Registration for Open Mind/#WOW events will be available one month prior to the event. Invitations will be sent to everyone on The Friends mailing list. To join our mailing list, email Wendy Kelman at: wkelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind/#WOW Film Screening and Discussion
The Weight of Gold

Brett Rapkin with Sasha Cohen and Talin Babikian, Ph.D.

Please join The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for this special Open Mind/#WOW film screening and discussion.

 

The Weight of Gold is an HBO Sports documentary exploring the mental health challenges that Olympic athletes often face. The film comes during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the 2020 Tokyo Games — the first such postponement in Olympic history — and greatly exacerbated mental health issues. 

The film seeks to inspire discussion about mental health issues, encourage people to seek help, and highlight the need for readily available support. It features accounts from Olympic athletes who share their own struggles with mental health issues, including Michael Phelps, Apolo Ohno, Shaun White, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Katie Uhlaender, Bode Miller, David Boudia, Jeremy Bloom, Sasha Cohen, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (via his mother, Linda Peterson).

 

Our Open Mind/#WOW program will feature clips from this critically acclaimed documentary film interspersed with a  panel discussion featuring:   filmmaker Brett Rapkin; Ice Skater Sasha Cohen, Olympic silver medalist featured in the film;  and Talin Babikian, Ph.D. Dr. Babikian is Associate Clinical Professor in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Associate Director of BrainSPORT at UCLA, an inter-departmental and multi-disciplinary program studying and treating brain injuries — including concussions — in youth and professional athletes, where she oversees the Sports Neuropsychology Fellowship training program.  She is actively involved in research using novel neuroimaging techniques to understand neurocognitive outcomes and the course of repair and recovery following a brain injury in childhood, as well as the role of mental health risk and resilience factors in outcomes following injury.  She has authored and presented several publications on this topic in journals, book chapters, and professional seminars nationally and internationally.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 5:00 - 6:15 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture
The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health

Rheeda Walker, Ph.D. with Gail Wyatt, Ph.D.

Please join UCLA's Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for an Open Mind/#WOW program with Rheeda Walker, Ph.D., author of the groundbreaking book, The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health.

Dr. Walker explores Black mental health in today's world, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African Americans, and what needs to happen for African Americans to heal psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization in order to access effective mental health care.

Dr. Walker is an award winning Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston. Her research emphasizes two understudied areas—suicide science and African-American adult mental health.

Gail Wyatt, Ph.D, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA will join Dr. Walker in discussion. Dr. Wyatt is the Director, UCLA Sexual Health Program; Director, Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities; Co-Director, HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse and Trauma Training Program (HA-STTP); Co-Director, South Africa Center for Chronic Mental Disorders Co-Director, Biobehavioral Approaches to Reduce Effects of Trauma on Mental and Physical Health and Cognitions. She is the author of numerous books including No More Clueless Sex.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Program begins at 5:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture
The Beauty of What Remains

Rabbi Steve Leder

From the author of the bestselling More Beautiful Than Before comes an inspiring book about loss based on his most popular sermon.

As the senior rabbi of one of the largest synagogues in the world, Steve Leder has learned over and over again the many ways death teaches us how to live and love more deeply by showing us not only what is gone but also the beauty of what remains.

This inspiring and comforting book takes us on a journey through the experience of loss that is fundamental to everyone. Yet even after having sat beside thousands of deathbeds, Steve Leder the rabbi was not fully prepared for the loss of his own father. It was only then that Steve Leder the son truly learned how loss makes life beautiful by giving it meaning and touching us with love that we had not felt before.

Enriched by Rabbi Leder's irreverence, vulnerability, and wicked sense of humor, this heartfelt narrative is filled with laughter and tears, the wisdom of millennia and modernity, and, most of all, an unfolding of the profound and simple truth that in loss we gain more than we ever imagined.

Pre-order  your copy of The Beauty of What Remains now. 

About the Author
Steve Leder is the senior rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. After receiving his degree in writing and graduating cum laude from Northwestern University, and spending time studying at Trinity College, Oxford University, Leder received a master's degree in Hebrew letters in 1986 and rabbinical ordination in 1987 from Hebrew Union College. He is the author of three books: The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul, and the bestseller More Beautiful Than Before: How Suffering Transforms Us.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Program begins at 5:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture

Tomboy:  The Surprising History And Future of Girls Who Dare To Be Different

Lisa Selin Davis with Yalda Uhls, Ph.D.

