The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA hope that you and your family are staying safe and well during this challenging time. 

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has issued a new advisory report to highlight the urgent need to address the nation’s youth mental health crisis. It outlines the pandemic’s unprecedented impacts on the mental health of America’s youth and families, as well as the mental health challenges that existed long before the pandemic.

The CDC reports:

  • Up to 1 in 5 children ages 3 to 17 in the U.S. have a mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral disorder

  • From 2009 to 2019, the share of high school students who reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40%, to more than 1 in 3 students 

  • Suicidal behaviors among high school students also increased during the decade preceding COVID, with 19% seriously considering attempting suicide, a 36% increase from 2009 to 2019

The Friends are working to address this youth and community mental health crisis by:

  • Presenting 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.

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

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

To continue our commitment to support mental health education and research to meet today’s critical mental health challenges, we need your help! If you haven’t already done so, it’s not too late to make your 100% tax-deductible donation today.


You may also contact Wendy Kelman at 310-825-3119 or 

In closing, we remain grateful for all the support you have provided our organization. We wish you and your family a safe and healthy New Year. 


If you do not wish to receive further fundraising information from UCLA Health Sciences, please either call us at (855) 364-6945 or email us at, providing your name, address, phone number and from which department you’re requesting to be removed

Please review UCLA and The UCLA Foundation’s Disclosure Statements for Prospective Donors at or contact the development officer listed on this form. Fund-raising Permit: In compliance with the Charitable Solicitation Ordinance in the City of Los Angeles (L.A. Municipal Code Article 4, Section 44), The UCLA Foundation’s permit is on file with the City of Los Angeles. In compliance with the Charitable Solicitation Ordinance in the City of Beverly Hills(Under Article 8, Section 4-3-801 of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code (BHMC), The UCLA Foundation's permit is on file with the City of Beverly Hills.

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