Author Archives: Evander Lomke

Happy Birthday Dr. William Van Ornum!

The board of directors wish a Happy Birthday today—and many more—to Dr. William Van Ornum. As readers of this blog know, Dr. Van Ornum contributes selflessly to the organization. His intelligence, culture, and wit grace these pages and all endeavors of the Foundation. As the head of research and development, as well as the publishing […]

Controversy Surrounding “Bully”

Controversy swirls around the Motion Picture Association of America “R” rating of Bully. AMHF has earlier blogged on the epidemic of bullying. In principle and logically, AMHF underscores that Cinematherapy begins with the prudent liberty to watch. Currently forbidden by the M.P.A.A. rating, young people—victims and those who target their peers—need to absorb this sensitive-sounding […]

American Mental Health Foundation Bylaws

BY LAWS OF AMERICAN MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION, INC. ARTICLE I Section 1. The name of the Association is American Mental Health Foundation, Inc. ARTICLE II Section 1. The object of this Association is to promote, advance, promulgate, perform or carry out, enter into, cultivate, establish and organize scientific research and studies in the field of […]

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Charly” (1968)

This is the fifth of twenty-one films in the AMHF series of blogs. Charly is a controversial film, about mental retardation and psychiatry. The central controversy revolves around the question, “What is a human being?” Are individuals challenged by developmental delays “to be cured?” Are they not soulful, “whole individuals”? What would be the role […]

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the fourth of twenty-one films under review by AMHF in relation to its mission. Of all the films covered or to be covered, it is unique. One, it is pure science fiction with a wholly supernatural element. Two, the psychiatrist is a minor character and himself winds up a […]

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)

On May 2, 2012, it will be sixty-five years since release of Miracle on 34th Street. But the film is hardly ready for retirement. It is one of twenty-one movies identified by AMHF for discussion relevant to the Foundation mission statement. Released one year before Dr. Stefan de Schill assumed directorship of research at AMHF, […]

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Now, Voyager” (1942)

Now, Voyager is the second “psychiatry film” in this series of blogs on movies with themes or characters that are relevant to the mission of AMHF. Released almost seventy years ago (October 22, 1942), Now, Voyager, which gets its title from lines in a poem by Walt Whitman (“The Untold Want”), was something of a […]

Stefan de Schill Death Anniversary

It is difficult for the board members of AMHF to believe that today is seven years since the passing of long-time director of research Dr. Stefan de Schill. De Schill was one of the foremost proponents of group therapy in North America. He recognized that psychotherapy—particularly of the modality he spent a lifetime studying and […]

Psychiatry Films from AMHF: “Don Juan DeMarco” (1995)

Of the twenty-one films referenced in this blog, Don Juan DeMarco is the first I will discuss. Psychiatrist Jack Mickler (Marlon Brando) dissuades a would-be suicide—a 21-year-old, costumed like Zorro claiming he is Don Juan (Johnny Depp)—is held for a ten-day review in a mental institution. Mickler, who is about to retire, insists on doing […]

Four More Films to Look For

In addition to the seventeen films related to psychiatry posted on this blog, I have been reminded of four others (though technically, one of the four is a series): Crime Doctor (1943; series 1940s) An Angel at My Table (1990) Girl, Interrupted (1999) The Bell Jar (1979, 2013?)

The Meaning of Happy Holidiays

Pope Benedict VI decries the increasing commercialization of Christmas. Indeed, readers of this blog remember that among the films with a strong psychological component, listed in a recent posting, is Miracle on 34th Street. This 1947 classic, though “AMHF-blog worthy” being about the workings of a therapist and a HRD “personality tester,” primarily takes up […]

The Heart Too Long Suppressed

I came across this memoir (with its compelling title, somewhat reminiscent of the work of Clarice Lispector) upon learning its author, Carol Hebald, had been awarded (six years before) the same fellowship I had been given as an undergraduate. The foreword is by iconoclast Thomas Stephen Szasz, known for his anti-traditional “anti-views” of psychotherapy. In […]

Happy Birthday Thea Lucas!

The board of directors sends greetings and best wishes to the loyal and brainy Thea Lucas, long-time secretary of The American Mental Health Foundation. The foundation owes Ms. Lucas a debt for her service, specifically to the late Dr. Stefan de Schill, as well as to the entire organization, which can never be compensated. Ms. […]

Seventeen Films Related to Psychiatry

The directors and staff of AMHF have discussed a blog, or series of more in-depth blogs, related to films featuring mental health as a central theme. Most of the following seventeen Hollywood movies from various eras (and therefore reflecting their respective times), as well as in a range of genres, include psychiatrists, “mental-health physicians”/neurologists/psychiatric neurologists, […]

Arthur Miller, “The Crucible,” and Friend of AMHF Madeleine Sherwood

One thing I enjoy about published play-scripts is the inclusion of the opening-night cast. I have recently acquired an edition of The Crucible, and on page 147, fourth cast member “in order of appearance,” is Madeleine Sherwood as Abigail Williams. The drama opened in New York City on January 22, 1953. This play thematically combines […]

