ForLikeMinds

“Stigma, Meet Hope.” This is how Katherine Ponte begins her story. Katherine knows a thing or two about stigma. She has lived with bipolar I disorder with psychosis for twenty years. In manic episodes, she thought she was a prophet, bought a house sight unseen, and engaged in all kinds

The Confess Project

Hair. It’s a major strand in the braid of our pandemic stories. Women have gone gray. Men have gone from crew cut to ponytail. People are cutting and coloring their own hair (at their own peril). Some have feverishly tracked daily public health notices, jumping at the first available appointment

Diana

Okay. I admit it. I am one of those Americans who is irrationally beguiled by British royalty. So what better way to indulge my fascination than to watch The Crown this past year? I finished Season Four just before last week’s Golden Globes. This Netflix TV drama took home multiple

The Madness of Framing Britney Spears

I didn’t know quite what to expect from the newly released documentary, Framing Britney Spears. It is the story of Princess of Pop, gone mad. But it is not just a story about a little girl from Mississippi whose talents launched her into the stratosphere at a young age only to

Power of Community

Something happened every day this week that reminded me of the power of community to protect and promote mental health.  It’s not just that being connected in community is good for our mental health, which it is. It was the aha moment – both familiar and new – that when

Another Side of Technology

Your mic is muted. You catch a glimpse of your hair and wish you washed it last night. Your connection is unstable. You are feeling fatigued and have a slight headache. You send a message about your doctor’s appointment to “Everyone” that you meant to send only to your friend

Light

We lit the first candle of Hanukkah yesterday. White match head pressed against the rough side of the box. Swift strike. Flame ignites. Gentle touch. Wick burns. Candle glows. The light is mesmerizing. Hanukkah is in good company. Around this time of year, all over the world, people are also

Who Heals?

When we are patients in the hospital, we know that doctors and nurses will be poking and prodding and taking our vitals with every intention of employing their professional training to restore our health. But what can someone who is not a healthcare provider do to help us feel better

Mental Health at the Movies

The quiet days following Thanksgiving invite us to slow down a bit. In New York, it is dark by 5 PM, so all the more reason to curl up on the sofa to watch a movie or two. After the Charlie Brown special, what’s worth watching? From feature films to

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

Roman Tritz

World War II bomber pilot Roman Tritz died earlier this year at the age of 97. He was the last known survivor of a U.S. government program that lobotomized combat veterans who suffered from treatment-resistant forms of mental illness, including profound depression, anxiety and psychosis. As we honor our veterans

Go Where The People Are

Taking mental health out of the medical center and into the community, where the people are, is a mantra for Columbia Professor and colleague, Dr. Sidney Hankerson. This year’s inaugural speaker for our Columbia University Seminar Series on Global Mental Health, Dr. Hankerson demonstrated brilliantly what it means to go