Tag Archives: Health

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Canadian Mobile Application Launched to Support Mental Health Services in Ukraine


Ottawa, Canada (PRWEB) April 14, 2015

The Canada Ukraine Foundation today announced the launch of their mobile application (http://dopomoga.life) to provide mental health resources for soldiers, veterans, their families and the Ukrainian people at large who are exposed to mental health trauma associated with the military conflict. The application was developed in Ukrainian with content provided by the Operation Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic of the Royal Mental Health Centre of Ottawa to permit these individuals to self-assess and find support for critical mental health issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and sleep issues.

Launched as “Mobilna Psychologichna Dopomoga” (Мобільна Психологічна Допомога), which means mobile psychological assistance in Ukrainian, the mobile application was developed as an expandable portal of information, with a series of assessment surveys that allows users to privately and discretely determine the type of referral they may need, and where they might be able to find those clinics and services in their region. Filled with additional resources, not only for clients, but also for health care professionals, the goal is to drive rapid diagnosis and allow users to find the help they need. Funded by the Canada Ukraine Foundation, the application is based on the OSI Clinic Network mobile application developed by Veteran Affairs Canada in concert with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

“The goal of this application is to get mental health trauma awareness information into the pockets of Ukrainian people and connect them to the resources they need as quickly as possible,” said Victor Hetmanczuk, President of the Canada Ukraine Foundation. “By recognizing the signs of potential mental disorder as early as possible, we can help prevent it and provide necessary professional assistance as quickly as possible.”

The mobile application was developed by Purple Forge the leading provider of mobile applications to governments and public agencies in North America. The applications were developed with using a state-of-the-art mobile application content management system that will allow the applications to be updated on the fly by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation to share the latest content and information as it becomes available for users.

“It was critical to build the application rapidly due to the increasingly pressing mental health needs of veterans of the Ukrainian conflict,” said John Craig, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Purple Forge. “Mobile is also the ideal way to deliver these services, making it accessible across Ukraine on the devices used most frequently to access the Internet.”

About the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF)

The Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF) was established at the 18th Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) in order to coordinate, develop, organize and deliver assistance projects generated by Canadians and directed to Ukraine. CUF assists in the development of a democratic nation with a civil society that maintains and develops culture, tradition and language in Ukraine by strengthening strategic partnerships in Canada and Ukraine.

Contact:Victor Hetmanczuk, vhetmanczuk(at)bell(dot)net

About Purple Forge

Purple Forge sells subscription based services to organizations looking to engage their stakeholders using the latest mobile application technology and leveraging community engagement and social networking best practices. Purple Forge is an award-winning firm led by seasoned mobile communications and Internet technology veterans. Our mobile applications allow organizations to broadcast, share and receive feedback from their target audience real-time, allowing them to foster long-term, engaged relationships.







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Mental Health Watchdog Applauds New Mexico Lawmakers for Protecting Children from Forced Psychotropic Drugging


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) April 14, 2015

In a new article, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), the mental health watchdog, applauds New Mexico lawmakers for taking a big step toward protecting children’s and parents’ rights when, last week, Governor Susana Martinez signed into law House Bill 53 ensuring that a parent’s decision not to administer psychotropic drugs to a child is not grounds for a child being removed from parental custody by Child Protective Services (CPS).[1]

And the legislation goes deeper. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Nora Espinoza, also restricts school personnel from taking any action against the parent or compelling or requiring any student to take a psychotropic drug and, further, requires written parental consent prior to any psychological screening.[1]

CCHR stated, “It’s encouraging that New Mexico is taking its place among a growing list of states taking protective actions on behalf of children and parental rights.”

In light of the 8.4 million children currently being prescribed psychiatric drugs in the United States, CCHR asserts that states must strive to protect parents from being forced by CPS or pressured by school personnel to administer these drugs to their child.[2] To date, thirteen states, including the recently enacted legislation in New Mexico, have passed legislation addressing parental rights as they pertain to refusing psychiatric drugs, restricting removal of children by CPS based solely on the parent’s refusal to administer psychiatric drugs to a child and coercion of parents to submit their child to mental health screening. These states include:


    Florida and Colorado both have passed laws providing enhanced rights to parents, including the right to refuse psychiatric testing/screening and/or provide written consent prior to any screening and, further, to prohibit school personnel from recommending the use of psychiatric drugs and/or make it so the refusal of a parent to consent to the administration of a psychiatric drug to their child is not a condition of the child attending school.[3]

    Most notably, Florida currently has a bill (HB 209) that directly addresses psychiatry’s diagnosing manual, stating that before a student is evaluated for the purpose of diagnosing the child with any disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the parent shall be notified of all of the following:

    The behaviors prompting the evaluation could be the result of underlying physical conditions.

