In the News

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In this section you will find current news reports related to mental health, reports, events, and programs (including training programs). Check in regularly for current information and visit our Facebook page where we post articles, videos, and other relevant items. * Upper Valley Mental Health Resource Guide on Facebook

NEWS

Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation Technique

To explore noninvasive deep brain stimulation techniques, a team led by Dr. Ed Boyden at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tested strategies for delivering electrical stimulation to different brain areas in mice. The study was funded by NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and others. Results were published on June 1, 2017, in Cell. “With the ability to stimulate brain structures noninvasively, we hope that we may help discover new targets for treating brain disorders,” says the paper’s lead author, Dr. Nir Grossman, who is now at Imperial College London. “People have used non-invasive brain stimulation to study a wide variety of phenomena, from mood to memory to driving ability to trust,” Boyden says. “Now, we can do these types of studies, hopefully, in deeper targets in the brain.”

Treating Depression is Guesswork. Psychiatrists are beginning to crack the code.

Inspired in part by “precision medicine,” which changed the way doctors treat certain kinds of cancer, psychiatric researchers are hoping to bring a “precision” approach to diagnosing and treating depression using brain scans and machine learning algorithms. Too many patients are left frustrated after treatments fail. These scientists think they can do better.

Brain Scans Show Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder

In their brain imaging study, the researchers found that, compared to other children, youngsters with ASD showed unusually rapid brain growth from infancy to age 2. In fact, the growth differences were already evident by their first birthdays, well before autistic behaviors typically emerge.

Landmark Study Identifies Genetic Link to Schizophrenia

In what some are calling the strongest evidence to date of a genetic link to the development of schizophrenia, researchers have identified a gene that shows a significant association with the mental disorder that may explain its characteristic brain volume reductions and onset during adolescence.

New Hampshire's State Hospital 10 Bed Crisis Unit to Open One Year Later than Planned

New Hampshire Hospital plans to open its new 10-bed mental health crisis unit in July, one year later than expected. While construction on the wing was completed in July 2015, the state psychiatric hospital has struggled to recruit the nurses it needs to staff the unit. “We’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel,” said New Hampshire Hospital CEO Bob MacLeod, who reported the hospital has hired four of the eight nurses it needs. The crisis unit is meant to ease pressure on local emergency rooms where patients in psychiatric crisis are often forced to wait until a bed at New Hampshire Hospital becomes available.

Alternative View of How Best to Respond to a Loved One's Addiction Problem

"Published in 2014, the book, 'Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change,' is a guide to a decades-old approach for addicts’ families called Community Reinforcement and Family Training, or CRAFT. CRAFT suggests conversational techniques, helpful questions, and ways of responding to a substance abuser’s (often bad) behavior. It’s like an etiquette guide for dealing with addicts. Yet its goals are much more ambitious: By making loved ones feel listened to, empowered, and supported, CRAFT’s proponents say, family members can motivate them to seek help. And it appears to work."

Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fatal Law Enforcement Encounters

The Treatment Advocacy center reports on the role of mental illness in law enforcement encounters and offers recommendations for improvement.

Mental illness not just a footnote in shooting

Oped piece in Nashua Telegraph written by NORMA MacKINLEY-SMITH, NAMI advocate and trainer of NH's Family-to-Family teachers. She writes, "Unfortunately, the statement that Harrison reportedly suffered from mental illness is merely a footnote to the story for many. Yet, it is perhaps the greatest tragedy. As with suicide, the death of this young man could be seen as the terminal stage of an illness."

Changes to TriCounty CAP's Fuel Assistance Program Outreach

TriCounty CAP has announced changes to Fuel Assistance Program Outreach days for Lebanon. First, clients will need to call the Grafton County Outreach number at 603.968.3560 to make an appointment or request an application. The satellite office for Lebanon (603.968.3560) is located at 57 Mechanic St. Outreach dates for Lebanon will be: Oct. 5, 19, 26 (Mondays); Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 (Mondays); Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (Tuesdays); Jan. 11, 25 (Mondays); Feb. 2, 16 (Tuesdays); March 1, 15, 29 (Tuesdays)and April 12, 26 (Tuesdays).

