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Vol. LVIII, No. 23
November 17, 2006

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The Next STEP on Science of Depression

As in past years, NIH employees will have an opportunity this fall for anonymous, confidential depression screening. What’s different this year is that NIMH and the Office of Extramural Research have joined forces both to raise awareness of the science behind this disabling but treatable disorder and to provide a service that could lead to improved mental health and better quality of life for interested NIH staff.

The OER effort—organized through its Staff Training in Extramural Programs (STEP)—will offer employees a half-day of lectures presented by world-renowned scientists on Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Lister Hill Auditorium, Bldg. 38A..

The STEP presentation—dubbed “Depression: Who Cares?”—will begin with an overview of the disorder then address topics ranging from the biological basis of depression and how symptoms affect teens and other populations differently to standard and alternative research-based treatments. It concludes with a panel discussion. Speakers will include Dr. Darrel Regier of the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education; Dr. Maurizio Fava of Harvard Medical School; Dr. Helen Mayberg of Emory University School of Medicine; Dr. Jeanne Miranda of UCLA Health Services Research Center; and Dr. David Shaffer of Columbia University Medical Center.

The next day, Wednesday, Dec. 13, NIMH and the Work/Life Center will offer employees who may be concerned about their own symptoms (or those of a loved one) a chance to visit any of the following sites on a walk-in basis from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m:

• NIH Work/Life Center Suite, Bldg. 31, Rm. B2B47

• Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Blvd., Rm. 6213A

• Bldg. 10 (to be announced)

The screening, which generally takes less than an hour, gives participants an opportunity to watch a 20-minute video about the signs and symptoms of mood disorders; complete an anonymous screening questionnaire; meet briefly with a mental health professional for results and treatment resources; or simply gather information.

Staff who cannot attend the Dec. 13 screening may contact the Employee Assistance Program to arrange for anonymous screenings throughout December in Bldg. 31 (phone 301-496-3164).

People whose native language is not English and who will visit the Bldg. 10 site may request an interpreter by contacting Andrea Rander or Maria Elena Guzman (301-496-1807, 301-496-2792) of the NIH Language Interpretation Program by Dec. 5.

To request sign-language interpretation or other reasonable accommodation for the STEP lecture or screening, call the Work/Life Center at (301) 435-1619 (TTY 301-480-0690) also by Dec. 5.

For information about the STEP presentation, contact Dr. Melissa Stick (301-496-8683,; for information about the screening, contact Sophia Glezos Voit (301-443-4533, NIH Record Icon

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