Welcome to New Directions! Now in our 33rd Year!

Your premier support group in the Philadelphia area for people with Depression, Bipolar Disorder and their Loved Ones. Call us at 215-659-2366 or email us at Compass123@comcast.net

***WHERE helping others is the best way to help yourself!!!***


SEE SCHEDULE BELOW … OR ON RIGHT. Team Leaders include: Ada Moss Fleisher, Helen Kirschner, Fontaine Caldwell. Carole and Gregory Hodges run our Loved Ones’ Group.  Photo by Greg Hodges, lower right. Ruth Z Deming, MGPGP, founder/director, in her “Ask me Why I have 3 kidneys T-shirt.” Taking lithium for 16 yrs ruined her kidneys and she had a transplant. Read her Lithium post. For other famous people w/mood disorders click here.

To learn if a meeting or program is cancelled due to bad weather, call for our recorded message at 215-659-2366, ext. 5.    

View The NY Times Wellness Blog on Walking in Nature here.

View the Wellness Blog on Happiness here.

Move, the best thing you can do for your body. Read Times column here.

Please read “Are YOU on too many meds?” from Medscape


The Compass, Spring 2017 is now available. Click here to download.

NOTE: If you’re on psych meds – especially lithium – take precautions in the hot weather. Wear sunscreen and drink plenty of WATER. View website here

Interested in The Power Program of Montco? Learn about job prospects. Click here.


—Tuesday, Dec. 5, EVENING MEETING at Abington Presbyterian Church, from 7 to 9:15 pm. Church is at 1082 York Road at Susquehanna, Abington PA 19001. Read more here

—Thursday, Dec. 14, DAYTIME Meeting at the Giant, from 10 until noon, 315 York Road, Willow Grove PA 19090. Enter Giant on right, make quick right and take stairs or elevator to second floor. Classroom number will be posted. Read more here.

—Tuesday night, Dec. 19.  SPEAKER MEETING 7 pm at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 York Road at Susquehanna, Abington, PA 19001. Celebrating ourselves! Read more here.

—Thursday, Dec. 28. DAYTIME Meeting at the Giant, from 10 until noon, 315 York Road, Willow Grove PA 19090. Enter Giant on right, make quick right and take stairs or elevator to second floor. Classroom number will be posted. Read more here.

NOTE: Our EVENING MEETINGS are the FIRST and THIRD Tuesdays of the month at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 York Road, Abington PA 19001. Time is 7 to 9:15 pm. We ask a donation of $5 per person or $8 for entire family.

Our DAYTIME MEETINGS are the SECOND and FOURTH Thursdays at Willow Grove Giant Supermarket, 315 York Road, Willow Grove PA 19090. Time is 10 am until Noon. Enter Giant on right of store, make quick right and take stairs or elevator to second floor. Classroom number will be posted.

Read our Keys to Recovery, including Stop-Suicide Plan.  Click here.

Ruth Deming and New Directions featured in Montco Happening, Feb, 2017.

If you live in Montgomery County PA, call MCES at any time for help with suicidal thoughts or of harming others. 610-279-6100

If you live in Montgomery County PA and are involved in a crime, visit Justice Related Services here. Call them at 610-500-2111.

NAMI Mainline has suggestions for Family Conflict Resolution. View here.

NAMI Mainline has suggestions for Inpatient Hospitalization. View here.

PROJECT HOME HELPS THE HOMELESS – Plus resources. View here

Watch Charlie Rose on The Brain Series. Mood Disorders are discussed with Eric Kandel, Helen Mayberg, Peter Whybrow, Andrew Solomon and Frederick Goodwin. From 5/29/2012. Watch it here.

Watch our 30 minute video on New Directions,  directed by Larry Kirschner. May 2014.

Also, watch our Comcast Newsmakers Interview (June, 2012)

Ruth Z Deming, MGPGP, founder/director, on Comcast Newsmakers. She’s been off meds since 2004. Work with your psychiatrist if you’re interested in getting off.

However, we strongly advocate taking meds and getting talk therapy.

We partner with psychiatrist Cherian Verghese, MD, of Norristown, PA. He runs Keystone Clinical Studies in Norristown, PA. If you’re interested in taking part in a research study, email
Cherian Verghese <cv.kcs@comcast.net>

Meds are expensive! View this website about lowering the costs.

