Changing the way the world treats mental health
We are a not-for-profit association committed to educating professionals on how to integrate mental well-being practices into the lives of their clients and students. Our focus lies on the integral combination of exercise, nutrition, connection and mindfulness, all aimed at revolutionizing mental well-being.
Illuminating the path to mental wellness - join the community of fitness professionals and teachers at the forefront of change. Embrace the world's first mental well-being certification, grounded in evidence-based research and a psychological perspective on nutrition, exercise, connection and mindfulness. Together, let's brighten the future of mental well-being for all.
Lynne and Victor Brick
In 2015, Lynne and Victor Brick founded the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation in memory of Victor’s oldest brother John, who suffered from schizophrenia and died of complications from the disease. The mission of the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation is to change the way the world treats mental health. In 2020, they were recipients of the Global Wellness Summit Debra Simon award for leadership in furthering mental wellness. Lynne and Victor are also the co-founders of Ohana Growth Partners and Brick Bodies.
Gerry Bodeker PhD
A Harvard-trained public health academic, Gerry Bodeker researches and advises on integrative medicine and wellness. He has researched and taught in Medical Sciences at Oxford University for two decades, is adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and of integrative medicine at Western Sydney University. He has published ten books, including the World Health Organization Global Atlas on Traditional and Complementary Medicine and serves on the editorial boards of several integrative medicine journals. He has published in The Lancet, the British Medical Journal, Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine, Transactions of the Royal Society of Medicine and other journals. He has worked at the US National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed in Washington DC and founded the Oxford-based Global Initiative For Traditional Systems (GIFTS) of Health. He served as coordinator of the Commonwealth Working Group on Traditional & Complementary Medicine and also served on the Prince of Wales Working Group on Integrative Health. He has worked with several UN organizations, including the World Bank, the World Health Organization, UNDP, FAO and UNEP. Gerry Bodeker chairs the Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute and is editor and lead author of their White Paper on Mental Wellness. Gerry’s work on wellness destination development has been covered in Forbes, Travel & Leisure, the South China Morning Post and the Robb Report. He has been an advisor to National Geographic and CNN and features in the BBC’s In Pursuit of Wellness.
Eli Puterman PhD
Dr. Eli Puterman, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is the Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Health since 2015 and was named a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar in 2016. Dr. Puterman’s research program develops and implements physical activity and exercise programs in collaboration with and for hard-to-reach and high-stress populations to determine their impacts on physical and mental health.
A’Naja Newsome PhD, ACSM-CEP
Dr. A’Naja Newsome is a lecturer and researcher in exercise and sport science at University of Central Florida. Her research focuses on the psychosocial determinants of sport and exercise, exercise in clinical and mental healthcare, and the methodological and measurement aspects of exercise research and program evaluation. She has more than a decade of leadership experience in collegiate recreation, clinical exercise, and commercial fitness. Dr. Newsome has served in professional roles in higher education settings where she managed fitness facilities and programs to improve exercise adherence and physical and mental health outcomes in college students. She has also led department assessment and strategic planning committees emphasizing evidence informed solutions such as the Gold-level Exercise is Medicine® on Campus initiative. She advocates for research and practice that lends itself to the increased use of exercise as an adjunctive therapy in clinical healthcare and rehabilitation services, as she has worked in clinical settings to integrate physical activity and exercise in patient care and rehabilitation. Her research focuses on the role that exercise plays in clinical and mental healthcare. A respected educator with a doctorate in interdisciplinary education with an emphasis in exercise science, public health, measurement and research from the University of South Florida where her dissertation specifically focused on the integration of exercise in the treatment of mental illness, Dr. Newsome is a nationally recognized presenter and has represented a number of leading organizations as a master trainer, including American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and Technogym USA. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and master’s degree in Sport Administration. She is a Certified Exercise Physiologist through ACSM and Certified Health Coach through American Council on Exercise. As an educational consultant with rigorous training in research and program evaluation, Dr. Newsome works to engage higher education professionals in organizational assessment with a broad focus on student wellbeing and a specific emphasis on the impact of physical activity and exercise on student success outcomes. She offers theoretical and practical solutions to communicate program utilization and effectiveness to a variety of stakeholders.
