Thank you to our generous #WOW2021 Sponsors:


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Latham & Watkins, LLP

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Robert DeBitetto

Friars Charitable Foundation

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The Goodman Family

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Stephanie and Brian Lushing

Gail Kamer Lieberfarb

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Lea and Barry Porter

Resnick Family Foundation, Inc.

The Resnick Hospital Board of Advisors

The Semel Institute

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Sheeri and Michael Steinberg

Warner Bros. Television

Stasia Washington

Kristin and Jeffrey Worthe

UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

May and Richard Ziman


Students, Parents, Grandparents, Educators, and Mental Health Professionals! Everyone interested in the welfare of students as they head back to school!

This program is for you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 5 PM PT


Open Mind Lecture

Back to School Anxiety

Ross Szabo

Please join The Friends of the Semel Institute and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for a special "Back to School Anxiety" virtual Open Mind program. 

World-renowned experts and high school students will discuss how to manage the worries and stress of returning to school, especially after a pandemic, and how to transition to a successful start to the school year. 

Featured Speaker

  • Ross Szabo, Director of Wellness at the UCLA Geffen Academy; Author "Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health" and A Kids Book About Anxiety that was named one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2020. 


Moderator/UCLA Faculty Discussant

  • John Piacentini, Ph.D. - Director of the UCLA Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support (CARES) Center; Director of the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program; Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences



  • Sibyll Carnochan Catalan, Ph.D. Founding Head of School at the Geffen Academy at UCLA and long-time advocate for challenging and engaging education for students of all background in all kinds of schools.

  • Zach Gottlieb, high school student and Founder of the Instagram and Tik Tok @talkwithzach platforms.

  • Lucia Cleveland, high school senior who is passionate about social justice and mental health.


Professional Bios:

  • Ross Szabo - Mr. Szabo is a social innovator, award-winning speaker, and author who pioneered the youth mental health movement. He is the current Wellness Director and founding faculty member at the Geffen Academy at UCLA and the CEO of Human Power Project, a company that designs mental health curriculum. Ross turned a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with anger control problems and psychotic features at age 16, into an opportunity to educate others and set a positive example to empower young people to seek help. His natural ability to make mental health approachable for large groups of people has led to countless media appearances and presentations to over 2 million people about the importance of mental health. During his 8 years as Director of Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, he created the first national youth mental health speakers’ bureau in the country that is now a part of Active Minds. His tremendous efforts in the mental health field have led to him receiving the 2010 Didi Hirsch Erasing the Stigma Leadership Award, 2012 Changing Minds Award and his advocacy work was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Human Power Project’s first curriculum titled, Behind Happy Faces, is being utilized by over 200,000 students. The curriculum received the 2016 Excellence in Education Award from the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors.

  • John Piacentini, Ph.D. - Dr. Piacentini is a board-certified clinical child and adolescent psychologist whose works focuses on the development and testing of effective treatments for childhood anxiety and related disorders. He has played a lead role in several major treatments studies for these disorders and has published over 240 research papers, many in leading medical journals, chapters and books. He has a long history and child and family advocacy and serves on Boards of several organizations including nationally, the Anxiety Depression Association of America, the International OCD Foundation, the Tourette Syndrome Association Behavioral Sciences Consortium (Chair), the Trichotillomania Learning Center, the American Board of Professional Psychology and locally the SM-Malibu Education Foundation. He is currently President of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

  • Sibyll Carnochan Catalan, Ph.D. - Prior to joining UCLA, Dr. Catalan created and led a fellowship for outstanding public-school teachers and principals from across the country. An initiative of America Achieves, the Teacher and Principal Fellowship honors and showcases the work of outstanding educators. Dr. Catalan has worked in numerous other educational settings, including the Broad Foundation, U.S. Congress' Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor, the Council of Chief State School Officers; and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  

Wednesday, August 25

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Lecture

This is Your Brain on Food

Uma Naidoo, MD with Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD

Dr. Uma Naidoo, a Harvard trained psychiatrist, Professional Chef and Nutrition Specialist is the author of the new book, This is Your Brain on Food released in August 2020. Her niche work is in Nutritional Psychiatry and she is regarded both nationally and internationally as a medical pioneer in this more newly recognized field.


