Mortarboards Fly High

It’s that time of year! And this graduation devotee is over the moon. Two of my nieces and a nephew graduated this year: Lauren from Auburn University. War Eagle! Adam and Allison from high school. Cap and gown. Pomp and circumstance. I get choked up when the processional begins. I

The First Lady of Mental Health

The young man in the photo below with US First Lady Rosalynn Carter is my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Harold Pincus. This photo hangs adjacent to his office door. Over the years, I have passed it too many times to count. It has prompted many stories about mental health

Five Years of Five on Friday

I can hardly believe that I have been writing these weekly musings for five years. Our readership (you!) now numbers in the tens of thousands. In celebration of this milestone, we compiled all the past posts and created an online archive as part of a new website that will serve

Risk Forward

We might have imagined that with the vaccine rollout out, this topsy turvy world would feel more settled, but that is not how life goes. The pandemic has been a storm of uncertainty. We have spent more than a year wondering, worrying, waiting, wanting. And it continues: Is it really

Coats of Many Colors

I have a thing for coats, so you can imagine my delight on Inauguration Day. Coats of many colors were on full display. Coats negotiate the space between inside and out. On the exterior, coats shield us from the elements. On the interior, they nestle against our bodies so we

Graduation 2020: Squirm a Little

This week, throughout the United States, amidst the unprecedented pandemic of our day, academic commencements large and small have been taking place, virtually. In my own family – my twins, my daughter-in-law, my nephew, and the husbands of two of my nieces earned the right this year to don mortar


“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how,’” wrote Viktor Frankl in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Equally, the absence of ‘why’ can make unbearable almost any ‘how.’ We live in a world where it is easy to be busy. The challenge before us

El Dia del Amor y la Amistad

I am spending this weekend with dear friends in Mexico City where February 14th is celebrated as El Día del Amor y la Amistad, the “day of love and friendship.” And earlier this week, two friends from different parts of the world sent me emails on the significant impact of friendships on

Five on Friday 2019

Dear Readers,  Another year of musings on mental health. We have covered a lot of ground. From grief to burnout to the benefits of boredom. From psilocybin to what the American Founding Fathers knew about mental illness to eating disorders and trauma. Thank you for reading Five on Friday. Thank

What’s On Our Mind: Dementia

This week, we launched a new series called “What’s On Our Mind” to provide a space where we can talk with experts from around the world about current mental health issues. Hosted on Facebook Live (you don’t need a Facebook account to view), our aim is to provide an informative

Good Grief

I attended a funeral last week. The sudden death of my friend’s husband left family and friends with shattered dreams and broken hearts. Losing a loved one precipitates a journey of grieving. And although this experience of loss is nearly universal, it is also exquisitely personal. As my heart aches

Ninety Years and Counting

This Monday, my dear friend, Jim Spool (AKA Grandpa Jimmy), will be ninety years old. Born on December 3, 1928, Grandpa Jimmy arrived on earth the same year that commercially available sliced bread was invented. Really. It was also in 1928 that scientist Alexander Fleming discovered a particular mold in