Screening of the animated short documentary film “Last Day of Freedom”

Friends of the Semel Institute is hosting a screening of the Academy Award™ nominated animated short documentary film, “Last Day of Freedom“, directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman. The film is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day – veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice.

A discussion will follow the screening featuring Professor Elyn Saks: author of The Center Cannot Hold ; Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at USC Gould School of Law and Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. Also joining the discussion will be Jim Preis, Executive Director, Mental Health Advocacy Services; Lecturer in Law, USC Gould School of Law; and Clinical Professor – Voluntary, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.

Dr. Andrew Leuchter, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA will moderate the discussion.

Friday, February 3
Melnitz Hall, UCLA
Check-in 6:30 PM   Program 7:00 PM
Admission is free but reservations are required.
Parking is available for $12 in Structure 3


For questions email Wendy Kelman at

Open Mind Lecture: AUTISM

Private donor reception sponsored by the California Community Foundation

Ron Suskind is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Way of the World, The One Percent Doctrine, The Price of Loyalty, and A Hope in the Unseen.

From 1993 to 2000 Ron Suskind was the senior national affairs writer for the Wall Street Journal, where he won a Pulitzer Prize. His newest book, Life, Animated, chronicles his son Owen’s struggle with autism and the way in which the family used Owen’s affinity for Disney to connect with him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

  • 7:00 PM Covel Commons, UCLA (see map)
  • Admission is free but reservations are required


For questions call 310-825-8871 or

Parking is available for $12 in Sunset Village (see map)

Lecture Series by Friends of the Semel Institute

CAAW901The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior is a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting and enhancing state of the art research and treatment for illnesses of the mind and brain. The group has hosted “Open Mind” lectures since at least 2005, and the upcoming lectures are well-worth considering.

February 4, 2014: Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on psychology, politics, and the arts; winner of the National Book Award; and an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, and the arts. Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity is a book of extraordinary ambition. Solomon sets out to understand how parents raise children who are radically different from them, children whose “vertical” identity, traits passed from parent to child, is overshadowed by extraordinary “horizontal” traits such as deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, disability, genius, children of rape, crime and transgenderism.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014: David Sheff

David Sheff is an American author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction and Clean, a myth-shattering look at drug abuse. Based on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, Clean is a leap beyond the traditional approaches to prevention and treatment of addiction and the mental illnesses that usually accompany it. Sheff, a journalist, has written for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Wired, Fortune, and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Timothy Fong, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program and Director of the UCLA Addiction Medicine Clinic, will be the faculty speaker joining David Sheff to discuss addiction.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014: Bi-Polar Disorder

Journalist, film critic, and author Juliann Garey will talk about her first novel, Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, and her experience with bi-polar disorder. Dr. Michael Gitlin, Director of the Adult Division of Psychiatry, Director of the Mood Disorders Clinic in the UCLA Dept of Psychiatry and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA will join Ms. Garey to discuss bi-polar disorder.

All lectures are at UCLA. Visit the site of The Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior at UCLA for more information about the lecture series, how you can help and/or the Institute.

The Semel Institute is a world-renowned multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to the study of mind, brain and behavior. Since its founding, the Institute has assembled more than 370 physicians, clinical researchers and scientists to work collaboratively in studying psychiatric and neurological disorders and to develop new, effective treatments that improve lives. Its research and clinical programs include:

  • Alzheimer‘s Disease, Memory and Aging
  • Developmental Disabilities and Behavioral Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Neurological Rehabilitation and Neural Repair
  • Human Sexuality
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Mood Disorders
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Behavioral Pharmacology
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Psychooncology Suicide Prevention
  • Autism
  • Neuropsychiatry and Epilepsy
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation in Chronic Psychosis
  • Trauma and Anxiety
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Pain Management
  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychoneuroimmunology