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Press Room

Media Relations Contact

Jessica Pratt
Data & Communications Manager
Phone: 503-515-6884


August 13, 2018 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Online Curriculum Will Preserve Historical Lessons for Next Gen Health Professionals

Following the successful release of the documentary, Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution, filmmaker Lucy Winer has teamed up with critically acclaimed author and historian, Nancy Tomes, PhD, to create a groundbreaking digital learning site aimed at the mental health care community, with special focus on those going into the healthcare profession.

Believing in the power of personal narratives to shift attitudes and inspire positive change, the site is called Unlocked: Stories of Public Mental Health Care. Rooted in the wealth of first-person narratives Lucy has filmed over the years with people who, like herself, had firsthand experience of Kings Park State Hospital, the site puts a human face on the past and its impact today.

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August 8, 2018 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Social Network Study Underway in One of New York’s First Episode Psychosis Programs: OnTrackNY at MHA Westchester

(Westchester, NY) – The New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) at Columbia University, in collaboration with the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Westchester is conducting a study to evaluate the feasibility of offering Social Network Meetings to individuals enrolled in New York State’s first episode psychosis program, OnTrackNY. The study is supported by a grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care.

These Social Network Meetings are derived from the Need-Adapted Treatment and Open Dialogue models and view psychotic disorders as heterogeneous, requiring individualistic treatment. These models integrate an individual’s social network throughout the entire treatment process and provide a consistent treatment team throughout the person’s recovery.

This study is open to all English speaking OnTrackNY clients (ages 16-30) and family members of their choosing.

Over the last three months, researchers have enrolled three individuals and their families into the social network arm of this the study. All of these participants have been offered at least one social network meeting and our first set of participants have had regular social network meetings since enrolling in May.

The study team is exploring ways to increase enrollment and will be focusing enrollment efforts on individuals who are newly entering the OnTrackNY program. The study team hopes that by offering social network meetings within the OnTrackNY program that individuals will receive enhanced social support allowing them to make greater strides toward reaching their recovery goals.

Principal Investigator

Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH

Edna L. Edison Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center

Director, Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research & Center for Practice Innovations

New York State Psychiatric Institute

1051 Riverside Drive, Box 100, Room 2702 New York, NY  10032

Follow me on twitter @lisabdixon


Editor, Psychiatric Services

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Listen to the podcast, Psychiatric Services From Pages to Practice

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August 5, 2018 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Micronutrient Study Actively Recruiting Eligible Children in Oregon, Ohio and Alberta, Canada

Oregon Health & Science University Collaborates with The Ohio State University and University of Lethbridge to Trial Micronutrients for Children with ADHD

(Portland, OR) – The first North American trial of a 36-ingredient micronutrient formula is underway at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), The Ohio State University (OSU) and at University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. In only three months of recruiting, the Micronutrients in ADHD Youth (MADDY) Study has enrolled 40 participants among the three sites, nearly one-third of our target number. All three sites are actively recruiting eligible children to participate. The children must be off of psychotropic medication for at least two weeks prior to starting the study to meet entrance criteria. The study is supported by a grant from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care.

Children, ages 6-12 years of age, who have ADHD and some irritable mood symptoms are participating in an 8-week randomized controlled trial. During this phase, they will receive either the active product or a matching placebo. Neither the participants’ families nor the clinicians will know which one. After 8 weeks, all the children are eligible to receive the active product for a further eight weeks.  We are collecting data on the children’s mood and behavior at baseline and comparing their reports at the end of the treatment. We are also collecting blood, urine, stool, hair and saliva to begin looking at the biological basis for why some children benefit from taking the micronutrients and others do not. The MADDY Study is based on the research from Dr. Julia Rucklidge’s lab in New Zealand in which she found that the children with ADHD and irritable, angry moods reported the most benefit from the treatment.

Several of the families who have completed the initial 8 weeks report significant improvements in their child’s functioning. While we don’t know which pills they were taking (active or placebo), it is encouraging to hear the positive stories of improvement in mood and attention, reduced anger and an ability to get along better with friends. We hope to complete MADDY recruitment by early 2019.


Jeanette Johnstone, MFT, PhD 

Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Researcher

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Oregon Health & Science University

Micronutrients in ADHD Youth, The MADDY Study for The MADDY Study

(503) 494-3700 voice mail

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July 28, 2018 by Shannon Hughes, PhD

Fort Collins Research Collaborative Recruiting for Second Test Group of Novel Program

The Fort Collins-based Learning and Self-development Collaborative grant project is midway through supporting its first group of young adults experiencing mood-related distress. It is also actively recruiting for the second group, scheduled to start in late August.

Nearly three-quarters of the young adults in the first group have prior mood disorder diagnoses and have tried psychiatric medications like antidepressants. However, the ineffectiveness and intolerable side effects of the drugs had left them searching for an alternative way forward when they decided to enroll in the Learning and Self-development Collaborative. These young adults are currently medication-free and their outcomes on mood distress, social connectedness, empowerment, and quality of life at six months will be compared to other young adults receiving usual care and daily psychiatric medications in the community.

