In the News

Spotlight: Anna Deveare Smith on Communicating and Connecting for Social Justice

Actress, playwright, and social justice activist Anna Deveare Smith has a rich history with Stanford University, including ten years as the Anna O’Day Maples Professor of the Arts in the Department of Drama.  Professor Smith came back to The Farm for part of last spring and summer at the invitation of Laura Roberts and Victor Carrion; her visit is covered in this piece.


The Silent Storm: Chinese American youth mental health

KTSF's five-part feature story explores the mental health problems of young people in the Chinese American community, including interviews with youth, parents, and mental health professionals.  Rona Hu, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Joanne Lee, resident in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, discuss stigma, expectations, and encourage parents to communicate with their offspring and not be afraid to seek help.   


HSR&D to Manage New Elizabeth Dole Center of Excellence for Veteran and Caregiver Research

The VA has announced funding for a new center of excellence to expand its capacity to deliver innovative, data-driven, and integrated approaches to improve services for Veterans and their caregivers. Managed by HSR&D, the first of its kind center will be named for Senator Elizabeth Dole in recognition of her national leadership and advocacy on behalf of the nation's 5.5 million military and Veteran caregivers. The Center consists of a multidisciplinary team that takes advantage of HSR&D's virtual network of nationally recognized VA investigators and their university affiliates. Ranak Trivedi, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and part of HSR&D's Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i), Palo Alto is part of the team of VA investigators that will lead the Center.


Congress is on the verge of a bipartisan opioid package. But experts have big concerns.

The U.S. Senate is poised to vote on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, a legislative package meant to address the opioid epidemic. Keith Humphreys, Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment.


Mental illness is all over TV — Here’s why that’s not always a good thing

This piece takes a case-by-case look at television portrayals of mental illness and where the programs went wrong. Keith HumphreysRona Hu, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; and Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provide comment here.


‘If this book is not expressing everything, what am I doing with my life?’

This feature profiles physician-author Daniel Mason, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.


Should school start later? Sleepy kids, logistics at odds as Gov. Brown weighs legislation

If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, SB328 would require public middle and high schools to start classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Rafael Pelayo, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this article.


Fidget spinners, weighted blankets, and the rise of anxiety consumerism

This piece explores the rising popularity of products designed to alleviate anxiety and compulsions. Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment here.


What's the evidence that supervised drug injection sites save lives?

In response to the opioid epidemic, several cities are considering creating supervised injection sites — spaces where people can, under supervision, inject heroin and use other drugs. This piece discusses the effectiveness of these sites and quotes Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.


The most essential books for wrapping your head around the opioid crisis

This piece highlights a selection of books about the opioid crisis and includes “Drug Dealer, MD,” written by Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and chief of the Stanford Addiction Dual Diagnosis Clinic.


Have drug overdose deaths peaked?

Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece on drug overdose fatalities.


“Minds Wide Open” Documentary Showcases a Hopeful Future for Brain Science

The Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute (TCCI) today announced the upcoming release of “Minds Wide Open,” the first documentary commissioned and produced by TCCI founders Tianqiao Chen and Chrissy Luo to showcase exciting advances and tantalizing opportunities in brain science. Featuring some of the world’s most innovative scientists and doctors, the film focuses on interdisciplinary work being done to unlock the mysteries of the human brain and help people whose lives are affected by brain disease and disorders. Among the scientists featured in the film are four faculty in our Department and members of the Stanford Neuroscience Institute at Stanford University - Laura Roberts, Karl Deisseroth, Sergiu Pasca, and Nolan Williams. Our gratitude to Brandon Gregg and Julie and Violet Walters for sharing their stories. The trailer and more information about the film can be viewed at: www.MindsWideOpenFilm.com


Lab-grown brain bits open windows to the mind — and a maze of ethical dilemmas

This piece details research and ethical considerations around lab-grown brain organoids. Sergiu Pasca, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted.


A med student gets a crash course in battle wounds and PTSD in ‘The Winter Soldier’

This review highlights a third novel written by Daniel Mason, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.


Is hypnosis real? Here’s what science says

David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor, is quoted in this article on hypnosis.


At a Crossroads: Medical Cannabis and Mental Health

With the shift toward cultural acceptance, it is important to keep in mind that cannabis has addictive potential and may exacerbate mental health problems, particularly among adolescents and emerging adults. Nancy Haug, Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, writes this piece.


