CBS 60 Minute Show – “Untreated Mental Illness an Imminent Danger”

Please CLICK HERE to visit CBS’s site to view the segment on mental illness that appeared last night on the 60 minute show. Correspondent Steve Kroft interviewed two experts on the subject—Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., president of APA and chair of psychiatry at Columbia University, and E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute. Dr. Torrey Fuller, a nationally known psychiatrist, frequent contributor on national television shows, NAMI award winner, and one of the founders of the Treatment Advocacy Center provides comment on mental illness and recent tragic events involving persons with a mental illness. The segment is also available through YouTube, embedded below:

Several major points emerged from the segment, including:

  • That schizophrenia is a brain illness. Lieberman documented this knowledge with brain images showing changes in the brains of people with schizophrenia. He also explained that the illness, which “usually emerges in late adolescence and early adulthood, affecting perception and judgment,” may cause a person to hear voices, among other symptoms.
  • There are effective treatments for the hallucinations that individuals with schizophrenia experience, but not all of those individuals have access to such treatments.
  • The vast majority of individuals with schizophrenia do not commit violence. They are the ones who suffer the most from their illness. And the tragic fact is that many people with serious mental illness are not receiving treatment in the community and end up in jails and prisons.

Dr. Fuller is also the author of Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Consumers and Providers (Harper Perennial). Since its first publication in 1983, Surviving Schizophrenia has become the standard reference book on the disease and has helped thousands of patients, their families and mental health professionals. In clear language, this much–praised and important book describes the nature, causes, symptoms, treatment and course of schizophrenia and also explores living with it from both the patient and the family’s point of view.

The present edition is the Fifth Edition. It is completely updated and includes the latest research findings on what causes schizophrenia, information about the newest drugs for treatment, and answers to the questions most often asked by families, consumers and providers.

How Shootings Stigmatize People Living with Mental Illness

From: NAMI Blog: 

On Sept. 20, invited and published the following guest article by NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick. NAMI also released statements on the Navy Yard tragedy on Sept. 17 and Sept. 19.

When tragedies occur, such as the one at the Navy Yard in Washington, all Americans are deeply affected.

They include the one in four American adults who experience mental health problems. That’s approximately 60 million Americans. Their first reaction is much like that of anyone else: feelings of anger and anguish and wanting to know when such events will ever stop.

But there’s another, secondary impact to this community if a history of mental illness is suspected. Tragically, in the case with the Navy Yard gunman, mental illness appears to be a factor. But in too many cases, people simply assume that it is, no matter how much we caution that it’s best not to attempt to diagnose any medical condition speculatively through the news media.

Unfortunately, stigma surrounds mental illness. It’s most associated with a violent stereotype. The result has always been fear, prejudice and discrimination toward anyone struggling with a mental health problem.

The stereotype endures despite the fact that the U.S. Surgeon General has found that the likelihood of violence from people with mental illness is low. In fact, “the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small.”

Despite the impact of the Navy Yard tragedy and those of Newtown, Aurora and Virginia Tech on perceptions, a much greater, different reality exists. Many thousands of veterans experience post-traumatic stress disorder. Civilian employees of the military seek help for depression; teachers live with anxiety disorders. Students succeed academically while managing bipolar disorder.

People living with schizophrenia may be psychologists, professors, peer counselors or businesspersons. They are all members of their communities. Few are violent…

CLICK HERE to view this entire article at NAMI Blog.

Mental Illness Prayer Service

5In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which is October 6 to October12, 2013, First Lutheran Church and School, in partnership with NAMI South Bay and FirstServe, is pleased to offer a Service of Healing Prayer and Remembrance at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 8, 2013, on National Prayer Day.

Prayer calls for and offers hope. The First Lutheran Church and School, NAMI South Bay and FirstServe are collaborating “to proclaim God’s love and compassion for persons with a mental illness and their families.”

Please join us as part of this weeks activities to acknowledge and give support to the challenges of those with a mental illness and their families.

NAMIBikes Rides Out on Saturday, November 2

Fight Stigma and Ride

(From NAMI California Newsletter) This exciting mental health, anti-stigma event will start and end in Davis and will offer a choice of 25K, 50K and 100K courses. It is a fully supported ride, including an event t-shirt, light breakfast, lunch and rest stop fuel.

Be a Virtual Rider!  Even if you can’t be in Davis, you can ride along as a Virtual Rider.  When you register, choose the option to be a virtual rider.

There is no registration fee for Virtual Riders, and if you raise $45 or more, NAMI California will send you the event t-shirt.

For all others, routes are $45 (registration is waived with $250 in fundraising, however, fundraising is not required).

“The sport allows me to clear my mind for some time, focusing only on what lies about 15 to 20 feet in front of me. Being on a bike is beyond exhilarating.”

— Eric Ward
NAMIBikes 2012 & 2013 rider and mental health advocate.