In TOMBOY, Lisa Selin Davis recounts the history, science and psychology of girls who defied gender expectations—and looks at the possibilities for their future. Her book chronicles the evolution of the pink/blue divide that rules modern childhood; the reasons some girls straddle or cross that divide; and who those girls grow up to be, including the relationship between childhood gender non-conformity and LGBTQ identities. Interspersed with profiles of many different kinds of tomboys, TOMBOY asks why tomboys were so popular at other times in history, where they've gone, and what we've lost, and gained, without them.

Lisa Selin Davis is the author of the novel BELLY, the young adult novel LOST STARS, and hundreds of articles, op-eds and essays. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Salon, CNN and many other publications. TOMBOY, her first non-fiction book, sprung from several viral op-eds about gender for The New York Times. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

Yalda T. Uhis, Ph.D., will join Ms. Davis in conversation.  Dr. Uhis is the Founder and Executive Director of Scholars & Storytellers.  Dr. Uhis is an internationally recognized, award-winning research scientist, educator, and author, studying how media affect young people.  In her former career, she was a senior movie executive at MGM and Sony.  She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at UCLA.

Tuesday January 26, 2021

5-6 pm PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture
Aging in High Heels

Beverlye Hyman Fead with  Karen Miller, Ph.D.

This is a book that looks at aging in a different way. We’re all gaining more years because of education, new medicines, and information being shared across the world. This book is looking at a longer life with humor, stories and some advice. 

 

"I challenge the way we think about aging. The title, Aging in High Heels, means walking into a room with attitude. You don't really need high heels on, you just have to feel that you do. You have to feel like 'I'm here, I'm relevant, and I have something to say!'"

Beverlye Hyman Fead is a California author, speaker and activist. She was diagnosed with metastasized Stage IV Uteral Stromal Sarcoma in 2002 and given two months to live. Since then, she has written 3 award-winning books, I Can Do This: Living With Cancer and Nana, What's Cancer? and Aging in High Heels ​as well as produced an award-winning short documentary Stage IV, Living With Cancer. Her passion is to speak all over the country on living with cancer, self-esteem and aging. Having lost her grandmother, mother, and both sisters to cancer, Beverlye has devoted a great deal of time to cancer on every level. Beverlye has taken what she has learned from living with Stage IV cancer and has passed it on to people who are aging and have chronic diseases. Her passion now, is not only speaking about cancer and aging, but sharing her knowledge about wellness and the steps to live within a health-span.

 

"I hope to redefine ones 70's, 80's and 90's. It is just a continuation of who you are, nothing more."

She will be in conversation with Karen J. Miller, Ph.D.

Director of Practicum Training at UCLA Medical Center

Director of the Memory Care Program at the UCLA Longevity Center

Health Sciences Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Program begins at 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Documentary
Orchestrating Change

ORCHESTRATING CHANGE is the feature documentary that tells the inspiring story of the only orchestra in the world created by and for people living with mental illness and those who support them. Me2/Orchestra’s mission is to erase stigma in both the mental health community and through exhilarating concerts to mainstream audiences. Me2/Orchestra’s transformative work creates a stigma-free environment through compassion, acceptance and beautiful music.

 

With compelling characters, striking animation, magnificent music, even humor, "Orchestrating Change" shows what living with a mental illness is really like. The film challenges audiences to reconsider their preconceived notions about mental illness and for those living with a diagnosis, it is empowering. The orchestra is truly changing the lives of these musicians (and audiences) in ways they never imagined. The film culminates in a concert at a major venue that is a triumph for everyone but, especially for Me2/ co-founder and conductor, Ronald Braunstein. Braunstein was on the trajectory to being one of the world’s leading conductors until his diagnosis of bi-polar disorder was disclosed. Before Me2/Orchestra, he thought he might never conduct again.  

 

ME2/ORCHESTRA BIOS-PANELISTS

 

Ronald Braunstein, the Music Director of Me2/Orchstra, received his musical background at The Juilliard School, Salzburg Mozarteum, Fontainbleau, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Immediately following graduation from Juilliard, he won the Gold Medal in the Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition and spent the following four years mentoring with Mr. Karajan. He has conducted the San Francisco Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Auckland Philharmonia, Israel Sinfonietta, Tokyo Symphony and Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. Mr. Braunstein was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1985. He launched Me2/ because of his desire to support others who struggle to maintain good mental health.

 

Caroline Whiddon, the Executive Director of Me2/Orchestra, has more than two decades of experience in orchestra leadership. She is a past Chair of the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras, and a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute. She received her Bachelor’s degree in French horn performance from the Eastman School of Music. She was first diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder more than twenty years ago.

