Thousands of families throughout the U.S. will soon have a rare opportunity to learn about new breakthroughs and emerging treatments in mental health by the nation's best and brightest mental health researchers.
"Healthy Minds Across America," a series of free forums open to the public, will take place every weekend from April 10 until May 8, culminating with the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month in May. The events, organized by NARSAD (formerly the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) in partnership with 44 institutions across the U.S. and Canada, will feature talks on the latest science and potential cures for schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, as well as childhood mental health conditions such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
"We created 'Healthy Minds' as a unique and open forum for scientists and families to share new discoveries that have the potential to improve the quality of life for people with mental illness," said Benita Shobe, NARSAD's president and CEO. "NARSAD believes passionately in the value of offering patients and families--and the medical professionals who care for them--direct access to the researchers who are shaping the future of the mental health science and getting us close to cures."
"NARSAD's mission is to identify the most promising research proposals that will allow us to achieve the greatest gains in the shortest amount of time," said Herbert Pardes, M.D., president of NARSAD's Scientific Council and president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "These events showcase the grants we've made over the years in action, helping thousands of scientists jumpstart their careers as well as take their research in bold directions that might not otherwise have been possible."
"Healthy Minds" will be held at more than 40 major medical institutions and research centers, including Columbia University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, several campuses of the University of Texas, as well as several campuses at the University of California.
Each event will feature three to four presenters, most of whom have received NARSAD grants. The researchers come from a range of scholarly approaches in psychiatry, neurology, psychology, epidemiology, molecular biology and other areas of medical and biological research. "Healthy Minds Across America" presenters will discuss a range of topics:
- "Brain Stimulation: A Breakthrough Treatment Option When Medications Fail"
- "The Role of Genetics: Emerging Research on Risk Factors for Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and Even Suicide"
- "Productive Lives: Creating Employment Opportunities for People With Serious Mental Disorders"
- "Early Risk Factors and Potential Intervention for Mental Illnesses Like Schizophrenia"
- "Neuroimaging Technology: Improving Diagnoses of Serious Psychiatric Disorders by Determining How Antipsychotic Medications Are at Work Within the Brain"
- "Translational Medicine: Translating the Biology of Mental Illness Into More Effective Treatments"