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In a recent Huffington Post article, Emmy-Award-winning science writer Victoria Costello tells the story of her son who, at seventeen, began to suffer “psychotic symptoms.” When she brought him to the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute, doctors recommended he stay there for one month for careful observation so that they could make a proper diagnosis. After all of the paperwork was done and her son was settled in his room, Costello sat down to speak with the psychiatrist about her family’s health history.


My name is Lisa Sonnenberg.  I am a 32-year-old woman, wife of 10 years, and a mother of 4 children under 8 years old. I suffer with anxiety and depression. I have suffered for as long as I can remember.


Statistically, African Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than white Americans. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry asserts that psychiatric bias and diagnostic standards may be to blame.

whitney_singingWhitney Houston, the legendary singer and multiple Grammy-winner, was found dead in her hotel room on February 11, 2012.  Although we do not know what Whitney Houston's difficulties were beyond drug addiction, it is important for us to remember that drug problems and depression often go hand in hand.


On Monday, February 6th, 2012, Leah and I, interns here at FFDA, had the privilege of attending the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention’s 13th Annual State House Event. It was our first time at the State House and we were both very excited.


A recent survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 20 percent of American adults, 45.9 million people, live with a mental illness but only 39 percent of those people received mental health services in 2010.

mildred mitchell-bateman

Mildred Mitchell-Bateman, a mental health pioneer and the first African-American woman to lead a West Virginia state agency, passed away last month. In 1946, Mitchell-Bateman received her medical degree from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. In her more than six decades of service in the field of mental health, Mitchell-Bateman held many high-level positions and was the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association (2000) and the Governor’s Award for Civil Rights Contribution (2004).

don corneliusDon Cornelius, popular host of the hit TV show “Soul Train” was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, February 1, 2012.  Born September 27, 1963 in Chicago, Cornelius went from an insurance salesman, to radio personality to TV host and producer, eventually starting his own music show, Soul Train.

pillsRecently, we received an interesting response to one of our downloadable articles, which addresses the topic of teens and antidepressants. Board Chair of Wellness Wordworks, Ken Braiterman, wrote that he was upset by some of our advisory board members' opinions on the use of antidepressants on teens because of his suspicion of their long-term effects.  Braiterman wrote, “Far too often, doctors and school officials present medication to parents of troubled children as relatively risk free, and the only option, not one of many.”

intelstsDanielle Goldman of Queens, New York, was recently named a finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search contest for her research on anxiety and depression. Goldman is now one of 40 finalists, selected from a pool of 300 semi-finalists, who will travel to Washington, D.C., in March for a chance to win a scholarship of up to $1.25 million.


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If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 800-273-TALK or 911 immediately. For crisis support via text message, text LISTEN to 741741.