In her book, she shows the cutting-edge science explaining the ways in which food contributes to our mental health and how a sound diet can help treat and prevent a wide range of psychological and cognitive health issues from ADHD to anxiety, depression, OCD, and others.


Featured in the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Harvard Health Press, Goop, and many others, Dr Uma has a special interest on the impact of food on mood and other mental health conditions.


In her role as a Clinical Scientist, Dr. Naidoo founded and directs the first hospital-based clinical service in Nutritional Psychiatry in the US.  She is the Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) & Director of Nutritional Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital Academy while serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Director for the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition,  will join Dr. Naidoo in conversation.  Dr. Li is also the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Chair in Human Nutrition and at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Thursday, September 9

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Play

Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?

Cathy Ladman

“Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?” is the story of Cathy Ladman’s lifelong struggle to be perfect in every way – to succeed at school, to be seen at home, and, finally, to attain what she thinks is the perfect body.  But as much as she tries, nothing is ever enough. Faced with the possibility of hospital admission to prevent her from starving herself to death, she begins on a path to learn that “perfect” is not the thing she really wants. 

Cathy Ladman is one of the country's top comedians and was awarded the American Comedy Award for Best Female Stand-up Comic.  Her comedy focuses on family, growing up, relationships, and real life from a very personal perspective. The Los Angeles Times put it best: "...Ladman has such clever, well-written material and such a breezy, unassuming delivery that it would be easy to overlook just how good she is: Her act seems effortless." Her new one-woman show Does This Make Me Look Fat? is a self-probing, anxiety-venting vehicle, which draws laughter from exposing personal neurosis. 


A native New Yorker, now living in Los Angeles, Cathy's film credits include “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “The Aristocrats,” "White Oleander,” "What Planet Are You From?" "My Fellow Americans," and "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.” She has appeared on "The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, in her own HBO One Night Stand comedy special. Her guest-starring TV roles include “Modern Family,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Scandal,” “NCIS: LA,” “Mad Men,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Brothers and Sisters,” and "Everybody Loves Raymond." Her TV pilots include "Caroline in the City," and several others that never saw the light of day. She appeared regularly on ABC's "Politically Incorrect" and Comedy Central's "Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist."


Cathy’s writing career includes developing her own original projects, and she spent seasons writing on “Caroline in the City”, and “Roseanne.” She also wrote an episode of “King of Queens.” Cathy has also been doing more live theatre: She completed a successful run Off-Broadway in, “The JAP Show: The Princesses of Comedy;” she was in the 25th Anniversary Production of “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove” in Los Angeles, which was nominated for several GLAAD awards; she and HBO developed her solo show, “Scaredypants,” and took it to the Aspen Comedy Festival. She recently did a TEDMED talk which excerpted her show.

Danielle Keenan-Miller, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology at UCLA and Director of the UCLA Psychology Clinic will join Cathy Ladman in discussion.  Dr. Keenan-Miller is a psychological scientist, teacher, therapist, and co-author of the book The Binge Eating Prevention Workbook.  Dr. Keenan-Miller also trains graduate students in evidence-based psychotherapy.

Thursday, September 23

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Lecture

He Came In With It

Miriam Feldman with Nick Feldman and Yvonne S. Yang, MD, PhD

In an idyllic Los Angeles neighborhood, where generations of families enjoy deep roots in old homes, the O’Rourke family fits right in.


Miriam and Craig are both artists and their four children carry on the legacy. When their teenage son, Nick, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, a tumultuous decade ensues in which he family careens permanently off the conventional course.


