

Issues in psychiatry in the digital age

An editorial on the ethical, legal, and clinical issues associated with information technology in psychiatric practice and psychotherapy, co-authored by Depression Center member and Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Elissa Benedek, M.D., appeared in Psychiatric Times (registration required to access link, but free of charge).

Medication’s role in treatment

Earlier work by Depression Center Executive Director John Greden, M.D., was quoted in a recent article on the benefits of psychotropic medications.

Growing awareness of borderline personality disorder

Earlier work by Ken Silk, M.D., was cited in a Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune article about the recent suicide of a young woman with borderline personality disorder.



Seven named to “Top Doctors” list

U.S. News and World Report’s “Top Doctors in America” list, released online July 19, includes seven physicians from the Depression Center and Department of Psychiatry:

  • Norman Alessi, M.D., child & adolescent psychiatrist
  • John Greden, M.D., psychiatrist
  • Carmen Green, M.D., pain management specialist
  • Andrew Haig, M.D., physiatrist
  • Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., psychiatrist
  • Thomas Schwenk, M.D., sports medicine specialist
  • Yolanda Smith, M.D., reproductive endocrinologist

USNWR also ranked the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers 14th overall on the honor roll of “America’s Best Hospitals” and No. 1 in the Detroit metropolitan area. U-M was also #20 on the list of top ranked hospitals for Psychiatry. See all rankings and lists here.

Youth depression awareness project receives honors

Pictured: Stephanie Salazar, MPH, [L]  project coordinator for P2P Principal Investigator James Cranford, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, and Carolyn Sampselle, PhD, [R] MICHR Community Engagement lead.

The Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Depression Awareness Project received a Community-University Poster Presentation Award at the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Community Engagement Annual Symposium on May 24. P2P’s goals are to: 1) educate students about depression and depressive illnesses; 2) support them in finding creative ways to convey this knowledge to their peers in order to reduce stigma and raise awareness; and 3) help to promote the early detection of depression, bipolar disorder, and related illnesses. The project was conducted in six Ann Arbor high schools from October 2010 to May 2011 and built upon earlier work funded through the U-M Depression Center Innovation Fund. A research and evaluation component was funded with a MICHR Community University Research Partnership (CURES) grant in fall 2010. 



Come visit us at the Art Fair!

This Wednesday through Saturday, the Department of Psychiatry and Depression Center will be represented at a booth (#34) in the non-profits section of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.  We will promote research participation and provide information about a variety of mental health conditions and community resources. Find us on Liberty Street in front of Herb David Guitar Studio!

Special Event: Men and Depression

On Wednesday, July 27, the Depression Center will host a special presentation: “Men & Depression: From Professional to Patient and Back.” Mark Meier is traveling across the country by bicycle this summer to promote dialogue and awareness about depression in men. He will speak from the perspective of a clinical social worker and adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota, as well as someone who lived with untreated depression for 14 years. 

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, please click here.


August 13, 3-9pm: Bowling fundraiser for bipolar disorder genetics research
Universal Lanes
2101 E. 12 Mile Rd., Warren, MI  
Come for bowling, food, and fun! Proceeds will benefit the Depression Center/Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. Please pre-register here.

September 18: “Out of the Darkness” Suicide Prevention Walk
Gallup Park, Ann Arbor
Organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and co-sponsored by the Depression Center. Participate in this walk to honor the memory of lost loved ones, to raise awareness, or to support the causes of mental health education and advocacy.

September 24: Walk of the Minds (NAMI Michigan)
Oakland Community College (OCC), Farmington Hills, MI
Join people from around Michigan to celebrate recovery and fight the stigma related to mental illness by participating in or donating to Michigan's NAMIWalk, part of NAMI's Campaign for the Mind of America.


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