Please make your donation today! Who else but New Directions writes newspaper editorials to help combat stigma and educate the public. Read about World Bipolar Day. Who knew?

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit & rely on your generous contributions to serve you. To make a secure, tax-deductible donation click PAYPAL below OR make check payable to “New Directions,” Box 181, Hatboro, PA 19040.

New Directions is registered with the United Way (Donor Choice Number 19628):

CHECK OUT this Free Career Program from Montgomery County Community College. If interested, contact Lori Schreiber at end of program note.

HARD TO TREAT DEPRESSION. Contact the experts below.

– Michael Thase, MD, head of Mood and Anxiety Disorders at University of PA. Contact him at: 215-746-6680  OR  thase@mail.med.upenn.edu

– Rajnish Mago, MD, head of Mood Disorders at Thomas Jefferson University. Contact him at (215) 955-9474 OR  rajnish.mago@jefferson.edu
– Claudia F. Baldassano, MD
3535 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 746-6700

  • Cherian Verghese <cv.kcs@comcast.net>

Our Musical Fundraisers:
in Willow Grove, PA,  Nov. 2014
in Warminster, PA in Sept. 2012. Read more.

in Brooklyn, Dec. 31, 2012. Read more.
New Directions writes Guest Columns and Letters to the Editor to help foster understanding and a lessening of stigma.  Read our Newspaper Stories here.

AMBIEN, sleep drug, CAUTION. Read more. And do yourself a favor. Find another sleep med.



Lack of funds? Click here for dental clinics. Click here for medical clinics.

SOAR, a govt agency, will speed up the process of getting on Disability.

Can I work and receive Social Security Benefits?

Job training for Pennsylvanians.

We’re Goalsetters! We divide into small groups – bipolar, depression, family members – and set a manageable goal for the next meeting. Peers helping peers.

Download The Compass 2014 Here. Thanks to our Funders – Patricia Kind Family Foundation, The Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health and others.


SUMMERTIME and the livin’ is….Well, a cautionary note if you’re on psych meds. Lithium-users: Make sure you drink plenty of WATER. Go to ER if suddenly you feel dizzy or confused. Other med-users: Use sunscreen if you’re on certain drugs. Check w/your doctor.

ENERGY assistance programs, such as CAP or LIHEAP. Click here.

L A B   T E S T S — Does your psychiatrist order VITAL lab tests for you? We like the Mayo Clinic’s website where you can query about tests such as liver or thyroid function tests, nec’y if you are taking psychotropic meds.

WHAT IS  Bipolar Disorder? Read this from NIMH.

MED QUESTIONS? Ask retired pharmacist Larry DiBello. Call him at 215-514-5110.

MED questions?  Click here.

GOVT SERVICES, including Disability, courtesy of NAMI Mainline


OUR HARRIET RELLIS, RN, will answer your questions about fibromyalgia and sleep problems. Email her at harriet.rellis@gmail.com.

Parkinson’s Support Group meets the Fourth Tuesday of the Month at The Willow Grove Giant Food Store from 1 to 3 pm. Call Lorna Glassman at 215-542-2931.

Learn about a Doylestown Hospital support group for folks with fibromyalgia & chronic pain – info@doylestown-fms-cfs.org

OUR BLOG – above – READ JUDY KROLL‘s essay “Bicycling.” Submit your own by emailing us at Compass123@comcast.net.

BOOK REVIEWS BY LINDA BARRETT and others Submit your own.

A booklist from Bipolar Disorder Significant Others.

A HEALTHIER YOU! Nutrition initiative! Overweight or tired from your meds? Make an appt w/Mary Ann Moylan, RD, LDN, CDE of Willow Grove Giant Supermarket by calling 215-784-1960. Press 1, then 4.

MAKE HEALTHY EATING a lifestyle. Read about the Beck Institute’s Diet Solution.


More resources for hiring ex-offenders. Click here.


– Sunday Hikes. Read why a walk in the park helps depression.

Pursue the Wonderful, things to do on your own or with your ND buddies

ESSENTIAL READING written by us!!! – Who knows better than we do?

Newly Diagnosed with Bipolar or Depression? Tips from Ruth Deming

FOR MORE of our informative writing click here.

Our Meetings

Prepare for a great experience. Our mission is to make you feel comfortable & to answer your concerns on the same day you attend our meeting.

We ask $5 per person and $8 per family. Our large meeting consists of about 40 people.

