Joseph Rogers of Philadelphia to Receive SAMHSA'S 2013 Lifetime Achievement Voice Award

The award recognizes Rogers' extraordinary leadership and advocacy to advance the recovery movement of individuals with mental health conditions.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Sept. 25, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will present Joseph Rogers with its 2013 Lifetime Achievement Voice Award. The event will take place at Paramount Theater at Paramount Studios, 5555 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, California, at 7 p.m. PT.

Read More
Helping Family Members and Friends of People with Mood Disorders in “Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster” By Edie Mannion, LMFT

Helping Family Members and Friends of People with Mood Disordersin “Getting Off the Emotional Roller Coaster”By Edie Mannion, LMFT “I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster!”  This statement is understandably one of the most common pleas I’ve heard in my 30 years of providing support, information and skills to family members and friends of people with mental health conditions.  I’ve also said it to myself during very difficult times in relationships with people in my life.  The statement begs the questions, “What is an emotional roller coaster?” and “What helps a person get off of an emotional roller coaster?”

Roller coaster rides give us the thrilling experience of getting strapped into a small car with no steering wheel or brakes, then slowly climbing a steep, narrow incline hundreds of feet in the air, knowing that once we reach the top, we will be whipped down and around through fast twists, turns, ups and downs, while having absolutely no control.   It would be more terrifying than thrilling if forced onto a roller coaster ride when unprepared and with no choice.  That’s what happens to people in close relationship to someone who is very emotionally sensitive, whose emotions become intense quickly, and change rapidly, then get reflected in behavior that can range from withdrawal and avoidance to demands, accusations, and threats, or worse.  This behavior then triggers in family members and friends feelings of anxiety/fear, guilt, anger, and hopelessness, which can then trigger other feelings about these feelings, such as guilt about anger, anger about guilt, fear about hopelessness, etc.  Family members do the best they can to manage these feelings while interacting with their loved one experiencing their own emotional roller coaster, but often find themselves feeling like nothing they do is right, leading to a greater sense of feeling scared, out of control and increasingly demoralized. This is “the emotional roller coaster” experience. Exhaustion and burnout can set in, especially if the ride seems like it will never end.
So what helps a person get off an emotional roller coaster?  In my professional and personal experience, I believe it is a sense of self-confidence and sense of control from knowing how to handle different situations well, and hope that things can eventually get better, all in the face of a loved one’s many ups and downs, twists and turns.  I remember reading about a large, well-designed study of how people coped with all types of very distressing situations such as natural disasters, homelessness and yes, even having a loved one with major depression.  In examining characteristics of those who were more resilient to those who were not adjusting well, the two characteristics that stood out were “good social support” and  “self-efficacy” (the sense that one was playing the hand they had been dealt as well as anyone could).  It did not mention hope, but all the principles of recovery from mental health challenges all start with hope.  Perhaps the need for social support, self-efficacy and hope explains the popularity of family support groups and family workshops, which often involve providing peer support, ideas about how to handle various situations and hopefully - a message of hope. 
Read More
Sylvia Davis
Vital Information on Families, Mental Health Disorders and Violence to Be Presented by Multifaceted Panel
PHILADELPHIA (5/23/13) – A knowledgeable panel will share critically important information about the “complicated” relationship among families, mental health conditions and violence on Thursday, May 30, 2013, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment, Silberman Auditorium, 4200 Monument Road, Philadelphia. The free event – “Families, Mental Health Disorders & Violence: It’s Complicated! – The Mixed Roles of Family Members as Victims, Triggers, Early Warning Systems & Problem Solvers When It Comes to Violence by a Loved One” – including audience discussion, is sponsored by the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP).
Read More
Among 'unsung heroes' in mental health

Once suicidal, she empowers patients

Susan Rogers will receive Mental Health America's top award in June

Almost 40 years ago, Susan Rogers came to Philadelphia to kill herself.

She never dreamed that she would go on to spend 29 years here, improving opportunities for the mentally ill and showing what recovery can be.

She is now being recognized for her work by Mental Health America, which will give her its top honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, at its annual meeting next month.

Rogers, 66, is director of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse, which helps peer-run programs get started and thrive. She also directs special projects for the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, which pushes for better care.

Read More
Susan Rogers to receive Mental Health America's Highest Honor

Susan Rogers will receive the Clifford W. Beers Award at 2013 Annual Conference on June 7

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 7, 2013)—Mental Health America will present Susan Rogers of Philadelphia with its highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, for her leadership and service at the Awards Banquet of its 2013 Annual Conference, Why Wellness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health, on June 7 in National Harbor, MD.

Susan Rogers is Director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse (the Clearinghouse), a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is Director of Special Projects of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP).

Read More
Code Blue: Lifesaver on a frigid night

AS A SAX-PLAYING busker in Suburban Station ad-libbed his final bars, stores shuttered for the night Tuesday and two homeless-outreach workers scanned the underground concourse.


Mental Health Association outreach workers Jonathan Evans (left) and Stanley Crawley (right) talk with a homeless woman about shelter from the cold in the concourse of Suburban Station on Tuesday night.

The workers’ goal: Get any people out on the streets — or those hiding out in Suburban Station to avoid the bone-chilling cold — into a shelter. The wind chill was projected to dip to a dangerous 5 degrees.

Read More