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Latest News Around the Web

College Mental Health: A Checklist for Parents

The Huffington Post has published a guide for parents preparing to send their children off to college for the first time. As stated in the article, over four million new students enroll each year, and, considering mental illnesses peak at the ages of 18-21, it’s good for parents and children to know resources and options at this critical time. The checklist includes preparation, planning, staying in touch, confronting stigma, and more.

We feel this is an important checklist and have featured it on our Links and Publications page.

Related Links:

— “College Mental Health: A Checklist for Parents,” Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, PhD, Huffington Post, March 3, 2017.

CDC Study Suggests Opioid Deaths May Be Underestimated

NBC News (4/24, Fox) reports online that opioid deaths may be higher than report because opioids suppress the immune system and can result in infection deaths, researchers suggested at a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meeting on Monday. CDC field officer Victoria Hall found 59 examples of such cases in Minnesota’s Unexplained Death surveillance system. According to Hall, 22 of the “deaths involved toxic opioid levels.”

CNN (4/24, Scutti) reports online that Hall conceded the data could not indicate “what percent we are underestimating,” but she insisted that “we know we are missing cases.”

Related Links:

— “http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/deaths-infections-may-be-masking-opioid-deaths-n750336,” MAGGIE FOX, NBC News, April 24, 2017.

Scientists Working On Vaccines To Prevent Addicts From Getting High

According to the NBC News (4/24, Gammon) website, data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse reveal that “approximately one in seven people who try addictive substances will get hooked, and the abuse of illicit drugs costs the economy $193 billion each year in healthcare, crime prevention, and loss of productivity.” Currently, scientists “are working on vaccines that block drugs from reaching the brain, preventing addicts from getting high.”

Related Links:

— “Anti-Drug Vaccines Could Be a Game-Changer for People Battling Addiction,” KATHARINE GAMMON, NBC News, April 24, 2017.

Teens With Substance Addictions Receive Treatment At Specialized Schools

The AP (4/25, Johnson) features the stories of several teenagers who have received opioid abuse treatment at “special schools that use peer communities to support sobriety.” The piece centers on students at Hope, which offers services to 41 teenagers who have “abused marijuana, alcohol, painkillers and heroin.” Unlike other treatment facilities, Hope “embraces treatment with medication and doesn’t see it as a crutch.” The school is the subject of a study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in which a researcher who “is studying whether kids who’ve been treated for addiction do better in recovery schools” has found some “evidence [which] shows recovery-school students are less likely to relapse than students who attend traditional schools after treatment.”

Related Links:

— “Overcoming Opioids: Special schools help teens stay clean,” CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press via KWWL, April , 2017.

Adults With Mental Illness Significantly More Likely To Smoke

Healio (4/24, Oldt) reports, “Adults with mental illness were significantly more likely to smoke, compared with adults without any mental illness,” SAMHSA researchers found after analyzing “data from the 2012 to 2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.” The study revealed that “adults with mental illness were more likely to report past-month cigarette use, compared with those without mental illness (33.3% vs. 20.7%).” The data can be seen here.

Related Links:

— “Smoking more common in adults with mental illness,” Amanda Oldt, Healio, April 24, 2017.

Foundation News

John Lion, M.D. Wins 2017 Anti-Stigma Advocacy Award

The Board of Directors of the Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry voted in February to present its 2017 Anti-Stigma Advocacy Award to Dr. John Lion for his piece, “Steadfast talking is the only cure for suicide” published December 18, 2016 in the Baltimore Sun. The board felt it reassured readers that even serious mental illness like depression can be overcome, even if there are setbacks along the way that evoke suicidal thoughts.

The award was established to recognize the article that best fulfills the following goals:

Shares with the public their experience with mental illness in themselves, a family member, or simply in the community.
Helps others to overcome their inability to talk about mental illness or their own mental illness.
Imparts particularly insightful observations on the general subject of mental illness.
A Maryland author and/or newspaper is preferred.

The award carries a $500 prize which the foundation plans to award at the April 27 Maryland Psychiatric Society annual meeting. The 2016 winner was Amy Marlow, whose article “My dad killed himself when I was 13. He hid his depression. I won’t hide mine.” was published February 9, 2016 in the Washington Post.

Amazon Smile Celebrates With Extra Donations For Organizations

Amazon celebrated its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) On March 16th, 2017. The ACSI surveyed over 10,000 customers to measure perceptions of quality and value across retailers nationwide. March 16th only, Amazon donated 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Maryland Foundation For Psychiatry Inc.

While the amount is lower now, you can still make your purchases count at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1701356.

New PSA Examines Anxiety from Political and Social Media

The Foundation has released a new Public Service Announcement now playing on local Maryland radio stations. It examines the the wide variety of feelings people experience after a particularly divisive political campaign or a significant event getting 24 hour coverage across networks and online. Those feelings can include alienation from family and friends, anger at a system or event out of their control, and grief or helplessness at what may come. There are things that can be done to help, ranging from breaks from Facebook and Twitter and similar sites to seeking actual help from professionals.

Listen to the PSA on our home page or on our PSA collection here, where you can listen to or download other advice given in past PSAs, also.

“This is My Brave” Event Coming December 7

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This is my Brave – Baltimore event will be held Wednesday, December 7.
Doors Open at 5 PM – Show starts at 6 PM at Towson University’s West Village Commons, Towson, MD 21252. The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry is supporting this inspiring, monologue-based production featuring people sharing their stories of living with and recovering from mental illness through original essay, poetry, dance and music.

Foundation Establishes Anti-Stigma Advocacy Award

The Maryland Foundation for Psychiatry has established the Anti-Stigma Advocacy Award. It is designed to recognize a worthy piece published in a major newspaper that accomplishes one or more of the following:

  • Shares with the public their experience with mental illness in themselves, a family member, or simply in the community.
  • Helps others to overcome their inability to talk about mental illness or their own mental illness.
  • Imparts particularly insightful observations on the general subject of mental illness.
  • A Maryland author and/or newspaper is preferred.

The award carries a $500 prize, and has its own dedicated page here.

The winner for 2016 is Amy McDowell Marlow.

My dad killed himself when I was 13. He hid his depression. I won’t hide mine.
Published February 9, 2016 in the Washington Post

In this piece, Ms. Marlow gives a very poignant description of dealing with her own depression and emotional experiences beginning in childhood while dealing with a parent’s depression and eventual suicide.