Starfish Family Services’ motto is “strengthening families to create brighter futures for children.” Starfish believes in investing early in the lives of families to keep them intact. As quoted from their website, the organization strives to prevent problems before they escalate and helps strengthen relationships to build solid families that work. They believe in the potential of all children and the power of healthy parent-child relationships to break the cycles of poverty and create long-term positive outcomes for children.
Founded in 1963, Starfish Family Services is a private, nonprofit agency serving vulnerable children and families in metropolitan Detroit. Starfish is a leading provider of early childhood development and parenting programs, children’s mental health services, after-school programs, and an emergency shelter for teens and youth in crisis. They have more than a dozen programs at service sites throughout metropolitan Detroit, 350 employees, and a $20 million dollar budget that serves more than 10,000 at-risk children and families each year.
Dr. Melvin McInnis’ presentation was attended by about 30 staff – administrative, social workers and clinicians. He presented on bipolar disorder in general and on the Prechter Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder in particular.
Also in attendance was Shervin Assari, M.D., M.P.H., a research investigator with the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry and the Prechter bipolar research team. His interest is in the intersection of community mental health and social epidemiology and focuses on the contextual effects of race, ethnicity, gender, and place in changing causes and also consequences of mood disorders.