Ketamine for depression: How the promising antidepressant drug appears to work like an opioid

Ketamine’s antidepressive effects require activation of opioid receptors in the brain, a new Stanford study shows. The surprising finding may alter how new antidepressants are developed and administered in order to mitigate the risk of opioid dependence. Alan Schatzberg, the Kenneth T. Norris Jr., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Carolyn Rodriguez, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, share senior authorship. Nolan Williams, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and Boris Heifets, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, share lead authorship. The research is highlighted in articles from Newsweek, Daily Mail (U.K.), Live Science, MDMag.com, Medscape, SFGate.com, TIME.com, Wired, NPR and others.

 


FDA pushes for development of non-opioid pain medications

The Food and Drug Administration is planning new steps to encourage the development of nonaddictive alternatives to opioid pain medications. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.


The 1968 Democratic Convention, 3D Printed Firearms, Questioning Marijuana Safety

More than half of states now allow marijuana for medical or recreational use, and the Pew Research center says more than half of Americans support such laws. This segment explored whether marijuana is the new Big Tobacco. Keith Humphreys was a guest.


Stanford psychiatrist focuses on mental health needs of Muslims

This blog post highlights a Q&A with Rania Awaad, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who uses her training in psychiatry and Islamic law to address the health needs of Muslims at Stanford and throughout the Bay Area.


State approves $15M for youth mental health centers

A yearslong effort to launch an open-to-all, one-stop-shop youth mental health clinic in Santa Clara County took a critical step forward on Thursday, securing $15 million in funding from the state's Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission.  The clinic is the product of a partnership between Santa Clara County and Stanford University's Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing.  

This topic was also covered on KCBS in a radio interview with Steven Adelsheim.


Cannabis-use dependency: Not just blowing smoke

Keith Humphreys was a guest in this episode that discussed whether cannabis is addictive.  


Teen intensive outpatient program to expand

An intensive outpatient program run by Stanford Children's Health and the non-profit Children's Health Council is expected to double its capacity. Michele Berk, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is a co-leader.


We're failing in the opioid crisis. A new study shows a more serious approach would save lives.

A new mathematical model examines how policy interventions could affect opioid-related deaths. Even in the best case, these approaches could save on 6,000 lives over 10 years, the research estimates. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, was a co-author along with colleagues from the School of Engineering. The work is featured in pieces by Vox, Healio and a Stanford Medicine press release.  


Safe injection sites were thought to reduce drug overdoses. The research isn’t so clear.

In response to the opioid epidemic, several cities are considering creating supervised drug consumption sites — spaces where people can, under supervision, inject heroin and use other drugs. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment in this piece.


Researchers identify key brain circuits for reward-seeking and avoidance behavior

Conducted in mice, the new study may help untangle multiple psychiatric conditions, including alcohol use disorder, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and depression in humans. William Giardino, postdoctoral research fellow, and Luis de Lecea, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences are featured.


Drug overdoses hit a record high in 2017

Synthetic drugs, including fentanyl, are driving the overdose death rates to record levels nationwide. Keith Humphreys is quoted in this article.


America’s invisible pot addicts

As marijuana legalization spreads, some Americans are struggling to reduce or stop using pot. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, provides comment here. Humphreys is also quoted in a Daily Mail (U.K.) article on edible cannabis products and the use of social media sites to market and sell them.


Life on the border: Back at Stanford, ready to pitch in

Laila Soudi, project lead for the Stanford Refugee Research Project, has been documenting her experience traveling among Syrian refugees in the Middle East. In this final piece, she reflects on her travels near the Syrian border and the project’s future.


Cancer patients using alternative medicine may skip some standard care

Cancer patients who used alternative, non-medical therapies may be more likely to forgo recommended medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, according to a new study. David Spiegel, the Jack, Samuel and Lulu Willson Professor, was not involved with the research and provides comment here.


Better health might depend on a good night’s sleep

This article discusses the importance of sleep for good health, especially for older adults. Maurice Ohayon, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Sleep Epidemiology Research Center, is quoted.


Rash of overdoses show dangers of powerful synthetic drugs

Synthetic drugs, including fentanyl, are driving the overdose death rates to record levels nationwide. Keith Humphreys, the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is quoted in this article.


Serotonin revived as a possible target for autism treatments

Social behavior in mouse models of autism spectrum disorder normalized when investigators triggered the release of a specific signaling substance, serotonin, in a single part of the animals’ brains, according to a recent Stanford study. Senior author Rob Malenka, the Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and deputy director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, is quoted in this article.


Typical kid behavior or a mental-health problem? It can be hard to decide.

Mental-health challenges are a serious - and growing - problem for teenagers. This piece examines how parents can recognize if their behavior is normal or something more serious. Steven Adelsheim, clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing, is quoted.


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