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Nov 08
2010

The Icarus Project

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Science , rights , research , medicine , media , lifestyle , Ideas , healthcare , Health , drugs , disability , current events , chemicals , author , art , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Icarus Project has become an outspoken advocacy organization for the idea of "radical mental health. Co-founder Jacks McNamara explains how they define that concept.

Radical mental health asks if being "different" is something that requires treatment, or can sometimes be recognized as just a different way of being. need not be seen or treated as a mental illness, argues Artist and poet Jacks McNamara argues that her bi-polar disorder should be seen as a "dangerous gift," something to cherish and to be wary of.

The art and poetry of Jacks McNamara, as well as her personal history as told in her own words, forms the subject matter for the short film, Crooked Beauty, by  Ken Rosenthal. Here is a trailer for the film.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgAaIBlq-cs 360x240]

Now that the Icarus Project is eight years old, and well established across the country and beyond, McNamara says she is now turning more of her energies toward nurturing a new class of leaders and advocates to take the organization on to its next level.

Sep 20
2010

Mad MDs

Posted by Bruce Robinson in waste , speaker , Santa Rosa , rights , poverty , policy , media , legislation , healthcare , Health , government , finances , economy , Congress , business , activism

Bruce Robinson

mad_as_hell_doctors_button.jpgNo one has a better first-hand view of the problems with this country’s health care system than the doctors who work in it, a vantage point that has made some of them “mad as hell” about it.

 

hochfeld.jpgAs a strong advocate for a single payer health care system, Dr. Paul Hochfeld had hopes that the federal health care reform debate this year would lead to some major improvements. When the final bill was passed, however, he was deeply disappointed. madashelllbus.jpgFrom his position inside the current system, Dr. Hochfeld recognizes the power of the fiscal incentives to provide maximized, specialized care during the final few weeks or days of a patient's life. Yet he argues, it is widely acknowledged that this approach is both highly expensive, and often contrary to the comfort and well-being of the patient.
 
[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvw3Wew__YA 360x240]
 
hmf.jpeg You can find out more about Dr. Hochfeld and his film at his website.
Sep 09
2010

Ethnic Mental Health

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sonoma County , research , policy , nonprofit orgs , international , healthcare , Health , education , children , California

Bruce Robinson
Different cultures deal with mental illness quite differently, which poses a significant challenge to mental health service providers in an area such as Sonoma County, with extensive multicultural subpopulations.
 
One of the challenges in tailoring mental heath services to  meet the needs of a particular cultural group, says Rosemary Milbrath, Director of the Sonoma County chapter of the National Association on Mental Illness, is first defining exactly who that population is.
 
One of the goals of mental health service providers, Milbrath adds, is developing early intervention measures to anticipate and counter some of the stresses that may cause problems later in life. She lauds the Redwood Empire Chinese Association for their proactive prorams in that area.
Aug 26
2010

Chocolate

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , Science , research , international , history , Health , food , education , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Chocolate is at least 3000 years old, and we have the ancient Mayans to thank for it. By way of the conquistadors, that is.

There is tantalizing historical evidence showing that the Mayans were quite creative in their use of chocolate, and the flavor combinations they developed, but archeo-ethno-botany researcher Kirsten Tripplett (left) , says few details of their actual recipes have survived.

Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes was probably the first European to taste chocolate, and it was he who first exported some back to his homeland.

 

Dark or milk chocolate? Many people have a distinct personal preference, but Tripplett says it’s clear which type is better for us.

 

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