Showcasing MIND study’s work on improving mental health

FACES-affiliated research on the mental health impact of gender-based violence (MIND study) will be featured at an upcoming National Institute of Health (NIH) meeting on Sex and Gender Influences on the Adolescent Brain and the Mental Health of Young Women on October 26th.  Dr. Susan Meffert, (UCSF, MIND study Principal Investigator), will present on the scalability of an evidence-based approach to improve mental health care for HIV+ women affected by gender-based violence. With affective disorders in adolescents on the rise, especially among adolescent girls, promising approaches are needed. Many thanks to the MIND team for the impactful progress made.  

Sex and Gender Influences on the Adolescent Brain and the Mental Health of Young Women (Ages 12-24)

October 26th, 2018


 The rates of affective disorders among adolescents have increased in recent decades, and this increase has been greater among adolescent girls vs boys (Collishaw, 2015; Bor et al., 2014). Numerous possibilities have been suggested for these increasing rates of mental health disorders among adolescents, including changes in prenatal conditions, pubertal timing, sleep duration, family life, school pressure, and use of technology and social media (Collishaw, 2015; Twenge et al., in press). In addition, adverse childhood experiences have a negative impact on brain development and threats, abuse and violence lead to excessive activation of fear circuitry and the stress response system, which can compromise brain development and the mental health and well-being of adolescents and young adults. Given the biological, social and cultural changes that impact adolescents and young adults, to address adolescent mental health we need a better understanding of biological mechanisms as well as social determinants related to brain development in this age group (irrespective of diagnosis).  

The goal of this meeting is to explore Sex and Gender Influences on the development of the adolescent brain and adolescent mental health of Young Women (ages 12-24 years of age) to identify research gaps and highlight promising areas of research on mental illnesses and the underlying basic science of brain and behavior. Mental health research that is conducted during this critical period may shed light on the heightened risk for developing serious mental illness in later life.   



Friday, October 26th, 2018

Session #1: The Epidemiology of Young Women’s Mental HealthModerator: Ms. Tamara Lewis Johnson, Chief, Women’s Mental Health Program, National Institute of Mental Health


Genetics Epidemiology, Dr. Kathleen Merikangas,Chief, Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch, Intramural Research Program,National Institute of Mental Health 


The Intersections of Gender and Race/Ethnicity and Suicidal Risk Among Adolescents, Dr. Susan De Luca, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work,The University of Texas at Austin


Thinking About Future Directions to Reduce and Prevent Mental Health Disorders in Diverse Girls and Young Women,Dr. Vickie May, Professor, Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles


Panel Discussion/Questions and Answers



Session #2: Translational Research, the Adolescent Brain and Young Women’s Mental Health, Moderator: Dr. Eric Murphy, Chief, Depression and Suicide Related Behaviors Program, Division of Translational ResearchNational Institute of Mental Health


Pubertal Influences on the Adolescent Emotional Brain: Implications for Understanding Vulnerability to Affective, Disorders, Dr. Cecile Ladouceur, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh


Adolescent Girls' Peer Stress and Suicidality, Dr. Mitch PrinsteinJohn Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa and Neural Mechanisms of Food Choice, Dr. Joanna Steinglass, Associate Professor in Clinical Psychiatry in the Center for Eating Disorders, Columbia University 


Impact of digital information on brain maturation, Dr. Jay Giedd, Professor and Director of the Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of California, San Diego


                        Panel Discussion/Questions and Answers



Session #3 -Big Data Approaches to Brain Development and Behavior

Moderator:Dr. Miri Giti, Chief, Psychiatric Genetics Discovery Program, Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science, National Institute of Mental Health


The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, Dr. Gaya DowlingDirector of the ABCD Project, Division of Extramural Research, National Institute of Drug Abuse 


The Human Connectome Project in Development: Project Characteristics and Promising Questions, Dr. Leah Somerville, Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard University


                        Panel Discussion/Questions and Answers


Session #4-Promising Interventions for Young Women’s Mental Health

Moderator: Dr. Mary Rooney, Chief, Child and Adolescent Treatment Intervention Research Program, Division of Services and Intervention Research, National Institute of Mental Health


Scalable, Evidence Based mental health care for HIV+ women affected by Gender Based Violence (GBV) in East Africa: The Mental Health, hIV and Domestic violence (MIND) study, Dr. Susan Meffert, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco


The past in the present: Maternal childhood trauma, worry in pregnancy and caregiving sensitivity, Dr. Catherine Monk , Professor of Medical Psychology, Departments of Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University


                        Panel Discussion/Questions and Answers