After our announcements, we break into our small groups – Bipolar Groups, Depression groups, and a Family Member Group, all led by trained leaders.

Attention Family Members! No meeting is complete without Family Members. Greg and Carole Hodges run our Family Member Group.

Question & Complaint Department

 Creekwood Mental Health Center in Willow Grove, PA, has closed. Read about it in the Inquirer, June 20, 2014.

A new MH Facility will take the place of Creekwood in Willow Grove. View Central Behavioral Health here.

Send questions about mental health to Pam Howard, adult services director at Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health. <phoward@montcopa.org>

Dave Mauermann, administrator at Horsham Clinic, would also like constructive criticism. Email him at Dave.Mauermann@uhsinc.com.

We encourage you to SPEAK UP about the treatment you receive. THIS IS YOUR LIFE!

Meds for life?  A New Paradigm

Watch Ruth Z Deming, MGPGP, director of New Directions, on YouTube for her 2008 Comcast CN8 interview. She mentions she no longer has bipolar disorder as it often resolves itself later in life.

Meds are not necessarily forever. Half a dozen mature people in our group are no longer on meds for BP or depression.

Again, we encourage taking meds and getting talk therapy.

We encourage people in their forties, fifties & sixties to see if your own illness has resolved itself and you, too, can go off meds. Many psychiatrists are willing to work with you on this. We strongly caution you to work with your doctor.


Growing concern over psychiatric drugs. Do they work? Read Robert Whitaker’s book “Anatomy of an Epidemic.” Again, stay on your meds and talk to your doctor. Terrific interview w Whitaker about Anatomy and his other books.

Andrew Solomon, author of Noonday Demon, writes about importance of staying on your meds, which is absolutely true for many people.

NY Review of Books reviews 3 books on rise of mental illness – Why now?

Psychotherapy has often been shown to be as helpful as meds. Read article here.

Independent Analysis of Medication

                                                  In the News

Medscape: Read about Botox Injections for Depression, June 12, 2014.

Medscape: New report shows Lithium and Seroquel equally effective for treatment of Bipolar, June 18, 2014, however, Seroquel is a soporific.

Andrew Solomon on Depression, a 2013 TED Talk

WHYY TV partners with People in Recovery. Watch these short videos.

Video on Teen Depression, 2013, on “Second Opinion”

The New Science of Mind, Eric Kandel, MD, Nobelist for his work on memory, Sept 2013 Sunday Times.

Ted Talks -Listen to Interviews with Diverse Individuals who have triumphed over their Mental Illness

Who am I? How to Distinguish between the Real Me and The Hypomanic Me.

Another article on Lifesaving Coffee, Harvard Med Review

Coffee may save your life says Time mag, July 2013

New treatment for PTSD, effective with war veterans, 2012

New Study Offers Clues to Suicide, July, 2013 in Medscape. If you don’t have an account, set one up for free to read this important article.

The Suicide Detective, Times, June 2013

Suggested Antidepressant Use by Intl Society of Bipolar D/Os, June 2013

Brain Scan Can Detect Treatment for Depression, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, June 2013

Bipolar D/o: Where did the ‘real me’ go? NY Times mag, April 2013

Yes, you can lose weight while on psych meds. Times, April 2013.

Does Psychotherapy Really Work? Times, March 2013

Mental Disorders Share Genetic Links, NY Times, March 2013

Promising New Therapy to Treat Depression, Feb. 2013, The NY Times.

Terrible trend to prescribe stimulants killed this young man. Don’t fall victim yourself! Times, Feb. 2013

Successful Schizophrenics were discouraged by their doctors, Times, Jan. 2013

New DSM of Psychiatric Disorders will appear in May, Times, Jan. 2013

Please take away my right to own a gun – NY Times, Jan. 2013

Easy Testing offers Ways to Tell What Meds Work for You.
 Available at local agencies including Collaborative Care in Abington, PA.

Healthy Mind TV Series, sponsored by Brain & Behavior Research

Eric R Kandel, MD, in 10-minute video about brain disorders including importance of psychotherapy, Oct. 2012

Jane Pauley speaks in Bucks Co to help destigmatize bipolar, Oct. 2012

Bipolar Gene discovered in huge study by Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, Oct. 2012

Genetic testing for Treatment-Resistant Depression, Sept. 2012

Researchers discover manic gene, Sept, 2012

Ruth Deming and her kidney t’plant featured in Brain & Behavior Research e-News, Aug, 2012

THIS is what it feels like to have a Panic Attack, Times, July 2012

Anxiety? Dan Smith talks about his on Radio Times, July 2012.

