From Local to Global: Mental Health at Every Turn

I am a bit breathless. This has been a week chock full of public news and life events that push mental health to the forefront of our attention. The variety of topics reminds us that mental health is linked to stories near and far, joyful and painful, universal and particular.

Building Communities that Build Capacity

This past Monday, April 25th, was the annual luncheon and meeting of the Columbia Council for the Advancement of Global Mental Health Research. Council members, current and past grant recipients, faculty, and staff gathered in person and online to celebrate this growing network and learn about projects that are underway.

The Hare with Amber Eyes

The Hare with Amber Eyes is an extraordinary memoir pieced together with exquisite care by British ceramicist Edmund de Waal. He tells the story of his family, the Ephrussi, who went from Jewish shtetl in Odessa in the 1800s to opulent palaces in Vienna and Paris by the early 1900s.

Shamrock Taschen!

The Jewish holiday of Purim and the Irish holiday of St. Patrick’s Day both landed on Thursday of this week, March 17th. As a Jewish woman with Irish ancestry, this serendipitous coincidence makes me feel a little giddy. Although the origins and traditions of the two holidays are worlds apart,

Highs, Lows, and Loop-de-Loops

The world seems to be convulsing in a time-and-space-warp kind of way. It is as if we are at the top and bottom of a roller coaster in the same instant. Racing thoughts touch on the idea that this human-made odyssey is full of risk. We wonder about the last

Asian in America: Interconnected Histories and Distinct Experiences

Michelle Alyssa Go died last weekend after being pushed onto the subway tracks in Times Square. A 40-year-old Asian American woman, her life was tragically cut short. The portraits below, illustrated by Jonathan D. Chang, depict a few out of the many Asian American individuals who have been hurt, attacked,

What Martin Luther King, Jr. Knew But Never Said

On Monday, we pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. Stories and accolades will fill every form of media. Appropriately so. We will celebrate this legendary leader’s commitment to nonviolence and his extraordinary legacy of fighting for racial justice in the US Civil Rights movement. Renowned for his passionate and

World AIDS Day 2021

This past Wednesday, December 1st, was World AIDS Day. Dating back to 1988, World AIDS Day is “an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.” The story

Si sta bene in Trieste

I am so happy to be in Italy after a nearly two-year hiatus from international travel. Italy is one of the places in the world that I call home. My paternal grandmother was born in Rome. I lived in Bologna as a university student. I return as often as possible.

Mental Health in an Unequal World

Last week, my friend and colleague, Harold Pincus, sent me a stunning photo of the vast field of white flags that carpet the Washington Mall in commemoration of the 700,000+ lives lost to COVID in the United States. It is heart-wrenching. The world is so unfair, and the pandemic has

The Future of Global Mental Health

Talk about the future often focuses on technological innovation, space travel, and the discovery of life forms in galaxies that we can barely imagine. As a professor, my view of the future is much more exciting. It comes into focus every time I rest my eyes on my students. This

Mental Health Takes Center Court

“Fault!” That’s the call of a line referee when the tennis ball lands outside an opponent’s designated service box. This week, the cry came when Naomi Osaka, four-time Grand Slam champion and number two ranked female tennis player in the world, refused to participate in a mandatory post-match news conference