Gia Merlo MD, MBA, MEd, DipABLM, FACLM
Gia Merlo, MD, MBA, MEd, DipABLM, FACLM is a clinical professor of nursing and Senior Advisor on Wellness, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and a fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Merlo recently published a textbook Lifestyle Nursing (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, August 2022) that expands Lifestyle Medicine (an evidence-based approach in preventing, treating, and oftentimes, reversing chronic diseases) to Nursing. Her first book, Principles of Medical Professionalism (Oxford University Press, 2021), stresses the importance of physician wellness, the need to address the social determinants of health, as well as the need to address chronic diseases with prevention. Merlo is the Associate Editor of the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. She is a contributing author of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) curriculum Lifestyle Medicine 101 and of the board review course, Foundations to Lifestyle Medicine. Merlo's current book projects include Medical Professionalism: Theory, Education, and Practice (Oxford University Press, expected 2023), Lifestyle Psychiatry: Through the Lens of Behavioral Medicine (Taylor & Francis/CRC Press, expected 2023), A Handbook of Lifestyle Nursing (expected 2023). Merlo is a part of the Psychiatry Faculty Group Practice at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and sees patients at NYULangone Health Psychiatry, 1 Park Avenue, New York, NY. She completed her Master of Education in Health Professions at Johns Hopkins University School of Education in August 2022 and is currently an Adjunct Faculty at Johns Hopkins helping students in the program complete their capstone projects. Merlo has served on the board of directors of many nonprofits over the years and is currently on the board of directors of Plant-Powered Metro of New York (PPMNY) and the advisory board of the Global Positive Health Institute (GPHI). She is chair of the Mental and Behavioral Health Member Interest Group of the ACLM. She has been involved in clinician care and medical education for nearly 30 years in professional development and mental health, particularly for healthcare professionals. Before joining NYU, Merlo was an associate dean of health professions at Rice University. She also taught medical students, residents, and fellows at Baylor College of Medicine, where she was a 2017-19 Master Teacher Fellow. She has served on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Steve Hickman PsyD
Dr. Steven Hickman is a longtime teacher of mindfulness and self-compassion and a trainer of teachers as well. He is the former Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and co-developer of the Mindful Self-Compassion teacher training. Steve is a Clinical Psychologist and Retired Associate Clinical Professor in the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, as well as the Founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. He has participated in the training of over 2000 teachers of mindfulness and self-compassion around the world and has taught or trained in over 30 countries. Steve is now retired. He lives on the coast of Oregon with his wife and two beloved Corgis.
Simon Matthews FASLM, MHlthSci, DipIBLM, MAPS, NBC-HWC, ICF-PCC
Simon is a psychologist and leadership coach, focussed particularly on leaders in healthcare. He is Board Certified in Health Coaching and Lifestyle Medicine and a Professional Certified Coach with ICF. He is on faculty with Wellcoaches School of Coaching and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Avondale University Lifestyle Medicine & Health Research Centre. In addition, Simon is a Director of the US not-for profit Global Positive Health Institute, which seeks to support healthcare and other organizations by bringing together the disciplines of Lifestyle Medicine and Positive Psychology. He is also a Director of the Australian not-for-profit Practice Excellence Institute which seeks to support health care organizations to provide high quality healthcare to their communities. He is is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Romanian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. Simon consults internationally in the areas of health coaching, behavior change, positive psychology, and lifestyle medicine. When not working, Simon also loves talking about his other passions of French and Spanish language, and cooking.
Karen Lawson MD, ABIHM NBC-HWC
Karen Lawson, MD, DABIHM, NBC-HWC, is a consultant who works with programs and individuals to advance and expand training in Integrative Health Coaching and Holistic Healthcare. Her wide-ranging experience has included work as an emergency department and family practice physician, and an Integrative physician. She is the former medical director of Lamat Medical Corporation in San Diego, Calif. She is also the former medical director of The Wege Institute for Mind, Body and Spirit at St. Mary's Mercy Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. She served as the founder and Director of Integrative Health Coaching at the UMN Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing from 2005-2022. Dr. Lawson is a published author and researcher who speaks nationally to diverse audiences on the power and potential of holistic health care practices, integrative health coaching, and the role of whole person well-being in health and healing.
