This 90-minute virtual roundtable discussion will focus on providing attendees with a thorough understanding of the experience of mental health stigma, including but not limited to the various types of stigma, the impact of the stigma experience on the help-seeking behaviors of those experiencing mental health challenges, and how mental health stigma impacts the quality of care provided to people impacted by mental illness. Panelists will share their personal and professional experiences with mental health stigma.
Roundtable Facilitator – James Rodriguez, LCSW, PhD
Dr. James Rodriguez
Dr. James Rodriguez is a New York State Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychologist in private practice with over 25 years of experience as a direct practitioner, trainer, and researcher in mental health services to children, youth, adults, and families. He is the Senior Director of Clinical Initiatives at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research and Adjunct Faculty at the NYU Silver School of Social Work.
Roundtable Panelists (click for details)
Ellen Barry is a mental health correspondent for The New York Times. She joined the Times in 2007 and has served as bureau chief in Moscow and Delhi, and in London as Chief International Correspondent. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for a series on corruption and impunity in Russia.
Daniel Bergner is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of six books of nonfiction—The Mind and the Moon: My Brother’s Story, the Science of Our Brains, and the Search for Our Psyches, Sing for Your Life, What Do Women Want?, The Other Side of Desire, In the Land of Magic Soldiers, and God of the Rodeo—as well as a novel, Moments of Favor. Sing for Your Life was a New York Times bestseller and a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book of the Year. In the Land of Magic Soldiers received an Overseas Press Club Award for international reporting and a Lettre-Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. God of the Rodeo was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In addition to the New York Times Magazine, Daniel’s writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Granta, Harper’s, Mother Jones, Talk, and the New York Times Book Review, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. His writing is included in The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction.
Christina Caron is a reporter for the Well section at The New York Times, covering mental health and the intersection of culture and health care. Previously, she was a parenting reporter, general assignment reporter and copy editor at The Times. She also spent a decade working in broadcast news, primarily as an online editor, and has worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Ms. Caron attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and earned a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism.
Lindsay Holmes Brech is the Senior Wellness & Travel Editor at HuffPost, where she oversees the health and travel content for HuffPost Life. She was selected for a National Press Foundation mental health fellowship in 2016 and has moderated multiple panels on stigma reduction. She’s passionate about how the media can responsibly cover mental illness and has consulted on professional guidelines for reporting on suicide. She graduated with a degree in journalism from The University of Central Florida in Orlando and is based in New York.
Brigid Jaipaul-Valenza is an award-winning journalist who coordinates news coverage for Buffalo Toronto Public Media.
In 2019, as a freelance contributor to WBFO she and Thomas O’Neil-White shared NYS Associated Press first place honors for our “Working Poor” series as the state’s best documentary by stations our size. She also won second place that same year, with Kyle Mackie and Thomas for our “School to Prison Pipeline” series.
In the late 1990s through 2005, Brigid was an executive producer in charge of the morning shows at WGRZ Channel 2, editing scripts, creating enterprise series and developing community involvement special projects. During her time there, she brought a third rated Nielsen newscast to number one in the market in six months.
She’s also an artist, an internationally published author, a certified paralegal, and a small business owner who specializes in alternative American Medical Association complementary therapies.
Micha Kirsch-Ito (he/they/we) is an artist and thinker from Philadelphia, PA/Susquehannock and Delaware land. Our passions include gender decolonized and gender affirming care as trauma-informed care, neuroaesthetics and media analysis, and infusing lived experience in institutional change. Currently, he works at Vibrant Emotional Health as a Communications Program Manager in the Equity & Belonging Department.
Stigma Researchers (click for details)
Helen-Maria (Marilena) Lekas, PhD joined the Nathan S. Kline Institute in 2016 as a Research Scientist in the Division of Social Solutions and Services Research, and as Co-Director of CCASE (Center for Research on Cultural and Structural Equity) http://ccase.org/about-us/vision/. She is an Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University and served as an Associate Professor at Mailman School of Public Health and built a 13-year NIH-funded research portfolio on infectious and chronic diseases in low-income and racialized communities. Engagement in medical care, patient-provider relationships, intersectional stigma, symptom interpretation and illness management in persons with behavioral health needs makeup her research agenda. Her projects are based on using applied, theory-driven research methods. Most recently, Dr. Lekas has developed a cultural and structural competence training for the peer advocate mental health workforce and is collaborating on a large-scale stigma-reducing initiative led by the Office of Mental Health of NYS. For a list of publications: https://med.nyu.edu/faculty/helen-maria-lekas
Philip T. Yanos, Ph.D., is native New Yorker and proud Greek-American. He is a professor of psychology at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. A researcher who focuses on stigma and how it interferes with recovery among people diagnosed with mental illnesses, he is the author of Written Off: Mental Health Stigma and the Loss of Human Potential (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and associate editor for the journal Stigma and Health. He is the co-developer of Narrative Enhancement and Cognitive Therapy, a group-based treatment which addresses the effects of self-stigma among people diagnosed with mental illnesses that has been translated into several languages. He is the author of more than 100 articles and book chapters and has been principal investigator on several federally-funded research projects.
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