Upcoming Conference: “A Beautiful Mind: Jewish Approaches to Mental Health”

26 10 2010

I’m sorry for the very long silence, and also for the late notice about this upcoming event.

It is taking place at Yeshiva University in New York City this coming Sunday, October 31.

I am very, very glad that this conference is taking place and that people are speaking about, among other things, depression, suicide, OCD, and eating disorders. With the exception of those issues, I think it’s not quite the issues that I would have focused on in such a conference, but they also know their audience better than I do. (The other things are also really important, but I tend to not think of them as mental health issues in quite the same way.)

Their blurb reads:

On Sunday, October 31, 2010, Yeshiva University’s Student Medical Ethics Society (MES) will be hosting its fifth annual conference, entitled A Beautiful Mind: Jewish Approaches to Mental Health. The conference will provide participants with a broad foundation for the medical background needed to understand mental health, as well as the advanced medical research and practices used today to prevent and manage mental health challenges. Topics covered include suicide, depression, eating disorders, addictions, substance abuse, and more. Participants will also be introduced to an overview of the fundamental ethical dilemmas surrounding mental health, as well as how the system of Halacha (Jewish law) approaches these complex issues.

In addition to gaining broad knowledge in medical, ethical, and Halachik issues of mental health, participants will be able to choose from a series of specialized tracks, each geared towards in-depth analysis of the most pressing issues in the field. These tracks include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Bullying and Harassing, Living with A Mentally Ill Family Member, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Sexual Abuse. The individual sessions will be guided by leading rabbis, physicians, and mental health professionals all of whom are experts with ample experience in their fields of mental health, ethics, and Halacha. In addition, there will be a special track geared to Rabbis, in order that they will be able to ask their individual questions to the leaders in Halacha. Finally, exclusively for students, Dr. Pelcovitz and Rav Willig will lead a discussion pertaining to mental health as it applies to students.

The conference will be a wonderful opportunity to explore these complex and pressing issues, and to interact with leading rabbis, physicians, and lawyers in the area of medical ethics. Pre-registration is required and will be open to all those who have an interest in broadening their knowledge and understanding of ethics in mental health. Students, teachers, rabbis, mental health professionals, physicians, and laymen are welcome.

Please join us for a unique and fascinating conference exploring Mental Issues from a Halachik, Ethical and Scientific perspective.

I hope that good, productive action comes out of it!