In spring 2018, HUGHF hosted visiting speakers for engaging dinner discussions about global mental health.
Sheena Wood spoke to HUGHF about her field experience at a mental health clinic in India and stressed the importance of increasing service delivery in regions of severe need. She will contribute to this service herself as she trains to become a nurse. Sheena also described her research with Dr. Vikram Patel, an HMS professor who focuses on narrowing the treatment gap for mental illnesses in developing countries. Sheena supported Dr. Patel in organizing the Inaugural Global Mental Health Open Day in April that showcased the research about and resources for global mental health at Harvard.
HUGHF also organized a fascinating dinner panel with Harvard alumni working in mental health. Dr. Mark Albanese shared his experience from his work in addiction psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) and stressed the importance of fostering culturally supportive treatment for diverse populations, including Boston’s Haitian and Latino populations. Maureen Rezendes, who is the Associate Chief of Counseling and Mental Health Services at HUHS, noted that she has witnessed exciting progress since she was an undergrad in the understanding of how the brain works at a neurological, cellular level. Sreeja Kalapurakkel described that her passion for mental health – which grew out of her involvement with SMHL and ECHO as an undergrad – has inspired her work since as a research associate at the Broad Institute. All alumni expressed their gratification that awareness about mental health on Harvard’s campus has increased rapidly in recent years.