The Friends Past Events 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why to Continue the Conversation

about Thirteen Reasons Why

June 7, 2017


The Friends of the Semel Institute joined with the Resnick

Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors, and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services to host an Open Mind program to explore the issues portrayed  in the Netflix series Thirteen Reasons Why that have sparked a highly publicized debate and controversy:  Teen suicide, bullying, depression, sexual assault, and self-harm.


Open Mind Gala

March 22, 2017


The Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA held its biannual Open Mind Gala on March 22nd at the Beverly Hilton in support of mental health research, education, and clinical care programs at UCLA. The Open Mind Gala, which was sponsored by both The Friends of the Semel Institute and the UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Directors, raised over $900,000 for the cause.


The Open Mind Gala honored three leaders in business, education, and entertainment, for their work in advancing the fields of neuroscience and mental health. Demi Lovato received the Artistic Award of Courage from CAST Centers CEO Mike Bayer for her inspirational leadership, passion, and advocacy in using her platform to heroically speak out about mental health in order to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and help others. Julia S. Gouw accepted the Humanitarian Award, in memory of Dr. Lori Altshuler, from Dr. Peter Whybrow for her deep commitment to improving the lives of those with mental illness through humanitarian efforts and philanthropy. Dr. Kelsey Martin was honored with the Visionary Award, presented to her by Chancellor Gene Block, for her outstanding visionary work in the fields of mental health and neuroscience. Actress Lisa Kudrow hosted the event, while singer-songwriter Chord Overstreet took the stage with his guitar in hand to perform “Homeland” and his new single “Hold On.”


Attendees included Vicky Goodman (Founder and President of The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA), Dr. Nancy Glaser (Founding Chair of The Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors), event co-chairs Margot Calabrese, Alexandra Dwek, Beth Karmin, and Dana Pachulski, UCLA’s Dr. Michael Gitlin, Dr. Andrew Leuchter, and Dr. Thomas Strouse, along with Dan Bucatinsky, Courteney Cox, Diane Keaton, Andrea and Peter Roth, Jane Semel, Luke Walton, UCLA Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh, and more.

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison

March 16, 2017


Renowned author of “An Unquiet Mind” and “Touched with Fire”, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, gave an elegant and informative  presentation about her  recent biography on the American poet,  Robert Lowell.  “Setting the River on Fire : A Study of Genius, Mania” is a view of Mr. Lowell’s life through the  lens of his bipolar disorder and examines our beliefs about art and madness. Dr. Jamison was joined in discussion by Dr. Michael Gitlin, Professor of Psychiatry  end Director of the Mood Disorders Program at UCLA

Last Day of Freedom

February 3, 2017


The Friends screened the Academy Award™ nominated animated short documentary film, "Last Day of Freedom" directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice.



The Upward Spiral with Alex Korb, Ph.D.

March 7, 2017


In “The Upward Spiral”, UCLA neuroscientist and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Alex Korb, Ph.D., demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, Dr. Korb provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life.

One Minute of Happiness

January 16, 2017


UCLA’s Friends of the Semel Institute recently hosted a reading of a one-woman play, “One Minute of Happiness – a Tale of Sisterhood and Baking”  written and performed by Nanci Christopher.


“ONE MINUTE OF HAPPINESS is a poignant, tragic and often humorous account of Nanci’s  relationship with her  bipolar sister, Gloria. Each story flows naturally into  the next as Nanci and her family try to survive the upheaval and holocaust of  Gloria’s madness as it rips apart any semblance of normal family life.


It is also a story of redemption and healing through the sisters’ attempt to stay connected via their shared passion for baking. From disorder to order, from chaos and mess to delicious nurturing, from confusion and anger to acceptance and love, this  love letter to Gloria  honors her memory and her legacy.   Gloria ultimately took  own life in her early 30’s, leaving Nanci and her family to process this tragic loss.

Copyright 2016, The Friends of the Semel Institute

Copyright 2016, The Friends of the Semel Institute