Chicago Experts to Unravel Bipolar Disorder at June 5th Conference in Evanston

Jun 03, 2011, 16:05 ET from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Bipolar Disorder: Promise and Progress is Focus of Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute's 10th Annual Community Mental Health Conference

CHICAGO, June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite advances in the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder, the prevalence of the disease continues to rise: it now affects approximately 5.7 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world. The 10th Annual Community Mental Health Conference of the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education (NRCI) at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Bipolar Disorder: Promise and Progress, will offer insights on diagnosis, management and treatment to individuals and families coping with the disease, as well as to mental health professionals. The conference will be held at Beth Emet Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois on June 5, 2011.


For Larry and Marilyn Cohen of Evanston, this year's conference is particularly significant on a personal and professional level: the couple founded NRCI after their daughter Naomi, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 30, lost her struggle with the disease and took her own life.  The goal of the Institute, said Larry Cohen, is to overcome the stigma of mental illness and prevent others from suffering as Naomi did.

"The consequences of stigma can be seen in a person's sense of isolation and disconnection from themselves, their family and community," said Dr. Nancy Curotto, Executive Director of the NRCI.  "Our conference offers the community a unique opportunity to feel connected to individuals and organizations that are committed to decreasing the stigma of mental illness through education and awareness."

The conference brings together a distinguished panel of professionals with expertise in, and in some cases personal experience with, bipolar disorder. Panelists include:

  • Paul Keck, M.D., Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center, and President/CEO of the Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio.
  • Mark A. Reinecke Ph. D., Chief of the Division of Psychology and Professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
  • Nanette V. Larson, B.A. CRSS., Director of Recovery Support Services at the Illinois Department of Human Services/Division of Mental Health. Ms. Larson is a person with bipolar disorder.
  • Dr. Carroll Cradock, Psychologist and former President, Chicago Campus of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Q&A Moderator)

In addition to panel presentations, participants can choose to attend one of an array of smaller discussion groups led by local experts on topics including Living with Bipolar Disorder, Pharmacology of Bipolar Illness, Introduction to Chronotherapy: A Treatment for Bipolar Disorder, A Perspective for Family Caregivers, and many more.

Rev. Cheryl T. Magrini, Ph.D., teacher, writer, and a person with bipolar disorder, will deliver closing remarks. Erasing the Distance, a professional theatre group dedicated to shedding light on mental illness through theatre, will perform Dr. Magrini's story.

"This conference will shed light on this condition -- on what we know, what we need to know, and what can be done," said Dr. Mark Reinecke. "It will be an enlightening experience for anyone who struggles with this condition or has a family member with bipolar disorder."

For more information or to register for Bipolar Disorder: Promise and Progress on June 5, 2011, visit the NRCI website at, email, or call 312.467.2552. CEUs are offered for a small additional fee.

About the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Larry and Marilyn Cohen founded the Naomi Ruth Cohen Charitable Foundation with a mission to honor the memory of their daughter Naomi by decreasing the stigma of mental illness in our global community. The Institute began as the Naomi Ruth Cohen Charitable Foundation and affiliated with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2008, where it became NRCI and continued to promote educational programs and support organizations engaged in mental illness research, education, self-help, anti-discrimination and advocacy.

A gifted artist, a skilled geriatrics counselor, a selfless volunteer, and an accomplished professional who reveled in the rewards of a life shared with family and friends, Naomi Ruth Cohen was diagnosed with a particularly virulent form of bipolar disorder at age 30. The disease made steady inroads on her life, robbing her of her career, her marriage, and much of the joy that had long defined her nature. In May 2000, Naomi's struggle with the disease ended when she took her own life.

According to a report of the Surgeon General stigma is "the most formidable obstacle to progress in the arena of mental illness and health."  Since 2000, NRCI's mental health conferences and other programs have combated stigma.  NRCI will continue to meet these challenges through a variety of traditional and innovative approaches.

Media Contact:
Lynne Baker

SOURCE The Chicago School of Professional Psychology