Welcome to the virtual edition of #WOW: Whole Health includes Mental Health. The first
#WOW event took place in 2018 as an all-day summit—#WOW The Wonder of Women— conceived by women, for women, about women. #WOW2021 welcomes men to the conversation. Designed to ensure that any conversation about health always includes mental health, #WOW has been a spectacular sell-out since its inception.
At the intersection of science and culture, global thought leaders and change-makers in conversation with preeminent UCLA doctors and researchers, impart actionable, evidence-based solutions to improve whole health and well-being for you and your community. Additionally, #WOW aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma associated with mental illness.
Funds raised from this event support the UCLA Friends of the Semel Institute Research Scholars and UCLA Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors Clinical Innovation Grants.
JANE AND TERRY SEMEL INSTITUTE FOR NEUROSCIENCE AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR AT UCLA
The UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital (NPI) was founded in 1961 as a research, education, and treatment center with the mission to serve those who suffer chronic psychiatric, neurological disease and behavioral disorders. Initially supported entirely by state funds, NPI was transferred to the University and became part of UCLA Health Sciences in 1973.
In 2004 with the endowment of the Institute and Hospital, the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
was established and the Neuropsychiatric Hospital was renamed the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. The Semel Institute is under the Directorship of Dr. Alexander Young, Interim Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and Physician-in-Chief of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital.
THE FRIENDS OF THE SEMEL INSTITUTE
The Friends of the Semel Institute
supports the Semel Institute by educating the public on state-of-the-art treatments for illnesses of the mind and brain in order to help reduce their stigma. The Friends hosts the Open Mind series, a free public service lecture series that pairs the best and brightest creative minds in the cultural landscape with preeminent UCLA scientists to discuss mental health topics. Noted speakers have included: astronaut Buzz Aldrin; Senator George McGovern; singer/songwriter Judy Collins; Nobel Prize winner, Eric Kandel; Dr. Temple Grandin; National Book Critics Circle Award winner, Andrew Solomon; and Pulitzer Prize winning authors, Ron Suskind and Dr. Jared Diamond.
The Friends also support the next generation of scientists through The Friends Scholar Program that provides grants to outstanding young researchers working to develop innovative treatments that lead to advances in treatments for brain disorders. In 2021, The Friends launched the Open Mind Film Festival
for high school students to create short films that share their unique perspective on mental health. By engaging a younger audience, The Friends seeks to reduce the stigma of mental illness in this vulnerable population. Dr. Michael Irwin serves as the faculty advisor to The Friends.
RESNICK NEUROPSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL BOARD OF ADVISORS
The RNPH Board of Advisors brings together prominent members of the Los Angeles Community in support of the increasingly rare inpatient psychiatric hospital. The Board established the Community Conversations series, educational symposia that provide a forum for experts to provide information on important mental health topics such as common brain disorders. Operating under the TEDxUCLA license, the Board has hosted two TEDx salon events, Empowered Aging in October 2017 and Tackling Depression in January 2019. Dr. Thomas Strouse, Medical Director of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital,
serves as faculty advisor to its Board of Advisors.