One in four Americans suffers from mental illness such as schizophrenia, depression, fear and anxiety disorders, autism, and other psychiatric disorders. These numbers pose an enormous socioeconomic burden: adult suicide rates are rising steadily; many at-risk mentally ill patients experience homelessness and incarceration rather than hospitalization; and global costs of mental illness—which often affect otherwise healthy, working-age adults—are estimated to exceed US$16 trillion by 2030.
Today, prevention and better treatment of mental illness may finally be within reach due to recent breakthroughs in neuroscience—vastly improving our understanding of the genetic, epigenetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms; structure; and neuronal circuitry underlying normal and pathological brain function. This conference will explore the translation of these findings into pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, and other interventions to improve mental health. A keynote lecture by The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy will address strategies to simultaneously abolish the stigma surrounding mental illness in order to fully realize the new treatments’ potential.
Symposium registration is free. Although on-site registration may be possible on the day of the event, pre-registration is highly encouraged due to space limitations.