Demystifying Medicine — Mental Health: Mechanisms and Crisis

April 9, 2024, 4:00 p.m. ET
The next “Demystifying Medicine” will include complementary lectures on mental health and its intersection with alcohol use disorder. The speakers are former National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas Insel, M.D., and current National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Director George F. Koob, Ph.D.

The lectures, open to the public, will be on April 9, 2024, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. ET online-only via

Dr. Insel, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is a national leader in mental health research, policy, and technology. He served as director of NIMH from 2002 to 2015. Upon leaving the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Insel co-founded Mindstrong Health, a start-up assisting people with serious mental illness; served as a special advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom; co-founded Humanest Care, a therapeutic online community for recovery; and in 2022, joined Vanna Health as a co-founder and executive chair.

Dr. Koob, an internationally recognized expert on alcohol and stress and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction, has served as director of NIAAA since 2014. His NIH research, conducted in the National Institute on Drug Abuse intramural research program, explores the neurobiological bases for altered motivational states associated with substance addiction at the neurocircuitry, cellular, and molecular level; and he uses these studies as a heuristic approach for the study of emotions.

For this Demystifying Medicine, Insel and Koob will discuss concepts such as “serious mental illness” — for example, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe mood and anxiety disorders — and “hyperkatifeia,” a hyper-sensitivity to emotional distress that may lead to substance abuse or relapse of substance use.

This promises to be yet another exciting Demystifying Medicine pairing of scientific expertise. Add this April 9 lecture to your calendar now!

Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit is available for these lectures. A unique CME code will be provided at the start of each session.

To access this resource, click here.

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In the event of a mental health or substance use crisis, call to connect with a licensed counselor, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bilingual support and medications to assist with recovery are available.

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