    The parent should consider consulting a medical doctor to rule out physical causes.

    The parent has the right to decline the evaluation.

    The evaluation and subsequent classification or placement may be documented on the student’s cumulative record.[4]

    Five states, including Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas and Virginia, have passed legislation prohibiting school personnel from recommending the use of psychiatric drugs and/or prohibiting the refusal of a parent to consent to the administration of a psychiatric drug to a child from being a condition of the student attending school.[5]

    Additionally, Utah, New Hampshire, Arizona and now New Mexico, have enacted legislation protecting parents from having their children removed by CPS based on the grounds of medical neglect for refusing to administer a psychiatric drug to their child.[6]

    In Michigan, in response to the well-publicized case of the harrowing armed assault against Maryanne Godboldo for refusing to drug her daughter, the Department of Children and Families changed its policy, reflecting the public outcry and stating “CPS is not responsible for investigating complaints that allege parents are failing or refusing to provide their children with psychotropic medication such as Ritalin.”[7]

CCHR says, “That Florida is the first state to specifically address psychiatry’s diagnostic manual is of note and a primer for future legislative action—a first step in initiating a much-needed conversation about the increased psychiatric diagnosing and administering of psychiatric drugs to America’s children.”

Read the full article here.

About Citizens Commission on Human Rights: CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.

References:

[1] House Bill 53, “No Compelled Medication Use for Students,” New Mexico 2015 Regular Session, April 7, 2015, nmlegis.gov/Sessions/15%20Regular/final/HB0053.pdf.

[2] IMS, Vector One: National (VONA) and Total Patient Tracker (TPT) Database, Years 2008-2013, Extracted 2014, cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/children-on-psychiatric-drugs/.

[3] Senate Bill 1766, “An Act Relating to Administration of Medication to Public School Students,” Florida Legislature, 2005 Regular Session, leg.state.fl.us/cgi-bin/view_page.pl?Tab=session&Submenu=1&FT=D&File=sb1766c1.html&Directory=session/2005/Senate/bills/billtext/html/; House Bill 03-1172, “An Act Concerning School Board Policies Covering When Personnel May Address Health Care Treatment for Student Behavior Issues,” Colorado Legislature, Session Laws of Colorado 2003, June 5, 2003, tornado.state.co.us/gov_dir/leg_dir/olls/sl2003a/sl_387.htm.

[4] House Bill 209, “An Act Relating to Administration of Medication to Public School Students,” Florida Legislature, 2005, myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0209er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0209&Session=2005.

[5] House Bill 3744, “An Act Concerning Schools,” Illinois Legislature, 92nd General Assembly, ilga.gov/legislation/legisnet92/hbgroups/hb/920HB3744LV.html; House Bill 478, “A Bill for an Act Relating to Education,” Minnesota Legislature, 82nd Legislature (2001-2002), revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF0478&session=ls82&version=list&session_number=0&session_year=2001; Senate Bill 456, “An Act Relating to Students,” Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2003 Regular Session, cchrint.org/pdfs/oregon-sb-456.pdf; House Bill 320, “An Act Relating to the Refusal to Administer or Consent to the Administration of Certain Psychiatric or Psychological Treatment to a Child…,” Texas Legislature, capitol.state.tx.us/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=78RHB003205B&QueryText=%22320%22&DocType=B; House Bill 1406, “An Act Relating to a Recommendation by a School District Employee Concerning a Use of a Psychotropic Drug by a Student…,” Texas Legislature, capitol.state.tx.us/Search/DocViewer.aspx?ID=78RHB014065B&QueryText=%221406%22&DocType=B; House Bill 90, “An Act to Amend the Code of Virginia by Adding a Section Numbered 22.1-274.3, Relating to Certain Medication Recommendations by School Personnel,” Virginia Legislature, 2002 Session, lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?021+ful+CHAP0314.

