This event will be broadcast online and is welcome to all – there is no login or registration required to tune in from the comfort of home. Click here to watch the livestream.
This Massey Dialogue will take a closer look at the field of mental health, its current status of care in North America and where that stands in comparison to our global counterparts. We welcome to the discussion Dr. Elyn Saks, J.D., Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Founder of the Saks Institute, Senior Fellow Dr. Andrea J Levinson, MD MSc FRCPC Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Health & Wellness at University of Toronto, which will be hosted and moderated by Junior Fellow Keshna Sood, PhD Candidate Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine. The panelists will work together to dismantle outdated ideologies about mental illness, and envision a future system to address current pitfalls, anticipating cultural changes and emphasizing the need for empathy and compassion in mental health care options in a post-pandemic world of health reform.
Click here to watch the livestream of this event. The Dialogues are open to the public – we invite everyone to join and take part in what will be a very informative online discussion. Participants are invited to submit questions to the speakers in real time via the youtube channel’s chat function. For information about the Massey Dialogues salon series, click here.
Dr. Elyn R. Saks is Orrin B. Evans Distinguished Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; Founder and Faculty Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics; Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine; and Faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Professor Saks received her J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in Psychoanalytic Science from the New Center for Psychoanalysis. She was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D., Hon.) from Pepperdine University and Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D., Hon.) from William James College.
Saks writes extensively in the area of law and mental health, having published five books and more than fifty articles and book chapters. Her memoir, The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, describes her struggles with schizophrenia and her managing to craft a good life for herself in the face of a dire prognosis. She has won numerous honors, including a 2009 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called “Genius Grant”).
Dr. Andrea Levinson is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Senior Fellow at Massey College. She is the Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Health & Wellness, at the University of Toronto, and is a staff psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Dr. Levinson is responsible for the provision and management of psychiatric services on campus and acts as a resource for the university community on mental health issues across the campus. Dr Levinson’s research interests include postsecondary student mental health, early intervention in the context of the emerging adult cohort, health professional wellness and resilience and mood disorders. On a personal note, she hails from Cape Town, South Africa and in a previous life majored in music performance. Her passions are her 4 children, attending live theatre (pre-Covid) and going on adventures to new and interesting places.
Keshna Sood is PhD candidate the Department of Molecular Genetics and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Junior Fellow at Massey College. Keshna’s doctoral research focuses on the development and engineering of synthetic antibodies to support clinical applications in the context of immune oncology. Keshna is a recipient of the Norman Bethune Award (2018) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2018 and 2019), and has won a number of Presentation awards for her strong style of science communication. In the lab, Keshna is fascinated by the way cancer cells adapt to migrate in different cellular environments and is targeting these phenomena to identify novel therapeutic targets. Outside of the lab, Keshna is equally interested in how different environments contribute to academic student development and wellness. Keshna is a life-long mental health advocate, international yoga instructor and mindfulness coach. Keshna is also a science communicator, presenting science communication and STEM-curiosity lectures and workshops at over 20 public schools in the Toronto and Peel District School Boards. Keshna invests her spare time by mentoring young women in STEM and is passionate about the intersections at which her technical training can influence science policy and the future of mental health care.