Tasha Edwards MS, NBC-HWC
Tasha, a Chicago native, is a board certified health and wellness coach, personal trainer, movement leader, mental health advocate and international presenter. A well-known voice and advocate for diverse and accessible wellness spaces, Tasha holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and a Master’s degree in counseling from Tennessee State University. Tasha is the founding director of See Her Healthy, a non-profit that supports the holistic wellness of women and supports fitness professionals by providing mentoring and training on bias, self care and living an authentic life.
Grace Gama MS, NBC-HWC
Grace Gama is an experienced board certified health & wellness coach, group fitness instructor, and functional fitness specialist. Her degrees include a master of science in kinesiology - integrative wellness and a bachelor of science and foods and nutrition. Grace is well versed in lifestyle medicine and is passionate about improving overall wellbeing in diverse populations through promoting small and sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes. She has experience as a lifestyle coach for the Diabetes Prevention Program, and has also written curriculum for exercise and nutritional science programs within the university system.
Kyle Descher MS, RYT-200
A National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Kyle is on a mission to help people create happier, healthier, & more meaningful lives - on their terms. After nearly 15 years navigating the high-stakes, high-stress world of the corporate tech sector - & overcoming a violent, racist assault that left his jaw broken in 3 places - he's using all that he's learned about overcoming challenge to help a society that is increasingly searching for Self. His approach is compassionate, practical, & rooted in equal parts art & science. With a Master's in Integrative Wellness, he takes the ‘woo’ out of well-being & empowers his clients to create their own definition of success. He also draws from over 15 years of studying & teaching the ancient arts & science of yoga, meditation, & pranayama - to encourage others to cultivate practices of mindfulness & self-compassion, from which all change is born.
Bonnie J. Kaplan PhD
BONNIE J. KAPLAN, PhD, is Professor Emerita in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her training was in experimental psychology and neurophysiology. As a member of the Department of Paediatrics, as well as the Owerko Centre of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Dr. Kaplan’s 45-year career in clinical research focused on the role of nutrition in brain/mental health and brain development. Now semi-retired, she is committed to Knowledge Translation of her scientific research and that of others, to raise public awareness of the importance of nutrients for a healthy brain. Originally from Ohio, Dr. Kaplan did all her training in the United States (honors baccalaureate degree in psychology at the University of Chicago, and master’s and PhD degrees in experimental and physiological psychology at Brandeis University). Her interest in the biological basis of behavior led to postdoctoral training and then faculty research in neurophysiology at Yale University Department of Neurology and the West Haven (CT) Veterans Administration Neuropsychology Laboratory, until she moved to Canada and the University of Calgary in 1979 when invited to establish the Behavioural Research Unit at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kaplan has published widely on the biological basis of developmental disorders and mental health, especially the contribution of nutrition to brain development and brain function. In the 1980s and 90s she was director of the Alberta Mental Health Research Unit. In 2008 she became the team lead and founding principal investigator of the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition Study (ApronStudy.ca), a longitudinal pregnancy and birth cohort that is now in its tenth year, evaluating the role of nutrition in maternal mental health and brain development and function in their offspring. In 2018, for Canada’s 150th birthday, she was named one of the country’s top 150 Difference Makers in Mental Health. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Dr. Rogers Prize, a national award given every two years in Canada for research or clinical work in complementary, alternative, integrative health (drrogersprize.org). Her first book The Better Brain will be published in early 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in North America, and Penguin Random House in Europe. The book is co-authored with her former student Dr. Julia Rucklidge, with whom she has also regularly co-authored a blog on nutrition and mental health for MadInAmerica.com. The Better Brain will explain to the general public how and why nutrition provides the foundation for good mental health. To learn more, visit her website: BonnieJKaplan.com.
Cassandra Vieten Ph.D.
