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

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.  


  • 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, Windward High School student and Founder of the Instagram @talkwithzach platform.


  • Ross Szabo -  social innovator, award-winning speaker, and author 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.

  • Sybill 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.

  • Zach Gottlieb - mental health activist, speaker, and the creator of Talk With Zach, a movement and community that aims to change the culture around emotional health for teens. He is a rising 10th-grader in Los Angeles. You can learn more @talkwithzach on Instagram and Tiktok.

  • Other Students


Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


To watch videos of our past Open Mind programs, please visit www.friendsofnpi.org/open-mind-videos, or our YouTube Channel.

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