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Understanding Behavior: From Neurons to Societies

Chancellor's Speaker Series: Steve Hinshaw

February 6, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Talk title: Stigma, Mental Illness, and Families: Breaking the Silence

Abstract: Mental disorders are distressingly prevalent and highly impairing, in fact comprising some of the most disabling illnesses on earth. Public knowledge of mental health conditions has risen considerably over recent decades, but public attitudes have shown little change--in contrast (for example) to gay marriage and cancer, about which attitudes are sharply improved.  In this talk I define the concept of stigma, especially as it relates to mental and neurodevelopmental disorders. I consider the related issues of internalized stigma and courtesy stigma, which are highly relevant to lack of access to treatment.  After presenting empirical evidence for mental illness stigma and its pernicious effects, I shift to a narrative account of my family's own experiences of serious mental illness, accompanied by doctor-ordered silence throughout my childhood.  As discussed in my 2017 book, "Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness," overcoming such shame and stigma is a multi-faceted task but an essential one for realizing the full potential of our species.  

Bio: Stephen Hinshaw is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Professor of Psychiatry and Vice-Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his A.B. from Harvard (summa cum laude) and, after directing school programs and residential summer camps, his doctorate in clinical psychology from UCLA. He performed his post-doctoral fellowship the Langley Porter Institute of UC San Francisco.  

His work focuses on developmental psychopathology, clinical interventions with children and adolescents (particularly mechanisms underlying therapeutic change), and mental illness stigma. He has directed research programs and conducted clinical trials and longitudinal studies for boys and—more recently—for girls with inattention and impulse-control problems, having received over $20 million in NIH funding and an equal amount in foundation support.  

Hinshaw has authored over 350 articles and chapters (h-index, Google Scholar = 116), plus 12 books, including The Mark of Shame: Stigma of Mental Illness and an Agenda for Change (Oxford, 2007), The Triple Bind: Saving our Teenage Girls from Today’s Pressures (Random House, 2009), and (with R. Scheffler) The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medications, Money, and Today’s Push for Performance (Oxford, 2014).  His newest book is a deep family narrative: Another Kind of Madness: A Journey through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness (St. Martin’s, 2017). It received the award for Best Book in Memoir/Autobiography from the American BookFest in 2018.     

Hinshaw’s research awards include the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (2015); the James McKeen Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science (2016)—its highest award, for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to applied psychological research; the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development (2017); the Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Research (2019); and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award from the American Psychological Association (2020). He is the only individual to have received all five.

His work has been featured regularly in the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Today Show, CBS Evening News, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, and many more.


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