University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry Research and Policy Newsletter
Dear all,
Happy New Year! I wanted to reach out and share some of the U-M Department of Psychiatry's outstanding achievements that closed out 2017. Some highlights: two of our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows, along with Michele Riba and I spent time in Ghana working towards a new program to improve mental health treatment in rural areas; two faculty members secured funding of nearly $4 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to study student mental health; faculty members testified on Capitol Hill about substance abuse and on legislation to improve the mental health care system in the U.S.; and much more. Please scroll through our highlights below to learn more. 
I also wanted to ask you all to consider the U-M Department of Psychiatry when you receive the Doximity ballot for best psychiatric hospitals in the country. This ballot influences the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings for best psychiatric hospitals. You should be receiving electronic or paper ballots soon.
Finally, I am honored to be running for APA treasurer this year. I want to encourage all APA members to vote and hope you will consider my candidacy.  Learn more from my campaign website here or from the APA's website here. Voting runs through January 31.
Please stay in touch. I wish you a wonderful start to your 2018.

Gregory W. Dalack, Chair
U-M Department of Psychiatry 

Department of Psychiatry Research News

Amy M. Kilbourne, Ph.D., M.P.H., is the principal investigator for this study titled "Improving Student Mental Health: Adaptive Implementation of School-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy" that focuses heavily on the work being done through the TRAILS program (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students). TRAILS is led by Elizabeth Koschmann, Ph.D., assistant research scientist also with the department. Dr. Kilbourne said, "This grant will allow us to compare the effectiveness of three different established strategies to determine the best method to implement CBT to ensure participant success and program longevity." Learn more about TRAILS at their website: .
Drs. Nakita Natala, Heidi Burns, Gregory Dalack and Michelle Riba spent time in Ghana this fall working to improve treatment for children and elders with mental illnesses in rural Ghana. This global psychiatric engagement project is titled, "Multi-Generational Mental Health Curriculum: An Authentic Global Academic Engagement to Build Workforce Capacity and Improve Treatment for Children and Elders with Mental Illness in Rural Ghana." The partnership includes the U-M unit, the Department of Psychiatry at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, and the Department of Psychiatry University of Ghana Medical School in Accra, Ghana.
A new study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine looks at why women run greater risk for depression during medical internship year (hint, it may be due to a gender disparity in managing work vs. family responsibilities). Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D., Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg Professor of Depression and Neurosciences led this research team.  

Dr. Marcia Valenstein, emeritus professor of psychiatry, and collaborators at MSU had research on exercise and depression published in General Hospital Psychiatry . Dr. Valenstein said, "If we can make it easier for both therapists and their patients to have easier access to physical activity services, then we are likely to help more patients reduce their depression and anxiety."
Dr. Joe Himle, Howard V. Brabson Collegiate professor of social work and professor of psychiatry, is co-directing a new multidisciplinary lab that is "embracing technology in an effort to improve the lives of people with untreated mental health needs." The  Treatment, Innovation and Dissemination Lab (TIDL)  brings U-M researchers in fields ranging from social work to psychiatry together with community partners to develop technology that helps increase access to mental health treatment for underserved populations." 
Policy Updates
Amid a national crisis of substance use and overdose, and rising suicide rates, the national Injury and Violence Prevention Network sponsored a briefing for members of Congress and their staff on the intersections between these issues In October. Faculty member Mark Ilgen, Ph.D., who has studied these issues, spoke about the current state of knowledge and called for further research.
Dr. Debra Pinals, clinical professor of psychiatry and medical director of behavioral health and forensic programs with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is a co-author of a new report that was published in October finding that an interconnected, evidence-based system of care is necessary if the human and economic costs associated with severe mental illness are to be reduced. The report was issued by The National Association of Mental Health Program Directors and The Treatment Advocacy Center. 
Under Section 298 in Public Act 107 of 2017, the Michigan legislature directed the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop and implement up to three pilots and one demonstration model to test the integration of physical and behavioral health services. The Michigan legislature also directed MDHHS to contract with one of the state's research universities to evaluate the pilot(s) and the demonstration model. MDHHS contracted with the Kara Zivin, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, and a team from the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) at the University of Michigan in November 2017 to serve as the project evaluator.
The evaluation will inform future efforts to improve the integration of services on a statewide level by determining the most effective financial and clinical integrated care models. The evaluation aims to compare changes in healthcare utilization, expenditures, and outcomes for Medicaid consumers before and after implementation of the Section 298 pilots and demonstration models. This evaluation will yield information about whether the pilot programs and demonstration project are successful in affecting the structure, processes and outcomes of care and will provide insights regarding whether the pilots and demonstration project can be replicated elsewhere in Michigan.
In November, Dr. Debra Pinals also participated in the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Summit, hosted by the Governor's Mental Health Diversion Council and MDHHS, which aims to bring statewide leaders together to raise awareness and seek methods to effectively move mentally ill individuals out of incarceration and into treatment where appropriate. Dr. Pinals said, "interventions to decrease the proportion of people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders from jail are critical." 
In September, Dr. Laura Hirshbein, clinical professor, testified before the CARES Mental Health Taskforce with the goal of sharing information about how to improve mental health conditions statewide. While testifying, Dr. Hirshbein said, "What is needed is a continuum of care that includes case management and coping skills for people seeking treatment and doing it on shoestring budgets. We need a continuum of care that makes sure patients get the right care at the right time." Learn more about the task force here.