[6] House Bill 170, “Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs or Medication,” Utah Legislature, 2001 General Session, le.utah.gov/~2001/bills/hbillint/HB0170.pdf; House Bill 551, “An Act Relative to the Effect of Parental Refusal to Administer Psychotropic Drugs to their Children…,” New Hampshire Legislature, 2004 Session, gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2004/HB0551.html; House Bill 2024, “An Act Amending Sections 8-201 and 8-201.01,” Arizona Legislature, Second Special Session 2003, azleg.gov/legtext/46leg/2s/laws/0006.pdf.

[7] State of Michigan Department of Human Services, “Mandated Reporter’s Guide,” DHS Pub 112 (Rev. 2-13), michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Pub-112_179456_7.pdf; Case No. 11057748-01, 36 District Court, Detroit, Michigan, filed 03/27/2011; Heather Catallo, “Mom Who Chose to Take Daughter Off Medication Files Lawsuit…,” ABC 7, WXYZ Detroit, 10 May 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis.







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Avoiding Addiction When Powerful Opioid Painkillers Are Needed, From the November 2013 Harvard Health Letter


Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 12, 2013

Sometimes the best way to ease pain is with the type of prescription painkiller known as an opioid. Despite their “addictive” reputation in the media, the majority of people use opioids safely and without addition, reports the November 2013 Harvard Health Letter.

Opioids are a class of painkillers with high addictive potential. They include oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphone (Dilaudid), and meperidine (Demerol). Opioids are typically used for the short term, such as for treating severe pain following surgery. They are also sometimes used long-term for relieving pain related to cancer or a terminal illness.

For minor surgical pain or injuries, it’s best to limit the use of an opioid to no more than seven days. Using one for more than 30 days leads to dependence. That means a person begins to suffer withdrawal symptoms if he or she abruptly stops taking the medication. With long-term use, some individuals need more of these drugs to achieve the same effect. Keep in mind that dependence is not the same as addiction, which is characterized by compulsive use and preoccupation with the drug that interferes with normal life.

For long-term use, take opioids by the clock as prescribed, advises Dr. Karsten Kueppenbender, an addiction psychiatrist at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. Trying to reduce addiction risk by cutting back on the medication and waiting until the pain gets really bad isn’t a good strategy, and can actually backfire. The memory of how bad the pain got, and the sense of relief from the opioid, could actually increase the risk of becoming addicted.

The key to avoiding addiction is the assistance of a medical team that’s easily accessible, along with regular checkups to reassess the need for—and use of—the drug.

Read the full-length article: “Caution: These are the most addictive pain meds”.

Also in the November 2013 issue of the Harvard Health Letter:

    Steps for coping with mild cognitive impairment
    The best fruits and veggies for fall
    An anti-falling checklist to take stock of trip hazards in the home

The Harvard Health Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $ 16 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/health or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).







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HealthForumOnline CE Course Author Tinesha Banks Named Vice President of Health Access and Service Delivery at AccessMatters


Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) April 14, 2015

Tinesha Banks, MPH, HealthForumOnline continuing education course author and behavioral health researcher has been named Vice President for Health Access and Service Delivery at AccessMatters, a leader in transforming access to sexual and reproductive health. In her new VP position, Banks will be responsible for providing leadership to AccessMatters’ core program areas, including its family planning program, community-based services, LGBT health initiatives, school-based health resource center program, and breast and cervical cancer prevention program. As a capacity-building organization, AccessMatters has been trailblazing for over 40 years to eliminate barriers to high caliber care for more than 200,000 people annually. Through research, training, delivery of evidenced-based programs, community engagement and advocacy, AccessMatters leads the way in transforming access to sexual and reproductive health.

“I was drawn to the AccessMatters because of its unique integration of clinical and community-based programs, and its ability to leverage resources to achieve maximum impact for the communities it serves,” said Banks, who brings to her new VP position years of diverse experience in behavioral health. For example, Banks recently served as Deputy Executive Director of Business Development and Organizational Management at the Health Promotion Council, a Public Health Management Corporation non-profit affiliate, that specializes in promoting health and the prevention and management of chronic diseases.