Cassandra Vieten is Executive Director of the John W. Brick Foundation, Associate Scientist at the University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences where she served as President from 2013-2019. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, a mind-body medicine researcher, and author of numerous articles in scientific journals and three books, and an internationally recognized workshop leader and keynote speaker. Cassandra received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She completed her clinical training working in substance abuse treatment centers and low-fee mental health clinics in San Francisco, and research training in behavioral genetics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF for 12 years, she led a team of researchers to study how alcoholism runs in families. At California Pacific Medical Center for eight years, she was co-director of the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group. At the Institute of Noetic Sciences she led a team of scientists conducting laboratory and field-based consciousness research. Later as CEO and President, she was responsible for the overall strategic direction of the organization, fundraising of more than $10 million, and advancing the mission and vision by working with the board, staff and members. She has received multiple grants from federal, state and private foundation sources. Her research has focused on how spiritual and mind-body practices can improve mental, emotional, and physical health and well-being. Major projects have included the development of mindfulness-based interventions for increasing psychological well-being, and dealing with addictions and mood disorders. Projects also explored how engagement in spiritual practices and communities are associated with positive health outcomes. She also conducts research on how introducing people to awe-inspiring ideas and environments can stretch the imagination or help them see things from a new perspective, leading to self-transcendence, shifts in worldview, new perspectives on life, and other prosocial emotions and behaviors. Her workshops and trainings focus on how cognitive, social and neuroscience, along with practices from the world’s wisdom traditions, can foster positive change in individuals and in our world. She is the author of Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools for Staying Sane During Pregnancy and Your Child’s First Year, co-author of Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, and co-author of Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Guidelines for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Professionals. Cassandra is passionate about changing the way we treat mental health to ensure that care and prevention routinely includes fitness/movement, nutrition and mind-body approaches, along with clients’ spiritual and religious beliefs and practices, when relevant. She is thrilled to be working with the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation.
Susan Reynolds MEd
Susan Reynolds has over 20 years of experience in digital wellbeing, youth leadership and mindfulness. In 2019 she co-founded LookUp to discover, empower, and mobilize youth leaders who are taking action to raise awareness, inspire, and design a healthier, more inclusive, and responsible digital world. LookUp.live offers Innovation Challenges and grants for youth led innovations, solutions and advocacy campaigns as well as hosts an annual Youth4Youth Summit. Earlier in her career, she was an English and social students teacher, curriculum developer, and first Director of Academic Technology at the Fenn School in Concord, MA where she developed curriculum that focused on harnessing the positive aspects of technology while mitigating the negative ones. Susan graduated with a BA from Dartmouth College and M.Ed from Tufts University. As a yoga and mindfulness teacher, she brings mindful technology to her work with LookUp’s youth leaders and innovators.
Kelly Davis MS
Kelly Davis is the Associate Vice President of Peer and Youth Advocacy at Mental Health America, where she works on the expansion of peer support and young adult leadership in mental health. She is passionate about lived experience-driven programs, policies, organizations, and research. Kelly has been awarded the Disruptive Innovator Award by the National Association of Peer Supporters and the National Peer Leader of the Year Award by Peerpocalypse. She is a certified yoga teacher and holds a certificate in Applied Positive Psychology from The Flourishing Center. Kelly and her work have appeared in the New York Times, Teen Vogue, NBC Nightly News, Psychiatric Services, and the White House. She recently completed her master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania where she served as a research assistant in the Perelman School of Medicine studying lived experience perspectives of inpatient psychiatric units. She is currently completing a certificate of specialization in mental health leadership at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Lawrence Choy MD
Dr. Lawrence Choy is a Stanford trained psychiatrist and diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. He is the co-founder and medical director of Elite Focus Clinic, the premier Adult ADHD clinic in Silicon Valley. He is a recognized thought leader, writer, speaker, neurodiversity advocate, and expert clinician specializing in mental wellness, cognitive enhancement, and neuroplasticity-based treatments. He previously served as a member of the Mental Wellness Initiative of the Global Wellness Institute, whose mission is to empower wellness worldwide by educating the public and private sectors about preventative health and wellness.
