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MHA's Blog: Chiming In

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Posted: September 5, 2013

Trauma has come up a lot in this blog. Movies use it, and grief, as a quick way to create tension and conflict in plots. Some works handle it better than others (in particular, Iron Man 3), and others mention it in passing. However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the first time I’ve seen it used so effectively. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the story of Charlie, a freshman in high school. He is uncomfortable and out of place. However, he becomes friends with a group of seniors who...

Comments: 31 Comments
Posted: August 30, 2013

The movie A Dangerous Method focuses on one specific aspect of psychology, the early years of psychoanalysis. The interaction between the well-known psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung was seminal in the creation of the new discipline. What the movie looks at is the importance of two other, less famous colleagues, Sabrina Spielrein and Otto Gross, who were influential at the beginning of the movement. The movie focuses on Sabina Spielrein, a young woman admitted to Burghölzli, the famous...

Comments: 6 Comments
Posted: August 23, 2013

Prozac Nation is a movie that’s been on my Netflix Queue for a long time. It’s been one of  those movies that keeps getting pushed down when something more interesting comes up, with the reasoning that I’ll get to it eventually. I wish I hadn’t gotten to it. It’s one of the more infuriating movies I’ve seen in a long time, and that’s not a good thing. Prozac Nation is based on Elizabeth Wertzel’s book of the same name, about her mental health breakdown during her first year at Harvard....

Comments: 6 Comments
Posted: August 15, 2013

We’ve talked about how grief translates to film well, and how it dominates the discussion of mental health in American pop culture. The cinematic qualities of loss were easy to define and understand, so the emotion took hold as an appropriate topic for important movies. Many of those movies don’t have anything new to say about it. However, every so often, one does, and Ordinary People is one of those movies. By focusing on one family member’s grief and showing how it ripples through the other...

Comments: 19 Comments
Posted: August 11, 2013

Debbie Plotnick, Mental Health America’s Senior Director of State Policy, will speak at Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research Panel on the Affordable Care Act on Saturday, November 16, from 2:00 – 5:00 pm. Other panelists are: Michael Campbell, JD, Director, Villanova University Law School Health Clinic, and Koyuki Yip, of the Public Policy Department of the Maternity Care Coalition. Moderator of the panel is Darlyne Bailey, Dean of Bryn Mawr’s Graduate School...

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Posted: August 8, 2013

Dr. Frasier Crane has been overlooked in the last few years, but for many people, Kelsey Grammer’s psychiatrist was the mental health professional they knew best. For some, he might have been the only one. Through Cheers and its spin-off Frasier, he brought the good natured doctor (and some genuine mental health knowledge) to TV for 22 years. The show Frasier is set after Cheers finished, moving Dr. Crane to Seattle. There, he lives with father Martin, a blue collar former cop injured on the...

Comments: 26 Comments
Posted: August 1, 2013

I finally watched the worst movie yet for this blog, The Caveman’s Valentine. I’ve watched movies I thought would be terrible but were better than anticipated (A Beautiful Mind), and movies that I thought would be good but were just terrible (Girl Interrupted), but wow. This just takes the cake. The Caveman’s Valentine is an indie movie from 2001 (I thought it was from the ‘90s) that stars Samuel L. Jackson as Romulus Ledbetter, a former Julliard student who dropped out when his (presumed)...

Comments: 15 Comments
Posted: July 25, 2013

Does familiarity with a story dim its effects on a person?If over 400 years have passed since its creation, can a play still encourage a person to self-harm?With William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it seems that question is still very open. The numerous movies made of the story help keep it in the public consciousness, like Baz Lurhmann’s 1996 adaptation, Romeo+Juliet. The play centers on Romeo and Juliet, two young lovers from warring families who fall in love at a party.  After...

Comments: 6 Comments
Posted: July 18, 2013

Perception, the TNT television show, has an interesting hook. The main character, Dr. Daniel Pierce, is a neuroscientist who assists the FBI with cases. He also has paranoid schizophrenia. Instead of making him an empty shell of nervous tics, the show makes Dr. Pierce a fully formed person. Entering its second season, Perception focuses on Dr. Pierce, played wonderfully by Eric McCormack, and Agent Kate Moretti, played by Rachel Leigh Cook. She’s a former student of his who brings him in to...

Comments: 9 Comments
Posted: May 7, 2013

As you may have heard, sequestration resulted in the cancellation of funding of consumer scholarships to Mental Health America’s 2013 Annual Conference, Why Welllness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health, June 5-8, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland In the past, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provided funding for people with mental health and substance use conditions to attend Mental...

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Posted: April 25, 2013

By David Granirer, Counselor, Stand-Up Comic, and Founder of Stand Up For Mental Health (David Granirer will present during Mental Health America's 2013 Annual Conference at The Clifford Beers Awards Dinner). Most people think you have to be nuts to do stand-up comedy. I offer it as a form of therapy. And it’s not as crazy as it seems. Stand Up For Mental Health is my program where I teach stand-up comedy to people with mental health issues as a way of building confidence, promoting recovery...

Comments: 7 Comments
Posted: March 4, 2013

The nation must build on the attention given mental health that has followed the Newtown tragedy by deploying a public health response and implementing scientific advances that can prevent, identify and effectively treat mental illnesses, leaders of Mental Health America assert in the March issue of the journal Health Affairs. In “After Newtown: Mental  Illness And Violence,” Wayne W. Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America, and David Shern, Ph.D.,...

Comments: 7 Comments

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