Sunday, December 30, 2007

Schizophrenia takes a daughter away


Even a loving family with ample financial resources is powerless against the disease.
An well-written article in the December 29th issue of the Los Angeles Times describes the heart-wrenching story of a family dealing with a daughter living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and drug addiction.

Accompanying the article are are numerous photographs and a Flash audio presentation.

To read the entire article, click here.

To access a series of articles entitled Breakdown: A Times Special Report, click here.

Photograph by Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times


Friday, December 28, 2007

Book explores mental illness through art

'My poetry is about living your best life'

An article from the December 28th issue of The Halifax West Clayton Park Weekly News:

By Kate Watson (email: watsons5@accesswave.ca)
Connections Clubhouse is an opportunity centre in Halifax that offers mental-health consumers a social network and an opportunity to provide leadership in the community.

Members of Connections, along with other Nova Scotian mental-health consumers, recently launched a book entitled Looking Beyond.

The book, which was produced with funds from the Nova Scotia Mental Health Foundation, contains poetry, prose and art work with a unique perspective on mental illness.

John Devlin
of Dartmouth contributed two poems, The Ghost on the Mezzanine and Enigma of the Piano.

"My poetry is a way of dealing with the images that come to mind when one is mentally ill, a way to objectify them," he said. "Hopefully, that will be interesting to other people."

Devlin says that although it's wonderful to have his work published, he writes because he enjoys expressing himself through the structure of poetry.

Laura Burke of Halifax has been writing poetry for 12 years, and she welcomed the opportunity to be published with other creative artists.

"My poetry is about living your best life," she says. "It's about finding a way towards recovery from the things that hold you back.

"I really think that this collection will be enjoyed by people who appreciate art and the written word, and that it will truly give people a chance to look beyond."

The book was edited by Teresa Brown (pictured, right), who says the project came about on the recommendation of the members of the clerical department of Connections.

Brown approached mental-health consumers across Nova Scotia and persuaded them to get involved.

"A big part of my job was chasing people to meet deadlines," she says, laughing. "But I'm very happy with the result, and I'm hopeful that there will be more collections in the future."

Looking Beyond sells for $15 and is available from Connections Clubhouse, 1221 Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B2J 1Y2, or by calling (902) 473-8692.
Photograph by Glen Canning.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

GAA star tackles mental illness in new campaign to fight stigma


A post from Independent.ie:
By Allison Bray
Thursday, December 27, 2007

FORMER GAA star Dessie Farrell is among a number of high-profile people appearing in a series of ads which began yesterday and are aimed at putting a human face on mental illness.

The former Dublin football captain and current head of the Gaelic Players Association wrote about his own battle with depression in his autobiography 'Tangled Up in Blue'.

He is now spearheading a campaign by the National Disability Authority (NDA) to help erase the stigma associated with conditions such as depression and schizophrenia.

He, along with 'Sunday Independent' journalist Carol Hunt, Bodywhys chairperson Marie Devine and chess whiz Paul Leavy, courageously reveal how they are able to lead full, productive lives despite their own personal struggles respectively with depression, anorexia and schizophrenia.

The television ads, which will air for the next fortnight, reveal the various facets of each personality -- including their roles at home and in the workplace, their likes, interests and the mental health challenges they have faced. Radio ads will begin airing tomorrow followed by billboard ads on bus shelters beginning on New Year's Day.

Ms Hunt (42) has written about her battle with post-natal depression following the birth of her two children and her ongoing battle with depression.

Susceptible

She chose to take part in the €500,000 campaign, entitled Challenging Attitudes to Mental Health, to drive home the message that anyone can be susceptible to mental illness.

"There still are a lot of people who firmly believe that any type of depression is some sort of personality weakness, which is quite amazing," she said.

Paul Leavy (26) was first diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 17 and has suffered two breakdowns. But with the help of doctors, friends and family, he now enjoys a full life as a mental health advocate for the Health Service Executive, as well as teaching chess and running a local club and coaching children's soccer.

"There's definitely a stigma attached to schizophrenia and to mental illness in general. People look at people having these mental illnesses as being 'mad, crazy, nuts, lunatics'. They don't realise that a person is a person and the illness is a part of them, it's not them as a whole. People can actually live an active, full, everyday life along with having their illness," he said.

Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health and Disability Jimmy Devins, who launched the campaign, said the same kind of stigma exists around mental illness today as it did 20 years ago when conditions like alcoholism were seen as shameful, moral lapses, instead of diseases from which people can recover.

Yet in reality, one-in-four people will suffer from some kind of mental illness at some stage in their lives, according to the World Health Organisation and negative stereotypes will only hinder people from getting help or recovering, he said.

"No one is immune from poor mental health. Perceptions around mental illness need to be broken. Mental health is as important as physical health and I welcome this NDA campaign which will increase awareness."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

SSNS Facebook Group


The Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia now has a group on Facebook. To join the group, click here.


Kurt Entsminger named executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center

National nonprofit working to secure right to treatment for the mentally ill will benefit from Entsminger's extensive legal, nonprofit expertise, consumer perspective

November 19, 2007

ARLINGTON, VA –The Board of Directors of the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC) selected attorney and consumer Kurt Entsminger (pictured, right) to be the organization's next executive director, only the second since the organization was formed nine years ago.

Entsminger was unanimously approved at TAC’s board meeting on November 10, 2007. He will start work January 2, 2008.

“Kurt Entsminger will be a strong leader,” said TAC president E. Fuller Torrey. “TAC has firmly established itself as the only organization willing to stand up and fight for treatment for the most seriously ill and neglected patients. Entsminger’s expertise in the nonprofit world, combined with his personal experiences with bipolar disorder, give him an unique understanding of how to position TAC for future success.”

“I believe it is time to restore common sense to a society that has literally sacrificed human sanity in the name of personal privacy,” said Entsminger, who was most recently president of the national nonprofit Care Net. “I consider it a great honor and privilege to join this effort.”

Entsminger was at Care Net for nine years, where he doubled the organization’s income and greatly expanded its impact. He is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, and spent 18 years as a trial lawyer, including serving as a partner in two law firms. He was also an Administrative Law Judge for Huntington Human Relations Commission. He has a bachelor’s in economics from West Virginia University and a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law, where he graduated first in his class.

Entsminger said he was drawn to the empathy and compassion of the Treatment Advocacy Center. “It is my history that brought me to TAC. As a person who has lived with bipolar disorder for many years, I understand firsthand the importance of effective treatment. My hospitalization and subsequent and continuing treatment is the reason I’m well today. I come to the Treatment Advocacy Center with great respect and appreciation for its work, and a particularly strong passion for its mission. TAC is making a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans who continue, without treatment, to struggle with severe brain disorders.”

“The search committee recommended Entsminger without reservation and feels he is extraordinarily qualified to be a champion for those with severe mental illnesses that other organizations ignore,” said search committee co-chair and board vice chair Stephen Segal. “His unique background and passion make him worthy of being Mary Zdanowicz’ successor and building on the continued outstanding work of the staff of the Treatment Advocacy Center.”

TAC’s founding executive director Mary Zdanowicz resigned July 2007. She remains active as a member of the honorary advisory board.

“The nationwide search brought in an impressive group of candidates,” said search committee co-chair Jonathan Stanley, TAC’s assistant director. “The caliber and reach of the almost 150 applicants is reflective of TAC’s status in the broader community.”

Since it opened its doors in 1998, TAC has been involved in reforming treatment laws in 18 states, including Kendra’s Law in New York. Kendra’s Law is hailed as a national model for assisted outpatient treatment, a way to court order someone with severe mental illness who is too ill to recognize they need help into community-based treatment. The American Psychiatric Association awarded TAC its Presidential Commendation for “sustained extraordinary advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable mentally ill patients."

The Treatment Advocacy Center (www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating barriers to the timely and effective treatment of severe mental illnesses. TAC promotes laws, policies, and practices for the delivery of psychiatric care and supports the development of innovative treatments for and research into the causes of severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

We take no money from pharmaceutical companies. The American Psychiatric Association awarded TAC its 2006 presidential commendation for "sustained extraordinary advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable mentally ill patients.”


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Remission and Recovery in Schizophrenia: Practitioner and Patient Perspectives


An abstract from the January 2008 edition of Schizophrenia Bulletin:
Schizophrenia remains a complex, dynamic, multi-dimensional, and poorly understood condition.

