Open Mind, a Community Lecture and Film Series and Special Events 2019


December  10, 2019

Author Jaime Lowe, discussed her book, Mental: Lithium, Love and Losing My Mind, in which she shares and investigates her story of bipolar disorder and episodic madness, as well as the stabil­ity she found while on lithium. View the video.


December  6, 2019

The Friends screened the documentary, CRACKED UP. The film brings to light the tremendous impact, devastating pain and suffering that childhood trauma can have on our lives, told through the story of legendary Saturday Night Live star, Darrell Hammond. View the video.


November  18, 2019

UCLA's Friends of the Semel Institute screened the highly acclaimed feature length documentary film, NOT CAROL, which shines a light on a public health epidemic that is enormous in scale and no one is talking about - maternal mental health.


November 1, 2019

Dr. Suzuki, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at NYU, talked about her international bestselling book, Healthy Brain, Happy Life that tells the story of her own transformation through exercise and offers practical and fascinating ways to improve memory, engage the brain more deeply, and create a way of living that is good for the body and the brain.

Better with Age Book Cover Art Alan Cast

October 23, 2019

Dr. Alan Castel, Professor in the Department of Psychology
 at UCLA discussed his critically acclaimed, best-selling book, "Better with Age..The Psychology of Successful Aging" that was named one of the “Best Books on Aging Well” by the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Castel studies learning, memory, and aging,
 and is interested in how people can selectively remember important information.

Past Events by year


October 7, 2019

Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg discussed his book and documenatry, BEDLAM, a look at the historical, political, and economic forces that have resulted in the greatest social crisis of the twenty-first century.  BEDLAM tracks individual stories of mentally-ill patients caught on an endless merry-go-round of ineffective care, exposing the anatomy of a broken health care system. Watch the video.


October 1, 2019

The Friends screened an episode of Love on the Spectrum, a documentary series from Australia featuring UCLA Founder of PEERS, Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson.

Love On The Spectrum is a four-part documentary series that follows young adults who are on the autism spectrum as they try to navigate the world of relationships and dating.


September 21, 2019

The Friends screened, UNTOUCHABLE, the inside story of the meteoric rise and shocking fall of movie titan Harvey Weinstein. The film reveals how Weinstein acquired and deployed hisnformidable power over decades, exploring both the
method and the collateral damage of his alleged abuses.


September 10, 2019

In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music—its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it—and the human brain.


September 4, 2019

Valorie Kondos Field—or Miss Val, as she’s affectionately known by the scores of champion gymnasts shared stories and lessons learned throughout her career in her new book, LIFE IS SHORT, DON’T WAIT to DANCE: Advice and Inspiration from the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame Coach of 7 NCAA Championship Teams. In this best-selling book, Coach Val talks about her battle with breast cancer and how her positive outlook and gratitude ( I get to go to the Chemo spa) helped her through her fight with this serious illness. 


May 16, 2019

UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb spoke about his latest book, The Upward Spiral Workbook. Dr. Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, Dr. Korb provides dozens ofstraightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life.


April 11, 2019

UCLA alumna and singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles blew the roof off a packed ballroom with her powerful performance of her anthem, “Brave,” setting the tone for a day of self-discovery and conversation about mental health at the Wonder of Women Summit on April 11.

Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health, welcomed 500 attendees to the star-studded occasion, which melded the cream of Hollywood celebrities with UCLA trailblazers in fields ranging from medicine to athletics.

Emceed by actress Lisa Kudrow, the event was hosted by UCLA’s Friends of the Semel Institute and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center.


March 19, 2019

Sarah McBride discussed her coming out as trans and of the terrain, both personal and political, for transgender people and those who love them.  Her book, Tomorrow will Be Different offers a message of encouragement for all, especially the LGBTQ community, while reminding us that the fight for equality is just getting started and that we can do better to advocate on behalf of all people for a better, glorious, kinder future. Vernon A. Rosario, MD, Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles and a child psychiatrist with the Department of Mental Health joined Ms. McBride in discussion.


February 20, 2019

The Friends The Friends  welcomed Alisa Roth, journalist and author of the critically acclaimed book, Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness which investigates the crisis of mental illness in the United States Criminal Justice System. A former staff reporter at NPR's "Marketplace", Ms. Roth's work has also been featured in The New York Times and the New York Review of Books


February 8, 2019

The Friends screened "The Public", a David versus Goliath story, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, tackles some of our nation's most challenging issues, homelessness, and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library. 


February 4, 2019

The Friends screened the critically acclaimed film “Turning Point” by the director of “Glen Campbell I’ll Be Me”. Filmmaker and director James Keach follows a team of researchers on the front lines of Alzheimer’s research and captures the raw disappointment and renewed hope of those working to find a cure for this fatal, incurable disease affecting nearly 5.7 million Americans. 


January 28, 2019

The Friends screened the critically acclaimed film "55 Steps" starring
Helena Bonham Carter, Hillary Swank, and Jeffrey Tambor. After the film, Mark Bruce Rosin, Writer and Producer of "55 Steps" , Colette Hughes, patient's rights attorney, and Thomas Strouse, M.D. - Medical Director of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, discussed the film's patient's rights theme.


January 15, 2019

The Friends screened  the documentary film "Battlefield Home", by Anita Sugimura Holsapple. In an effort to unravel her own journey of dealing with PTSD as a Vietnam era military child, Japanese-American documentary filmmaker, Ms. Sugimura Holsapple, interviewed multi-generational family members and exposed the unflinching impact of war, and the failing systems that continue the legacy of trauma from generation to generation.