In addition, Banks is the coauthor of Human Sexuality: The Role of Aging and Illness, an online continuing education (CE) course available at HealthForumOnline, a nationally-approved provider of over 100 online CE courses for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other allied health professionals.

“This online CE course has particular relevance in promoting health across the lifespan,” says Banks. Specifically, given the “graying” of America, health professionals need to be knowledgeable about the multitude of medical and psychosocial factors that may arise as individuals age which can – and do – affect their sexuality. Many older adults experience sexual dysfunction as secondary to a primary acute medical illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, or arthritis. As concerns related to sexuality emerge from the background of the initial diagnosis and treatment for medical illness and become more salient, older patients may still not be comfortable addressing issues of a sexual nature, even in a confidential therapeutic context. Despite recent paradigm shifts in how we view and treat certain age-related and/or health-related sexual dysfunctions, it is not uncommon for issues of a sexual nature to be absent and/or minimized in the course of an older patient’s physical and psychological care.

Banks’ online CE course provides mental health professionals with the tools necessary to feel more secure with the facts about sexuality with regard to the “normal” aging process and to be more knowledgeable about how common medical illnesses within a geriatric sample can impact sexuality. The information in this online CE course from HFO can raise personal and professional awareness on the subject and render clinicians more competent to sensitively address these issues in the psychological care of their older patients.

About HealthForumOnline:

HealthForumOnline (HFO) offers over 100 online CE courses that are approved for mental health professionals by the American Psychological Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors, and the Association of Social Work Boards. HFO’s CE Program’s Advisory Committee and authors are comprised of over 60 nationally-recognized experts in behavioral medicine.

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Two Soldiers Prescribed 54 Drugs: Military Mental Health “Treatment” Becomes Frankenpharmacy


Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) October 31, 2012

By Kelly Patricia O’Meara, for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR)

“The devastating adverse effects mind-altering psychiatric drugs may be having on the nation’s military troops are best summed up by Mary Shelley’s Dr. Frankenstein, writing ‘nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.’

“Just as the fictional character, Dr. Frankenstein, turned to experiments in the laboratory to create life with fantastically horrific results, the psychiatric community, along with its pharmaceutical sidekicks, has turned to modern day chemical concoctions to alter the human mind. The result is what many believe is a growing number of equally hideous results culminating in senseless deaths, tormented lives and grief-stricken families.

“The nation’s military troops are taking their lives at record numbers and seemingly healthy soldiers are dying from sudden unexplained deaths. That’s a fact. The data are clear, yet, despite growing evidence pointing to the enemy among us, the monstrous psycho-pharmacological experiment continues.”

In the second installment of a four-part series, O’Meara examines the sudden unexplained deaths within the military tied to psychiatric drug use, including two soldiers who between them, were prescribed a whopping 54 drugs including Seroquel, Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft, Ativan, Celexa, Cymbalta, Depakote, Haldol, Klonopin, Lexapro, Lithium, Lunesta, Compazine, Desyrel, Trileptal and Valium.


Marine corporal Andrew White, was a healthy 23-year-old, gung-ho Marine returning from a nine-month tour in Iraq, who, like so many of his brothers in arms, suffered from the seemingly normal stresses of war – insomnia, nightmares and restlessness. The young corporal turned to the military’s mental health system for help. But eleven months after beginning his first cocktail of mind-altering psychiatric drugs, he died in his sleep from what the medical examiner ruled an “accidental overdose of medication.” Since taking his first multi-drug cocktail to the date of his death, White had been prescribed no less than nineteen different drugs with many at ever-increasing dosages.

Twenty-three -year old Anthony (Tony) Mena had completed two tours in Iraq as part of Kirtland Air Force Base’s 377th Security Forces Squadron. Like so many others returning from combat, Mena suffered from insomnia, restlessness and nightmares—and like Andrew White, became a victim of the military’s mental health mind-altering multi-drug approach to treatment. Between January of 2008 and his death in July 2009, Mena had been prescribed no less than 35 prescription drugs, including numerous antidepressants, pain killers, tranquilizers and muscle relaxers.

