health & wellness
Demystifying Social Anxiety
Jewish family launches foundation to
spread awareness for debilitating disorder.
help others and make a difference:'
The foundation began by creating a
10-hour video to educate mental health
ave you ever had to give a
professionals and provide resources
speech or a presentation to
to help. That video is available on the
a room filled with strang-
foundation's website, WWW. aids a.org.
ers? You know the feeling: Your palms
Now, the Kukes are turning their atten-
sweat, your mouth dries up, your heart tion to raising awareness for Social
starts to pound and
you're filled with a sense
tion's first public
Imagine feeling that
event, "An Evening
way every day of your
life when confronted
with a social situation.
Anxiety:' takes place
That's what happens
Thursday, Sept. 6,
to those who suffer
at The Shul in West
from Social Anxiety
Bloomfield. They want
Disorder, a condition
to encourage those
that affects more than
who suffer from the
15 million Americans.
disorder as well as
It's far more than shy-
parents and educators
Young Andre w Kukes
ness and a fear of public
to come out and learn
during a visit to Israel
speaking. It is an addic-
about one of the most
tion to avoidance and
prevalent, and yet most
can lead to isolation, substance abuse,
often misunderstood mental disorders.
depression and even suicide.
Guest speaker will be Jonathan
Jeff and Patty Kukes, formerly of
Berent, a social anxiety expert and
Bloomfield Hills, who now live in
author of Beyond Shyness: How to
Florida, know this only too well. Their
Conquer Social Anxieties and Work
son Andrew, who suffered from Social
Makes Me Nervous: Overcome Anxiety
Anxiety Disorder, took his own life at
and Build the Confidence to Succeed.
Berent's evidence-based clinical work
"At first we didn't see the signs:' said
has been proven effective and offers a
new approach to working with those
Jeff. "Yes, he was shy. But he was also
athletic, smart and had a lot of friends. trying to cope with social anxiety.
It wasn't until his last two years of high
His presentation will discuss how
school that we realized something was
social anxiety affects children, adoles-
cents and adults. Following the pre-
Jeff and Patty were determined to get sentation, audience members will have
Andy help, "but there were very little
a chance to ask questions. Coffee and
dessert will be served. The presenta-
resources or help available," said Patty.
"We spent many hours looking for a
tion is free, and mental health profes-
sionals will earn continuing education
diagnosis. A lot of professionals don't
know about it. Help isn't easy to get."
credits for attending.
The event is being held in part-
Patty describes social anxiety as an
"overwhelming and paralyzing anxiety
nership with the Daniel B. Sobel
when faced with social encounters. It's
Friendship House and eight other com-
a fear of being judged and scrutinized,
The Kukes hope to fill the seats.
and it can continue into adulthood."
Jeff and Patty watched their son
"Social anxiety doesn't sound all that
suffer for 10 years. After his death
serious when you hear about, but it can
impact people's lives, as it did Andy's,"
in 2009, they were motivated to help
said Jeff. E
others, so they launched the Andrew
Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety.
"They are really quite amazing when
"An Evening of Understanding:
you stop to consider the heartache that
Demystifying Social Anxiety"
they have felt and the effort it would
take to move in a positive direction,"
Thursday, Sept. 6, 7-8:30 p.m.
said Lori Blumenstein-Bott, executive
at The Shul, 6890 W. Maple,
director of the foundation. "It was brave
West Bloomfield. To RSVP or
and difficult for them to launch the
register, visit akfsa.com/invite.
foundation, but their motivation was to
Award-Winning Cardiovascular Program
Just Got Better
President and CEO
St. Joseph Mercy
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland's award-winning
Cardiology and Cardiovascular services
program has been elevated by the addition
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We are privileged to welcome to our medical
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Dr. Schwartz has a previous association with Southeast Michigan. He earned his
undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan (U-M), received his medical
degree from the Wayne State University School of Medicine with honors in Surgery
and completed his internship and residency in General Surgery at William Beaumont
Hospital. Additionally, Dr. Schwartz was trained in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the NYU
He served as a research fellow in the thoracic surgery myocellular
biology research laboratory at the U-M Medical Center and has since
participated in numerous research projects and investigations.
Board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American
Board of Thoracic Surgery, Dr. Schwartz completed a fellowship in
Cardiothoracic Surgery at the NYU School of Medicine.
Dr. Schwartz has published papers in prestigious peer-reviewed
publications and has presented his research before major medical
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numerous book chapters on topics in Cardiovascular Surgery,
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For eight consecutive years, St. Joe's Cardiovascular services have been nationally
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Our medical team consists of board-certified physicians, highly skilled cardiovascular
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August 30 • 2012