Like the ten Biblical plagues, they are hit by one catastrophe after another; violence, evictions, arrests, a suicide attempt, a near-drowning, even cancer and a brain tumor play against the backdrop of a wild teenage bacchanal of artmaking and drugs. With no time for hand-wringing, Miriam advances, convinced she can fix everything. This is the story of how mental illness unspools an entire family. As Miriam fights to reclaim her son from the
ruthless, invisible enemy, we are given an unflinching view into a world few could imagine. He Came In With It is the legacy of, and for, her son Nick.

Yvonne S. Yang, MD, PhD will join Miriam Feldman in discussion.  Dr. Yang is Director, Psychosis Clinic, West Los Angeles VA; Section Chief, Psychosis Section, West Los Angeles VA; Assistant Clinical Professor, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, UCLA; and past recipient of The Friends of Semel Chancellor Block Research Scholar Award.

Tuesday, October 5

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Lecture

Floating in the Deep End - How Caregivers Can See Beyond Alzheimer's

Author Patti Davis in conversation with Linda Ercoli, PhD

"For the decade of my father's illness, I felt as I was floating in the deep end, tossed by waves, carried by currents, but not drowning."  In a singular account of battling Alzheimer's Disease, Patti Davis, daughter of late President Ronald and Mrs. Nancy Reagan,  eloquently weaves personal anecdotes with practical advice tailored specifically for the often-over-looked caregiver.  After losing her father to Alzheimer's, Davis founded Beyond Alzheimer's,  a support group for family members and friends of Alzheimer's patients.  Drawing on those challenging years, Davis reveals the struggles and surprising gifts of this cruel disease that affects more than 6 million Americans of all ages. 

From the challenges of navigating disorientation to the moments when guilt and resentments creep in, readers are guided gently through slow-burning grief.  Along the way, Davis,  who is the author of numerous books including The Long Goodbye that The Friends proudly featured at an Open Mind program in 2012.   Beyond Alzheimer's is now licensed at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania and the Cleveland Clinic in Los Vegas.

Linda Ercoli, Ph.D., will join Ms. Davis in discussion.  Dr. Ercoli , a clinical psychologist with expertise in geriatrics, dementia, cognition in cancer, and the neuropsychology of aging, is the Interim Director of the UCLA Longevity Center.  She is a Health Sciences Clinical Professor and the Director of Geriatric Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel Institute.  Dr. Ercoli served as faculty co-facilitator for Ms. Davis's Beyond Alzheimer's group at UCLA. 

Tuesday, October 19

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Lecture

How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes

Melinda Wenner Moyer with Robin Berman, MD

How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes is a clear, actionable, sometimes humorous (but always science-based) guide for parents on how to shape their kids into honest, kind, generous, confident, independent, and resilient people...who just might save the world one day.

As an award-winning science journalist, Melinda Wenner Moyer was regularly asked to investigate and address all kinds of parenting questions: how to potty train, when and whether to get vaccines, and how to help kids sleep through the night. But as Melinda's children grew, she found that one huge area was ignored in the realm of parenting advice: how do we make sure our kids don't grow up to be assholes?

On social media, in the news, and from the highest levels are government, kids are increasingly getting the message that being selfish, obnoxious and cruel is okay. Hate crimes among children and teens are rising, while compassion among teens has been dropping. We know, of course, that young people have the capacity for great empathy, resilience, and action, and we all want to bring up kids who will help build a better tomorrow. But how do we actually do this? How do we raise children who are kind, considerate, and ethical inside and outside the home, who will grow into adults committed to making the world a better place?

How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes is a deeply researched, evidence-based primer that provides a fresh, often surprising perspective on parenting issues, from toddlerhood through the teenage years. First, Melinda outlines the traits we want our children to possess--including honesty, generosity, and antiracism--and then she provides scientifically-based strategies that will help parents instill those characteristics in their kids. Learn how to raise the kind of kids you actually want to hang out with--and who just might save the world.

Psychiatrist and parenting expert, Robin Berman, MD, will join Melinda Wenner Moyer in conversation. Dr. Berman is an associate professor of psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a founding board member of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, and an advisory board member of Matthew McConaughey’s Just Keep Livin Foundation. She is also the author of Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love & Limits.

