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The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA hope that you and your family are safe and well during this challenging time. If this year of turmoil and change has taught us one thing, it’s the power of community. Having you as part of our Open Mind/Friends of Semel community has been the greatest gift of all as we navigated through the turbulent sea of change in 2020. We remain so grateful to you for your generous support of The Friends of Semel. If you have already sent us your year-end gift, we thank you for your generosity. It you haven't had a chance to do so, there is still time to make a difference by sending your 100% tax deductible donation now! 

The social isolation and uncertainties of Covid-19 have intensified the mental health crisis already facing our country. Prior to the pandemic, The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) reported that 1 in 4 Americans, 46.6 million, experienced a mental health disorder in any given year. Today, that number has tripled, with millions more now suffering from anxiety, depression and substance abuse disorders. One of the most alarming statistics is that 1 in 4 young people, between the ages of 18 through 24, now report having suicidal thoughts.

As the non-profit support group for the world-renowned Semel Institute, we are dedicated to raising awareness and erasing the stigma of mental illness. Stigma remains the single biggest factor in preventing a person from asking for the help they need and deserve, that can result in devastating outcomes such as suicide or drug overdose

Your generous support of The Friends has enabled us to:

  • Present the Open Mind Community Lecture and Film series, free to the public, to raise awareness and erase the stigma of illnesses of the mind and brain.

  • Support early career neuroscientists through our Friends Research Scholar Program, and our newly established Friends of The Semel Institute Chair for junior faculty

  • Engage Los Angeles County high school students through our newly launched Open Mind Film Festival for mental health

In order to continue our commitment to support mental health education and research, we need your help. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes several tax provisions for charitable giving. If you haven’t already done so, please consider making your 100% tax-deductible donation today.

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You may also contact Wendy Kelman at 310-795-5376 or wkelman@mednet.ucla.edu.

We hope that your season is filled with special moments and that 2021 will be a much better year for us all. We remain grateful for the ongoing support you have provided our organization. We wish you and your family a safe and healthy New Year.