Video about importance of body language, June 2012.

Coffee may extend your life, studies show, Times, June 2012

NY Times Mag:  When My Crazy Father Lost His Mind, June 2012.

Fascinating Discussion about Depression on the Charlie Rose Show of May 29, 2012.

What is Depression and How do Drugs Help, Times, April 2012

Promise of Blood Test to Diagnose Depression, LA Times, April 2012

Trauma in Children Helped by Brief Therapy, Times, Apr 2012

Rate of Autism Up 20 percent, Times, March 2012

Body Clocks: Key to Treatment of Bipolar D/O, March 2012


Know Your Illness

Bucks County NAMI offers classes on understanding a loved one with mental illness. Read more.

To find a NAMI Group near you, click here.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers excellent info

NIMH publications you can read online or download or order. You can also call them at 1-866-615-6464.

What type of Bipolar Disorder Do You Have? Learn here.

Bipolar Disorder strikes children, too. Make sure, however, your child is diagnosed correctly. Meds can damage a growing brain!


NIMH’s Mental Health Statistics

Notable InfoSites

Buy Meds at Lower Prices

Also ask your doctor to write the drug company about their Patient Assistance Plan for you!

Child and Family Connections – Free Workshops for Parents with psychiatric problems and also their children, Philadelphia

Michael Ascher, MD, Clinical Associate in Psychiatry at University of PA.

Mad in America -State-of-the-Art Views on Meds by Patients like us

Harvard-trained psychiatrist Sandra Steinberg’s maverick views on meds.

Daniel Carlat’s Behavioral Health Blog

Employment Discrimination? Check Federal Website Here.

Graphics of Mental Illness

Dr Dan Hartman, Phila Guidance Center, The Sidewalk Psychiatrist

Dr Daniel Carlat blog

Mental Health Ministries – Ideas for Educating the Community about Mental Illness

All about Bipolar including great videos, & questions to ask your doctor

International Bipolar Foundation

Highly Sensitive People

Problems Sleeping?

Wealth of information on Anxiety from Mike Nichols

Siblings of those with Mental Illness

AHEDD find jobs for people with disabilities

JEVS finds jobs for people with disabilities

Disability Rights Network

Michael Walling is an expert on Social Security benefits, including those with disabilities. See his website here.

Institute for Recovery and Education

The Famous WRAP Program from Mary Ellen Copeland of VT

Bruce E Levine, uncommon psychologist

Mad in America: Bob Whittaker, Science and Psychiatry

SAMHSA’S Wellness Recovery Initiative (Fed Govt Agency)

Temple University’s Help for Psychiatric Conditions

Junk? Clutter? Hoarding? Read more.

Meditate with Jon Kabat-Zinn

Attn: Family members: PLAN OF PA offers services for your adult child with disabilities. See their website.

What does a family member want? Write a Letter of Intent to provide for your child’s future when you’re no longer here.

Pennsylvania Recovery – great resources

Bipolar USA – Peer Specialists

MHA: Recovery from Mental Illness

Clinical Psychiatry News

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Bipolar Hope Online Mag

Jim Phelps, MD, Bipolar website

Rachel Aviv, writer, has several fascinating essays on Mental Illness – see menu on Left

Depression at HealthCentral

Joshua Walters: 6-minute video on his Bipolar D/o – good film to show someone in denial

Healthy eating with Andrew Weil, MD

Find a therapist at Psychology Today

Find a therapist at Network Therapy Referral

Peter Breggin, MD, Empathic Therapy

Bipolar Foundation, serving the bipolar world from its UK headquarters

Psychiatric Times, sign up for free

Montgomery Co Emergency Service – involuntary commitments

MCES  Lecture Series

MCES offers information about suicide:

Click here for MCES patient info re suicide.

Click here for MCES supporter’s info re suicide.

Homeless shelters: CodeBlue is a program that takes in the homeless when the temperature is below 20.

Click for CodeBlue in Montgomery County.

Click for CodeBlue in Bucks County.

Click for CodeBlue in Philadelphia.


Jewish Exponent, 2005.

New York Times, 2008 Part One.

New York Times, 2009 Part Two.

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, 2012.

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