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mental illness

New York City's Asylum for the Insane on Blackwell's Island
Moses King / British Library

This past Saturday was the 154th birthday of Nellie Bly, one of the first (if not the first) American investigative journalists.

Her willingness to be checked into the New York City Women's Insane Asylum helped change the way America treated people who were mentally ill.

Brain Imaging Research Division / Wayne State University School of Medicine

Talking about mental illness goes hand in hand with talking about stigma, that fear of being judged or having one’s symptoms blamed on bad behavior rather than a disease. Stigma keeps people from seeking the help they need for their mental illness, but what if patients and families could see their mental illness?

It's time for Michigan to decriminalize mental illness

Dec 13, 2017
prison bars
Flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

For many years I’ve admired Milton Mack, who is about as authentic a Detroiter as they come. Two of his ancestors arrived with Cadillac when they founded the city in July 1701.

I don’t know how long it was before those French voyageurs built their first prison stockade. But today, Michigan has tens of thousands of people in prison, which costs us almost $2 billion a year. Mack, who spent years as chief probate judge in Wayne County, has studied our prison system for years and made recommendations for improving it.

kids walking in a school hallway
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Fewer teens  are dying from accidents and disease, but teen deaths from suicide continue to rise.

The Michigan chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is offering two programs to high schools for students, teachers and parents in an effort to address this issue.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new Michigan State University survey finds most Americans remain ignorant of the signs of mental illness and drug use.

The survey found most Americans can't recognize anxiety, don’t know what to do about depression and don’t recognize prescription drug abuse as a treatable problem.

MSU professor Mark Skidmore says, while more education is needed, progress is being made.

I have to admit I was surprised four years ago when Tom Watkins was appointed head of the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority. When I first knew him, Watkins was state superintendent of schools. That is, until Governor Jennifer Granholm pressed to have him fired for questioning some of her policies.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting December 1st, applications for concealed pistol licenses will pass thru a different system in Michigan.

A new state law taking effect eliminates local gun boards and puts the review process entirely in the hands of the Michigan State Police.  The new law is also speeding up the review process, from 60 to 45 days.

Prison bars
flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The family of a veteran who committed suicide in an Ottawa County jail cell two years ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county.

Scott Meirs was left alone in a single-person cell several days after he was arrested for breaking into a neighbor's home and stealing prescription medication.

Fighting the last stigma

May 13, 2015

The good news is that we’ve clearly made progress towards eliminating a lot of stigma in this society. There’s certainly much less against gay people, and we have, after all, a black president. Most people are no longer unnerved by the thought of meeting someone with AIDS, and as far as I can tell, nobody cares if their coworkers happen to be Jewish.

The good news is that there seems to be increasing interest in mental health issues at all levels of government.

Yesterday, the Michigan Health and Wellness Commission released a new report on improving mental health services in this state. This was a special, bipartisan commission including four legislators, chaired by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

The study, “Improving Quality of Life by Supporting Independence and Self-Determination” is available online.

It is short, straightforward, and easy to understand.

It calls for legislative action, and calls on all of us to reassess the way we view, as well as treat, those with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

flickr.com

Schizophrenia affects nearly 2.4 million Americans. The mental disorder enables patients to feel like they are "hearing voices," and have difficulty with change.

Now, Michigan State University researchers have made a discovery that could help treat some symptoms of Schizophrenia. While current antipsychotic drugs are able to reduce hallucinations, the new study finds information that may eventually help patients cope with other symptoms. These include trouble responding to change, lack of motivation, and the inability to experience pleasure.

Life123.com

Researchers at the University of Michigan are closely watching President Obama’s call for a big increase in federal funding for brain research. 

President Obama is proposing a 100 million dollar increase in federal funding for brain research.   

U of M has many different researchers studying the human brain.    From Alzheimer’s disease to Depression, neuroscientists on the Ann Arbor campus are approaching the brain from a wide variety of specialties.

Official portrait

Governor Rick Snyder has called for a review of how Michigan provides mental health services.

The governor has signed two executive orders to come up with recommendations.The executive orders create two separate commissions.

Both of them will be led by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.

One major goal is to identify gaps that send people to jails and prisons instead of to programs that could treat their illnesses.

The plans also include teaching police, teachers, and clergy to spot signs of mental illness, earlier intervention for children with mental health issues, and helping more people get into treatment instead of being sent to jail or prison.

Administration officials say this will be the first thorough review of mental health services in Michigan since the state shut down its psychiatric hospitals in favor of community-based programs in the early 1990’s

taliesin / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Two months after Saginaw police fatally shot a mentally-ill man, his family and community are still calling for answers.

On July 1st, Milton Hall was gunned down in a parking lot during a confrontation with police. It was captured on a cell phone video and made national headlines, with some media reporting the officers fired 46 times.

Hall reportedly held a knife, though the video appears to show he was several feet away when police opened fire.