Epilepsy Awareness

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. I want to take a few words to reflect on this baffling, often-misunderstood condition, especially within the mental-health profession. Epilepsy has been known since ancient times. In the New Testament, Jesus cures an epileptic, recommending fasting and prayer. Such might be the genesis of the ketogenic diet, developed since […]

American Mental Health Foundation Annual Report November 1, 2011

American Mental Heath Foundation Annual Report November 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011 This is the first Annual Report on the American Mental Health Foundation, a research organization founded in 1924, incorporated in New York State in 1954. The new Vision Statement on the homepage of the Web site: Building a More Compassionate Society. The […]

Happy Birthday William Van Ornum Jr.!

On this special day, the AMHF board of directors sends birthday greetings and all best wishes to William Van Ornum Jr. His considerable abilities have been of incalculable value to AMHF, specifically during the presentation of the second Stefan de Schill Award, to Suicide Prevention International, as well as in the smooth running of our […]

Pathologizing Normal Behavior?

The DSM was first issued in 1952, during that liberating period that saw, for example, Kinsey’s reports on sexual behavior. The DSM in its various editions guides treatment decisions throughout North America and other continents. The original DSM listed 106 disorders. This was pretty much carried over to the 1968 revision. However, the DSM III […]

Passing of Wangari Maathai

AMHF sends condolences to the family of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, who passed away today in Kenya. AMHF also extends condolences to Lantern, the distributor of AMHF Books, which is the publisher of the late Ms. Maathai.

Mental Health and Abortion

No matter what position you take, the effects of abortion on the state of mental health is filled with controversy. The controversy comes from all sides, at root with a theological basis, but also secular: sociological and, of course, psychological in origin. The British Journal of Psychiatry published an extensive study on the subject (uniquely, […]

AMHF Small Family Business Big Family Stress

On April 29, and April 30, 2011, in conjunction with Marist College and The Hudson Valley Family Business Institute, AMHF sponsored the workshop Small Family Business, Big Family Stress. We hope you will want to view the following 2-minute video. This workshop is the first in the AMHF-Stefan de Schill Memorial series The Healthy Organization. […]

A Book for Anyone on the Front Lines in the UK

I wish to call our UK readers’ attention to The Violent Person by Dr. Raymond B. Flannery, an AMHF Book and the first title issued by our foundation in late 2009. It is a thoroughly up-to-date study of violence, the emotional and physiological reactions to it (in its most-extreme form, PTSD), and how professionals and […]

Remembering Dr. Stefan de Schill

Not to become or be considered hopelessly maudlin, though I am a bit of the nostalgic sort, I am this still Sunday afternoon, as the light shines a certain way, remembering our long-time director, Dr. Stefan de Schill, in a personal way. Long before I was invited to be on the board of directors of […]

Special Needs and the Sandwich Generation

One of the goals of AMHF is to help those with the extraordinary and often isolating emotional problems connected with developmental disabilities and special needs. To this end, I highly recommend two Web sites and blogs. The first one today features a story about a young woman with a severe seizure disorder and how her […]

AMHF Presents Second Annual Stefan de Schill Award to Suicide Prevention International

The above video, by Jasmin Singer and Evan Creem, records the May 7, 2011, Stefan de Schill Award ceremony. The Award was given to Herbert Hendin, M.D., on behalf of Suicide Prevention International at the seventh annual Walk For Life in Riverside Park, New York City. For the first Stefan de Schill Award, click here.

The Stigma of Epilepsy on ESPN

Piers Morgan hosted the Axelrods who eloquently and movingly diagnosed the sorry state of epilepsy research in the United States and their 29-year-old daughter’s battle (along with her family) against this condition. Epilepsy is a so-called orphaned disease in the United States. (Two new anticonvulsants are currently available in Canada, finally set for FDA approval […]

Mental-illness Activist Died, Work Continues

Judi Chamberlin, international activist for people with mental illnesses, died sixteen months ago at age 65. Chamberlin was a board member of MindFreedom International, and in the 1970s she established the then-fashionably named Mental Patients’ Liberation Front. She helped found the Ruby Rogers Advocacy and Drop-In Center, which is staffed by people who have had […]

PC Run Amok?

“We are happy to join 54,000 other Americans in pledging to end the use of the R-word at….including pending legislation in Congress to remove the R-word from federal law.”…I do not attribute this quote since there is no need. Does such “removal” of “a derogatory word” in any way help individuals that truly need […]

Mental-health Court Opens in New York City

From New York Able Newspaper May 2011: Manhattan’s first Mental Health Court, which recently opened at 100 Centre Street, is dedicated to keeping defendants with mental illness from engaging in further criminal behavior. This special court will handle nonviolent cases of defendants with serious and continuing mental illness. It is part of the New York […]

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