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October 10, 2002

WPIC schedules programs on depression

UPMC Health System’s Depression Prevention Program will present a special program on National Depression Screening Day today, Oct. 10, 6:30 – 8 p.m. “Depression: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know,” debuts as the first in a series of health information presentations on depression in the Gillespie Room of the Carnegie Library in Oakland.

Presenters will talk about depression and its available treatments, and clinicians will be available to provide free, confidential screenings. UPMC specialists will repeat the presentation Oct. 21 and Nov. 7. Additional presentations will be announced later.

More than 17 million Americans have depression in any given year, but fewer than half ever seek treatment.

These free educational presentations will focus on the signs and symptoms of depression, including: feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, or difficulty eating, sleeping or concentrating for several weeks. Individuals will learn who gets depressed and why, and how one goes about seeking treatment. Medication therapy, talk therapy and support groups also will be discussed.

Ellen Frank, professor of psychiatry and psychology, and Andrea Fagiolini, assistant professor of psychiatry, both at Pitt’s School of Medicine, will present the first program.

Frank has been the director of the UPMC Depression Prevention Program since 1984 and is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of depression. She has published more than 200 articles that have appeared in national magazines such as Reader’s Digest and Ladies Home Journal and scientific publications such as the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Fagiolini is a member of the educational committee of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders. Focusing primarily in research on drug treatments for mood disorders, Fagiolini also is a full-time psychiatrist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

The second presentation, featuring Fagiolini and Joan Buttenfield, senior program coordinator of the UPMC Depression Prevention Program, will be held Oct. 21, 2 – 3:30 p.m., at the Carnegie Library in Squirrel Hill.

Buttenfield’s main interest is in researching the treatment of mood disorders.

The third presentation, Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m., will be held at the Carnegie Library in Mt. Washington. Presenters will be Ellen Frank and Alan Mallinger, professor of psychiatry at Pitt’s medical school.

Mallinger is medical director of the Maintenance Therapies in Bipolar Disorder study and is an authority on the use of medications in patients with mood disorders.

The Carnegie Libraries are wheelchair accessible. People needing further accommodations, including sign language interpretation or alternative formats, should call as far in advance as possible.

To register for the presentations, call 1-877/624-4100.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 35 Issue 4

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