Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein

Seventh Season of Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein Launches Nationally in May – Mental Health Month - Featuring Candid Conversations and Latest Info on Mental Health

Experts Discuss Impact of COVID-19 on the Brain, New Emergency Number for Mental Health Crises, Improved Treatments for Depression, and More           

Actor Maurice Benard Shares His Experience Living with Bipolar Disorder

NEW YORK (April 27, 2022) – The war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing stresses of everyday life are making this a time of worry and anxiety for many people. There is an urgent need for open discussions about how to safeguard our mental health.












Season 7 of the public television series Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, launching nationally on PBS in May during Mental Health Awareness month, features inspiring personal stories from people who have experienced mental health issues, as well as the latest information from experts on new approaches to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness.

“One in five people are affected by a mental illness, and we are seeing increases in depression and anxiety during these unsettling times,” says Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the nation’s largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein, who developed the series and serves as its host and executive producer, adds, “The goal of Healthy Minds is to inspire conversations about mental illness, provide understandable information and resources for viewers and demonstrate that with help, there is hope.”

Emmy Award-winning actor Maurice Benard sits down with Dr. Borenstein to discuss his experience living with bipolar disorder and his work as an advocate to help raise awareness and remove stigma around the illness. To bring greater awareness to the public, the writers and Mr. Benard chose to include having his character on the soap opera General Hospital live with bipolar disorder.

Another episode includes an interview with Dr. David Miklowitz, distinguished professor of psychiatry at UCLA Semel Institute, who offers vital information to help families recognize the warning signs of bipolar disorder in adolescents and young adults.

Dr. Maura Boldrini, associate professor of psychiatry at Columbia Medical College, talks with Dr. Borenstein about research that is discovering how COVID-19 affects the brain in the short and long term, including brain fog, depression, anxiety, and increased risk of suicide.

The nationwide rollout of the “9-8-8” mental health crisis emergency number in July 2022 will provide a much-needed alternative response mechanism for mental health-related crises. Dr. William Carson, chairman of the Sozosei Foundation, explains how mental health and suicide prevention services will serve as the telephone help line to respond to crises that 9-1-1 calls are not able to handle.

The Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Joshua Gordon, discusses an update on promising new mental health research currently underway.

The intersection of faith and mental health is explored with Dr. W. Daniel Hale, a psychologist who lost his daughter to suicide and has become a leading voice of support for others. He shares how his faith, clinical training, and his own depression have impacted his experience.












Additional episodes will focus on new treatments for depression, insights on the latest cutting-edge therapies for one of the most common mental illnesses, and innovative research being conducted to better understand the brain. 

​Season 7 is available nationally on PBS.org starting May 1. Viewers can also see if it is airing in their area by looking up Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein on their local PBS station or visiting: https://www.bbrfoundation.org/healthy-minds-tv

The Emmy nominated series is produced by the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, presented by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV), and distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). Funding is provided by the American Psychiatric Association Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, and the John & Polly Sparks Foundation.

Episode Details

701 – How COVID-19 Affects the Brain

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. Maura Boldrini, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia Medical College, and Director of the Human Brain Biology Institute (Brain QUANT) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center discusses the latest developments including the difference vaccination makes in decreasing the risk of brain impact.

702 – National Institute of Mental Health: An Update on Promising Research
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 an update on promising new research currently underway.

703 – Rapid-Acting Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
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. Nolan Williams, M.D., Assistant Professor, Director, Interventional Psychiatry Clinical Research and Director, Brain Stimulation Laboratory at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Stanford University Medical Center explains how this non-invasive treatment works.

704 – Optogenetics with Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. – Part One
A technique that uses light to control brain cells enables researchers to turn behaviors on and off in lab mice to better understand the human brain and disorders including autism, depression, eating disorders, and more. Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D, professor of Bioengineering, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University's Howard Hughes Medical Institute, developed optogenetics and explains his research and how his findings impact what he sees clinically working with human patients.

705 – Optogenetics with Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D. – Part Two
Dr. Borenstein continues his conversation with Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D, professor of Bioengineering, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University's Howard Hughes Medical Institute, about his revolutionary optogenetics research of behavior in mice that can help doctors better understand the human brain and disorders.

706 – Deep Brain Stimulation – Treatment-Resistant Depression
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. Helen Mayberg, M.D, Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, and Neuroscience Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai and Director, Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics, Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai, discusses the next generation of deep brain stimulation (DBS).

707 – Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy and Post-Traumatic Stress
New uses for psychedelic drugs offer potential breakthroughs for patients with post-traumatic stress, working with trained therapists to guide the experience and open perspectives into a patient's state of mind. Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience / Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai and Director, Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research has been at the forefront of trauma research for three decades and discusses this new development.

708 – Bipolar Disorder, What You and Your Family Need to Know
Exploring the symptoms, warning signs, and early treatment options for adolescents and young adults with bipolar disorder. David J. Miklowitz, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA Semel Institute, takes families through the vital information they may need.

709 – Living with Bipolar: A Conversation with Maurice Benard
Emmy Award-winning actor Maurice Benard shares his experience living with bipolar disorder, and his work as an advocate for awareness to remove stigma, which included his character Sonny Corinthos on the soap opera General Hospital sharing his disorder.

710 – Managing a Mental Health Crisis and the New # 988
The nationwide rollout of the "9-8-8" mental health crisis emergency number in July 2022 provides an alternative response chain for mental health-related crises. William H. Carson, M.D., Chairman of the Sozosei Foundation explains how mental health and suicide prevention services will be responded to in ways that 9-1-1 calls aren't able to handle.

711 – Depression – Intersection of Faith and Mental Health
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. W. Daniel Hale, Ph.D., Special Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, offers insight for families to try to help them prevent their own tragedy.

About Brain & Behavior Research Foundation:
Now celebrating its 35th year, The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia, as well as research on suicide prevention. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $430 million to fund more than 5,100 leading scientists around the world, which has led to over $4 billion in additional funding for these scientists. 100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in research. BBRF operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants.

About Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network:
The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN) is home to CPTV, WNPR, and the Learning Lab. CPTV is a locally and nationally recognized producer and presenter of quality public television programming, including original documentaries, public affairs, and educational programming. WNPR is an affiliate of National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media. The Learning Lab serves high school seniors through a partnership with Hartford Public Schools and the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet School. It is also home to the Institute for Advanced Media, a program that provides the men and women of our armed forces and adult learners an opportunity to learn skills necessary for the 21st century digital media workplace. For more information, visit cpbn.org.

About the National Educational Telecommunications Association:
The National Educational Telecommunications Association is a professional association that serves public television licensees and educational entities in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Since 1967, the Association’s reason for existing has been to connect public television people and ideas, by providing quality programming, educational resources, professional development, management support, and national representation.