Michael Hosking PhD
Dr. Michael Hosking holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Indiana University and was on the faculty at Davidson College. He has been a lifelong athlete in many different sports, but specialized in track and field in high school and college, and later took up competitive cycling. Dr. Hosking has been an avid cyclist for 30 years. In 2010, after experiencing a debilitating depression/PTSD episode during which none of the many standard antidepressants and adjutants did not work, he found that reengaging in cycling (which he had dropped for 2 years) almost immediately began to reduce his depression. At the same time Dr. Hosking became very interested in mindfulness and meditation, and began to study it seriously. Within three months he was off of all the medications and cycling every day. Dr. Hosking became aware of the new work connecting mindfulness with neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and the absolutely revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain. After spending a week at Esalen to study exercise and the brain with John Ratey, M.D. of Harvard University Medical School (author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain), he created Revocycle Mind and Body Cycling, a mindfulness-based, mental- and holistic-health oriented indoor cycling program and opened a studio in Portland, Oregon. Over the last 8 years he has been teaching, writing, and lecturing on the science of exercise and the brain and the mental health benefits of mindfulness and exercise, and has been interviewed on numerous podcasts.
Raghu Appasani MD
Dr. Raghu Kiran Appasani is an Integrative Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, and Social Entrepreneur focused on bridging the gap between western and eastern practices to create a wholesome society by taking a proactive approach to health. Dr. Appasani graduated from The University of Massachusetts with his Medical Doctorate in 2018, where he received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He is currently the Chief Resident of Integrated Care Services and receipt of the Della Martin Foundation Research Award at the LAC+USC Medical Center/University of Southern California. He is also founder of Appasani MD PC, a private mental health practice taking a holistic integrative approach to care. Dr. Appasani is the Chief Medical Officer at PYM Health—which is the first neurotransmitter company focused on nutritional psychiatry. Dr. Appasani is the Founder & CEO of The MINDS Foundation, a mental health nonprofit, for which he has been recognized as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, One Young World Delegate Ambassador, StartingBloc Fellow, Nexus Global Delegate, EchoingGreen, MassChallenge, and Kellogg Innovation Network Delegate. Through his extensive scientific research, he has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles and edited five books. He has given over 100 talks on mental health, entrepreneurship, global health, and consciousness in parallel with authorship and features in CNN, Vogue, The Boston Globe, ThriveGlobal, The Better India, and The Huffington Post. Throughout his medical career, he has focused on the impact of mental health in physicians, developing initiatives at medical institutions to combat suicide and build resilience, working extensively with Graduate Medical Education leadership. He currently sits on the board of directors for GeneExpression Systems, Inc., and the Leadership Board of Vista Del Mar. He is a Medical Advisor at PYM Health, One More Light, and GladFul as well as an advisor to Mud\Wtr and Pathways to Empower and consultant to the GLEOW Group and Athari Group. Clinically, Dr. Appasani is trained in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), Cognitive Processing Therapy for Trauma, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Group Therapy, Exposure Response Prevention. He also completed the MAPS MDMA Psychotherapy Program as a Health Equity Scholar. His clinical interests lie in psychedelic therapy, mood disorders (depression, bipolar), addiction, anxiety disorders, OCD spectrum, eating disorders, trauma, and personality spectrum conditions. His passion lies at the intersection of mental health literacy, consciousness, global psychiatry, mindfulness, digital health, personalized medicine, psychedelics, wellness, and social entrepreneurship. Dr. Appasani believes that we all have mental health and therefore believes that healing occurs through the integration of psychotherapy, medication management, supplementation with natural sources, nutrition, and physical fitness. Dr. Appasani is a member of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, Southern California Psychiatric Society, and the Psychedelic Medicine Association.
