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Bipolar News

December 8, 2004

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Florida Kerry supporters meet for group therapy
Boca Raton News - Boca Raton,FL,USA
... We may use visualization and some techniques designed for bipolar disease and other mental disorders. That might help them adjust to reality.". ...

Tool may help diagnose bipolar disorder
Indianapolis Star - Indianapolis,IN,USA
Imaging technology called magnetic resonance spectroscopy may make it easier for psychiatrists to diagnose people with bipolar disorder. ...

Slain couple laid to rest in Luverne
Montgomery Advertiser - Montgomery,AL,USA
... depression. "I was crying and could not handle being in my body anymore," said Springford, who suffers from bipolar disorder. The ...

Murder trial set for woman in killing of husband in Douglas
Seattle Post Intelligencer - Seattle,WA,USA
... She told investigators she was subjected to domestic violence in a previous marriage, had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and believed she was acting in ...

Novasite Pharmaceuticals and the Stanley Medical Research ...
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
... (Novasite) and The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI), a foundation dedicated to fund research in schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, today announced ...

Port Charlotte woman incompetent for trial in child's death
Miami Herald (subscription) - Miami,FL,USA
... Hannah. Burns has a long history of mental instability and her family said she suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ...

Panel looks at kids' moods
Kennebec Journal - Augusta,ME,USA
... Bipolar disorder is difficult to diagnose in teenagers, he said, because people that age don't show the same symptoms as adults. ...


BENEFIT BASH A Santa-size party

Newsday; 12/5/2004; CYNTHIA DANIELS



A Santa-size party


Some might consider Lenny Crowe, 68, a modern-day Santa

For 31 years, the retired Entenmann's employee, has organized the Town of
Islip/Sons of Amvets Holiday Party for disabled children ages 3 to 83.
Children, Crowe says, "because they are all children of God."

The idea for the party began when Crowe enrolled his son, who has dyslexia
and bipolar disorder, into a school for disabled children in Pennsylvania. He
said he noticed the children needed special treatment and developed the party
just for them. The first holiday bash hosted 17 children in the American Legion
Hall with the help of the Islip Elks Lodge 2533.

This year's celebration, co-sponsored by the town and the Amvets, an
American veterans service organization, garnered nearly 200 children and
adults. Crowe said the party costs about $500 to put together and could not
estimate how many children have benefited from the program over the years.

"I never thought it would get this big," said Rose Crowe, the unofficial
Mrs. Claus, who helps her husband plan the event. "He says every year this is
the last year but I think the grim reaper is the only one who will stop him."

Crowe starts preparing for the event six months in advance - approaching
local merchants for donations like balloons and lunch meat, holding
fund-raisers to cover some of the expenses and buying decorations. By the
party's eve, Christmas tree decorations, doughnuts, and candy bombard his Islip
Terrace home.

"It just makes me feel better," Crowe said. "I'm not getting any younger
but as long as there is a handicapped child out there, I will do what I can."

It's because of Crowe that Amvets Post 18 on Carleton Avenue in East Islip
was jumping yesterday. Adults, some in wheelchairs, danced to tunes like the
"Locomotion" and "YMCA," while children played with their favorite cartoon
characters, including Garfield and the Care Bears. Town and Amvets Post 18
volunteers passed out sandwiches, books and other goodies.

But the party stopped when a special guest arrived.

Santa Claus, played Dave Johnson Jr., a member of the Sons of Amvets,
delivered an individualized gift to each guest. Delighted screams echoed
through the room as unwrapped presents revealed Barbie dolls, art sets, CDs and

"[This party] gives them some sort of socialization," said Barbara Sotello,
who has attended the party for at least 15 years with her daughter Suzanne
Hellers, 36, who is mentally retarded and legally blind. "There's a lot of love
in this room. [The volunteers] make them all feel special."

While Sotello and Hellers danced, Crowe, the mastermind behind that
"special" feeling, tiptoed into the kitchen for a bowl of chocolate ice cream.

Copyright 2004, Newsday Inc.