O’Meara details how these two men exemplify the ever-increasing numbers of young, seemingly healthy soldiers who survived the horrors of war only to return home to fight, and lose, their toughest battle. They are among a growing list of sudden deaths among military personnel, which many believe is due to sudden cardiac arrest brought on by the drug cocktails being prescribed. Fred Baughman Jr., MD, who has been researching these questionable deaths, believes that the few that are known are just the “tip of the iceberg.”

Kelly Patricia O’Meara is a book author and former award winning investigative reporter for the Washington Times, Insight Magazine. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

Read the full article here.

Read the previous article, Psychiatric Drugs & War: A Suicide Mission here.

Visit CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Side Effects database, comprising summaries of all international drug regulatory warnings, studies, and more than 470,000 adverse reaction reports filed with the US FDA.

CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.







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New National Access Cannabis Website Showcases NAC’s Mission of Facilitating Safe and Responsible Access to Health Canada’s Medical Marijuana System


Victoria, BC (PRWEB) April 13, 2015

National Access Cannabis today announced the official launch of its new website. NationalAccessCannabis.com will serve as an introduction and conduit to NAC’s care centres for the growing number of Canadians who want to access legal medical cannabis to treat a multitude of ailments within the guidelines of Health Canada’s system.

The site features powerful video testimonials from Canadians who have benefited from responsible medical cannabis use, including the personal story of NAC’s founder and his father’s cancer treatments.

“I researched and learned about the benefits of medical cannabis when my father was dying of cancer,” Alex Abellan, founder of NAC, says in a video featured on the site. “My father did not react well to the morphine doctors gave him, he was in a fog and couldn’t communicate. When we treated him with cannabis, it relieved his pain and we were able to connect with him!”

Personal stories told through videos on the site reflect NAC’s vision of improving quality of life for Canadians by creating a network of care centres providing services for safe and responsible access to Health Canada’s system.

NAC first provides education on how Health Canada’s medical marijuana system works. Members are then connected with a physician for a medical assessment. If a physician concludes medical marijuana is a good option for the member, NAC assists with selecting a Health Canada Licensed Producer and helps submit the required Medical Documents.

Members also receive pharmacist consultations for ongoing guidance on safe and responsible use and utilize pharmacy software to monitor usage. In addition, each member receives the National Access Cannabis Card, a secure non-transferable medical marijuana card developed in consultation with law enforcement to assure police that patients are legally authorized by Health Canada to use medical marijuana.

Visit the new site and learn more about NAC’s mission at NationalAccessCannabis.com. NAC can also be found on its social channels on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

About National Access Cannabis (NAC)

NAC is devoted to improving patients’ quality of life by creating local care centres across Canada. NAC facilitates safe access to medical marijuana within the laws and guidelines of Health Canada by connecting our members with physicians, providing pharmacist consultations and pharmacy software to monitor safe usage, and giving members a medical marijuana card for proof of compliance for law enforcement.







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Teen Writing Contest About Mental Health Issues Gets Support From Published Authors Donating Autographed Books Reports StageofLife.com


Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) March 27, 2014

Online writing community, StageofLife.com, announced today that eleven, internationally published authors will be donating an autographed copy of their book as part of the winning prize packages for the teen finalists of the website’s “March Madness” writing contest dealing with mental health issues.

As an educational resource, StageofLife.com’s mission is to change the world through storytelling, and its award-winning, blogging platform welcomes close to a million teens, college students, teachers, and parents each year who come to the site to read and share their personal, real-life stories.

The site often collaborates with authors based on the topics of its writing prompts.

“We are overwhelmed at the support by the professional writing community as they donate autographed copies of their books for this month’s writing contest on mental illness and health,” said Rebecca Thiegs, VP of Education StageofLife.com.

