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Sunday, June 4
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM PDT

James Bridges Theater

Melnitz Hall UCLA

Registration is required for this free live event.

Please join UCLA’s Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors, and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for a private screening of the documentary film, OUTSIDER.


Narrated by Gary Gulman, this powerful 40-minute documentary about Maury Ornest portrays his private battle with schizoaffective disorder, the impact it had on his family, and how making art saved Maury and gave meaning to his struggles with mental illness.

What distinguishes OUTSIDER is the opportunity to visualize his inner life. OUTSIDER chronicles Maury’s life story, from his wondrous Southern California childhood - loved and adored within a prominent family - through college and 3 years as a pro baseball player. Described by those who knew him, Maury was one of a kind - charismatic, funny, outgoing, and attractive. He had a blessed life, he belonged. An insider. However, in his early twenties, struck by the onset of schizoaffective disorder, his life derailed. He had to face a different kind of life. In his reclusive solitude, Maury discovered something that would bring him not only relief from torment but also great joy and passion. He began painting and drawing.


Sadly, however, while he was alive, he never achieved his goal of showing his art in the world. After Maury died from heart disease at the age of 58, his sister Laura found 1400 paintings and thousands of journal writings in his Beverly Hills home and storage units. This body of work is the foundation of OUTSIDER.

Laura Ornest and her husband Rick Leslie hope that the film will foster awareness of mental illnesses and greater understanding and compassion, not only for those who suffer from these challenging conditions, but also for their families. By encouraging discussion, they hope to help people realize that they are not alone.


Panel discussion immediately following the screening with Michael Gitlin, MD, Laura Ornest and Ping Ho, MA MPH:

Michael J. Gitlin, M.D. is Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. He is currently the Director of the Adult Division in the Department of Psychiatry, Interim Director of the Geriatric Division in the Department of Psychiatry, Medical Director of the Neuropsychiatric Behavioral Health Services and Director of the Mood Disorders Clinic at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital. From 1980 until 2004, he was the Medical Director of the Aftercare Clinic, a research clinic in schizophrenia. He is the author of over 160 scientific articles and book chapters as well as five books, including: two editions of a solo authored psychopharmacology textbook written for nonphysician therapists entitled "The Psychotherapist's Guide to Psychopharmacology” published by the Free Press, the coauthor of “Psychotropic Drugs and Women” with Dr. Victoria Hendrick, the coauthor of “Clinician’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder: Integrating Pharmacology with Psychotherapy”, with Dr. David Miklowitz and the coauthor of “The Essential Guide to Lithium Treatment” with Dr. Michael Bauer. He served as Chief of Staff at the Neuropsychiatric Hospital from 1997-1999. Among his awards are: Distinguished Educator Award in Teaching from the UCLA Department of Psychiatry (1999), Outstanding Housestaff Teaching Award, 1994 and 2008, Teacher of the Year from the Psychiatric Times in 2002; Dadone Clinical Teaching award from the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in 2010; and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award from the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in 2010.

LAURA ORNEST is an award-winning television and radio reporter and producer who is committed to fighting the stigma that is so often associated with mental illness. Born in Edmonton, Canada, she grew up in Vancouver and Beverly Hills, where she graduated from Beverly Hills High School. She spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris before earning a BA in French from UCLA. After graduation, she worked as assistant general manager for the Vancouver Canadians, a triple-A baseball team, and then began her broadcasting career at CKNW, a talk radio station in Vancouver. After a year at CKNW, Ornest in 1983 became the first female TV sportscaster in western Canada when CBC Television hired her to host the 11 p.m. nightly sportscast and a weekend sports show. In 1985, she returned to Los Angeles and became a freelance TV news reporter for Channel 9 and ESPN. She also produced shows for E! network, CNN and CBS before returning to radio, her first love. For more than two decades, she worked as a local Los Angeles news reporter for AM stations KFWB (980) and KNX (1070), where she earned several Golden Mic and Associated Press awards. She later did on-air feature interviews for Classical KUSC (91.5 FM). A passionate advocate for mental health services, she has served for many years as a board member of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. She recently co-produced “Mapping of the Mind,” a Jewish Women’s Theatre show about mental illness. She lives in Rustic Canyon with her husband, architect Rick Leslie, in a contemporary home that he designed. They have a son, Harrison, and a rescue dog, Lacey.

Ping Ho, MA, MPH is the Founder and Director, UCLArts & Healing will participate in the panel discussion. Ping Ho is Founder and Director of UCLArts & Healing, which transforms lives through creative expression by integrating the innate benefits of the arts with mental health practices for self-discovery, connection, and empowerment. This work represents the nexus of her graduate education in counseling psychology and public health with her lifelong experience in performing arts. Ping co-developed and served as principal investigator for the evidence-based training program, Beat the Odds®: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming. In addition, she spearheaded the development of the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA)and SEA on a Shoestring: Supportive Art, Movement, Music, and Writing for Individuals and Groups in AnySetting. Ping is associate editor for the creative arts therapy section of the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. She is also co-author of The Innovative Parent: Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art, winner of a 2019 National Parenting Products Association Award.


Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. We take extra reservations to allow for the no-show rate. A reservation does not absolutely guarantee a seat. Please plan to arrive early so that you are not disappointed! Thank you for your understanding.

James Bridges Theater, Melnitz Hall, UCLA
Parking is available in Structure 3 
235 Charles E Young Drive West Los Angeles, CA 90095
From Eastbound Sunset Blvd: Turn right on Hilgard Avenue and make an immediate right on Charing Cross Road. Go straight at the stop sign to enter the Pay-by-Plate area using the North entrance of the structure. Park on level 1, 2, or 3 in any designated pay-by-plate space and use the pay-station (located on each level) to purchase parking. After paying for parking, proceed to Level 1 and walk through the tunnel. Melnitz Hall is the first building on your left.

To watch videos of our past Open Mind programs, please visit our YouTube Channel

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