 

Braunstein and Whiddon launched Me2/Orchestra in the fall of 2011. They were married in 2013.

 

Margie Friedman & Barbara Multer-Wellin, filmmakers, are both EMMY award winning producers  NS with years of non-fiction television experience They have produced and directed documentaries that have aired on PBS including, the prestigious series, “Independent Lens.” They live in Los Angeles.

 

Sandy Bartlett is a flutist with Me2/Boston.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Program begins at 5:00 - 6:15 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture

Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD

Eli R. Lebowitz, Ph.D. with John Piacentini, Ph.D.

Please join UCLA's Friends of the Semel Institute and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for an Open Mind/#WOW program on Child Anxiety and OCD with Eli, R. Lebowitz, Ph.D., author of Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD:  A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents. 

 

Parenting an anxious child means facing constant challenges and questions:  When should parents help children avoid anxiety-provoking situations, and when should they encourage them to face their fears? How can parents foster independence while still supporting their children? How can parents reduce the hold their child's anxiety has taken over the entire family?

 

In this welcoming resource for concerned parents, Dr. Lebowitz, Associate Professor in the Yale Child Study Center and Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders,  offers a complete parent-based treatment program for child and adolescent anxiety.  Parents will learn how to alleviate their children's anxiety by changing the way they themselves respond to their children's symptoms. The book is filled with detailed guidance and practical suggestions along with worksheets to help parents translate the book's suggestion into action. 

 

Professor Eli Lebowitz studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety at the Child Study Center at Yale. His research focuses on the development, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and related disorders, with special emphasis on family dynamics and the role of parents in these problems. Dr. Lebowitz is the lead investigator on multiple funded research projects, and is the author of research papers, books and chapters on childhood and adolescent anxiety. He is also the father of three great boys.

John Piacentini, Ph.D. ABPP, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA will join Dr. Lebowitz in discussion.  Dr. Piacentini is the Director, Center for Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support;

 

Director, UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety and Tic Disorders Program;

Director, UCLA Tourette Association Center of Excellence Semel Institute 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture

And Then They Stopped Talking To Me

Judith Warner

Through the stories of kids and parents in the middle school trenches, New York Times bestselling author Judith Warner reveals why these years are so painful, how parents unwittingly make them worse, and what we all need to do to grow up.
 
The French have a name for the uniquely hellish years between elementary school and high school: l’âge ingrat, or “the ugly age.” Characterized by a perfect storm of developmental changes—physical, psychological, and social—the middle school years are a time of great distress for children and parents alike, marked by hurt, isolation, exclusion, competition, anxiety, and often outright cruelty. Some of this is inevitable; there are intrinsic challenges to early adolescence. But these years are harder than they need to be, and Judith Warner believes that adults are complicit.
 
With deep insight and compassion, Warner walks us through a new understanding of the role that middle school plays in all our lives. She argues that today’s helicopter parents are overly concerned with status and achievement—in some ways a residual effect of their own middle school experiences—and that this worsens the self-consciousness, self-absorption, and social “sorting” so typical of early adolescence.
 
Tracing a century of research on middle childhood and bringing together the voices of social scientists, psychologists, educators, and parents, Warner’s book shows how adults can be moral role models for children, making them more empathetic, caring, and resilient. She encourages us to start treating middle schoolers as the complex people they are, holding them to high standards of kindness, and helping them see one another as more than “jocks and mean girls, nerds and sluts.”
 
Part cultural critique and part call to action, this essential book unpacks one of life’s most formative periods and shows how we can help our children not only survive it but thrive.

Judith Warner is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety and Hillary Clinton: The Inside Story, as well as the award-winning We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication which she spoke about at a previous Open Mind event. A senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Warner has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times, where she wrote the popular Domestic Disturbances column, as well as numerous other publications.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture

Wiser:  The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, 

and What Makes Us Good

Dilip Jeste, M.D. in conversation with Shafali Jeste, M.D.

What exactly does it mean to be "wise?" And is it possible to grow―and even accelerate―its unfolding? How do you nurture wisdom within yourself, at any stage in life?   
 

If you seek to be a wiser person―with your family, at work, and in your community―you will not want to miss this special father-daughter Open Mind/#WOW program Wiser,  presented by The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors. 