Michigan Medicine News
Dr. Jonathan Morrow, assistant professor, was interviewed for the piece and discussed the therapies available to treat an opioid use disorder.

A long-term study in more than 1,100 people yields a new seven-factor framework that could help patients, clinicians and researchers. This new research comes out of our Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program.

Help is available to manage the stress of caregiving. A leader of the U-M poll that recently surveyed dementia caregivers shares some of the top places to turn. The department's Program for Positive Aging was referenced.
Faculty in the News
  • Dr. Helen Kales, professor of psychiatry was interviewed by CNN for an article about the drug Nuedexta titled, "The little red pill being pushed on the elderly." Dr. Kales said, "Rather than taking someone off an antipsychotic" and opting to treat the patient in ways that don't require medication, "providers search for a different 'magic bullet.'"
  • Dr. Deirdre Conroy, clinical associate professor authored a piece for The Conversation titled, "Does marijuana affect your sleep?" Dr. Conroy said,  "If you have depression, cannabis may help you sleep - but if you don't, cannabis may hurt."
  • Dr. Debra Pinals, clinical professor was interviewed by the Associated Press for an article addressing the flaws of linking the recent shooting in Texas to mental illness. Dr. Pinals said, "committing mass violence 'is clearly outside of normal behavior' but that doesn't mean perpetrators all have mental illness 'or are driven to these actions due to mental illness.'" Learn more from the New York Times: Trump Calls Attackers 'Deranged' but Mental Health Link Weak.
  • Dr. Ricks Warren, clinical associate professor was interviewed by the Huffington Post for an article titled "8 Expert-Backed Tips For Dealing With A Panic Attack At Work." Dr. Warren said, "The more there can be a culture of acceptance around mental health, the more people will be more likely to perform better thanks to the support that they get. It's in the company's best interest to support those individuals. It'll benefit them in the long run as well."
  • Read a "Ask the Doctor" column in BP Magazine authored by Dr. Melvin McInnis, professor of psychiatry: Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Dread of Winter's Depression.
  • Dr. Michelle Riba, clinical professor was interviewed by the Huffington Post for an article titled "How To Deal With Stigmatizing Remarks About Mental Illness." Dr. Riba said, "It's important not to link these kinds of heinous crimes with mental illness unless one knows for sure what was a cause and effect," Most people with mental illness are wonderful citizens and have an illness that's treatable."
  • Dr. Elissa Patterson, clinical assistant professor was interviewed by WEMU Radio for a piece titled, "Eeek! It's National Stress Awareness Day: Why You Should Stay Calm."
  • Dr. John Greden, former department chair and executive director of the U-M Depression Center, was interviewed by Reuters Health about mental health in the workplace. Dr. Greden said, "Supervisors can be allies who help their employees get assistance. It's a commonsense approach to talking to the people you're supervising and asking how they're doing." Learn more.
  • Dr. Marcia Valenstein, emeritus professor of psychiatry was quoted in a Men's Health article titled, "Researchers Identify The Role of Exercise in Mental Health."
  • The department and the U-M Depression Center were featured in a new Medicine at Michigan article titled "Within Reach." The article features Drs. Elizabeth Koschmann, Sheila Marcus, Michelle Kees, others and covers the TRAILS, MC3, and M-SPAN programs. 
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