The Emmy ® nominated* Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein aims to remove the stigma of mental illness and demonstrate that with help, there is hope. The series, now debuting its seventh season on public television, humanizes common psychiatric conditions through inspiring personal stories, as well as experts sharing cutting-edge information, including new approaches and next-generation therapies in diagnostics, treatment and research. Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., president and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and the editor-in-chief for Psychiatric News hosts 11, new half-hour programs airing on public television stations beginning May 2022, debuting for Mental Health Awareness Month. The series is presented by Connecticut Public Television and distributed by NETA.
The new season offers insightful information about a wide variety of topics in mental health. To start, researchers are discovering how COVID-19 affects the brain in the short and long term, including brain fog, depression, anxiety, and increased risk of suicide as well as the difference vaccination makes in decreasing the risk of brain impact. Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D. the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders, gives viewers an update on promising new research currently underway. Healthy Minds explores how the new rapid-acting Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy for treatment-resistant depression works in days instead of weeks and may have implications for use in other mental disorders as a non-invasive treatment. Viewers will learn about optogenetics, a ground-breaking technique that uses light to control brain cells in laboratory mice enabling researchers to turn behaviors on and off and in doing so, better understand the human brain and disorders including autism, depression, eating disorders, and more. Another interview reveals how a treatment originally used for Parkinson’s Disease may have the potential to help patients with depression who have not responded to multiple treatments including medications, psychotherapy, and electroconvulsive therapy. New uses for psychedelic drugs offer potential breakthroughs for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, working with trained therapists to guide the experience and open perspectives into a patient’s state of mind. Healthy Minds has a history of offering families important tools to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders in adolescents and young adults, and this season looks at bipolar disorder, taking families through the vital information they may need. In addition, Emmy Award-winning actor Maurice Benard (“Sonny Corinthos” on General Hospital) shares his experience living with bipolar disorder, and his work as an advocate for awareness to remove stigma, which included his soap opera character sharing his disorder. As the nation prepares for the July 2022 rollout of the “9-8-8” mental health crisis emergency number, the series explains how it will work to provide an alternative response chain for mental health-related crises in ways that 9-1-1 calls aren’t able to handle. Finally, a psychologist who lost his daughter to suicide has become a leading voice of support for others, sharing how his faith, clinical training, and his own depression impacted his experience to offer hope for families.