Warning Signs of Suicide

Suicide can be prevented. While some suicides occur without any outward warning, most people who are suicidal do give warnings. Prevent the suicide of loved ones by learning to recognize the signs of someone at risk, taking those signs seriously and knowing how to respond to them.

Warning signs of suicide include:

  • Observable signs of serious depression:
    Unrelenting low mood
    Anxiety, psychic pain and inner tension
    Sleep problems
  • Increased alcohol and/or other drug use
  • Recent impulsiveness and taking unnecessary risks
  • Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
  • Making a plan:
    Giving away prized possessions
    Sudden or impulsive purchase of a firearm
    Obtaining other means of killing oneself such as poisons or medications
  • Unexpected rage or anger

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


Caregivers of Individuals with Schizophrenia Needed for Research Study

Maitreyee Angelo, in Chicago, is researching the experience of caregivers who oversee patients suffering from Schizophrenia in their families.  “The objective of the study is to understand the emotional dimensions and challenges of caregiving for Schizophrenia patients—and to identify resources and support for these caregivers.  In particular, our focus targets diverse families—including Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Asian Indian caregivers. I’m based in Chicago and would like to speak to at least 4 Asian and Indian caregivers in this area. I need another 4 people in other parts of the country.

We are hoping to identify caregivers and solicit their participation in this study.  Caregivers would participate in a 60 to 90 minute discussion facilitated by a research investigator and compensated between $150 to $250 for their time.  The size of this honoraria depends on whether the interview is conducted in-person or remotely (via telephone or video chat).  In addition, we can conduct these interviews in up to 15 different languages—so English-proficiency is not a requirement for participation.

Again, the purpose of this research is to better understand caregiving experiences and identify better opportunities to provide support to caregivers of Schizophrenia patients.  There will be no solicitation of business of any kind, or any discussion of medication, medical products, insurance coverage, etc.  All information shared will be strictly confidential and used for research purposes only.  No information will ever be used or shared in a public forum.  We will not need any patient-specific information either.”

Please contact mbangelo@gmail.com for more information.


Tammy Navarro Honored For Service To People With Mental Illness

Linda Stalters (left), Dr. Navarro (center) with her son, Paul (right)National Council’s Reintegration Award

April XX, 2012, Carmichael, CA — Tamara Navarro, Ph.D., a leading author and trainer to support people with mental illness, is receiving a prestigious Reintegration Award during the 42nd National Council Mental Health and Addictions Conference April 15-17 in Chicago. SARDAA nominated Dr. Navarro for her work as an SA leader and member of SARDAA’s speakers bureau.

Dr. Tamara Navarro has pushed herself through school and runs a private practice helping those with Schizophrenia and their families. She’s been a Schizophrenics Anonymous Leader and a speaker in national conferences. Dr. Navarro also provides support to people with schizophrenia internationally. She’s been consistently honored for her work as a leader including being named Supervisor of the Year at her work. She was also awarded the Self-Help Award of the Year by Yolo County Mental Health Association and the Above & Beyond award from Schizophrenics Anonymous. She’s written articles about her disease and recovery and is working on a book. At the time Dr. Navarro was accepting her award she learned that The Food and Drug Administration has hired her to act as a special consultant representing patients who suffer from schizophrenia and related disorders  for the Psychopharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee.

Schizophrenia and Related Diseases Alliance of America (SARDAA) is an organization dedicated to the support of persons who live with schizophrenia and related disorders.  SARDAA has been organized to continue ongoing support for Schizophrenics Anonymous, create a national toll-free hotline, provide information on its website, promote personal stories of recovery and hope, organize a speaker’s bureau of people with expertise about living with the disease, family issues and support for care professionals. Their focus is on providing materials and information that will assist people in their own personal journey in living with their illness.

“Armed with the knowledge and experience of her own uphill battle with Schizophrenia, Dr. Navarro has had a tremendous impact on those struggling with their own mental illness.  She is living proof that ongoing recovery from mental illness is possible,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (National Council).

An estimated one in five Americans ages 18 and older suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder every year. The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developed countries are mental disorders.

An independent panel of mental health leaders chose the award winners. First place honorees receive a $10,000 donation, supported by Eli Lilly and Company, to donate to the organization of their choice.

“As a speaker, trainer and author, she is a powerful voice speaking up for the rights of some of society’s most vulnerable people,” said Lilly quote. “She serves as an example of how one passionate person can make a positive difference in the lives of so many others.”

Honorees of the 2012 Reintegration Awards are being recognized at an awards ceremony on April 16 as part of the National Council Conference in Chicago.


About the Reintegration Awards

Since 1997, the Reintegration Awards, supported by Eli Lilly and Company, have celebrated the achievements of those in the community who dedicate themselves to improving the lives of individuals with serious mental illnesses, and the achievements of those living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who battle tremendous odds to improve their own lives and the lives of their peers. In 2012, the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is proud to partner with Lilly to offer the Reintegration Awards.

About the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare
The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 1,950 community healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addiction disorders to nearly 6 million adults, children and families in communities across the country.

