For Interested NAMI Members and Friends – If you have a personal interest in the world of adoption, foster care and assisted reproduction, or if you know of someone who has, please consider the following:
The American Adoption Congress, which is a national association committed to adoption reform and promotion of honesty, openness and respect for family connections, is having its annual national conference at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, Atlanta from Wednesday, April 5 through Saturday, April 8. This is also a unique opportunity to learn about changing public policies and legislation being enacted nationwide for all adopted persons and their birth and adoptive families. If you have an interest in registering, please go to the AAC website: www.americanadoptioncongress.org and click on the conference link.
Another opportunity to experience the conference is to attend the special presentation of Alison Larkin Live, who is an acclaimed comedienne, award winning audiobook narrator and the bestselling author of The English American autobiography about an English woman who finds her birth mother – and her self – in the U.S. This occurs on Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m., April 6, at the same venue. We are not positive at this time as to any cost to attend, but we are working with the conference chair to make this a successful and well-attended event for all to enjoy! Stay tuned and let Bruce Kellogg, Member of the Board of Directors of NAMI Northside know if you are interested and have plans to attend. You can email Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 770-833-6548. Thank you.
The ADAA (Anxiety & Depression Association of America) is offering a FREE webinar on Thursday, September 8. The topic is “How to Help Depressed and Suicidal Teenagers”.
“Rates of depression as well as suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury are surprisingly common among adolescents. Dr. Alec Miller will describe treatments that exist for them in clinical and school settings.”
This webinar series is intended for the general public. Details HERE.
A Diagnosis of Mental Illness Need Not End a College Career
A recent survey reports that 47% of adults living with schizophrenia drop out of college, compared to the 27% college dropout rate in the U.S. overall. Another study reports that students diagnosed with bipolar disorder are 70% more likely to drop out of college than students with no psychiatric diagnosis.
My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his junior year of college. I was devastated by what I perceived to be the loss of hope for his future, but he was determined to return to school and complete his degree. His university, which had been eager to help him withdraw when he became ill, was most unwilling to help him re-enroll after his symptoms were under control. When I called the Disability Services Office for help, a staff member told me, “Your son got in trouble…” I responded, “My son did not get in trouble, my son got sick.”
This kind of negative attitude from a university is tragic. Many young people with schizophrenia or other serious mental health conditions are perfectly capable of completing a college education. There is no reason for universities to discriminate against students living with mental illness—in fact, such discrimination is against the law.
College can be hard even without a bipolar diagnosis but with lifestyle changes and plenty of support, you can totally score that diploma.
As if you don’t have enough to handle just getting through college, wham—you get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
Truth is, the timing makes biological sense. The late-teen years are a vulnerable period for onset of mental illness, whether you’re at college or not, because of the way the adolescent brain develops and teenagers typically behave.
Finding out you have bipolar is a blow, but it doesn’t need to knock you out of the game. With lifestyle changes and plenty of support, you can totally score that diploma—especially if you’re willing to take some extra time, have a plan B and, most of all, accept and accommodate the illness, says Russ Federman, PhD.
“I feel very optimistic about students’ ability to lead satisfying and productive lives,” says Federman, director of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia (UVA) and co-author of Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder (New Harbinger, 2010).