Newsletter Article

Edwards Lectures Explore New Frameworks for Understanding & Treating Mental Health Challenges

On April 19 and 26, the Department hosted its annual Allen L. Edwards Public Lecture Series. Established by a generous bequest from Professor Allen Edwards, who was associated with the Department of Psychology for half a century, the Edwards lectures bring nationally and internationally renowned scientists to the University of Washington to enrich faculty, students, and the public's knowledge of relevant psychological topics.

The theme for this year's lectures was "The Transactional Relationship between Mental Health Research and Care." The Department chose this theme to highlight the urgent need for expanding the mental health workforce and investing in mental health research and interventions. Our four speakers -- two from UW Psychology and two guest speakers -- presented new frameworks for understanding and treating mental health challenges.

On April 19, Drs. Angela Fang (UW Psychology) and Adam Guastella (University of Sydney) discussed how neuroscience can lead to more personalized mental healthcare and clinical research. Dr. Fang shared promising applications for neuroscience in the treatment of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Dr. Guastella focused his talk on how neuroscience can be used to improve support systems available to developmentally vulnerable children.

On April 26, Drs. Vibh Forsythe Cox (UW Psychology) and Faria Kamal (Columbia University Medical Center) discussed the challenges of providing effective mental health treatment to clients from underserved and marginalized communities. Dr. Forsythe Cox, who is the director of the Marsha M. Linehan DBT Clinic at UW, shared how training clinics like the MML DBT Clinic can increase access to treatment in both the short and long term. Dr. Kamal's talk focused on inequities in mental health treatment, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in BIPOC communities.

If you weren't able to join us for the lectures, we are happy to report that they have been recorded and are available for free on YouTube. The links to the lectures are below:

April 19: From the Lab to the Clinic and Back to You: Personalizing Mental Health Science and Practice

April 26: Getting care to those who need it: Increasing access to mental health treatment