Congratulations, Dr. Poku!

Following graduation from Mount Holyoke College, Ohemaa Poku started as the Program Coordinator at our Columbia-WHO Center for Global Mental Health in 2014. Over the past seven years, she’s been busy! She worked at Columbia for a stretch and then embarked on her graduate education in public health. Last week

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

I May Be the First…

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris walked on stage in her white suffragette suit on November 7th, I cried. One hundred years after women won the right to vote in the USA, she is the first woman vice president. The first Black and Asian American woman vice president. Kamala Harris acknowledged

Lose Hope, Game Over

Lose hope. Game over. The words of a dear friend ring in my ears these days. But it’s hard to stay hopeful. Just when it seems like things cannot get worse, they do. The US Presidential debate was a spectacle and a debacle. I have texts from friends who live

RIP RBG

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg bid the world farewell last Friday as Jews around the world welcomed in the new year. The Notorious RBG is the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court and is the first woman and first Jew to lie in State in the United States Capitol.

If French Fries are Wrong…

If french fries are wrong, I don’t want to be right. Printed on the side of a beach bag in a store window, this line made me laugh. The truth is I love french fries. Actually I am good with potatoes in every form – baked, mashed or made into

Everyday Heroes

During this pandemic, frontline health care providers have put their lives at risk to save others. We have also come to recognize the essential roles of so many other individuals, including bus drivers, grocery store clerks, electric company line workers, building security and maintenance workers, and more. Around the world,

Challah

With more of us at home and less frequent trips to the grocery store since we have been sheltering in place, Friday has become a day for challah making (not just eating) in my family. Different members of our pod have taken turns each week. As my great niece and

Celebrating Light at Times of Darkness

We are living during a period of history that is testing people’s coping skills, resilience, and spirit. I have heard many people say that we have yet to see the “light at the end of the tunnel” when it comes to this global pandemic. That may be true, which is

Men, Mental Health, and Tech Meet Ups

With this Sunday being Father’s Day and June being Men’s Mental Health Month, I have been thinking about men and mental health. Often, the discussion about men and mental health focuses on how bad things are – high rates of mental health problems, particularly substance use disorders and suicide – and low

It’s Enough Already

Disruptive. Topsy Turvey. Unprecedented. These have been the go-to adjectives in this era of COVID-19. Nary a Zoom meeting, conversation, or webinar this week escaped reference to challenges of our time. Amidst it all, mental health concerns have been front and center. Here are my go-to qualifiers about mental health