Open Mind, a Community Lecture and Film Series and Special Events


June 15, 2022

In Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Rabbi Steve Leder's book, For You When I Am Gone, he  inspires readers to examine their own lives and turn them into something beautiful and meaningful for generations to come. He advises the reader on the importance of and how to write an ethical will, a document that includes stories and reflections about our past.


June 9, 2022

Struggle in Paradise, by Psychologist/Psychoanalyst/Artist Dr. Stuart Perlman, is an award-winning documentary about his Faces of Homelessness portrait project. Dr. Perlman and Dr. Kenneth Wells discuss clips from the film.


May 25, 2022

 Wil Wheaton, celebrated actor from Stand by Me, Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory, and social media supernova, discussed his book, STILL JUST A GEEK - AN ANNOTATED MEMOIR, that tackles mental health face on.  Katrina DeBonis, MD, joined Wil Wheaton in conversation. 


May 10, 2022

The Friends of the Semel Institute, the Resnick Hospital Board, and the Healthy Campus Initiative hosted a in person sneak preview of "Gratitude Revealed". 

In a world reeling from pandemic and succumbing to hatred and fear, the film helps us discover the good, opening our eyes to the gifts that bless us each and every day. A Q&A followed the screening with director Louie Schwartzberg, Robert M. Bilder, PhD, ABPP-CN, Wendelin Slusser, MD and IN-Q.

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May 3, 2022

In Yes! Your Child Can: Creating Success for Children with Learning Differences,

Dr. Victoria Waller, an educational therapist shared her decades of proven techniques to create success for children with learning differences. Dr. Stephen Hinshaw Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco joined Dr. Waller in discussion and talked about his new book, Straight Talk about ADHD in Girls: How to Help Your Daughter Thrive.


April 28, 2022

The Open Mind Film Festival 2022, hosted by Grace Gaustad, is presented by The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. The Friends is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people living with mental health issues. Nine finalist films are screened with introductions by the high school filmmakers and a conversation with Dr. Liz Laugeson and Grace Gaustad.


April 19, 2022

Thomas Insel, MD, psychiatrist, neuroscientist and former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), talks about his acclaimed book, Healing - Our Path From Mental Illness to Mental Health, that discribes the current mental health care crisis in the United States. Dr.Insel is joined by Jonathan Sherin, MD, PHD and Thomas Strouse, MD.


March 30, 2022

Andrea Sonnenberg with Dr. Anna Lau and Rabbi Sherre Hirsch discuss “Getting Thru: Stories of Resilience”, the podcast where she showcases conversations with young people with mental health challenges who are “getting though--” living full and meaningful lives, offering hope and paths to success for others struggling.


March 3, 2022

Anna Lembkem, MD and Karen Miotto, MD discuss Dr. Lembke's New York Times best-seller Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence. The book explores the secret to finding balance in our dopamine-overloaded world.  Dr. Lembke shows us how we have all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption, whether it be over-indulging on technology, social media, food, work or sex, and explains the personal and societal price of being ruled by the next fix. 

Past Events by year


February 23, 2022

A panel discussion followed the screening of a 30-minute episode of "As We See It", created by Jason Katims, Emmy-award winning executive producer, writer, and showrunner of Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, follows Jack (Rick Glassman), Harrison (Albert Rutecki), and Violet (Sue Ann Pien), twentysomething roommates on the autism spectrum, as they strive to get and keep jobs, make friends, fall in love, and navigate a world that eludes them. With the help of their families, aide, and sometimes even each other, these roommates experience setbacks and celebrate triumphs on their own unique journeys towards independence and acceptance.


February 7, 2022

Nina Kraus, PhD discussed her book, OF SOUND MIND: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World, a fascinating exploration of sound’s surprisingly unrecognized role in both the healthy and hurting brain and brilliantly makes the case that the sounds of the world around us—and what sounds we’re exposed to throughout our lives—impact the development of our brains, the abilities and weaknesses we develop, and who we are as human beings.


January 6, 2022

Dr. Wendy Suzuki discussed her book, Good Anxiety:  Harnessing the Power of the Most Misunderstood Emotion, Dr. Suzuki, a world-renowned neuroscientist and author of the best-selling book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life explains how to harness the power of anxiety into unexpected gifts.  In Good Anxiety,  Dr. Suzuki offers anyone who has ever felt powerless over stress, dread, panic, or life’s many “what if’s”, an essential, user-friendly and practical guide to unlocking the potential of anxiety to be a benefit, a "superpower",  instead of a drawback.