Tags >> research
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

Local Businesses

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sonoma County , research , policy , nonprofit orgs , jobs , Ideas , government , finances , employment , economy , community , business , author

Bruce Robinson
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Small businesses have a disproportionately big impact on the local economy, especially when it comes to creating jobs. But public policy has been slow to recognize that. The need for changes was a central theme at Monday's Smart Growth Symposium, presented the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy.



ms.jpgOn the global economic playing field, the ongoing tug-of-war between local business and corporate giants can be distilled into competing views of how capitalism should work, explains Mike Shuman, Director for Research and Economic Development for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He likes to think of them as two quite different women.


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Many consumers are already aware of and acting on the desirability of directing their spending toward local businesses. But few give much thought to taking the same approach with their retirement accounts and other investments. Shuman explains how some of the long-standing obstacles to doing that are beginning to go away.
 
Sep 19
2010

Extinct Clover

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , West County , research , rescue , preservation , open space , Marin , environment , education , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

The number of plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered is almost constantly growing. But only rarely does a species that was thought to be extinct make a come-back to join the endangered list. This is the story of just such a recovery, in the coastal hills of the North Bay.

It's now been a little more than 17 years since Connors made that first surprising discovery, but he clearly remembers the surprise and concern that accompanied that moment.

 Finding that single specimen in the first place was an enormous stroke of good fortune, Connors readily admits, and the fact that it survived to bear seeds seems nothing short of miraculous. Because even after he surrounded it with an improvised wire cage to protect the clover from hungry herbivores, it still narrowly escaped two nearly fatal encounters with inattentive humans, just in a mater of days. Connors recalls thatfortunatley it was his practice to stop by and check on the plant every other morning that late summer.

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That first specimen, found on an inland hillside west of Occidental, has not reappeared, but three years later,Connors found a second wild patch of the same clover, growing on a coastal bluff in Marin county. That population, seen in the photograph at right, remains vital, in part because it lies on private property where it is less likely to be overrun by hikers or other visitors.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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.
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