Although the concept of heterogeneity in outcome has conceptually overturned the post Kraepelinian legacy of progressive deterioration, a number of factors appear to contribute to perpetuating a pessimistic attitude toward outcome within the field. These include the limited access people with schizophrenia have to effective interventions and the phenomenon of the "clinician's illusion," which refers to the tendency of practitioners to assume that patients remain seriously ill when outside of the clinical care settings in which they are typically seen.

Longitudinal studies, however, continue to point to a large number of people who experience improvements in their condition over time. Pressure from patients and their families, who experience periods of symptomatic relief and enhanced functioning first-hand, has led to the introduction of such concepts as "remission" and being "in" recovery with schizophrenia, in addition to the conventional notion of recovering "from" schizophrenia.

These developments are consistent with recent policy initiatives by the U.S. and other governments around the world and aim to re-orient research and clinical practice from a traditional focus on effecting cure to exploring ways to encourage and assist people with schizophrenia to live meaningful lives in the face of an enduring illness.

By Larry Davidson (1,2), Timothy Schmutte (2), Thomas Dinzeo (2) and Raquel Andres-Hyman (2).

Notes
1. To whom correspondence should be addressed; tel: 203-764-7583, fax: 203-764-7595, e-mail: Larry.Davidson@Yale.edu.

2. Program for Recovery and Community Health, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Erector Square 6 West, Suite #1C, 319 Peck Street, New Haven, CT 06513
Photograph of Dr. Larry Davidson is courtesy of the Yale University School of Medicine.

Physiology of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizoaffective Disorder


An abstract from the December 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry:
Laura F. Martin, M.D., Mei-Hua Hall, M.S., Randal G. Ross, M.D., Gary Zerbe, Ph.D., Robert Freedman, M.D., and Ann Olincy, M.D.

OBJECTIVE: Endophenotypes have been proposed to identify the genetic and biological substrates of complex disorders. Three physiological inhibitory endophenotypes of large effect size in schizophrenia include suppression of P50 auditory evoked responses, inhibition of leading (small anticipatory) saccades during smooth pursuit eye movements, and cancellation of reflexive saccades in the antisaccade eye movement task. The aim of this study was to determine if the pattern of endophenotype abnormalities within individuals with schizophrenia differed from that within individuals with bipolar disorder. A second aim was to determine whether subjects with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, were neurophysiologically more similar to subjects with schizophrenia or subjects with bipolar disorder.

METHOD: Endophenotypes were recorded for subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia (N=29), bipolar disorder (DSM-IV-TR) (N=40), and schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type (N=18). Data from normal comparison subjects were used to establish normal performance.

RESULTS: Logistic regression determined that P50 ratio and frequency of leading saccades identified subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with a sensitivity of 95%* and a specificity of 83%*. The schizoaffective disorder group was split, with six subjects physiologically classified as schizophrenia-like and 12 subjects as bipolar-like. Those classified as schizophrenia-like were significantly younger at illness onset and had higher symptom ratings.

CONCLUSION: A composite endophenotype of P50 ratio and frequency of leading saccades is consistent with the current clinical nosology of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and parses patients with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, into two subgroups.
* Emphasis is mine.

Promotion and Prevention in Mental Health:

Strengthening Parenting and Enhancing Child Resilience

To download this report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, click here (PDF).

An overview of the report was published in the December 21st edition of Psychiatric News, to view, click here.

Mental Health Courts Bill Targets Multiple Problems

Proposed [U.S.] legislation to promote mental health courts would require the attorney general to report on the rate of serious mental illness among state, federal, and local inmates nationwide.

To read this entire article by Rich Daly, published in the December 21st issues of Psychiatric News, click here.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

BMO Donates $10,000 to Strengthening Families Together Program



For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2007

VANCOUVER, BC - In their ongoing involvement in community initiatives, BMO Bank of Montreal has donated $10,000 to the BC Schizophrenia Society’s Strengthening Families Together education and support program. The Strengthening Families Together program gives families who have a mental illness the tools and coping skills to help them help their ill family member. It also provides an opportunity for families to share their feelings and find support in other people going through similar circumstances.

“BMO Bank of Montreal is pleased to provide a donation of $10,000 towards the BC Schizophrenia Society’s “Strengthening Families Together Education Program”, said Wayne Hashimoto, Personal Banking Area Manager for BMO in Richmond and Delta.

“We are especially pleased that these funds will be used to help reach families who are challenged by this serious mental illness through a 10-week education course at locations throughout the province”, added Mr. Hashimoto.