Participating authors who are donating a signed copy of their book on mental health as a prize to the winning “March Madness” contest finalists include:

–Susannah Cahalan – “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” (Simon & Schuster)

–Marya Hornbacher – “Madness: A Bipolar Life” (Mariner Books)

–Randye Kaye – “Ben Behind His Voices: One Family’s Journey from the Chaos of Schizophrenia to Hope” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers)

–Melody Moezzi – “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life” (Avery Trade)

–Stacy Pershall – “Loud in the House of Myself” (W.W. Norton & Company)

–Elyn Saks – “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness” (Hyperion)

–Lizabeth D. Schuch – “More Than Bipolar: A Memoir of Acceptance and Hope” (iUniverse)

–Karen Winters Schwartz – “Where Are the Cocoa Puffs? A Family’s Journey through Bipolar Disorder” and “Reis’s Pieces – Love, Loss, and Schizophrenia” (Goodman Beck Publishing)

–Andrew Solomon – “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” (Scribner)

–Pamela Spiro Wagner – “Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia” (St. Martin’s Griffin)

–Fletcher Wortmann – “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (Thomas Dunne Books)

When asked about her participation with Stage of Life writing contest, author Stacy Pershall said, “Every time you come out to one person as having a mental health disorder, you change the world. Eliminating stigma happens one person at a time. Just giving someone the vocabulary to address what’s happening to them — for example anorexia, bulimia, self-harm — is a powerful thing…Before I got the right treatment, I was certain I’d die by suicide; it was just a matter of time. Now it’s not all about me. I have to stay alive so I can keep other people alive. Killing myself has ceased to be an option.”

Thiegs added that “People don’t talk about mental health issues or mental illness because of the shame and brokenness surrounding the topic, so this month, while much of the world watches the March Madness college basketball tournament, we want to encourage people to think, write and share a story surrounding the topic of mental health and mental illness.”

Alongside its “March Madness” writing contest, StageofLife.com features educational videos, recommended TED talks, resource reading on mental illness, and a Twitter contest awareness component.

Melody Moezzi, author of “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” told StageofLife.com that, “Sharing our stories as people living with mental illness is by far the most powerful way to fight stigma and discrimination. It’s our best weapon against the insidious culture of shame and silence that surrounds mental illness today.”

The StageofLife.com essay contest is open to anyone aged 13 years and older. Stories must be original, non-fiction, and 500 words or less. There is no entry fee and submissions are due March 31, 2014 by midnight Pacific Time US.

In addition to receiving a signed book, the 1st Place student writer will also receive gift cards from literacy sponsors IHOP and Papa John’s while the 1st Place adult writer will receive gift cards from Applebee’s and SpaWeek.

Finalists and Winners will be posted on the essay winner’s page and Teen Trend Report after April 20th, 2014.

To get details and submit a story to the March Madness writing contest, visit http://www.StageofLife.com.







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Expanding World Health Day into a Weeklong Community-based Anti-Drug Initiative


Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 13, 2015

With the World Health Organization reporting 3.3 million alcohol-related deaths each year, 15.3 million people addicted to drugs, and 120 countries suffering from HIV caused by injected drug use, Scientologists are marking World Health Day with an entire week of activities April 7-14 to rally their communities to counter drug abuse.

“Our goal is a drug-free world,” said Fabio Amicarelli, coordinator of the social reform activities of the Church of Scientology International. “Drug abuse is so pervasive in our world, it is only by community groups working together at a grassroots level that we can handle the epidemic. But more than 25 years of experience has proven to us that we save lives every time we reach out to youth with factual information about drugs.”

While Scientologists are active in drug education throughout the year, on World Health Day in April and the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in June, they pull out all stops, organizing open houses, drug education seminars, conferences, and workshops featuring educators, law enforcement officers and community leaders—the leading proponents of drug prevention in their zones.

This week’s programs include training in the Truth About Drugs initiative, with materials based on nearly three decades of hands-on work helping youth understand the consequences of using the most commonly abused substances. Study of these materials helps young people make their own firm, self-determined decisions to live drug-free.

An overview of the week’s activities include a conference at the Church of Scientology of Johannesburg, where Bishop Ogbu of Impact Africa Network spoke of the role of churches in fighting drugs. The World Health Day program in Pretoria, South Africa, concentrated on the relationship between drugs and crime.

The Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C. held a drug prevention open house, and the Church of Scientology of Buffalo, New York, held a community-based forum, where a racecar driver explained why he promotes the Truth About Drugs program through his racing.

The National Director of MAD DADS (Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social-disorder) was the guest speaker and the World Health Day Open House at the Church of Scientology of Twin Cities, Minnesota.

