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mental health

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What do we really mean when we talk about mental health and mental illness? We use those terms so often, but do we really understand what we’re talking about?

Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program Facebook page

Dr. Perry Baird was a Texas-born and Harvard-trained physician. In the '20s and '30s, his medical career was on the rise. And he became more and more interested in what caused “manic depression,” as it was known at the time.

Today, we know it as bipolar disorder.

CREDIT FLICKR USER MIC445 / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

"Hearing voices" is known as an auditory hallucination. The Mental Health Foundation tells us that it may or may not be associated with a mental health problem.

It's the most common type of hallucination in people with disorders such as schizophrenia. 

There's a stigma that follows such hallucinations. If you speak openly about hearing voices, you're likely to be labeled, medicated, even hospitalized. 

But the Hearing Voices Network thinks it has another way to help people understand and learn to live with those voices. 

Janice Fialka, left, with her husband Rich, son Micah and daughter Emma in Syracuse.
Courtesy of Janice Fialka

How do you express your feelings when a team of experts sits you down to tell you your child is developmentally disabled?

When Janice Fialkaof Huntington Woods came home reeling from such a case conference about her five-year-old son Micah, she sat down and tried to put her feelings into words.

The result was a poem she calls Advice to Professionals who must "conference cases."

"I want my son back," she writes. "I want him back now. Then I'll get on with my life."

And that she did. Fialka and her family - husband Rich, daughter Emma and son Micah - launched themselves on a mission to prove that labels and IQ tests are not true measures of someone's ability to be valuable to the world, to contribute, to learn. 

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder has put forth a proposal to privatize all or part of Michigan's mental health system. The governor has suggested $2.4 billion be shifted to Medicaid HMOs rather than public mental health organizations, according to reports in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Lieutenant Gov. Brian Calley has been heading up discussions with work group of public mental health agencies and advocacy groups. But it appears those talks have broken down.

Buddy-to-Buddy sends volunteer veterans to help other veterans or servicemembers
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Who can understand the problems, fears and worries of veterans and military service members better than someone who has served?

That's the idea behind Buddy-to-Buddy. It's the only program of its kind in Michigan, focused on peer support. Veterans who can help other vets and service members. 

Dr. Daniel Maixner says depictions of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT), like this one in the TV show "Homeland," have harmed the public's perceptions of the treatment. Dr. Maixner calls ECT a "miracle."
Image from the program "Homeland" / Showtime

In the latest edition of Stateside's series Minding Michigan, which explores mental health issues in our state, we take a closer look at electro-convulsive therapy (ECT). 

ECT is largely known as "electroshock therapy," but many in the field consider that to be an outdated term. ECT is a mental health treatment that can be effective for some patients with certain disorders. However, largely because of the way its been portrayed in film or television, ECT is wrapped in stigma and misconception. The University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry has just opened a new mental health unit that expands its ability to offer electro-convulsive therapy to patients.

FLICKR USER 401(K) / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Don Williams is from Holland, Mich., and recently, he posed this question to Michigan Radio’s MI Curious project:

Is it just his perception, or do mental health services vary widely in different parts of the state?

http://www.ceicmh.org/

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

How well does Michigan do in helping people who are suffering from mental health problems?

When it comes to the mental health care safety net, the answer is troubling. It seems that Michiganders who have private insurance are the ones whose safety net is weakest. 

Ian Hartley
Courtesy of Julie Hartley

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

Courtesy of mattwalker69 from Flickr

A new study from the University of Michigan finds white men are comparatively worse at dealing with depression symptoms than their black counterparts. 

The study compared depression symptoms of white Americans and African-Americans over 65 years old. While black depression is underreported, whites struggle most with hopelessness. 

7,100 bodies are buried at the former Eloise mental hospital in Westland, near Detroit. But you'd never guess that from walking around the property.

That’s because the cemetery, which was never meant to be a traditional cemetery, looks more like an empty field. But look down, and you'll discover rows and rows of cement markers the size of large bricks with numbers stamped into them.

“This person buried here is number 5,632,” says Felicia Sills, as she gets on her knees and gently traces her finger over each number.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

The hallmark of Rick Snyder’s tenure as Michigan’s governor has been his relentless drive to run government like a business.

Many believe that putting the bottom line first is what helped cause the Flint water crisis.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/creativecomputer/

The Next Idea

Most of us know someone — a friend, colleague, or relative — who has experienced a fight with cancer. We share their names and stories, do what we can to help, and take part in fundraisers for cancer treatment and research. And thanks to all that research, doctors today are able to construct individualized treatment programs for cancer patients with great accuracy. It’s a far cry from the “one-size-fits-all” approach of the past.

