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SSW Collaborates with U-M Depression Center

Laura Nitzberg is cofounder of the Family Education orkshop. Ed.

Socially conscious Reggi Marder entered the field of social work with an interest in helping victims of domestic violence. Eventually she worked in AIDS intervention and prevention, training those working with AIDS patients, including in the areas of mental health and strain.

When this vibrant, socially active woman developed severe depression, she eventually told her friends and got treatment. But in August 2005, at the age of 50, Reggi committed suicide, leaving behind a husband and three children.

“e stigma associated with depression perhaps kept her from accepting and being able to deal with how severe the problem was,” said Professor Richard Tolman, a close friend of Reggi, who had admitted that she did not take her antidepression medication regularly due to the stigma of depression. Tolman is involved in setting up a foundation in her memory that will work to decrease the stigma associated with depression.

One of those working hard to confront the stigma related to depression is the executive director of the U-M Depression Center, John Greden, MD, Rachel Upjohn Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuro- sciences, and chair in the Department of Psychiatry at U-M.

Members of the School of Social Work have been involved with the Depression Center from the begin- ning. e late Carol Mowbray took part in early planning meetings, and Professors Leslie Hollings- worth, Matthew Howard, Sean Joe, Mary Ruffolo, Kathleen Wade, and others are involved in research and other collaborative initiatives (see story on page 4). In addition to research, the School provides col- laboration through the social work postgraduate fel- lowship program and MSW student field placements.

More information about the Depression Center and its programs can be obtained at www.depressioncenter.org or by calling 1-800-475- MICH.


In October U-M opened the new Rachel Upjohn Building, located at the East Ann Arbor Health Center site on the corner of Plymouth and Earhart Roads. is elegant building houses both the

The Depression Center’s university advisory board is comprised of faculty members from many schools, including Dean Paula Allen-Meares. In ad- dition, the center’s national advisory board is com- posed of people from various walks of life, many of whom have struggled with depression.

“e Depression Center is helping move the world toward a growing recognition that treatments with- out stigma are available and is helping construct a national network of depression centers,” Dr. Greden envisions. “As these gains are made, we will look back at these formative days and recognize that lead- ership from the School of Social Work helped make them possible.”

Depression Center and the Department of Psy- chiatry. e U-M Depression Center is unique in focusing on mood disorders and promoting research, prevention, treatment, education, and political advo- cacy in one setting.

“e mission of the Depression Center,” says Execu- tive Director John Greden, “is to detect depression and bipolar disorders earlier, treat more effectively,

2 · University of Michigan School of Social Work

Elizabeth Sikkenga and Kara Gavin

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