McLean Hospital

McLean Hospital

Mental illness knows no barriers, affecting people in every nation and every walk of life—young or old, rich or poor, civilian or soldier. As diverse and complex as they are widespread, mental disorders include mood and anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders, just to name a few categories.

In this workshop we will examine mental illness through multiple lenses–including clinical, research, historical, personal and policy perspectives.

We will make two visits to McLean Hospital, a world-famous psychiatric hospital in Belmont that serves as a major training facility for Harvard Medical School. McLean maintains the largest program of research in neuroscience and psychiatry of any private psychiatric hospital in the United States and runs a large number of clinical trials for new medications.

Our first visit will focus on the clinical aspects of work at McLean, and our second visit on the research aspects. In addition to short lectures on topics in psychiatric medicine and research, these visits will feature a roundtable career discussion with individuals in different disciplines across the hospital, a talk by the hospital archivist, and tours of hospital’s unique research facilities (including brain bank and imaging centers).

Apart from these McLean trips, we will devote one day to exploring the human impact of mental illness, hearing personal stories from speakers of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We will also meet with representatives from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard to learn how the science of mental health can be used to inform public policy.

A few short background readings will be provided.


Mon Jan 21,  5 to 7pm – Welcome Dinner

Tues Jan 22,  1 to 4pm – McLean Visit, Part I (Clinical Focus, including career roundtable and talk by hospital archivist)

Wed Jan 23,  1 to 4pm – Focus on personal impact of mental illness, featuring speakers from National Alliance on Mental Illness

Thurs Jan 24,  1 to 4pm – McLean Visit, Part II (Research Focus, including tours of hospital brain bank and imaging centers)

Fri Jan 25,  1 to 4pm - Focus on using the science of child development & mental health to inform public policy, hosted by The Center on the Developing Child ; Meet-the-Author Event for “The Other Side of Normal“, by Jordan Smoller

To register, email

There is a cap of 20 people, so please sign up in advance. Also, note that this is a multi-session event and attendance at all sessions is recommended. (If you do have a conflict with one session but would really like to attend the rest, please let us know when registering.)

 More information on transportation to McLean and the schedule of events will be sent to registrants.