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Mental Illness & Poverty

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90.3 WBHM | Birmingham -- It's a long-standing debate -- what causes mental illness? At a recent seminar sponsored by Birmingham-area mental health advocacy groups, the message was mixed. The director of UAB's Mental Health Center, Jackie Feldman, stressed biology.

Dr. Jackie Feldman

"Anybody, anybody here or any of your family members can get a mental illness. It can touch anybody at any time of their life."

While Reverend Caroline Pitts, who ministers the homeless at Birmingham's Church of the Reconciler, focused on the environment.

"Lifetime deprivation of love. Lack of caring parents, lack of money or resources. Anger that they have been passed over by the good things."

Christopher Hudson

Christopher Hudson of Salem State University takes up this nurture-versus-nature debate in a paper in this month's issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

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Christopher Hudson's research is published in this month's issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry -- published by the American Psychological Association.

-- Tanya Ott, March 24, 2005

Editor's note: This is the latest story in a year-long commitment to covering mental health issues in Alabama. You can learn more about our "Making Sense of Mental Health" project and find local mental health resources -- as our commitment continues throughout the year -- inside this website.

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Making Sense of Mental Health

Dr. Christopher Hudson's research study