Read about Eric’s journey on his NAMI blog posts:

Study: Cognitive Restructuring Helps Prevent Depression in At-Risk Teens

(From Psychiatric News Alert) A cognitive-behavioral prevention program, when compared with usual care, showed significant sustained effects in preventing depression in teens at high risk for depressive illness, said William Beardslee, M.D., a professor of child psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and colleagues in JAMA Psychiatry.

The study included teens that were (a) offspring of parents with current or past depressive disorders, and (b) had themselves present or past depressive symptoms. The teens were randomly assigned to either (1) usual care, or (2) a cognitive-behavioral prevention (“CBP”) program. The CBP program involved eight weekly group sessions and six monthly group booster sessions, in which the teens learned how to deal with negative or unrealistic thoughts. The subjects were evaluated for depression at intervals over 33 months. Over the period, and for the sample as a whole, the intervention was significantly effective, with 37% of the teens in the CBP group experiencing a depression, compared with 48% in the usual-care group.

“We were quite pleased that the effects noted in our earlier analysis nine months after enrollment were sustained at 33 months, as it is difficult to demonstrate longer-term prevention effects,” Beardslee told Psychiatric News. At the nine-month follow-up, 21 percent of the teens randomized to the CBP condition had experienced depression, in contrast to 33 percent in the usual-care group.

During the past decade or so, there has been an explosion in mental illness prevention research such as that conducted by Beardslee and his colleagues. See the Psychiatric News article “Future Looks Promising for Mental Illness Prevention” to read more about the research. Also see “Maintenance Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Manualized Psychoeducation in the Treatment of Recurrent Depression…” in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Watch the Prism Awards Tonight

Tune in Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 3pm as “Each Mind Matters,” California’s mental health movement, leaps forward with a national broadcast of the 17th Annual PRISM Showcase on FX network.
The PRISM Awards honor television shows, music, interactive media, DVDs, comic books and movies that accurately depict mental health and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. The show is hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky with guest co-hosts Orlando Jones and Giuliana Rancic, and presented by Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), a California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) Stigma and Discrimination Reduction program partner.

Movie characters and television storylines have a unique potential to reach directly into our homes and to connect audiences of millions with powerful stories, images and experiences. That’s why CalMHSA’s partnership with EIC offers a powerful reach for stigma and discrimination reduction by engaging the professionals who create entertainment in developing accurate and balanced portrayals of mental illness and offering hope for recovery.

Among those productions honored are, feature films: Silver Linings Playbook and Flight, and television shows: Go On, Elementary, Nurse Jackie, Parenthood, Chicago Fire, American Horror Story: Asylum, Homeland, Rehab with Dr. Drew, and Days of Our Lives.

“Each Mind Matters,” California’s mental health movement, was also celebrated at this year’s PRISM Awards, as the symbolism of lime green ribbons was explained from the stage, featured as the prevalent motif in decorations, and distributed to everyone in the audience.

In addition to the FX broadcast, the PRISM Showcase can be viewed on MTV, Pivot and other cable networks, broadcast stations, video on demand, and online.

Click here for the official press release and list of winners.

Visit for more information about the program and a list of honorees. Please check your local listings and the PRISM Awards web site for specific program information.

EIC is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders within the entertainment industry to bring their power and influence to bear on communication about health and social issues.

For more information on CalMHSA’s partnership with the EIC, read the recent Program Partner Spotlight. For a complete list of health and social issues addressed by EIC, and local projects, please visit EIC’s website at and view exclusive additional content on EICnetwork.TV.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

More than 90 percent of people who have died by suicide were living with one or more mental illnesses. While making up less than 1 percent of the population, military veterans represent over 20 percent of suicides each year. The hard reality is that our nation faces a suicide crisis. During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, NAMI will continue our efforts to provide education, resources and support to individuals and families in need.

One conversation can change a lifetime

Maintaining strong connections among family, friends and in your community is one of the best ways to prevent suicide. Supporting NAMI through a donation today enables you to extend your circle of support and become part of a national movement to end the stigma of mental illness and remove barriers to treatment. One person making a difference can change a life. When we all work together we can change a nation.

Each of us is in a unique position to recognize someone at risk for suicide and to take action to get them the help they need. Recognize some of the common warning signs:

  •  Depression, feelings of hopelessness, or suicidal thoughts
  • Impulsiveness, extreme anxiety, agitation, irritability, or risky behavior
  • Withdrawal from others; giving away treasured belongings
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Abuse of alcohol, drugs, or other substances

Remember, if you are concerned about a co-worker, friend, or a family member, and you think they may be considering suicide, you can ACT to prevent suicide.

 A – Ask the question – “Are you thinking of killing yourself?”

C – Care for your co-worker – Listen with compassion and voice your concern.

T – Take action – Seek professional help.

If you, or someone you know, are thinking about suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK. This number can be dialed toll-free from anywhere in the United States 24 hours a day, seven days a week.