Conferences & Lectures

Upcoming Events

No upcoming seminars or lectures scheduled at this time. Please check back soon.

Past Events

Global Mental Health Summer Institute

The 2019 Summer Institute in Global Mental Health will be held in May (15 – 20), in New York City at Teachers College, Columbia University. This is a 6-day intensive training course for mental health and allied professionals and trainees working with populations exposed to severe adversities and trauma worldwide.

Lena Verdeli, Ph.D., MSc, and Kathy Clougherty, L.C.S.W. will train in the WHO Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy (Group IPT) manual.

Peter Ventevogel, MD (the Mental Health Senior Expert of UNHCR) will train in the mhGAP – Humanitarian Intervention Guide (WHO).

For registration and more information:

Early bird discounts are currently available.


05/15/2019 - 05/20/2019 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

HIV Center Rounds: Sexual Minority Refugees in East Africa: External and Self-Stigma Experiences

On Thursday, March 7th, the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University will be holding their HIV Center Rounds in Room 6602 in the NYSPI building from 9:30-11:00 AM.

This HIV Center Rounds will be featuring Michael B. Clark, a Master’s in Public Health candidate in the College of Global Public Health at New York University, with the topic “Sexual Minority Refugees in East Africa: External and Self-Stigma Experiences.” It will also feature José E. Diaz Jr., PhD from the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, who will speak on “Acculturation, Sexual Minority Stress, and HIV Risk Behavior Among NYC Latino Gay and Bisexual Men.”

For more information about the HIV Center, please visit their website.


03/07/2019 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Healthier, Longer Lives for People with Serious Mental Illness: An International Conference

Many people will celebrate their 80th, 90th, or even 100th birthday — but statistically people with serious mental illness don’t have the same chance at growing old. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), people living with serious mental illness have a life expectancy that is 10-20 years shorter than average. Fountain House has teamed up with WHO to put an end to that disparity.

Fountain House and the World Health Organization are establishing guidelines and best practices to extend and improve the quality of life for people living with mental illness to be implemented by governments and health care professionals around the world.

Fountain House, in partnership with the WHO collaborating Center for Global Mental Health at Columbia University Medical center, Grand Challenges Canada, and citiesRISE, will host an international conference, Healthier, Longer Lives for People with Serious Mental Illness on November 8-9, 2018 in New York. The conference will be technically supported by WHO.



11/08/2018 - 11/09/2018 All Day Graduate Center 365 Fifth Ave., NYC

Social Context of Psychosis: Epidemiology Meets Virtual Reality

Speaker: Wim Veling, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands

Epidemiological studies have shown that the social environment shapes risk of onset and course of psychotic disorders. It is difficult to investigate which aspects of the social environment contribute to the onset of psychotic symptoms and how individual characteristics moderate this outcome, as daily social environments are complex, never exactly the same, strongly influenced by the individual’s behavior or presence of an observer, and cannot be controlled. Virtual Reality technology offers the possibility to explore mechanisms and subsequently develop novel treatments.

Co-sponsored by the Imprints Center for Genetic and Environmental Lifecourse Studies (a collaboration of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute) and the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training program (PET).

05/11/2017 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm 630 West 168th Street, Room 11-505 (11th floor)

Mental Health and Substance Use: Priorities for Practice and Policy | Lima, Peru

Across the world, there is a dramatic shift in how countries are grappling with the devastating impact of substance abuse among their citizens.

A public health model is replacing an enforcement and control model. A very high proportion of people with substance use problems also suffer from other mental disorders. Stigma and discrimination against people with substance use and mental health challenges hinders their access to health services and treatment. And, billions of dollars are being lost annually due to impaired productivity of the workforce.

A specific target of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. This one day symposium will address the critical challenges that mental illness and substance abuse pose in the region and around the globe, bringing together thought leaders to discuss greater promotion of innovative strategies and solutions.

Joined by a cross-section of international scholars, researchers, clinicians and public health advocates from around the region, we will engage in dynamic exchange prioritizing mental health policy and practice. As Latin America places increased emphasis on a public health approach, we will look at the most relevant, evidence-based thinking and recommendations for tackling the vicious cycle of inequality resulting from only 2% of the health care budget in the region being allocated to mental health.

This symposium will feature:

Marina Piazza, Renato Alarcón, Dora Blitchtein, Inés Bustamante, Humberto Castillo, Jaime Miranda and Fabiola León Velarde (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia); Raul González Montero (World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization); Dévora Kestel and Luis Alfonzo (Pan American Health Organization/WHO); Rubén Alvarado and Alberto Minoletti (University of Chile); Thomas F. Babor (University of Connecticut); María Elena Medina-Mora and Guilherme Borges (National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz); Julio Calzada (Intendencia de Montevideo); Francisco Cumsille (Independent Consultant); Yuri Cutipé (National Mental Health Program, Peru); Federico Infante (National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs); Kathleen M. Pike, Harold Pincus, Ezra Susser and Milton Wainberg (Columbia Global Mental Health Program); Vladimir Poznyak and Geoffrey M. Reed (World Health Organization) – with opening remarks by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and an introduction by Patrick J. Kennedy.


You can register for this symposium, free of charge, here.