In Denver, Colorado, the keynote speaker was an officer of the Rocky Mountain HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas)—a program created by U.S. Congress to provide help in critical drug-trafficking regions in the U.S. He gave an overview of the impact the state’s legalization of marijuana has had on Colorado and beyond.

At the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, a retired deputy sheriff, a specialist on the subject of synthetic drugs, gave an in-depth presentation on these substances, their effects, and how dealers skirt the law by creating new versions of drugs through minor chemical alterations that make them no longer “technically” illegal.

Those attending the forum at the Church of Scientology of Pasadena were briefed on proposed anti-drug legislation.

In Phoenix, the highlight was the personal story of a woman who described her teen years separated from her incarcerated heroin-addicted mother and how she and her mother have turned their family’s tragedy into a program to help others.

In Seattle and New York representatives of the police departments spoke of the results they have seen from the use of the Truth About Drugs Program.

The Scientology Organization of Mexico presented a “Colloquium on the Problem and Solution to Drugs in Mexico” attended by local and national law enforcement agencies who have adopted the program. It included a presentation on the results of having trained more than 2,000 policemen on the Truth About Drugs program and the use the officers have made of these materials in their work in the community.

There were also open house events, conferences and community round tables in Canada, Italy and Russia, with additional programs planned for the coming days in Taiwan, Australia and Israel.

The Church of Scientology supports The Truth About Drugs drug education and prevention initiative.

Inspired by the words of L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of the Scientology religion, that “a being is only as valuable as he can serve others,” Scientologists wholeheartedly support these programs. Participation and collaboration in these initiatives is invited and welcomed from all who seek to improve conditions for themselves and others.

For more information, visit the Scientology website at http://www.Scientology.org/how-we-help/voice-for-humanity







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Dr. Robert Schneider to Speak on Physiological and Emotional Heart Health


New York, New York (PRWEB) April 07, 2015

Total Heart Health: How to Heal Your Physiological and Emotional Heart

Evening Workshop, April 8th, 6-10pm

The Open Center, NYC

Members $ 40, Nonmembers $ 45

Dr. Robert Schneider is one of the world’s leading authorities on scientific, natural approaches for heart disease, and has directed nearly $ 20 million in research grants from the National Institutes of Health for research on natural approaches to heart disease. His studies have been published in many leading medical journals. Robert H. Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C.—physician, author, scientist, educator—will be giving a workshop entitled, Total Heart Health: How to Heal Your Physiological and Emotional Heart in NYC April 8th, at the Open Center.

Dr. Schneider is currently touring medical schools and hospitals across the U.S. speaking to doctors, medical scientists and other health professionals. His focus is dealing with the root cause of disease -stress – and how to create balance for health. “More than one out of three people in the U.S. die of cardiovascular disease and medical science has shown that stress is a major contributor. Research demonstrates that meditation can not only reduce stress and cardiovascular disease, it also produces a wide spectrum of added benefits for physical and mental health. There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that for prevention of heart disease and promotion of overall mind-body health, meditation deserves to be included in our modern, daily routine.” Indeed, leading physicians and health researchers are finding that it’s not medication that is needed, but meditation, and not just any meditation measures up to the research findings regarding Transcendental Meditation.

Maharishi AyurVeda

One of Dr. Schneider’s areas of expertise is Maharishi AyurVeda. During workshops across the country, he discusses creating balance through the Maharishi Vedic approach to health. This prevention-oriented, time-tested methodology is free from harmful side effects, and easily applied. Enlivenment of consciousness is two-fold. Transcendental Meditation creates awareness and expansion, while balance is restored, and health maintained through Maharishi AyurVeda. Dr. Schneider offers practical knowledge about this preventative, nutritional approach to health by offering AyurVedic recommendations that help prevent heart disease, and other health problems.

Dr. Schneider will discuss the importance of diet, exercise, and daily routine and how to balance one’s “doshas” through Maharishi AyurVeda. These therapeutic approaches are based on the Vedic tradition of India, the complete and timeless knowledge of Natural Law, and are also referred to as Maharishi Vedic Medicine.