The Flint water treatment plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Stress, frustration, and depression may be among the feelings that Flint residents are experiencing right now. Tragedies and disasters like the Flint water crisis often bring out strong emotions.

Crisis counseling is immediately available for people affected by the ongoing emergency.

The Disaster Distress Helpline, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling.

Michigan-raised artist Brenda Goodman is happy. That’s because she’s finally getting steady recognition from the art world, after years of rejection. This year Goodman won a lifetime achievement award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The 72-year-old thinks part of the reason she’s becoming more well-known is because people are sharing her artwork on social media sites, which helps her reach new audiences.

Goodman was born and raised in Detroit and was part of the Cass Corridor art movement in the 1970s. These days, Goodman lives in upstate New York.

Andrew3000 / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

To quote actor-writer-comedian Steve Martin: "A day without sunshine is like, you know, night."

Old man winter officially knocks down the seasonal door at 11:48 p.m. next Monday, December 21. The good news is that the days will start to get longer. The bad news:  it will be three months before the days, once again, become longer than night. 

If you are one of those Michiganders whose mood slides downhill as we slide into winter, you've got plenty of company. And it's all tied into the relationship among light, mood and melatonin.

Kate Hiscock / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Funding cuts are forcing a west Michigan organization that helps people with developmental disabilities and other employment barriers find jobs to shut its doors.

Kandu Industries in Holland provides vocational training, job placement and other services for thousands of people with cognitive impairments, physical disabilities and other barriers that could make it difficult to find employment.

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
user Machine Elf 1735 / Wikimedia Commons

Whether you have personal struggles, or you know a family member or friend who has needed help - it seems just about everyone has been personally touched by mental health issues at some point in their life.

The reporters and producers at Michigan Radio are planning a series of stories focusing on mental health in Michigan. But before we get started, we want to hear from you.

What questions or issues have you run across that you want answers to?

WAFERBOARD / CREATIVE COMMONS / HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The CEO of a mental health facility in Battle Creek spent $510,000 of public money on a psychic palm reader in Key West, Florida.

Ervin Brinker was fired back in February from his position at Summit Pointe, a provider of mental and behavioral health services to Medicaid recipients in eight southern Michigan counties.

When I was in elementary school more than half a century ago, there was still widespread ignorance about mental illness.

There were also no home computers, no thought of smart phones, no internet and virtually no seatbelts in cars. Black people were called Negroes, not allowed to vote in many states, and nobody imagined they’d ever see an African-American president.

ArborWiki.org

Washtenaw County officials are concerned about how state cuts to general funds that provide mental health services are affecting the community. 

Felicia Brabec is a chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners.

User southernfried / MorgueFile.com

Graduates of Michigan's drug, sobriety, and mental health courts are substantially less likely to commit another crime, according to a report recently released by the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Court spokesman John Nevin says problem-solving courts divert select non-violent offenders into intensive treatment and supervision for underlying problems like addiction and mental illness.

Michigan State University

This week will bring a gathering of doctors, psychologists, social workers and religious leaders to Dearborn for the 7th Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference.

It's the only conference of its kind in the nation, if not in the world.

Dr. Farha Abbasi is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University and a practicing Muslim. She founded this conference in 2008.

Alton / Creative Commons

The idea of a teen crisis line isn't new.

But think about it: When's the last time you've seen a teenager pick up a phone, dial a number and call someone?

The average teen sends some 2,000 text messages a month.

You’d have a hard time finding anyone with deeper Detroit roots than Milton Mack, Wayne County’s Chief Probate Judge. Two of his ancestors were in the canoes with Cadillac when he landed and founded the city on July 24, 1701.

Michigan Radio

It’s estimated that in the United States some 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

“It is a tragedy, one that we have to deal with,” Michigan Democratic Senator Gary Peters said. “In my mind we have a sacred obligation to take care of those who have served us overseas, so we need to address it immediately.”

Pat Ibbotson/"Eloise: Poorhouse, Farm, Asylum and Hospital 1839-1984"

We recently stumbled across some cool, old photographs of life at one of the most well-known psychiatric hospitals in Michigan: Eloise.

Celebrating the holidays was an important part of life for the people who lived and worked at Eloise, which was located a few miles outside Detroit in Wayne County. 

Public Act 343 makes Michigan the 32nd state to provide exonorees with compensation for time served.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

About 20% of Michigan’s inmates suffer from some kind of mental health condition.

So if the state could divert people away from prison and into treatment, the prison population would drop.

That’s the thinking behind a “diversion” program being tested in a few areas of Michigan.

Dr. Faha Abbasi said when a trauma happens, your brain is "short circuited."
Jon Olav Eikenes / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan is expanding efforts to offer more treatment options for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities who are at risk of being imprisoned.

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