An initial focus group with participants revealed a number of themes related to young adults’ past experiences with seeking help. Participants discussed feeling frustrated by one-size-fits-all solutions, such as drugs and mindfulness techniques, and invalidated by counselors who failed to connect with their experiences.  Lack of information about prescribed drugs was frequently brought up by participants who also shared various stories of “chemical imbalance” and drugs “re-training the brain to relax” told to them by doctors and therapists.

Findings from pre-program focus groups are being used to help inform the content and delivery of educational material in the Learning and Self-development Collaborative.

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December 12, 2017 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

MindFreedom International Will Use Advocacy Training to Aid Mental Health Recovery & Change Public Discourse

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                         December 12, 2017


(Wilsonville, OR) – MindFreedom International, headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, will create web-based resources designed to empower, inspire and give individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges the skills they need to be effective leaders in the community. This online resource will draw on the collective wisdom of its members and affiliates, most of whom identify as psychiatric survivors, and include two webinar trainings, a series of videos and a pocket handbook.

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November 30, 2017 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Filmmaker and Historian Team Up to Change How Mental Health Care is Taught, Practiced

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                         November 30, 2017

(Wilsonville, OR) – Award-winning director/producer Lucy Winer has teamed up with author and Distinguished Professor of History Nancy Tomes at Stony Brook University to create an innovative digital learning site for health care students and professionals. The site will consist of an extensive video archive and online curriculum that aims to build awareness of the past and instill attitudes and values essential to a mental health care system grounded in the principles of recovery.

“This project is important because it will allow residents the opportunity to look at and discuss issues that are often not included in psychiatric training. These profound glimpses into the past highlight how our mental health care system has evolved and underscore the importance of building a future where patient-centered and recovery-oriented care is central to the work we do as mental health providers,” said Melissa Arbuckle, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Education and Director of Resident Education in the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University.

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November 24, 2017 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Award-Winning Columbia Med Center Psychiatrist Lisa Dixon Secures New Grant for Care Innovation

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                         November 24, 2017

(Wilsonville, OR) – Principal investigator Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services & Policy Research and the Center for Practice Innovations at the New York State Psychiatric Institute will head up a new project to test enhancing one site of the OnTrackNY program with family engagement and support services which draw on the Needs Adapted and Open Dialogue models with the goal of improving treatment and recovery outcomes.

Photo of Lisa Dixon, MD

Lisa Dixon, MD

OnTrackNY was developed to treat young adults within two years of experiencing an episode of psychosis. The project is a collaboration with OnTrackNY at The Mental Health Association of Westchester and will be the latest adaptation of the Finnish Open Dialogue model to be tested in the United States. It will offer a family therapy option that brings together the person at the center of concern and members of their social network to navigate crises and assist in treatment planning.

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November 17, 2017 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

Fort Collins Doctor Teams Up with CSU Professor to Test New Options for Young People in Distress

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                         November 17, 2017


(Wilsonville, OR) – Principal investigator Dr. Shannon Hughes at the Colorado State University School of Social Work will collaborate with psychiatrist Scott Shannon at The Wholeness Center, an innovative mental health clinic in Fort Collins, to test a novel, 4-month program aimed at helping young adults, aged 18-26, understand and navigate their mental health challenges without psychiatric labels or medications.

Headshot of Shannon Hughes, PhD

Shannon Hughes, PhD

They aim to shift conversation away from an exclusively medical understanding of mental and emotional distress towards a holistic, self-development approach that values body, mind, social connections, and spirituality. Over the course of the program, these young people will learn about emotional distress and a variety of proven non-medical approaches for working through it, participate in peer support groups, receive counseling on nutrition and lifestyle, and explore opportunities to form social connections in the community through activities such as art, sports and clubs.

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November 10, 2017 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

OHSU psychologist wins Foundation grant to study micronutrient treatment of ADHD in young people

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                         FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                         November 10, 2017


(Wilsonville, OR) – Principal investigator Jeanette Johnstone, PhD, Instructor & Licensed Psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University will head up an 8-week randomized controlled trial to evaluate the use of a broad-spectrum micronutrient to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in young people. The treatment consists of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants and the study is the first of its kind based in North America.

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October 27, 2017 by Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care

EXCELLENCE congratulates winners of its 2017 Expanding the Science and Practice of Recovery Care grants

Contact: Jessica Pratt                                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Communications Manager                                                            October 27, 2017


(Wilsonville, OR) – The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care is pleased to announce the awards for this year’s Expanding the Science and Practice of Recovery-Based Mental Health Care and Supports grants. These one-year grants of up to $100,000 were selected for their vision and promise to effect cultural and system change, care innovation, and “slow psychiatry”, especially as these impact the lives of children.

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