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NARSAD Introduces 'Healthy Minds Across America,' an International Event Recognizing the Toll of Mental Illness, on Sunday, Sept. 14
Date:8/26/2008

Featuring 48 Free Public Forums across U.S. and Canada on Progress and

Promise of Mental Health Research

GREAT NECK, N.Y., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- People concerned about the toll that mental health disorders are taking on their families and communities will have a unique opportunity to hear from world-class experts on what is known to-date about the causes, symptoms and progression of such illnesses as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia and autism, and learn about current and potential treatments.

In an unprecedented event called Healthy Minds Across America, 48 free public forums will take place around the United States and in Canada -- all on Sunday, September 14 -- at which some of the greatest minds and talents in neuropsychiatric research will report on the state of mental health research and how breakthroughs over the last 20 years have led to progress and hope, while uncovering new challenges.

NARSAD, the world's leading charity dedicated to mental health research, has organized Healthy Minds Across America, which is being held in partnership with many of North America's most prominent universities and research centers -- from multiple branches of the University of California and University of Texas to Yale, Harvard, the University of Pittsburgh, Duke and the University of Toronto, among dozens more.

"Never, to my knowledge, has there been such a concerted effort to bring the public together with the experts who hold the most knowledge about an area of human illness that accounts for more loss and devastation than any other," said Herbert Pardes, M.D., president of NARSAD's Scientific Council, who is also president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital and a former head of the National Institute of Mental Health. "Mental illness is so prevalent in our society, estimated to affect as many as one in four North Americans in any given year, with one in 10 suffering serious, chronic conditions."

Each of the Healthy Minds Across America forums will feature presentations by three or more research experts who will cover a wide range of topics and disorder areas, such as:

-- Depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

-- Childhood and adolescent mental health

-- Growing areas of concern, such as PTSD and autism

-- Genetics of mental illness

-- Biological basis of addiction

-- New treatment frontiers

-- Improving pharmaceutical treatments and quality of life for those

affected

Across the board, the experts who will speak at the Healthy Minds Across America forums represent the forefront of neuropsychiatric research and include heads of psychiatry departments from many of the most respected medical schools and treatment facilities, as well as some early-career scientists whose research has already led to breakthroughs, and even a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

Most of the speakers have received grants from NARSAD in support of their research or are members of NARSAD's Scientific Council, a group of 110 experts in the key areas of neuropsychiatric research that guides the organization's grantmaking activities.

"More individuals and families are speaking out today than ever before about the pain and loss caused by mental illness," said Constance E. Lieber, NARSAD's president emerita, who is chairing this event. "We hope that people who are coping with mental illness, their friends and loved ones, and mental health professionals will all attend these forums to learn about the progress that's being made in understanding and treating mental illness, and why there is reason for hope for improved treatments and even cures, if research can continue to flourish."

Since 1987, when NARSAD began giving grants as the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, it has awarded more than $238 million in research funds to more than 2,700 scientists at universities and medical centers in the U.S., Canada and 25 other countries.

In 2007 alone, NARSAD gave $19 million in grants to nearly 300 scientists conducting clinical and basic research relating to depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, childhood mental disorders, and other conditions.

The 48 Healthy Minds Across America free public forums on Sept. 14 will take place at many of the universities and medical centers where NARSAD has supported cutting-edge research over the past 20 years. While all events are free and open to the public, reservations are recommended. To RSVP, email healthyminds@narsad.org, or call NARSAD at (800) 829-8289.

Click http://www.narsad.org/news/press/pr_2008/pr2008-08-25.html to read more and to find a complete list of locations, topics and speakers; or visit http://www.narsad.org.


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SOURCE NARSAD
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