Stepping Up Initiative

Counties across America are collaborating to improve law enforcement response to the mentally ill in our communities. This moving clip captures some of the initiatives underway in our nation's counties.

Valley News Series on Mental Health Care in VT and NH

Valley News reporter Rick Jurgens launches his four part series on Vermont and New Hampshire's mental care systems with this excellent overview.

NH Recovery Center Opens in Manchester

"The Manchester Recovery Community Center, on the ground floor of a Market Street building, has already opened its doors. The center will be staffed largely by volunteers and funded through private grants and donations. But even though the building is open, the center won’t launch full-scale programming, like counsel sessions, until mid-July. It plans to offer peer coaching and telephone recovery support services, which is a check-in call made once a week to someone who has recently left treatment. The end goal is to have a statewide addiction phone number people can call if they need assistance or recovery support."

New Support Group for Combat Service Veterans

A new support group for family members of combat service veterans beginning April 14, 2015, from 6:30 to 8 pm. The free meetings will continue on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Participants will share their concerns, comfort one another and learn coping skills to ease the effects of PTSD. Lisa Currier at (802) 674-5853 or Amy Tibbetts at (802)306-1672, email invisiblewounds01@gmail.com White River Junction Vet Center, 222 Holiday Drive, Gilman Office Building 2

UVMENTALHEALTH.ORG FEATURED IN UPPER VALLEY LIFE MAGAZINE

The Spring 2015 issue includes a story about the creation of this website.

NEW NAMI SUPPORT GROUP IN CLAREMONT, NH

A free monthly support group for friends and relatives of adults who have mental illness will begin next month at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont. The meetings will start on March 5, from 6 to 7:30 pm in the hospital's Buckley Conference Room and continue on the first Thursday of each month. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) support groups are led by trained family members who are volunteers. The group offers a safe, confidential forum for sharing coping strategies, effective treatments, information, and "the empowerment that comes from being in a group where everyone understand what you are experiencing," organizers said. For more information, call Pat Whitney at 603-763-5054 or Jean Fahey at 603-542-0895.

FASTER: A NEW SUPPORT GROUP

F.A.S.T.E.R. is a peer support group for parents of children, teens, and young adults with substance use issues. Group is held every Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at 44 Roberts Road in Canaan, NH. Contact Elena (603-359-3321) or Doris (603-306-6574) for more information. Group is free, confidential, comprised of peers, respectful of others' views, accepting of chemical dependency as a treatable disease of the brain, and always hopeful. Walk-Ins Welcome! Please post and pass this information along! Open to all Upper Valley residents.

VALLEY REGIONAL PROPOSES NEW MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY

A plan by Valley Regional Healthcare to invest $1.5 million in a facility to care for mentally ill patients sent for treatment because they pose a danger to themselves or others could contribute to New Hampshire’s efforts to rebuild its broken mental health care system. The 10 new beds for so-called involuntary commitments of the mentally ill could also close a gap in local health care, said Valley Regional Chief Executive Peter Wright. “We need to take care of people in the community who suffer from mental illness and often don’t know that they’re sick,” he said. “It’s a huge community need.”

EVENTS

The local NAMI NH Support Group is pleased to host a talk on Anxiety Disorders (and OCD in particular) by Dr. Chris Spofford of Hanover Psychiatry. The talk will be on Thursday, May 25, from 6 to 7:30 pm in the Mayer Room of Hanover's Howe Library.

REPORTS

PROGRAMS

The NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family course, an evidence based practice, will be offered in Lebanon this fall. Family-to-Family is a FREE 12 session program for family and friends of adults with a serious mental illness and is taught by trained volunteer family members.

Participants gain information on: mental health diagnoses, medications, treatment options, and how to access and advocate for mental health services, cope with symptoms, support their loved one in a crisis, promote recovery, and manage the stressors that come with the caregiver role.

The class will begin on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, and meet weekly until November 21, 2017. Each session runs from 6 to 8:30 pm. Registration is required and class size is limited. For more information about the course, visit http://www.naminh.org/we-educate/family-education/family-family. For more information about this particular class and/or to register, contact the instructors, Marjorie or Jim Matthews at Marjoriematthews@me.com or (603) 277-9298.