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April 8, 2006

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Group helps parents of children with mental disorders
Community Press & Recorder
A new monthly support group for parents of adult children with mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, begins April 20 at the St. Elizabeth Behavioral Health Center.

'Drug firms disease-mongering' says medic
A WELSH psychologist has warned that drugs companies are "disease-mongering" to try to sell more of their products.

Grandmother Was Scared Of Granddaughter Charged In Fire
KCCI 8 Iowa
An Iowa teen is charged with trying to burn down her grandmother's house with her grandmother in it.

Mental health advocates speak for themselves and for their loved ones
Jefferson City News Tribune
When Linda Clark's grandson, Sebastian, was 3 years old, his doctor predicted he'd end up in an institution.

Once-homeless woman spends $1,500 bailing out nearly 2 dozen Broward inmates.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL); 4/6/2006

Byline: Robert Nolin

Apr. 6--Maybe it was the steady diet of baloney.

Beverly Johnson has been in jail and doesn't like it. On Wednesday, the formerly homeless woman revisited Broward County Jail, this time as a liberator, spending $1,641 to pay the bonds of two-dozen inmates being held on minor charges.

"I did this because I spent time in jail and know what it's like. It's awful in there," the 54-year-old former social worker said. "The food is horrible. It's baloney every day."

The people Johnson set free were typically homeless and unable to pay bonds of $25 to $100 on charges like trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct. Those were the same type of charges for which Johnson was arrested by Fort Lauderdale police some 20 times while on the street from November 2001 to June 2003, she said.

A divorce settlement has turned Johnson into a property owner. Two duplexes in Fort Lauderdale and a triplex on the edge of the city's Rio Vista area bring in about $4,000 a month, she said. Johnson lets some homeless people stay in her triplex.

Johnson's "get out of jail free" day wasn't her first. On at least five previous occasions she has freed from one to six inmates at a time, for a total of about 50, including Wednesday's purge, Johnson said. The cost? "An easy 10 grand," she said.

Johnson said she received psychiatric treatment when she spent about two months in a homeless shelter. "Bipolar disorder, that's the diagnosis I've been given time and time again," she said. "They're giving me medicine for bipolar and I take my medicine religiously."

Johnson believes she suffers from attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity disorder.

Public Defender Howard Finkelstein praised Johnson's altruism. "When you do something for somebody else for no other reason than it is the right thing to do, that's very impressive to me," he said.

Johnson may also be providing a slight break for the public, which foots the approximately $80 a day it costs to house a county inmate.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Vida Coleman-Wright downplayed the affect of Johnson's actions on a jail operation that handles nearly 80,000 inmates a year. "I wouldn't say this happens every day, but this is not uncommon," she said. "Beverly's done this before."

Johnson said she achieves satisfaction from knowing she made someone's life easier. "There are all the homeless people that I helped that love me," she said.

The beneficiaries of Johnson's generosity were not able to thank her in person. They weren't released until hours after she left the jail.

Robert Nolin can be reached at or 954-356-4525.

Copyright (c) 2006, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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

COPYRIGHT 2006 South Florida Sun-Sentinal

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.

In Light of Mental Health Awareness Month, Depression Author Asks, 'Are Self-Help Books Prolonging Your Depression?'.

PR Newswire; 4/6/2006

Self-help books commonly claim a solution to depression, but fail to explain that there are two types of depression: normal (psychological) and clinical (biological). Since clinical depression commonly requires medication as treatment, readers run the risk of prolonging their suffering by believing that a book's self-help approach is going to end their clinical depression.

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month (May), Bob Olson, the author of "Win The Battle," is teaching depression sufferers why self-help books may be prolonging their suffering.

Olson warns, "The problem with self-help books is that authors fail to make the distinction between NORMAL and CLINICAL depression when claiming that their self-help methods will allow readers to overcome their depression. Since the treatment for normal and clinical depression is different, understanding this distinction is critical for the 20 million people who suffer with depression and their 100 million supporting loved ones."

Olson suffered with periodic, clinical depression most of his life without realizing it. He experienced about 3 depressive episodes per year, each lasting 2 to 3 months in duration. Since his "clinical depression" resulted from a chemical imbalance in his brain -- a brain disorder that is actually biological, not psychological -- he needed medication to re-balance those brain chemicals and eliminate his depressive symptoms. The day he found a medication that lifted his depression, all of Olson's symptoms disappeared and have not returned for over 11 years.

Before the age of 27, Olson sought help for his depression from self-help books -- not doctors. All these books touted techniques for overcoming depression, yet none taught the difference between "normal" and "clinical" depression. In essence, Olson was misled by these books because of their claims to provide a solution to depression without explaining that they only offer a solution to one type of depression: normal depression. Olson is sure he would have sought help from a doctor months or years sooner if he had known there was a difference.

Bob Olson is an author, lecturer and mental health advocate on the subjects of clinical depression and bipolar disorder.

Bob Olson

This press release distributed by PRWEB ( ), a service of eMediaWire.

CONTACT: Bob Olson, +1-207-967-2201, or

Web site:

COPYRIGHT 2006 PR Newswire Association LLC

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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