Thursday, November 4

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Lecture

The Empathy Diaries

Sherry Turkle

“We are the empathy app,” Sherry Turkle , MIT Professor and preeminent media scholar, writes “To fix our crisis of intimacy and privacy, of empathy and human connection, we don’t need more technology.  We need one another.”

Since the earliest days of computer culture, Professor Sherry Turkle, has been sounding an alarm about our engagement with digital technology.  In her new memoir, The Empathy Diaries, Turkle, the author of six books, including two New York Times best-sellers, Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together, explores a counterintuitive pattern across her lifetime of work devoted to keeping people connected:  that empathy and connection can arrive when we feel the most alone and unfamiliar.  

In Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together, Professor Turkle diagnosed how living behind our screens undermines our social connections and emotional lives and proposed a solution:  to look up from our screens and talk to each other.  Yet the past year has forced many of us into more screen-dependent isolation than ever before.  What does Turkle make of our post-pandemic landscape? 

Reflecting on her coming-of-age and path-blazing career, Turkle’s The Empathy Diaries is full of honest and surprising lessons that meet our moment when empathy seems in short supply.  She shares insights on her most personal relationships – with family, spouses, friends, and with colleagues as diverse as Jacque Lacan and Steve Jobs – as object lessons in developing the empathy necessary to make and main deep connections.  

Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT and the founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.  A licensed clinical psychologist, Turkle is a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year, a TED speaker and featured media commentator.  She is also the recipient of Guggenheim and Rockefeller Humanities fellowships and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  

"Sherry's life story is that of a woman who made her own way- both in the academic world and in the larger cultural conversation - by following her passions without fear and with tremendous integrity.  In so doing, she has helped us all understand a vital aspect of our lives with much great clarity.  The Empathy Diaries is a case study in courage and where it can take us"  - Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global. 

Thursday, November 18

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu



Open Mind Lecture

The Body Keeps The Score

Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Please join The Friends of the Semel Institute and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for an Open Mind program with Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., author of the #1 New York Times Non-Fiction best-seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma. In this groundbreaking book that has been on the best-seller list for 141 weeks, Dr. van der Kolk transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust and shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including body work, psychodrama, mindfulness techniques, parts work, yoga, and neurofeedback. 

Robert S. Pynoos, M.D. MPH, will join Dr. van der Kloss in discussion. Dr. Pynoss is a Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Director, UCLA Trauma Psychiatry Program; and former Executive Director of the Anxiety Section of the UCLA Psychiatry Program. He is the Co-Director of the federally sponsored Duke/UCLA National Center for Child Traumatic Stress.  


  • Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a pioneer clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress. His work uniquely integrates developmental, enurobiological, psychodynamic, somatic, and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treament. He is the founder of the Trauma Center (now the Trauma Research Foundation) in Boston. He and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater and EMDR. He is also the past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around the world.

  • Dr. Robert Pynoos, as Co-Director of the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, leads and coordinates a nationwide network of more than 70 academic and community-based centers dedicated to raising the standard of care and improving access to services for traumatized youth, families, and communities throughout the United States. He has been a pioneer in the development of psychological first aid, acute, intermediate, and long-term violence, war, and disaster interventions, including strategies to address trauma and loss reminders, post-trauma adversities, parenting and family recovery, and traumatic loss. He is co-developer of the UCLA FOCUS Program, a family-centered resiliency and skill-based intervention adapted for military families. He is an internationally recognized expert on the effects of trauma and loss on child and adolescent development, including neurobiology, moral development, and high-risk behaviors. He has helped the U.S. Department of Education in its response to school shootings, has received the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the 2007 ESCAP (European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) Award for Contributions to the Field of Child Trauma, the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award (2004) from the America Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, and the American Psychiatric Association Bruno Lima Award for excellence in disaster psychiatry. He is also the former Executive Director of the Anxiety Disorders Section of the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. 

Wednesday, December 8

 5:00 - 6:00 PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


For questions email WKelman@mednet.ucla.edu