The mission of the BC Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) is to improve the quality of life for people affected by schizophrenia and psychosis through education, support programs, public policy, and research. Schizophrenia affects 40,000 BC residents and costs Canadians an estimated seven billion dollars a year.

“It has been shown time and time again that when there is a strong support system from family members of a mentally ill person, the individuals chances of recovery are significantly improved. This generous funding from BMO Bank Of Montreal will help ensure that families have the education and support programs in place to help them support their loved one and also let them know they are not alone,” commented the Society’s Executive Director, Gary Glacken.

For more information on schizophrenia, psychosis, or BC Schizophrenia Society’s programs and services, please visit www.bcss.org.

Contact
Nadine Saunders, Director of Development & Marketing; (604) 270-7841, Ext. 28

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Duty to Accommodate Mental Health Disability Upheld by Landmark Ontario Human Rights Decision

Toronto (December 18, 2007) - A recent Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision in the case of Lane v. ADGA Group Consultants Inc. of Ottawa has upheld the right of persons with a mental health disability to be appropriately accommodated in the workplace under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

Click here to read the entire press release.

Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team



For a document containing information on the role Mental Health Mobile Crisis Team, click here.



Sunday, December 16, 2007

Personal Blogs on Coping With Schizophrenia


Rim Collection
Painted with Luv- (Sometimes)

From Schizophrenia Daily News Blog, December 13, 2007:
Personal Blogs on Coping With Schizophrenia

We encourage personal chronicles of schizophrenia through blogs or vlogs. The following are descriptions of a couple of personal blogs focused on the authors' experiences with schizophrenia:

This first blog, titled Stiffen The Sinews, is the journal of a young woman who [lives with] schizophrenia. On it, she chronicles her experiences in living with and managing her illness. Many of her postings concern the symptoms of her illness and how she copes with them. Here's an excerpt from one of her postings:

I've Grown
I read my first post this morning, correcting the mistakes, and I've realized that I am able to react differently to my psychosis. It used the be that the only way I could set myself straight was by confirming to others the truth of what was really happening. But now, I recognize my symptoms for what they are and I am emotionally able to refute them! I know that my medication has something to do with it, and I am extremely grateful...My next attempt at overcoming my disease is socialization. I always hallucinate in public...

The next blog, titled Bonkers Bob schizophrenia blog, is the blog of a 26-year-old man residing in the UK. His blog features information about his experiences with his illness. He emphasizes staying well, stating that prior to treatment he had spent more than one and a half years in psychiatric wards. Now he sticks to treatment and attempts to live a low-stress life. Here's an excerpt from his blog:

The thrill of being Jesus
I’ve been thinking recently about what my life was like before I decided to ‘get with the program’ and comply with treatment. To an outside observer my life is much better than when I was non-complient, I’ve developed my portfolio of graphic design to a point where I stand a good chance of landing a job in a competitive industry and been able to function at a high level and cope very well with living on my own. But part of me misses the thrill and inflated self esteem of when I’m losing touch with reality and I think I’m part of some cosmic battle and believe I’ve got miraculous powers, all of my most memorable experiences have been when I’ve been psychotic, both positive and negative...I think I’ve come to the realisation that whilst being Jesus is exciting and a massive boost to the ol’ self esteem, it comes at a high price and I’m much better building on my normal low self esteem, then my mind won’t need to be Jesus to cope with life…

…the question is how do I do that?

See also Kristin Bell's Video Blogs:
Kristin's New Video Blog - A Personal View on Schizophrenia
Kristin Bell: A Chronicle of Living With Schizophrenia

If you have a personal schizophrenia-focused blog or vlog you would like us to announce, please e-mail us at szwebmaster@yahoo.com.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Keep Tasers holstered unless absolutely needed — watchdog


Mounties too often using device on people who pose little threat

An article published in the December 13th edition of the Halifax Chronicle Herald.

Below is a quote from the article:
B.C. Civil Liberties Association president Jason Gratl, who advocates a moratorium on Tasers, said the RCMP must craft a policy for at-risk groups who are more prone to be jolted by police before they continue using the devices.

"The mentally ill, drug addicts, people with significant health problems, are more likely to be Tasered. Those groups are at risk. And we don’t know enough about how the Taser works on those groups to design a policy that keeps them safe."

For the Executive Summary of the Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP's report, click here.

