GREETINGS!

Greetings and welcome to 2008! I hope you enjoyed a happy holiday season and that your new year is off to a great start. Below you'll find all the latest news and updates from the Section, including a summary of the Annual Meeting in D.C. Please also take note of multiple opportunities to contribute to the Section. I wish you all the best.

 

ANNUAL MEETING IN D.C.

We hope you were able to attend this year’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. More than 14,000 people attended to listen to excellent presentations, network with professionals and catch up with friends. The Mental Health Section was well-represented with regard to the number of attendees and the quality of presentations.

 

Thanks to sponsors of our social!

Our social event was held this year at the Washington, D.C., office of the Constella Group. About 75 people attended, including many new section members and friends of the section. For the second year, student members displayed their posters at the social, affording more opportunity for interaction and networking among junior and senior researchers. Special thanks to Ron Manderscheid, who donated space for the social through his new position at Constella. Thanks also to Trevor Hadley at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research and Junius Gonzales at the University of South Florida Mental Health Institute for their generous donations, which allowed for great food and drink!

 

Congratulations to our award winners!!

Bruce Link, PhD, received this year’s Rema Lapouse Award, given to an outstanding scientist in the field of psychiatric epidemiology. The award was made in recognition of Dr. Link’s groundbreaking contributions to understanding how social and economic inequalities translate into health disparities, especially among individuals with mental disorders. Dr. Link was introduced by Bruce Dohrenwend, his mentor and former Rema Lapouse Award winner, which provided a wonderful sense of context and continuity.

Mary Evans, RN, MSN, PhD, FAAN, received the Carl Taube Award for distinguished contributions to mental health services research. In addition to her important contributions to systems of care research to improve children’s mental health, Dr. Evans is a long-time active member of the Mental Health Section. Many of us have benefited from her wisdom and support.

Michael Beets, a student at Oregon State University, received the Kenneth Lutterman Award for best student presentation. Mr. Beets’ submission, Effects of yoga on stress, depression, and health-related quality of life in a non-clinical, bi-ethnic sample of adolescents, presented the results of an elegant, randomized cross-over design study, which found that engaging high school students in yoga decreased stress and depressive symptoms.

 

Thank you to award sponsors and donors

Rani Desai began the tradition of asking for donations from publishers exhibiting at the Annual Meeting to be used as awards for Section members who have helped the Section during the year. This year, Jones and Bartlett Publishing, Jossey-Bass, Oxford University Press, Sage Publications, and Springer Publishing contributed books that will be used as awards next year. Thank you to these publishing houses for their generosity.                     

 

BE A MENTOR – OR RECEIVE MENTORING FROM SEASONED PROFESSIONALS

If you are a doctoral student, postdoctoral fellow or junior faculty member without a history of federal funding, please consider submitting an abstract to our mentoring program. Evaluations from participants in this year’s mentoring workshop were uniformly enthusiastic. A dozen junior investigators, who had submitted abstracts describing a research project, were paired with senior researchers. Each junior investigator was given 20 minutes to present research ideas and receive feedback before rotating to the next team of senior researchers. For next year, potential participants in the mentoring session will submit abstracts through APHA, rather than submitting them directly to me. Accepted abstracts will be considered official presentations and can be listed as such.

If you are a researcher in public mental health with a history of federal research funding, please volunteer to be a mentor. Very minimal work is required prior to the mentoring session. Mentors for past programs report that they enjoy the interaction with their junior colleagues immensely. Interested individuals should contact me at mandelld@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 

CALL FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS

The Steve Banks Memorial Award for Mentorship in Public Mental Health

As many of you know, Steve Banks passed away on August 10, 2007. Steve was a beloved statistician and mentor to many people in mental health services research. To honor his memory, we have established the Steve Banks Memorial Award for Mentorship in Public Mental Health. In keeping with Steve’s interests, gifts and generosity of spirit, this award will be given to an individual in public mental health who willingly embraces the role of mentor through formal and informal mechanisms. If you would like to nominate someone for this award, please contact Rani Desai at rani.desai@yale.edu.

 

Rema Lapouse Award for 2008

This award honors outstanding contribution to the field of psychiatric epidemiology. Send letters of recommendation and a CV to Anthony Kouzis (kant@sas.upenn.edu or anthony8066@gmail.com).

BECOME A SECTION COUNSELOR!

The mental health section is in need of volunteers to run for Section Council.  We have two openings for next year and ideally would like to have at least two people running for each slot.  If you have questions about the responsibilities of Section Council you can refer to the APHA constitution.  On page 19 and 20 are the descriptions of the duties of the Section Council.  You can also clarify further with Rani Desai at rani.desai@yale.edu.  Each section interprets the constitutional duties slightly differently, however, the time commitment is generally minimal.   Here is the link to the document: http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/86EAAE71-BD89-4CDB-B76A-54CABC46F6BD/0/AmericanPublicHealthAssociation52007.pdf  

In the past, section counselors have served as reviewers for the Annual Meeting, helped to update the Web site links, collated and summarized membership information from our member rosters, and served on various committees such as the social, booth or membership committees.  We would ask that each section counselor serve on one section committee, and this can be arranged individually with the chair, depending upon your interests.

 

CONTRIBUTE TO THE MENTAL HEALTH SECTION

The Mental Health Section provides an important home to more than 750 researchers, clinicians and consumers of mental health services, who benefit from opportunities to keep up with the latest research in public mental health and network with peers. In the coming year, we plan to expand our mentoring activities, forge collaborations with organizations with complementary missions and initiate scholarships for students and consumers. The $2,000 we receive each year from APHA is less than half of what we need to pay for our exhibition booth, social event and awards, let alone what would be required to fully serve our members in the way we envision.

Please consider making a contribution to our section. Make sure to indicate that you want your donation to go to the Mental Health Section. Thank you for your support.

 

FUTURE NEWS ITEMS

If you have future ideas or information to contribute to the Mental Health Section, please send them to Section Secretary Leigh Ann Simmons at leighann@uky.edu.