NIMH Updates

NIMH: Study Probes Environment-Triggered Genetic Changes in Schizophrenia—Life’s Hard Knocks Can Leave Marks That Turn Genes On and Off

The first study of its kind to pinpoint environment-triggered genetic changes in schizophrenia has been launched with $9.8 million in funding from NIMH. The five-site study seeks telltale marks in the genome that hold clues to how nurture interacts with nature to produce the illness. These "epigenetic" changes that occur with aging and other environmental influences regulate the turning on and off of the genes we inherit, with pivotal consequences for health. Thus, if one identical twin develops schizophrenia, the other twin is similarly affected in only about half of cases, despite the fact that they share the same genes and the illness is estimated to be 80 to 90 percent heritable. Evidence suggests that epigenetic differences may account for the discrepancy.

Science Update:


NIDA Releases a New Research Report on Comorbidity of Addiction and other Mental Illnesses

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a research report, Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Illnesses, summarizing the state of the science regarding the complex relationship between substance abuse and other mental disorders.

Press Release:



Drug Abusing Offenders Not Getting Treatment They Need in Criminal Justice System—
Treating Inmates Has Proven Public Health, Safety and Economic Benefits

The vast majority of prisoners who could benefit from drug abuse treatment do not receive it, despite two decades of research that demonstrate its effectiveness, according to researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. In a report published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, NIDA scientists note that about half of all prisoners (including some sentenced to non-drug-related offenses) are dependent on drugs, yet less than 20 percent of inmates suffering from drug abuse or dependence receive formal treatment.

Press Release:

SAMHSA: Nationwide Report Reveals That More Than 1 in Every 10 Adults Experienced Serious Psychological Distress in the Past Year—Report shows that less than half of those with serious psychological distress received mental health services

An estimated 24.3 million people aged 18 years or older experienced serious psychological distress in the past year – and only 44.6 percent of them received any kind of mental health services, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Serious psychological distress is an overall indicator of past-year mental health problems such as anxiety and/or mood disorders. The report also highlights significant differences in the levels of serious psychological distress suffered among various demographic groups, as well as considerable differences in the level of mental health services they received.

Press Release:



The November/December issue of SAMHSA News focuses on new parity law.

Spirit of SA Jan. 7, 2009

Spirit of SA Report from the desk of Jim C

Jan 7th, 2009



I came across the following article tonight.  It is a good description of ECT some of the history and background of it as well as the authors experience with ECT for depression.

"After Electric Shock Therapy and a background on ECT".


Glenn Close Mental Health Advocate


The following link is to the AARP Magazine article on Glenn Close and her mental health work.

Click here to read the article

D. H.


The holidays bring a mixture of delight and anxiety – stresses good and challenging. It is a time to reflect upon what we are grateful for and prioritize what is truly important in our lives. Stressors are necessary in our life but require identifying the necessary, enjoyable ones and the destructive, aggravating ones. It is within our control to create a time of joy instead of allowing and creating a time of increased tension and irritation.

Important points to keep in mind during this holiday season:

  • The amount spent on gifts is not important, thinking of another person is important.
    • Handmade gifts are more memorable than store bought ones.
    • Simple things are often more appreciated than elaborate, time consuming, expensive items.
  • Keep in mind what is essential and what is optional.
    • Ask yourself, “if I do this, what will happen?” “If I don’t do this, what will happen?” “What is the purpose and meaning of what I am about to do?”
  • Remember people, not things are important.
  • Identify what is stressful for you and work around those situations
    • If crowds are stressful, avoid them.
    • Visit or shop in less crowded situations (on-line or catalogue shopping or during off-peak times.)
    • Visit for short periods of time with the people you feel comfortable with.
  • Don’t spend money you cannot afford to spend
    • If you can’t afford to send cards, call to tell people you are thinking of them.
    • Send an electronic card on the Internet

Enjoy yourself and enjoy those who are important to you. Maintain control of your personal situation. You are the person who can identify what stresses you, therefore you are the person who needs to make a plan to control those situations so you can enjoy your family and friends.

Holidays can be a joy and a challenge. Take control to make it a joyful holiday season.

Happy Holidays,

Linda Whitten Stalters

SARDAA, Chair, Board of Directors

Articles from Medscape Psychiatry & Mental Health

Updates from NIMH

Welcome to The SARDAA Blog

MPj03864970000[1]Welcome to the SARDAA Blog. We plan to provide regular updates regarding, among other things, NIMH and research updates, SARDAA developments, new partnerships, and mental health related legislative updates. 

We want this Blog to be interactive, allowing for suggestions, comments and helpful offerings.  SARDAA is a grassroots not-for-profit organization offering hope, dignity and a voice for people impacted by schizophrenia and related disorders.