High-profile doctors Mehmet Oz, the Discovery Channel’s Dr. Pamela Peeke and many other physicians are also speaking out about the health benefits of meditation and Ayurveda, because these two powerful components can create balance, the crux of health. Psychiatrist and bestselling author Norman Rosenthal, formerly a 20-year senior researcher at the National Institutes of Health, stated, “If TM were a new drug, conferring this many benefits, it would be the biggest-selling, multibillion-dollar drug on the market.” Both managing your stress and utilizing a balanced diet and exercise regime are highly important in maintaining health.

For More Information:

Department of Physiology and Health, Maharishi University of Management

American Heart Association announcement: Meditation may reduce death, heart attack and stroke in heart patients

Reprint from Circulation: Outcomes, RCT reporting 48% reduction in clinical CVD events

Dr. Schneider on MIND-BODY-HEART tour







Insight Behavioral Health Centers Welcomes Dr. Peter Zemenides

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) April 08, 2015

Chicago-based Insight Behavioral Health Centers (http://www.InsightBHC.com), a leading provider of comprehensive treatment for eating, obesity, mood and anxiety disorders, today announced that Peter Zemenides, MD has joined its medical team. Dr. Zemenides will oversee the delivery of care in the Mood and Anxiety Program and Compulsive Overeating Recovery Effort (CORE). In his role, Dr. Zemenides will collaborate with Insight leadership to shape the mood and anxiety program and CORE treatment philosophies, will provide guidance and mentorship to the multidisciplinary treatment team, and will provide direct patient care.

“With the addition of Dr. Zemenides, Insight Behavioral Health Centers possesses unmatched medical and clinical expertise in the treatment of mood, anxiety and binge eating disorders in the Chicagoland area,” explains Susan McClanahan, PhD, Founder and President of Insight. “Patients and families struggling with the complexities of these disorders benefit greatly from compassionate psychiatric support at all stages of the treatment continuum.”

Insight’s medically-supported mood and anxiety and CORE treatment programs offer comprehensive, evidence-based treatment for adults and adolescents. A multidisciplinary treatment team includes psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, Master’s-level counselors, Registered Yoga Therapists, expressive therapists and marriage and family therapists. While the Residential level of care offers 24/7 support and observation, staff-supported housing is available for male and female adults at the Partial Hospitalization and Intensive Outpatient levels of care as well. Learn more about Insight’s programming for adults and adolescents here: http://www.InsightBHC.com.

Prior to joining Insight’s medical leadership team, Dr. Zemenides served as Acting Medical Director of the McClendon Center in Washington, DC, a leading treatment center serving the needs of adults diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness. In this role, he oversaw the assessment and management of patients with psychiatric conditions, including initial and follow up assessment, medication management, psychotherapy, ordering/interpreting diagnostic tests and coordination of care within an interdisciplinary team framework. Dr. Zemenides is committed to training the next generation of physicians in the field of psychiatry, serving as a Clinical Case Conference Facilitator, Psychiatry Small Group Facilitator and Guest Lecturer at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He has also participated in research initiatives in the Neurology departments at both the University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine and Northwestern University. Dr. Zemenides speaks widely on the topic of mental illness at symposia in the United States and abroad, and has authored numerous articles on topics including psychopharmacology, behavioral analysis, psychology of terrorism, delirium and circadian rhythms. He earned his MD and completed his Residency at the George Washington University School of Medicine following completion of his BA at Northwestern University.

For more information about mood, anxiety and eating disorder treatment at Insight Behavioral Health Centers, call (312) 487-2418 or visit http://www.InsightBHC.com to chat confidentially with a Clinical Assessment Specialist.

About Insight Behavioral Health Centers:

Insight Behavioral Health Centers specializes in treatment for female and male adolescents and adults dealing with eating, mood and anxiety disorders, as well as obesity. Residential, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient and general Outpatient levels of care are offered at five Chicago-area locations, including Northbrook, Evanston, Oak Park and two treatment centers in downtown Chicago. Insight is accredited by the Joint Commission and is a teaching affiliate of Northwestern University Medical School and Rush University Medical School. Insight partners with Denver-based Eating Recovery Center, an international center providing comprehensive, specialized eating disorders treatment for female and male adults, adolescents and children. For more information, visit http://www.InsightBHC.com or call (312) 487-2418.