Birds circle the San Francisco Cathedreal in Lima

Birds circle the San Francisco Cathedreal in Lima

04/28/2017 All Day Auditorio 'Hugo Lumbreras,' Casa Honorio Delgado, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Av. Armendariz 445, Miraflores Lima 18 Peru

Transferring Knowledge and Adequate Technologies: The Way to Combat Poverty and Make the World Safer


The Infopoverty World Conference, organized by the Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication in the Mediterranean and in the World (OCCAM), with the patronage of the European Parliament Information Office in Milan, seeks to find the best solutions for translating the vision of a truly global information society into reality, and to launch the concrete message that it is absolutely possible and it is a duty to eradicate poverty and make the world safer. The Conference represents, for its continuity, operational capability and strong interoperability with the UN system, a unique global forum gathering leading experts, academics, opinion leaders, managers, government officials, philanthropists.

Global Mental Health Program Scientific Co-Director Milton Wainberg will participate in the panel discussion: “Health for All: The Role of Telemedicine in Transferring Skills to Villages.”

More information here: Infopoverty World Conference

04/21/2017 10:00 am - 6:00 pm New York, UN Headquarters - Conference Room 12

Course Meeting: Priorities in Global Mental Health

Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Instructors: Kathleen Pike, PhD and Tahilia Rebello, PhD

Topic: Ethics & Policy Issues in Global Mental Health

This course is a collaborative, team-taught course that provides an overview of critical issues in mental health and mental illness worldwide. Around the globe, mental and neurological conditions are the leading cause of disability. These disorders know no political bounds, and the burden of mental disorders on low- and middle-income countries is especially great given the enormous gaps in public understanding and services for mental health. It is estimated that 76% – 85% of people with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries receive no treatment for their disorders, and even in high-income countries 35%-50% of such individuals never receive care. Historically, the global health agenda has prioritized communicable and non-communicable diseases other than mental health; however, the data now unequivocally and overwhelmingly point to the essential need to make mental health an integral component of the global health agenda. In Priorities in Global Mental Health, through class readings, projects and discussions, students will have the opportunity to learn about essential current issues, discuss innovative collaborations, and critically examine strategic initiatives aimed at reducing the burden of mental illness around the globe.

This graduate-level course is open to matriculated Columbia University students. If you would like more information about attending a session as a guest, please contact the Global Mental Health Program at [email protected]

04/19/2017 8:30 am - 11:20 am

Looking Inward to Create Sustainable Development

Speaker: Jana Zindell, Chief Program Officer, Ubuntu Education Fund
Sponsored by the Social Intervention Group (SIG) and the Global Health and Mental Health Unit of SIG

Jana ZindellThis presentation will focus on the Ubuntu model and delve deep into the issue of intranpreneurship and the importance of empowering local leaders in order to truly create sustainable development models.

As Ubuntu Education Fund’s Chief Program Officer, Jana Zindell oversees the strategic development and implementation of the organization’s programs. She spearheaded the creation of the Ubuntu Model, a strategy rooted in four tenets: individualized cradle to career care, focus on the depth rather than the breadth of impact, sustained institutional investments, and commitment to community partnerships. Jana has since established her unique voice within the nonprofit sector’s global poverty debate as one of increasing significance.

In addition to her programmatic work, Jana created BUILD, an innovative staff empowerment initiative, in 2010; the initiative promotes sustainable leadership, organizational accountability, and increased efficiency. She also served as the Ubuntu Centre Project Manager, coordinating the design of the nonprofit’s 25,000 square foot headquarters in Port Elizabeth’s townships. The Centre has won awards from New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Architecture Magazine. Jana received her Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her Master of Arts in international development and public policy from Georgetown University.


03/31/2017 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm Room C05, Social Work Building, 1255 Amsterdam Ave., NYC

Advocacy, the Role of Academic Health Science Faculty in the Public Policy Arena


Ross A. Frommer, the Vice President for Government and Community Affairs (GCA) and Associate Dean and Sandra Harris, Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Affairs will discuss the role and importance of advocacy and community engagement in our academic healthcare center.  They will also provide insights into the critical function and role of GCA within our medical center and how faculty and other CUMC community members can engage and benefit from the services they provide.

Register here (required) 

About the Office of Government and Community Affairs(GCA): 

GCA coordinates information on services and programs available at the Medical Center campus.  The office responds to and engages community stakeholders, local residents and community based providers as they seek to learn more about the various medical center programs, services, events and activities.  We work with various elected officials, medical associations and other organizations to advocate and educate policy makers on areas of interest of our faculty and staff.”

02/22/2017 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm College of Physicians and Surgeons, 630 W. 168 St., CTSA Classroom 405 A&B (PH, 10th Floor)

Looking Up and Out: Mental Health Reform on Rikers Island

Seminar on Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychiatry and General Medicine 
Speaker: Elizabeth Ford, MD, Chief of Psychiatry, Correctional Health Services and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine

Acknowledging the challenges faced in providing psychiatric care in the country’s second largest jail, this presentation will describe the ongoing evolution of mental health services on Rikers Island, with particular emphasis on innovative and patient-centered reform for individuals with serious mental illness and the redesign of the mental health service to optimize patient care by increasing teamwork and improving staff morale.

This seminar is sponsored by the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

02/21/2017 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm New York State Psychiatric Institute, Pardes Building Multipurpose Room (#6602)