Dilip Jeste, M.D. is a world-renowned neuropsychiatrist and a pioneer in the exploration of the neurobiology and psychology.  For over two decades, Dr. Jeste, a Professor  of Psychiatry and Neurosciences and Director of the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of California San Diego,  has led the search for the biological and cognitive roots of wisdom. In his new critically acclaimed book Wiser:  The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion and What Makes Us Good, he shows you how you can take control of your life by increasing your wisdom.
 


Dr. Shafali Jeste, M.D., Pediatric Neurologist and Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Pediatric, and Neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will join her father in discussion.  Dr. Jeste is the recipient of the 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.  Her research is focused on developing more precise methods for early prediction and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, using biomarkers, and other genetic information, with the ultimate goal of improving the timing and targets of treatment for these conditions.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

 5:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture

Where Reasons End

Professor Yiyun Li with Michael Gitlin M.D.

In this imagined dialogue between mother and child in a timeless world, author Yiyun Li, meets life’s deepest sorrows.  Composed in the months after she lost a child to suicide, Where Reasons End, winner of the 2020 Pen/JeanStein Book Award, trespasses into the space between life and death, as mother and child talk, free from old images and narratives. Deeply moving, these conversations portray the love and complexity in a relationship across generations. Written with great originality and poetic beauty, Where Reasons End confronts inescapable pain, in a moving work suffused with intimacy and fierce love.

Yiyun Li, the author of The Vagrants and other acclaimed books, is the recipient of many awards, including a PEN/Hemingway Award, a PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, and a Windham-Campbell Prize, and was featured in The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40” fiction issue.

Dr. Yiyun Li is also a professor of creative writing at Princeton.  She will be joined in discussion by Dr. Michael Gitlin, Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, Director of the Adult Division in the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Neuropsychiatric Behavioral Health Services and Director of the Mood Disorder Clinical at the Resnick Hospital.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

VIRTUAL OPEN MIND

 

Open Mind Lecture

The Rabbit Effect

Dr. Kelli Harding with Dr. Daniel Fessler

In the past decade, medicine has seen significant biomedical advances, yet, despite millions of research hours and trillions of dollars, Americans aren’t living longer or healthier lives. In this eye-opening book, Columbia University’s Dr. Kelli Harding asks, what are we missing when it comes to our health? Rabbits offer a clue. In 1978, a seemingly straightforward experiment found that kindness—in the form of an incredibly nurturing researcher who pet and spoke to the lab rabbits as she fed them—made all the difference to health outcomes.

 

Dr. Kelli Harding discovered the rabbits were just the beginning of a much larger story. Decades of research from academic institutions worldwide illustrate that love, friendship, community, life’s purpose, and our environment can have a far greater impact on our health than anything that happens in the doctor’s office.

 

The Rabbit Effect is an eye-opening and inspiring new way to look at our health based on the latest discoveries in the science of compassion, kindness, and human connection. With compelling storytelling and research, Dr. Harding presents an evidence-based framework for you to take charge of your health and happiness.  

 

This book comes at a time when Americans need it most. COVID-19 has made our world smaller, and our interconnectedness clear. The events of 2020 have amplified its message.  The Rabbit Effect offers practical daily tools to improve our health and increase kindness—especially in times that feel so divided. How we treat each other in our day-to-day lives is critical to immune function, metabolism, and the course of illness and how we live, work, and play profoundly impacts our health. 

 

Dr. Kelli Harding is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and public health expert. She’s a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and boarded in the specialty of psychosomatic (mind-body) medicine. Dr. Harding has spent much of her career in the ER at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. A media favorite, she’s appeared on TodayGood Morning America, BBC World, C-SPAN, NPR, and in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, MedscapeOprah.comReaders Digest, and Parents Magazine. Dr. Harding lives in NYC with her husband, Padraic, and three boys (seventh grade, fifth grade, and second grade).

 

Dr. Daniel Fessler, Director of the UCLA Bedari Kindness Center, will join Dr. Harding in conversation.  Dr. Fessler is a Professor of Biological Anthropology at UCLA, working in the fields of evolutionary psychology, evolutionary anthropology and evolutionary medicine. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.

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For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu

ABOUT US

The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and
Human Behavior at UCLA is dedicated to improving the lives of people with mental illness by supporting research to advance innovative treatments and sponsoring educational programs to raise awareness and erase stigma.*

The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
760 Westwood Plaza C7-463
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Email: wkelman@mednet.ucla.edu

Phone: 310 825-3119
 

* The Friends of the Semel Institute is a 501(c)(3)  volunteer organization under the auspices of the UCLA Foundation.