To access the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP's website, click here.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

News from the Lunenburg County Chapter of the SSNS


In partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Health, Mental Health Services, The LCC-SSNS showed the movie Canvas at the Empire Studio 7 in Bridgewater on Monday, November 26th. Many thanks to Steve Ayer, executive director of the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia, for all of his work to bring this wonderful movie to our community, and to the Nova Scotia Department of Health for their generous support.

The LCC-SSNS's Annual Christmas Bake Sale was held at the Bridgewater Mall on Thursday, November 29th, 2007 (see photograph, below). Thanks to all of our volunteers for their donations of baked goods, knitting, etc., and their time working at the sale and to those in the community who supported our sale. It was a terrific success!


Richard Balser (below) proudly displays original artwork he produced during the course he is taking with support from a bursary from the LCC-SSNS.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mental health court step in right direction


An editorial from the December 11th edition of the Halifax Daily News. To read the editorial, click here.

For a related article from The Canadian Press and posted by CBC.ca, click here.


For more information on the above book, click here.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Demystifying Medicine - Schizophrenia: Clinical and Basic Aspects


National Institutes of Health Videocasting

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Total Running Time: 1:55:00

To view the video, click here.





Saturday, December 8, 2007

Psychosis, Ordinary Thinking Not Distant Relatives


The community buffers a variety of aberrant beliefs along the continuum from "normal" to psychosis, but a catastrophic disruption may occur that results in serious mental illness.

To read this article by Mark Moran in the December 7th issue of Psychiatric News, click here.


Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act

The November 2007 issue of the Newsletter of the Kings County Chapter of the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia contains a number of articles relating to the new Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, including an interview with Dr. David Mulhall, Medical Director, Annapolis Valley Health, Mental Health Services (pages 2 and 3).

To view the newsletter, click here (downloads a PDF).

Panel urged to include mentally ill person

Taser review report will be examined by experts: province

To read this article by Graham North published in the December 8th edition of the Halifax Daily News, click here.

For the press release from the Nova Scotia Department of Justice announcing the Taser review, click here.

Photo : jasonesbain (Flickr)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Feinstein Researchers Develop New Genetic Method and Identify Novel Genes for Schizophrenia

A December 3rd press release from The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research:
Scientists at the Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have identified nine genetic markers that can increase a person’s risk for schizophrenia. In a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team uncovered original evidence that this disabling brain disease can be inherited in a recessive manner. A recessive trait is one that is inherited from both parents.

“If a person inherits identical copies of these markers from each parent, his or her risk for schizophrenia increases substantially,” said Todd Lencz, PhD, associate director of research at Zucker Hillside and the lead author of the study. “If these results are confirmed, they could open up new avenues for research in schizophrenia and severe mental illness,” said Anil Malhotra, MD, director of psychiatric research at Zucker Hillside and senior investigator of the study.

The scientists developed a complex mathematical approach called whole genome homozygosity association (WGHA) that provides a new way of analyzing genetic information. It enables scientists to simultaneously look at genetic information derived from the patient’s mother and father, and identify pieces of chromosomes that are identical. They tested genetic material from 178 patients and 144 controls.

It has been the prevailing view in psychiatric genetics that there are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of genetic variations that could lead to schizophrenia, but each gene has a small effect. It is the wrong mix of many genes, plus unknown environmental stressors, that trigger the onset of symptoms. One in every 100 people suffer from schizophrenia, a condition marked by episodes of hallucinations, delusions and disordered thinking.

The new findings suggest another scenario, at least for a subset of patients. Dr. Lencz and his colleagues identified nine regions along the chromosomes that might play a large role in triggering the disease when two identical variants are inherited. Four of these regions contain genes that have been previously associated with schizophrenia, providing validation for the technique. The remaining five regions provide an additional set of newly discovered genetic risk factors. Many genes located in these regions are involved with the structure and survival of neurons.

In genetic parlance, several of these markers demonstrated high penetrance, meaning that their effect on disease risk was large. In the study, 81 percent of the schizophrenia patients had at least one of these recessive markers, compared to only 45 percent of the normal control group. Nearly half of the patients had two or more compared to 11 percent of the controls. And while no one in the healthy group had identical chunks of chromosomes in four or more of these risk regions, subjects with more than three demonstrated a 24-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia. “This type of analysis could greatly improve our ability to diagnose schizophrenia and clarify specific subtypes of patients,” Dr. Lencz said. “The critical next step is confirming these results in independent datasets.”

