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Bipolar News

March 25, 2006

Note: One or more of the following articles may require a subscription to view the entire article.  We cannot post articles that require a subscription.  We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Thirteen star in comedy with Michael Douglas
24 Hours Vancouver - Canada
... Wood will next be seen in Running with Scissors with Gwyneth Paltrow. The movie cenres around a man who looks back at his childhood with his bipolar mother. ...

New Dosages of RISPERDAL(R) (Risperidone) Now Available
PR Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
TITUSVILLE, NJ, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Physicians treating people with schizophrenia or bipolar mania now have expanded treatment options: Two additional ...

FDA-Approved Office Lithium Test Expected To Enhance Clinical Care
Psychiatric Times - Irvine,CA,USA
Since the 1970s, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) has been a mainstay of treatment for bipolar disorder (BD) and an effective augmentation strategy for treatment ...

The Conceptualization and Role of Impulsivity: Bipolar Disorder and Substance Abuse
Psychiatric Times
By Donald M. Dougherty, Ph.D., Dawn M. Marsh, Ph.D., Charles W. Mathias, Ph.D., and Alan C. Swann, M.D.

FDA-Approved Office Lithium Test Expected To Enhance Clinical Care
Psychiatric Times
Since the 1970s, lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid) has been a mainstay of treatment for bipolar disorder (BD) and an effective augmentation strategy for treatment-resistant unipolar depression.

More Walgreens customers sue over insults on their prescription printouts
Sun-Sentinel
Less than a month after a Palm Beach woman sued Walgreens for labeling her CrAzY!!" and "psycho" in its nationwide computer system, two more Floridians have come forward with similar allegations.

Mental services face takeover
Honolulu Advertiser
The state faces an unprecedented federal takeover of its mental-health programs if it does not dramatically improve its efforts in implementing a plan to provide services to thousands of mentally ill Hawai'i residents by April 30.

Creative Strategies Improve Medical Care For Mentally Ill

Today
The Charlotte Observer
MENTAL HEALTH: The Charlotte chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a 12-week family education class, starting today at St. Paul's Baptist Church, 1401 N. Allen St. The classes, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. weekly, are free to families of people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive or other psychiatric disorders. Advance registration is required. Details: Betty

Split pills, lower bills
The Charlotte Observer
Uninsured patients, Medicare patients and others who struggle to pay for their prescription drugs have long used pill splitting to save money.

Heritage Behavioral Health Center prepares to celebrate 50 years helping mentally ill
Herald & Review
DECATUR - Michael Nance no longer spends his time glued to the TV, letting life pass him by.

Help is out there for those who think of suicide
Ashland Daily Tidings
This week our community lost another woman to suicide. May her memory be for a blessing and may we each continue to reach out to one another, especially when someone is suffering from depression or mental illness.

Mental health answers sought: Listening vital in fixing system.

Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA); 3/23/2006

Byline: Benjamin Shors

Mar. 23--In the 34 years since she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Terri Marklein has watched friends struggle against government bureaucracies and social stigmas.

Now 60, Marklein has sat on a bevy of boards and countless committees to improve the public mental health system.

"If you've been in the system as long as I have, you've seen everything tried," Marklein said. "I just want the people who come after me to have better care than I've had."

Still, Marklein thought a new state program to transform Washington's troubled mental health care system had started with an interesting concept: Listen to the patients.

At a "listening session" at the Evergreen Club in east Spokane, more than 75 patients, advocates and mental health professionals listed what works and what doesn't in Washington's mental health programs.

In the corner, a court reporter furiously typed notes a part of reams of transcripted comments that will be pored over by analysts in Olympia later this year.

"People in this room can teach me some things," said David Brenna, a senior policy analyst with the state's five-year transformation project.

The federal government has given the state of Washington more than $13.6 million to transform its mental health system from a lumbering bureaucracy into a sleek, responsive and consumer-friendly model.

In the parlance of state officials, the grant will be used to "build the infrastructure for an ongoing process of planning, action, learning and innovation in mental health."

But first, the meetings.

The state will host 24 subcomittee meetings, and each committee will produce 15 to 30 priorities. State analysts plan to consult testimony from 22 listening sessions across 14 regional support networks in Washington state, as well as data from telephone surveys, face-to-face interviews and online feedback.

This all adds up to a[bar] well, that remains to be seen.

"If we want to get anything done, we'll need to narrow the scope," said Ken Stark, director of the mental health transformation grant for Gov. Chris Gregoire's office. "I struggle with all this process, but it has to be done in order to get information from the community."

On Wednesday, the community was quite forthcoming. Providers complained about the maze of government regulations and their lack of flexibility. Patients spoke of their personal struggles with mental illness a from lack of insurance to inadequate housing.

"I'm very concerned about people with mental health difficulties who are in jail when they should have other arrangements to better suit them and society," said Tom Chandler, a 45-year-old man with bipolar disorder.

Steve Winward, a 54-year-old Spokane man with a personality disorder, said he feels trapped. Unable to work because of his illness, he and his wife survive on less than $2,000 a month. That's too much to qualify for Medicaid, the state-federal program for low-income people. But health insurance remains far too pricey.

Winward said he owes between $15,000 and $20,000 in health bills. Yet each month, he must find the money for the medications that help keep him stable.

"My wife takes her tips and any little money she makes on the side," he said. "Other times, it goes on the credit cards."

The stress has taken its toll on Winward, a former mechanic. As the bills mounted, his wife hid his guns and razor blades.

"I don't know where they are at," he said, unrolling his sleeves to reveal scars on his forearms, "and I don't want to know."

Copyright (c) 2006, The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.),

(213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail reprints@krtinfo.com.

COPYRIGHT 2006 The Spokesman-Review

This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group.

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