Sixth Season of Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, Now Available at PBS OnLine

Starting Conversations and Removing the Stigma of Mental Illness

New York, Oct. 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Season 6 of the public television series Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, offering the latest information on common psychiatric conditions and societal concerns regarding mental health, is now available to watch online at PBS online.

The series sheds light on common psychiatric conditions through inspiring personal stories as well as experts offering the latest information on research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. 

World Mental Health Day Is October 10

“One in five people suffer from a diagnosable mental illness, and when we openly discuss issues, such as the opioid epidemic and youth anxiety, we strive to remove the stigma and demonstrate that with help, there is hope,” says Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the nation’s largest private funder of mental health research grants, who developed the series and serves as its Host and Executive Producer. “As we celebrate World Mental Health Day, we are pleased that people across the country and around the world are now able to access important information on mental health via video streaming on PBS.”

“The goal of Healthy Minds,” he adds, “is to inspire conversations about mental illness and provide understandable information and resources for our viewers. People should not suffer in silence.”

Season 6, featuring 12, half-hour episodes, is produced by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, presented by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), and distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). The series was nominated for a NY Emmy® in 2018.

Over the course of this season, the program offers expert advice for starting the journey to recovery for a range of mental health issues, from the youngest patients struggling with anxiety and depression to holistic approaches to treating chemical dependency. The program also provides compelling perspectives on broader issues such as society’s view of mental healthcare and its impact on the criminal justice system. 

Episode Descriptions

Treatment Resistant Depression & Rapid-Acting Antidepressants
Ketamine, originally used as an anesthesia medicine and later abused as a club drug, may be one of the most important developments for treating depression. John H. Krystal, M.D., Chair of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Professor of Translational Research, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, discusses his ground-breaking study that could provide antidepressant relief for patients within hours instead of the weeks required for traditional medicines to take effect. 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
Pioneering work with magnets can help treat depression and other psychiatric conditions. Mark George, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Medical University of South Carolina, explains the use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) as a noninvasive procedure that stimulates nerve cells in the brain.

Anxiety In Children, Teens and Young Adults 
New advances in therapies consider the brain’s dynamic reorganization during adolescence and incorporate technology like virtual reality and phone apps geared for young patients. New York-Presbyterian’s Youth Anxiety Center Program Director Avital Falk, Ph.D., and Research Co-Director Francis Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Psychiatry, discuss the latest treatment options geared specifically to young patients.

Youth Mental Wellness
New perspectives on the role school teachers and parents can take in normalizing mental health issues include school-based clinics, mental health curriculum to match existing programs for physical health classes, and parent training. Ann M. Sullivan, M.D., Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health, discusses the impact of mandated state education programs and new tools including a crisis text line.

Stem Cell Research and Mental Health
Scientists can re-program adult skin cells and blood cells to behave like neurons in the laboratory to help unravel the course of disease and plan intervention before the onset of psychosis. Kristen Brennand, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Genetics and Genomics, Neuroscience and Psychiatry, explains how these cells, as well as technology to edit cell DNA, can advance the early detection and treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism and more.  

Chemical Dependency and the Opioid Epidemic
A well-rounded approach to drug addiction treats the brain’s rewards center, memory center, reasoning center and motivational center and addresses a patient’s underlying mental health disorder. Lloyd Sederer, M.D., Distinguished Psychiatric Advisor to the New York State Office of Mental Health and author of The Addiction Solution, explains this holistic way of treating chemical dependency, the role of the patient’s family, and new developments in non-addictive pain medication.

Crisis Text Line
A national hotline for modern times allows someone in crisis to reach out by text 24 hours a day for anonymity and ease of use. Ashley Womble, MPH, head of communications for the Crisis Text Line, the first resource of its kind, explains how responding counselors are trained and the ways aggregated data from these text conversations can help improve community services for mental health across the US and Canada.

Youth and The Criminal Justice System
New perspectives on the juvenile justice system aim to rehabilitate rather than punish at risk youth who are often suffering from undiagnosed mental health issues.   Altha J. Stewart, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Center for Health in Justice Involved Youth in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Past President, The American Psychiatric Association, discusses the work being done to change the paradigm by involving parents, schools and the community to be proactive and positive in their approach to disciplinary problems and patterns that might lead to criminal behavior. 

Minority Issues In Mental Health Care
Cultural sensitivities and access to diverse professionals have been long-term issues for many minority communities in seeking help for mental health issues. Racism and discrimination may be considered mental health issues in society today. Dr. Altha J. Stewart, M.D., an experienced health care administrator and nationally recognized expert in public sector and minority issues in mental health care, shares her experience, and how things are changing with a new generation.

Intersection of Mental & Physical Health
Recent research and a better understanding of the relationship between mental, physical and social health indicate that they are both interdependent and crucial to our overall wellbeing. Kelley Carroll, M.D., Chief Ambulatory Officer; and Michael Claeys, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services at Grady Health System in Atlanta share their experiences working together on health care integration.

Helping People Who Are Homeless
Nearly a quarter of the nation’s homeless population suffer from an untreated or under treated psychiatric condition. Leading advocates Tod Lipka CEO of Step Up, and Philip Mangano, president and CEO of the American Round Table to Abolish Homelessness and former “homeless czar” under two U.S. presidents, discuss the latest research, innovation and new strategies to make mental health services a priority in solving the larger issue of homelessness. 

Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Challenges
Decades of research into the factors that make people resilient after trauma has identified common factors people can use to train themselves to face challenges.  These include optimism, having a role model, following a moral compass, reappraising and putting events in context, and finding a support system. Dennis S. Charney, M.D., world-renowned expert in neurobiology and the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders and Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, will discuss resilience and how his own research was put to the test when he was the victim of a violent crime.

About the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation:
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia, as well as research on suicide prevention. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $408 million to fund more than 4,900 leading scientists around the world, which has led to over $4 billion in additional funding. 100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in research grants. BBRF operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants.

About Connecticut Public Television:
Connecticut Public Television is an affiliate of PBS and a media service of Connecticut Public. A locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, Connecticut Public Television offers original documentaries, public affairs, and educational programming. Connecticut Public Television also includes two affiliate channels: CPTV Spirit, created for the “doers,” “makers,” and “adventurers” who crave more action, edgier journalism and documentaries, and more active ways to feed their curiosity, and Create, which features the best of public media’s how-to programming. For more information, visit

About The National Educational Telecommunications Association:
The National Educational Telecommunications Association is a professional association that serves public television licensees and educational entities in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Since 1967, the Association’s reason for existing has been to connect public television people and ideas, by providing quality programming, educational resources, professional development, management support, and national representation.


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