“What is most exciting is that the study implicates new genes in schizophrenia,” said David Goldman, MD, chief of laboratory of neurogenetics at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “Now, they have to trace down the genes that mediate this vulnerability.” Identifying these novel genes will eventually help improve understanding of the disease and lead to the development of more effective treatments, the scientists said.

The Feinstein scientists worked in collaboration with software developers from Golden Helix, Inc. in Bozeman, MT and researchers at Harvard Medical School to develop the statistical method. The WGHA technique can now be applied to any other illness with a genetic component. Dr. Lencz and his colleagues previously published the first “whole-genome” DNA microchip study in schizophrenia.

The study was funded by a private donation from the Donald and Barbara Zucker Foundation, an award from the KeySpan Corporation, and grants from the National Institute of Mental Health; NARSAD, the Mental Health Research Association (formerly known as National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression); and the Stanley Medical Research Institute.
For a related weblog posting, click here.

Photograph courtesy of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Health professionals and the monitoring of Taser use

An article published in Psychiatric Bulletin by Anthony John O’Brien, Brian G. McKenna, and Alexander I. F. Simpson.

If you are interested in a copy of this article, contact the SSNS at ssns@ns.sympatico.ca.

Monday, December 3, 2007

'Nutrition and mental health' opens series of public talks



A December 3rd posting from the University of Cambridge:
The effect of diet and physical exercise on the mood of teenagers will come under discussion at a free public debate in Cambridge tonight.

The event in the Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street at 6pm will give people the chance to question expert researchers on how teenagers' diet impacts on their behaviour and mental health.

The discussion is the first in a series of free talks offering the local community the chance to learn about some of the research currently taking place at Cambridge.

The events are being organised by the Festivals and Outreach team at the University and allows an open forum for discussion between scientists, researchers and members of the public.

Tonight's discussion looks at the ‘ROOTS' project which is working with over 1200 teenagers recruited from Cambridgeshire schools to examine the factors that can affect mental health in young adults.

The event will open with a series of presentations, after which there will be a open floor discussion about the group's work and the research methods used.

Nicola Buckley, Festivals and Outreach Co-ordinator said: “This a great chance for the community to learn about research at the University. The role that diet and physical activity have to play in mental health is a fascinating one, and this evening's discussion will provide insights into how what we eat is a crucial factor in understanding conditions such as depression.”

The speakers at tonight's event are Valerie Dunn, ROOTS Project Co-ordinator at the University and Caroline Stokes, of the MRC (Medical Research Council) Human Nutrition Research Unit.

The Roots project is speaking to 14-year-olds from a range of schools in Cambridgeshire. Using a series of interviews and questionnaires with teenagers and parents, the project will look at many aspects of teenage life including family, friends, interests, mood, behaviour, nutrition and activity levels. The project will also look at hormones and genes thought to be important for good health and success during the dynamic years of adolescence.
For more details click here.

Thanks go to John Devlin for bringing this posting to my attention.

Police need mental health training, Liberals say


To read this posting on CBC.ca, click here.



Saturday, December 1, 2007

Another Assault: Mind's Campaign for Equal Access to Justice for People with Mental Health Problems



From the Mental Health Specialist Library:
Too often people with mental health problems are reluctant to report crimes.

One victim told Mind that contact with the police exposed them to yet more discrimination and vulnerability: "The system of investigation is another assault."

Mind's new research exposes shockingly high levels of bullying, harassment and exploitation experienced by people with mental health problems while living in the community.

Mind believes everyone has an equal right to personal safety, and that people experiencing mental distress have the same rights to justice as anyone else.
To download Another Assault: Mind's Campaign for Equal Access to Justice for People with Mental Health Problems, click here (PDF).

What is the outlook for the future?



From an article posted by the National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.):
The outlook for people with schizophrenia has improved over the last 30 years or so. Although there still is no cure, effective treatments have been developed, and many people with schizophrenia improve enough to lead independent, satisfying lives.

This is an exciting time for schizophrenia research. The explosion of knowledge in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral research will enable a better understanding of the causes of the disorder, how to prevent it, and how to develop better treatments to allow those with schizophrenia to achieve their full potential.
To read the complete the complete article, click here.