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
SEE SCHEDULE BELOW … OR ON RIGHT. Team Leaders include: Ada Moss Fleisher, Helen Kirschner, Ron Abrams, 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.
Click here for the 2015 Compass Mental Health Magazine.
CHECK OUT this Free Career Program from Montgomery County Community College. If interested, contact Lori Schreiber at end of program note.
Tuesday night, Dec. 1, EVENING MEETING, 7:30 to 9:45 pm at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 York Road at Susquehanna, Abington, PA 19001. Read more.
Thursday, Dec. 10, from 10 until 11:30 am. DAYTIME MEETING at the Giant Supermarket. Read more.
Saturday, Dec. 12, COMMUNITY TALK at the Giant Supermarket, from 1 until 2:30 pm. Pam Howard of Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health will talk about advances in the mental health field. Read more.
Tuesday nite, Dec 15, from 7:30 to 9:45 pm at Abington Prez Church. Speaker Meeting with Cathy Hillman, director of Central Montgomery County. Read more.
Sunday, Dec 20, from 10 until noon, A Walk at Pennypack Trust. Read more.
Thursday, Dec. 24, from 10 until 11:30 am. DAYTIME MEETING at the Giant Supermarket. Read more.
NOTE: Our Evening Meetings are the FIRST and THIRD Tuesdays of the month at Abington Presbyterian Church. 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.
Need someone to talk to? Call your buddies from New Directions!
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.
Please make your donation today! Who else but New Directions writes newspaper editorials to help combat stigma and educate the public. See selection of articles.
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):
We meet at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 Old York Road (Route 611) at Susquehanna, Abington, PA 19001 on the First and Third Tuesday of the month from 7:30 to 9:45 pm. Click for directions. Accessible via public transportion. We ask a donation of $5 per person or $8 per family.
We also meet at the Willow Grove Giant Supermarket, 315 York Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090, in an upstairs classroom on the Second & Fourth Thursdays from 10 until noon. See schedule above or below. Click here for Map.
Our Musical Fundraisers:
in Brooklyn, Dec. 31, 2012. Read more.
AMBIEN, sleep drug, CAUTION. Read more. And do yourself a favor. Find another sleep med.
ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT DEPLIN! It may help your DEPRESSION. Read on.
We’re Goalsetters! We divide into small groups – bipolar, depression, family members – and set a manageable goal for the next meeting. Peers helping peers.
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
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ON THE MAIN LINE, courtesy of NAMI Main Line
OUR HARRIET RELLIS, RN, will answer your questions about fibromyalgia and sleep problems. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 – email@example.com
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.
OUR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
– Sunday Hikes. Read why a walk in the park helps depression.
– Ada’s Wednesday Outings. At a meeting, get on her email list.
– 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?
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.
Send questions about mental health to Pam Howard, adult services director at Montgomery County Office of Behavioral Health. <firstname.lastname@example.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.
Psychotherapy has often been shown to be as helpful as meds. Read article here.
In the News
Medscape: New report shows Lithium and Seroquel equally effective for treatment of Bipolar, June 18, 2014, however, Seroquel is a soporific.
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.
Easy Testing offers Ways to Tell What Meds Work for You.
Available at local agencies including Collaborative Care in Abington, PA.
Researchers discover manic gene, Sept, 2012
Know Your Illness
Bucks County NAMI offers classes on understanding a loved one with mental illness. Read more.
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!
Also ask your doctor to write the drug company about their Patient Assistance Plan for you!
Michael Ascher, MD, Clinical Associate in Psychiatry at University of PA.
Michael Walling is an expert on Social Security benefits, including those with disabilities. See his website here.
The Famous WRAP Program from Mary Ellen Copeland of VT
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.
Rachel Aviv, writer, has several fascinating essays on Mental Illness – see menu on Left
MCES offers information about 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.
WE’VE BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT!
Jewish Exponent, 2005.
New York Times, 2008 Part One.
New York Times, 2009 Part Two.