Colleges work to prevent student suicides

International Herald Tribune; 12/4/2004; Karen W. Arenson

International Herald Tribune


Nicole Thompson had been at Columbia University for only a few weeks when she went out drinking with a group of friends downtown last year and became separated from them. She had skipped her medication for bipolar disorder. Now it was 3 a.m., and crying and in a panic, she called friends saying she ''just wished the traffic would take me out.'' Although Thompson made it back to campus safely, her friends had already notified Columbia that they were worried about her. For Columbia officials, it was the first clue that Thompson faced any kind of mental health problems. ''I wasn't on Columbia's radar at all,'' said Thompson, who is back on campus now after being forced to take a medical leave. Increasingly, college officials and mental health experts have come to realize that many of the most vulnerable students the ones prone to self-injury and suicide are like Thompson: They never go near the counseling centers or reveal anything about their experience before college. As a result, colleges are stepping up efforts to find them and to get them into treatment, sometimes even forcing them to go home. The goal is to help students like Thompson. But colleges have more at stake. Suicide the second-biggest cause of death on campuses after accidents can be costly, injuring reputations and prompting litigation. The suicide of Elizabeth Shin, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 2000, and strings of suicides at New York University, George Washington University and the University of Illinois, have drawn wide attention. There has been an increase in lawsuits against colleges in cases of student suicides as well. Ann Franke, a vice president of United Educators, which insures 1,200 universities, colleges and schools, said suicide prevention had definitely risen in priority as claims have risen; her company, she said, now has a ''handful'' of claims, up from none six years ago. ''They can be very severe claims financially,'' Franke said, ''not to mention the emotional and reputational impact they can have on a school.'' Mental health experts say they believe the rate of suicides among college students has been steady for years about 1,100 a year, or about 7.5 per 100,000 students, which is actually lower than the rate for young adults not in college. But the numbers are based on a study of a dozen universities in the 1980s, and experts say reports of suicides do not always reflect students who commit suicide off campus. To address the problem, Emory University in Atlanta and the University of North Carolina are now inviting students to fill out anonymous mental health questionnaires. Duke University, also in North Carolina, is asking faculty members to be alert to changes in student behavior noticing, for example, when a student suddenly becomes sullen or quiet, or stays away from class. Columbia, New York University and Cornell now place counselors in residence halls. The University of Illinois and the University of Puget Sound are requiring any student who threatens or attempts suicide to attend counseling sessions. But the best way to reach these students remains unclear, and students do not always welcome the intervention. Some experts fear that forcing students to enter treatment or to withdraw from school can dissuade other students from asking for help and discourage their friends from sounding the alarm. For years, colleges and universities like Columbia have been grappling with an increasing number of students with histories of mental illness. Most colleges have expanded the number of counselors and the hours they are available. But now they are going further. Some are turning to the Internet as a way to bring troubled students in for help. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has developed an anonymous online mental health questionnaire and a program to steer troubled students to counseling, which is being tested at Emory and the University of North Carolina. Those involved say the initial results seem promising. At Emory, which started using the program in 2002, only 8 percent of the students who received the survey filled it out, but of those who did, 85 percent were deemed at moderate or high risk of suicide or other severe problems, based on their responses to the questionnaire. They are encouraged to speak to a counselor on or off campus, or to consult anonymously with a counselor online. ''The yield is relatively small,'' said Ann Haas, research director for the foundation. ''However, we are absolutely convinced that those kids would not have gotten into treatment. We think we are reaching the right kids.'' Many campuses, including Duke and MIT, are asking faculty and staff members and students to tell a dean or the counseling office if they see students who show signs of depression or potential suicide. At Duke, when faculty members or parents relay concerns about students to Larry Moneta, the vice president for student affairs, he and members of the residence hall staff check up on the students, sometimes surreptitiously. ''Many times I've called the residence hall staff and asked if they can dispatch a paraprofessional to inadvertently drop by a student's room as if it were a casual encounter,'' Moneta said. ''I do that all the time.'' After the suicide of Elizabeth Shin, MIT began training sessions for faculty members, departmental administrators, athletic coaches, dormitory personnel, fraternities and sororities to help them identify people showing signs of problems one of a number of steps recommended by a mental health task force the university created after the suicide. Cornell is making a special effort to reach out to Asian and Asian-American students. Among 16 student deaths since 1996, nine were by students of Asian descent. The university created a task force to explore how to help them when they have problems, because they do not use Cornell's counseling services at the same rate as their classmates, said Susan Murphy, the university's vice president for student and academic services. Often when they do seek help, ''they are in real crisis,'' she said. Colleges are also increasingly encouraging students who show suicidal tendencies to enter counseling. Several have adopted, and other are considering, a program developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which requires any student who threatens or attempts suicide to attend at least four counseling sessions. Paul Joffe, the program's director, said the results had been good: All but one of nearly 2,000 students in the program over 20 years remained at the university during the counseling sessions, and none committed suicide. And although the university has had suicides among students not in the program including six in the last academic year it says its suicide rate is about half what it was before the program started.

2004 Copyright International Herald Tribune.

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