Renee Moorefield PhD
Renee Moorefield, PhD, is CEO of Wisdom Works Group, a social enterprise she cofounded in 1999 to offer thought leadership and state-of-the-art resources for building brands, work cultures and leadership capabilities that empower people to thrive. The Coca-Cola Company, Nike, Hyatt, Barilla, Booz Allen Hamilton, Merck & Company, Roche, and others are among her firm’s clients. Renee is also Executive Director for Be Well Lead Well®, Wisdom Works’ purpose-driven brand to fuel a global movement of leaders who make thriving a priority at work, at home and in all walks of society. Through Be Well Lead Well®, leaders holistically assess and apply science-backed pathways to make wellbeing a game changer for their teams and organizations, starting with themselves. Renee is on the Advisory Board of the Global Wellness Institute, a non-profit to empower wellness worldwide, plus she helps guide The Wellness MoonshotTM, a global call to action to create a world free of preventable disease. Her co-authored book Driven by Wellth (2004) explores how contemporary leaders infuse wealth with wellbeing. She is published in peer reviewed journals, plus featured in diverse media such as Prevention, Forbes, Financier World, Conscious Company, Hotel Executive, CEO Magazine, Huffington Post, Experience Life, The Systems Thinker, Thrive Global and Coaching World. Renee is an international speaker, Master Certified Coach, and Certified Health & Wellness Coach. Her deep passion for human and cultural evolution draws on her expertise in leadership transformation, yoga and spirituality, the science of physical and psychological wellbeing, systems thinking and spiral dynamics—empowering leaders to lead with greater clarity and wisdom for uplifting their organizations and our planet.
Elissa Epel Ph.D
Elissa Epel, Ph.D, is a Professor and Vice Chair of Adult Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco. She studies mind-body mechanisms of healthy aging to prevent the co-morbidity of stress, depression and accelerated biological aging. She is the Director of the Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center (www.amecenter.ucsf.edu), a member of the National Academy of Medicine and current President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. Dr. Epel is currently the Co-Chair of the Mind and Life Institute Steering Council. She studies psychological, social and behavioral processes related to chronic psychological stress that accelerate biological aging, with a focus on overeating and metabolism, and the telomere/telomerase maintenance system. She has focused on women’s mental and physical health and their interconnections. She and her colleagues develop and test interventions that combine behavioral, psychological and mindfulness training. Currently, she is testing short-term interventions to improve stress resilience and physiological homeostatic capacity to slow aging. She co-leads studies funded by NIA, NCCIH, NIMH, and NHLBI, including a national Stress Network, and a multicampus consortium on obesity funded by University of California Office of the President (COAST and SSEW–Stress, Sugar, Environment & Weight, coastcenter.ucsf.edu). She has been involved in National Institute of Aging initiatives on the role of stressn in aging, the reversibility of early life adversity, and Science of Behavior Change. Dr. Epel studied psychology and psychobiology at Stanford University, and clinical and health psychology at Yale University. She completed a clinical internship at the Palo Alto Veterans Healthcare System and an NIMH postdoctoral fellowship at UC, San Francisco. Dr. Epel has received several awards including the APA Early Career Award, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Neal Miller Young Investigator Award, and the 2017 Silver Innovator Award from the Alliance for Aging Research. Dr. Epel has co-written a book for the public with Elizabeth Blackburn, The Telomere Effect (2017), a NYT bestseller. Her work has been featured in venues such as TEDMED, NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Morning Show, 60 minutes, National Public Radio, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wisdom 2.0, Health 2.0, and in many science documentaries. In addition to conducting research, she enjoys leading meditation retreats with her colleagues.
The company we keep
What we believe about mental health
Mental health is the ability to navigate and recover from emotional, social and psychological stress. It is the resilience to cope with life events and maintain a general sense of happiness, contentment and well-being. It is more a journey than a destination.
Requires an integrated mind-body approach
Mental health is more than a brain-centric concept—it's a holistic symphony. Our dietary choices, movements, and relationships harmoniously shape our resilience and overall journey towards well-being.
Occurs on a dual continuum
Mental health spans a continuum: from emotional well-being and contentment, through mild issues like anxiety, to severe conditions such as deep depression and schizophrenia.
Benefits from positive stress
Eustress fuels emotional contentment, psychological resilience, and physical strength, harmonizing mind, body, and spirit in a symphony of positive growth.