News, Newsletter

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“Scream” from PROJECT FIRE
It’s more than ok to get angry, it’s part of being really alive!
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Quote of the week:

“I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”

— J.K. Rowling

Breaking News


Ryan Calls for Mental Health Overhaul After Planned Parenthood Shooting as reported in The Wall Street Journal by Kristina Peterson

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said Tuesday that Congress should respond to last week’s shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic by overhauling the country’s mental-health system.

“The common theme with these types of shootings is mental illness,” Mr. Ryan told reporters Tuesday. “We should make this a priority to prevent the violence and to protect our citizens.”


I am all for over hauling the Mental Health system. I agree that easier access to mental health services, better prevention programs and a real parity law that sees psychiatric conditions as medical problems would be in everybody’s best interest. I don’t think, however, that equating mental illness and violence is the right message, nor is it in anyway accurate. It is only a very small fraction of people who are violent and also have issues with mental health. Equating the two is nonsensical. While it may be true that Mr. Dears has a mental illness it is not at all clear that he would have availed himself of services nor does it seem plausible that he could have been committed against will to a psychiatric hospital. I don’t believe he thought he had a problem. In fact one would like to think that people who have a history of assault would have closer scrutiny about buying weapons. The issue for me is about how easy it is to access to assault weapons—actually it is easier to purchase a state of the art assault rifle then it is to access state of the art mental health services.

Michael Hollander PhD and Board of Directors, PROJECT 375


When mass shooters strike, speculation about their mental health is always highlighted. We seem to believe that violent behavior is connected to mental illness. And if the behavior is sensationally violent—as in mass shootings—the perpetrator must certainly have been sick. But a large majority of people with mental disorders will never engage in violence against others, and more often than not, most violent behavior is due to factors other than mental illness. I like that fact that House Speaker Paul Ryan is calling for an overhaul, and has pointed to legislation from Rep. Tim Murphy (R., Pa.) to authorize an early-intervention program as part of the bill. Many mental illnesses appear during adolescence. It is when the mental illness is undetected and untreated early enough that negative consequences, like self-medication, risky behaviors, suicidal ideation/attempt, criminal acts, etc. occur. Getting to these issues early and effectively I think we help solve this misconceptions of gun violence and its correlation to mental health, ultimately eradicating the stigma surrounding it.

– Carissa Johnson, Director of Operations at PROJECT 375

Real Chat: Let’s talk about it

We are so excited to bring you another installment of REAL CHATS! This week’s story is an interview between Brandon Marshall and Child Mind Institute President, Dr. Harold Koplewicz. This was featured in the Huffington Post Lifestyle section on Wednesday, December 2.

Brandon Marshall: How do mental health challenges affect children in school, and affect our teachers’ ability to teach?

Harold Koplewicz: If you can’t sit still and you can’t focus, if you’re too anxious and worried to pay attention, if you’re too sad to have enough energy, it’s going to interfere with your success in school. And if you go to school and experience failure on a regular basis, after a while you’re going to want to tune out or escape. That’s one of the reasons kids with mental health disorders drop out of high school more often than other kids.

And one child who can’t function well, who’s not following the teacher’s lead, can distract and disrupt a whole class. I don’t think teachers need to be diagnosticians or mental health professionals—but I do think they have to be part of the mental health care “team.” If they know the signs and symptoms of mental health and learning disorders, they can identify kids who may need help and raise their concerns with parents and school support staff.

Find the full Real Chat here.

For more details or to get involved, contact Emily Thieme at

Want More?

Community mental health cuts tied to spike in ER visits as reported by FOX NEWS HEALTH Reuters

“Unfortunately, resources to help these vulnerable patients are frequently the target of funding cuts,” said lead author Dr. Arica Nesper, who worked on the research while at the University of California, Davis. “We aimed to describe this effect on our emergency department and the care provided to our patients.”

The researchers decided to conduct the study after noticing more patients were coming into their ER with mental health needs after the adjacent county mental health treatment center downsized, Nesper told Reuters Health by email. Specifically, the center cut the number of its inpatient beds in half and eliminated its outpatient services in October 2009.

Kids with dogs shown to have less anxiety than petless peers

A group of researchers from the Bassett Medical Center of Cooperstown, New York released a new study that suggests that children with pet dogs do not suffer as much anxiety as children who do not own any pets.

“We studied children with dogs because that was the most common pet and allowed us to collect a large sample of children,” said lead author Dr. Anne Gadomski. “What we actually found was children from homes with pet dogs had lower anxiety scores than children in homes with no pet dog.” …continued

Psychotherapy by emoji: Mental health community wrestles with texting

Dr. Carlene MacMillan was at a garden party in Brooklyn when the text message appeared on her phone. The sender was alone, in a hotel room, unable to stop thinking about killing herself with an overdose, and she was sending an electronic plea for help.

MacMillan is used to this kind of urgent message. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist at New York University, she relies on texting alongside pills and talk therapy to coax her patients from the brink of mental breakdown. “For them, picking up the phone and making a phone call is quite foreign,” MacMillan said. “They definitely prefer texting, and I see my job as forming an alliance with them.” …continued

For more mental health in the news visit our NEWS page.

Get involved


You can still support our Growing PROJECT 375 PROJECT PREVENT – it’s not too late to give! 100% of your donation will go toward creating and distributing PROJECT 375’s PROJECT PREVENT Mindful Putty. This effort to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness and disorders is focused on increasing awareness and the mental health conversation with boys and men. 100% of your donation will go toward creating and distributing Mindful Putty.

The putty features our Crazy Stigma Green. It is a pliable putty packaged with evidenced-based mindfulness tips and resources to ensure boys and men alike are comfortable having a conversation about and addressing their needs regarding mental health. Please donate today.


Our next ambassador conference call is on December 9, 2015 at 10AM CST. Join the call and be a PROJECT 375 ambassador. Dial in: 605-562-0020 Code: 631-749-380


PROJECT 375 is excited to debut our newest thank-you gift t-shirts featuring our Crazy Stigma Green Mind Over Matter. Donate $35.00 and choose to receive our newest I Am Aware Mind Over Matter graphic t-shirt as your thank-you gift.

 The Facts

  • SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a mood disorder that affects an individual the same time each year, usually starting when the weather becomes colder in September or October, and ends in April or May when the weather becomes warmer. (

  • SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain. Such medications include antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.   (

  • Although not as common, a second type of seasonal affective disorder known as summer depression can occur in individuals who live in warmer climates. Their depression is related to heat and humidity, rather than light.  (

  • Even though the harsh chill in the air might bring you down, SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature. (

In case you missed it:

You can check out The Chatter, Volume 17 here.


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