About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers — through medicines and information — for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at www.lilly.com; Lilly’s clinical trial registry is available at www.lillytrials.com.


For press passes to the awards ceremony or to speak to the winners, contact:

Mike Weaver at MikeW@thenationalcouncil.org or 202.684.7457, ext. 244

Keri McGrath-Happe at MCGRATH_HAPPE_KERI_S@LILLY.COM or 317.370.8394

Caregivers, Chronically Ill Under More Stress

While money, work and the economy were cited as the major causes, stress levels were particularly acute among people with chronic diseases or those caring for aging or chronically ill family members.

Caregivers report higher levels of stress, poorer health and a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors to alleviate their stress than the general public.

By Rosanne Skirble, Voice of America


Keep Your Brain in Shape!

Your brain is a thinking organ that learns and grows by interacting with the world through perception and action. Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise. The human brain is able to continually adapt and rewire itself. Even in old age, it can grow new neurons. Severe mental decline is usually caused by disease, whereas most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In other words, use it or lose it.

The Franklin Institute:



Dictionary.com has word games, crossword puzzles, and other language games to keep your verbal skills sharp. Luminosity is a website that uses cognitive training and games to improve attention, speed, memory, problem solving, flexibility and creativity to keep your mind healthy. Mind Tools is a career skills website that has educational materials on stress management, communication skills, creativity, problem solving, decision making, time management and more.








SAMHSA Launches Health Insurance Enrollment Webpage

SAMHSA’s new health insurance enrollment webpage.  Whether you are looking for a place to find information about insurance coverage or are researching what other States are doing to improve enrollment processes, the SAMHSA health insurance enrollment webpage has launched to help connect you to that information.  On the page you will find a number of resources including:

  • The opportunity to find coverage through healthcare.gov’s insurance finder;
  • Current health insurance options, such as Medicaid, CHIP and the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan;
  • Health insurance options available starting January 1, 2014, including expanded Medicaid eligibility and coverage through the Affordable Insurance Exchanges;
  • Information about priority populations, such as young adults and individuals who have difficulty sustaining health insurance coverage, both of which have disproportionally high behavioral health needs;
  • Provider specific information, such as webinars, fact sheets, and business operations resources; and
  • State specific information, such as State level behavioral health prevalence data, webinars, online eligibility applications, and information on SAMHSA specific projects like the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy – Health Reform Education program.

The SAMHSA enrollment webpage can be found at http://www.samhsa.gov/enrollment/index.aspx

Branded vs Generic Psychotropic Medication: Is One Better Than the Other?

Economic considerations have led to the increasing availability and use of generic medications to replace more expensive, branded drugs wherever possible. This therapeutic exchange raises the question of whether these formulations are equivalent. As psychiatric conditions often involve long-term therapy, cost-effectiveness is particularly important in this field, but nonbranded products typically provoke mistrust. Is general caution justified? Should prescribers and patients be prepared for the possibility that exchanging a branded drug for a generic one will lead to loss of efficacy or increased adverse effects? And if there is a change in the patient’s clinical status, is it because of lack of efficacy or enhanced intolerability of the generic drug? Potential reasons for a maintained or changed clinical outcome after a branded medication has been replaced with a generic one include psychological, attitudinal, and most relevant from a regulatory perspective, pharmacokinetic factors.

Christoph U. Correll, MD; Maren Carbon, MD


Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy Yields Quicker Recovery From PTSD

After experiencing an event in which one’s life is in imminent danger and one feels completely helpless, the conditional risk for the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is 9% to 14%. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) are efficacious treatments of PTSD, but few studies have directly compared these treatments using well-powered designs, and few have investigated response patterns.

The aim of this study by Nijdam and colleagues was to compare the efficacy and response pattern of brief eclectic psychotherapy (a trauma-focused CBT modality) vs EMDR for treatment of PTSD.

News Author: Deborah Brauser
CME Author: Hien T. Nghiem, MD


Art Therapy Yields No Improvement in Schizophrenia Symptoms

According to the current study by Crawford and colleagues, schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder affecting as many as 1 in 100 persons during the lifespan. In addition to positive symptoms of hallucinations and delusions, patients also experience negative symptoms of loss of energy, impaired attention, and impaired motivation. Although drug therapy is often offered with psychological and social support, art therapy has been discussed as having the potential to reduce symptoms but has rarely been studied as a therapy.

This rater-blinded, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial compares art therapy, activities therapy, and usual care in outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia.


What A Surprise: Eating Fast Food Linked To Depression

Do those depressed pursue fast food or is it the fast food that creates depression? According to a recent study headed by scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada, eating commercial baked goods and fast food is linked to depression.

Published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, the results reveal that consumers of fast food, compared to those who eat little or none, are 51% more likely to develop depression.

Furthermore, a dose-response relationship was observed. In other words this means that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” explains Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, to SINC.

The study demonstrates that those participants who eat the most fast food ((hamburgers and hotdogs) and commercial baked goods are more likely to be single, less active and have poor dietary habits, which include eating less fruit, nuts, fish, vegetables and olive oil. Smoking and working more than 45 hours per week are other prevalent characteristics of this group.

by PreventDisease.com