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Library News

By: Rose Boerner
For: Red Rock News
Date: October 1
, 2010

Take time to visit the Sedona Book Festival on Saturday, October 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Yavapai College - Sedona Center for Arts and Techology for the opportunity to visit with over 100 regional and national authors, publishers, and organizations.  Be sure to stop by the information tables sponsored by the Sedona Public Library and  Friends of the Sedona Library.

Mental Health Resources at Library

Did you know that, on average, people living with serious mental illness live 25 years less than the rest of the population? One reason is that less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment.  Do you or someone you know have a mental illness?  Are you familiar with the symptoms and warning signs of mental illness?

October 3-9 is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), an opportunity to learn about serious mental illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as MIAW in recognition of the efforts of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to raise mental illness awareness.

MIAW is especially important this year as severe budget cuts threaten mental health services across the country.  The costs of cutting state mental health budgets are high—people who do not receive treatment end up in hospitals, shelters, in jail or dead.

Mental illness is a medical illness—it does not discriminate. One in four adults experiences a mental disorder in any given year and one in 17 lives with serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder.  Early identification and intervention result in better outcomes.  Both people with existing illnesses and those who face hard economic times may be experiencing anxiety or depression for the first time and need access to treatment.

As a resource to the community, the Sedona Public Library, together with the local NAMI organization, will have a display of books and other educational materials regarding mental illnesses during MIAW.  If you would like to learn more about this subject, the Library has an excellent collection of books.  You can also go to for more information.

A good book to read if you want to help someone who has no awareness of his mental illness is “I am not sick, I don't need help! How to help someone with mental illness accept treatment” by Dr. Xavier Amador.  This book addresses the nature of patients’ unawareness of their illness (called anosognosia) and provides a practical approach to getting a severely ill person to accept needed treatment.

The books available at SPL on bipolar disorder offer different perspectives.  “The bipolar disorder survival guide: what you and your family need to know” by David Jay Miklowitz is a comprehensive guide that helps individuals and family members come to terms with the diagnosis, recognize early warning signs of manic or depressive episodes, manage medication problems, and learn to collaborate effectively with doctors and therapists.  Another book “Bipolar II: Enhance your highs, boost your creativity, and escape the cycles of recurrent depression,” by Dr. Ronald R. Fieve, concentrates exclusively on milder bipolarity and explains how newer drugs with fewer side effects are revolutionizing the treatment of Bipolar II.

Some of the books available at SPL on schizophrenia are: “Coping with schizophrenia: a guide for patients, families and caregivers” by Steven H. Jones, focuses on the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy, state-of-the art treatment modalities, and cutting-edge medications.  In the book “Stalking Irish Madness: searching for the roots of my family's schizophrenia,”by Patrick Austin Tracey, the author looks at his family's battle with the scourge of schizophrenia, tracing the origins of the disease through earlier generations of his family against the backdrop of Irish history to reveal Ireland's long link to mental illness.  “The soloist – a lost dream, an unlikely friendship, and the redemptive power of music” by Steve Lopez is the true story of Nathaniel Ayers, a musician who develops schizophrenia and becomes homeless, and his friendship with Steve Lopez, the Los Angeles columnist who discovers and writes about him in the newspaper. The movie “The Soloist” is based on this book.

If you are looking for a title or author regarding a particular mental illness, go to the SPL homepage and under “Find Books and More,” click on “Search Catalog” which will bring you to the Basic Search page.

Mental illnesses are treatable.  With appropriate effective medication and professional intervention, most people with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence.  Also, you’ll discover that people with mental illnesses enrich our lives – take a look at this partial list of famous people:  Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Buzz Aldrin, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens, Sylvia Plath, Carrie Fisher, Leo Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, Michelangelo, Brian Wilson, John Keats, Vincent van Gogh, Jane Pauley, Patty Duke, Beethoven, Isaac Newton, Tennessee Williams, Mike Wallace, Tipper Gore.  All of these people have experienced one of the major mental illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

Rose Boerner
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on:  Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Rose Boerner is President of NAMI Sedona and former Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.