Department of Psychiatry E-Newsletter

May 2019 edition


May is mental health awareness month as designated by Mental Health America. In our department, we appreciate this extra spotlight on mental health since we know that one in five people are affected by mental illness in their lifetime. During this month we reaffirm our commitment to lessening the burden of mental illness on our community.

In this edition of our e-newsletter you will see recent departmental news which includes a highlight on our brand new Partial Hospitalization Program; an update on a recent gift to our Multidisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic; a feature on our efforts lobbying for better mental healthcare in Washington, D.C.; recent research and funding news; and much more.

I am also delighted to share that in March it was announced that the U-M Department of Psychiatry’s medical school program remained ranked as the 13th top program in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This is a wonderful achievement thanks to leadership from our education team, and all our faculty and staff involved in the education mission.

I hope to connect with many of you at the annual APA meeting in San Francisco  later this week (See this link  for a list of U-M presentations at the meeting). We will be hosting an alumni reception on Sunday, May 19 at TableTop Tap House from 6:30-9 p.m. All U-M faculty, alumni, staff and trainees are welcome to attend.

We welcome your feedback!

Gregory W. Dalack, M.D.

Professor & Chair, U-M Department of Psychiatry
Follow me on Twitter at @DalackMD

Highlighted News

Fewer Deaths Seen Among Young Adults Who Got Extra Adult Support as Suicidal Teens

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests long-term impacts of the Youth-Nominated Support Team approach. This study was led by Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Cheryl King. 

Multidisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic Aims to Help Young Patients Transition to Adulthood

The University of Michigan Multidisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic is paving the way in the care of those with autism spectrum disorders, and is focused on easing the transition of their young patients into adulthood. Learn about a new gift that will fund the Multidisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic. Dr. Sarah Mohiuddin, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry was interviewed for this feature.

TRAILS Program Releases New Student-Focused Video Series

The TRAILS program (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) recently released a new student-focused video series on components of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT theory, cognitive coping, relaxation, behavioral activation and exposure. 
The videos feature various examples of anxiety and depression to explore the relationship between situations, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. They also explain how different CBT skills can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. The TRAILS program is run by a team led by Dr. Elizabeth Koschmann, assistant research scientist with the department. [Watch the Series]

Department of Psychiatry Opens New Adult Partial Hospitalization Program
The Department of Psychiatry opened a new Partial Hospitalization Program for adults in March. The program offers a level of care between inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment, which was previously a gap in our treatment continuum at Michigan Medicine.  “We are excited to offer this new service to our patients and their families,” said Bradley Stilger, M.D., medical director for the Department of Psychiatry Adult Partial Hospitalization Program. 

How U.S. Children and Teens Die: Study Reveals the Widespread and Persistent Role of Firearms

America lost 20,360 children and teens in 2016 -- 60 percent of them to preventable injuries, a new study shows. More than 4,000 of them died in motor vehicle crashes, though prevention efforts and better trauma care have cut the death rate of young people from such crashes in half in less than two decades. Professor of Psychiatry Maureen Walton, MPH, Ph.D. co-authored this report which was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Recent Michigan Medicine Blog Coverage

Study Seeks to Better Understand Causes of Autism

The Department of Psychiatry is looking for families with a child or children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to take part in a national study aimed at speeding up research and insight into the disorder. This study is being led by Costanza Colombi, Ph.D., research assistant professor of psychiatry.

Sleep Expert on Zuckerberg's "Sleep Box" Idea: Simple, Creative, Interesting
The CEO of Facebook designed a device to help his wife sleep better after having children. Dr. Deirdre Conroy, Ph.D., clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program says he just may be on to something.

A $34,000 Drug for Postpartum Depression Brings Praise, Price Concerns

The most common complication of postpartum can last for weeks to months. A powerful but pricey new drug could offer quick treatment for affected mothers. Associate Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Maria Muzik weighs in.

Why Shame Keeps Patients from Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

Fear of public embarrassment and career repercussions prevent many from seeking help, a new study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse and Treatment finds. Experts discuss how to break the cycle. Dr. Scott Winder, assistant professor of psychiatry commented on the study.

Policy News:

U-M Department of Psychiatry Faculty Members Lobby for Better Mental Health Care in Washington, D.C.

Drs. Gregory Dalack, Jennifer Severe, Mary Vance, and Amy Humrichouser were on Capitol Hill in March to meet with members of congress to discuss matters that affect patients across the U.S.

Lawmakers and their staff were educated on mental healthcare priorities during meetings. Mental Health Parity and resident physician shortage reduction were front and center in advocacy discussions.

Dr. Jennifer Severe said, "bringing the voices of our patients to Capitol Hill only brings us closer to them and it keeps the profession strong. We hope to see state mental health parity that enhances transparency and accountability for mental illnesses and substance use disorder."

Read more about the lobbying efforts from Psychiatric News: Psychiatrists Lobby Lawmakers on MH Parity, Workforce Development.

Research & Funding News:

  • Dr. Lewei (Allison) Lin received a 5-year VA Health Services Research & Development Career Development Award for her research titled “Using telehealth to expand treatment access for Veterans with opioid use disorder (OUD).” The award will allow Dr. Lin to develop and test a telemedicine intervention and to deliver buprenorphine treatment to veterans in rural and non-rural VA community clinics and to examine the OUD treatment landscape to understand where to prioritize future telehealth implementation. This research will inform the development of future telehealth interventions to improve treatment reach and access for the large population of Veterans with substance use disorders.
  • Dr. Kara Zivin will be the site PI for a NIDA funded R01 grant titled, “Examining the quality of opioid use disorder treatment in a Medicaid research network,” which will provide a comprehensive assessment of opioid use disorder treatment quality and outcomes in Medicaid, and will inform policy decisions on coverage and payment for evidence-based opioid use disorder treatment in Medicaid. Michigan is one of nine participating states. Learn more.
  • Dr. Mark Ilgen been awarded a VA Research Career Scientist Award - the highest funded level of career recognition for VA PhD researchers. The award recognizes his research on substance use as well as suicide prevention. This award will fund Mark’s VA effort for the next five years.

Selected "In the News"

Publication of Michigan Medicine Department of Psychiatry