Mental Health
Section Newsletter
Fall 2008

Letter from the Chair

Greetings Mental Health Section Members!

With the Annual Meeting in San Diego just around the corner, I wanted to let you know about some important conference events.

First, we have a great program this year with presentations on a wide variety of topics, ranging from mental health policy and practice, to child, adolescent and maternal mental health. See the article on program highlights for more information. Second, there are several opportunities for you to connect with other Section members and participate in Section activities. Our annual social will again be held on Monday evening, and we have several Section meetings scheduled. See below for more information on these events. We also are honoring some of our esteemed colleagues for their excellent contributions to the field. Read on for details about the award recipients, including the time and place of the award presentations.  Finally, we are looking for more mentors and mentees for our mentoring program. A brief description of the program is below.

I am looking forward to a productive meeting next month, and I hope to see you at some or all of these events.

See you in San Diego!


David Mandell, Section Chair

Connect with Your Colleagues

There are a number of opportunities for you to connect with your colleagues and participate in Section business. This year's Section Social will be held Monday, Oct. 27 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. at the Karl Strauss Brewery, located at 1157 Columbia Street in downtown San Diego. The brewery is within walking distance from the convention center. Come enjoy an evening with old and new friends alike.

If you're looking to have more input into or information about the Section's activities, there are a number of opportunities for you to participate. The Section meeting will be held Sunday, Oct. 26 from 4-5:30 p.m. Additionally, there are two business meetings - one on Monday, Oct. 27 from 7-8 a.m. and one on Tuesday, Oct. 28 from 7-8 a.m. Come to one or all of these meetings to learn more about the Section and how you can be involved.

Program Highlights

We are excited about this year's conference program. In addition to the awards lectures, there are a number of interesting sessions to attend. Please note all mental health sessions will take place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

On Monday, Oct. 27 we have two interesting sessions. At 10:30 a.m. is an invited session on the outcomes of a national multi-site effectiveness trial of indicated prevention of psychosis in the United States. At 12:30 p.m. in Manchester Ballroom D is an invited session on issues in Latino mental health. This session will include presentations on access to mental health services, the prevalence of psychiatric illness among the elderly, and health preferences among racial and ethnic minority populations. The Rema Lapouse award also will be presented at 4:30 p.m. this day.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28 we have two more special sessions. At 10:30 a.m. in Manchester Ballroom D is the Carol Mowbray symposium on maternal mental health. This session will feature presentations on screening for depressive symptoms during pediatric well-child visits, postpartum depression treatment, and family interventions for parental mental illness. At 12:30 p.m. in Manchester Ballroom D is an invited session on the roles of the child welfare system, foster care, insurance, prescriber specialty and comorbidities in psychopharmacology treatment for youth. The Carl Taub award also will be presented this day at 12:30 p.m.

2008 Rema Lapouse Awardees

The Rema Lapouse Award for excellence in the field of psychiatric epidemiology will be awarded to Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt of Duke University this year. They will receive this coveted award presented by the Mental Health, Epidemiology and Statistics Sections, at a special session in their honor on Oct. 27 at 4:30 p.m., where they will present the Rema Lapouse Lecture.

TERRIE E. MOFFITT is Professor at Duke University in the departments of Psychology and Neurosciences, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. She is also professor of social behavior and development at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.  A licensed clinical psychologist, Moffitt received her clinical training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute (1982-1984) and a doctorate in Psychology at the University of Southern California (1984).

Dr. Moffit studies how genes and environment work together to shape abnormal human behavior. Her particular interest is in antisocial and criminal behavior; depression, psychosis and addiction are also areas of interest. She is associate director of the Dunedin Longitudinal Study, which follows 1,000 people born in 1972 in New Zealand. She also directs the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Study, which follows 1,100 British families with twins born in 1994.

For her research, she has received the American Psychological Association's Early Career Contribution Award (1993) and Distinguished Career Award in Clinical Child Psychology (2006). Terrie was awarded a Royal Society-Wolfson Merit Award (2002-2007) and was co-recipient of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology (2007). She is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1999), the American Society of Criminology (2003), the British Academy (2004), Academia Europaea (2005), and the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2008). She has served on investigative panels for institutions such as the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

AVSHALOM CASPI was born in Israel and educated in the United States (PhD, Cornell University, 1986).  Dr. Caspi has served on the faculties of Harvard, Wisconsin, the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London and Duke University.  His research spans the fields of psychology, epidemiology and genetics. 

Dr. Caspi’s  current research seeks to answer three questions:     (1) What are the best ways to assess and measure personality differences between people, and how do such differences shape health, wealth, and relationships?  (2) How and why do adverse psychological experiences in childhood give rise to poor physical health in adulthood?  And (3)  How do genetic differences between people shape the way they respond to their environments; in particular, how do genes alter resistance to psychological stress?

For his research, he has received the American Psychological Association's  Early Career Contribution Award, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development, and the Sackler Prize in Developmental Psychobiology awarded jointly by Columbia and Cornell Medical Schools.

2008 Section Awardees

In addition to the Rema Lapouse Award, the Mental Health Section will be presenting four members with Section awards. Here is a list of the awardees. Congratulations to all!!

The Carl Taub Award will be presented to Margarita Alegria. Dr. Alegria is the Director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research and a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She has made significant contributions to mental health services research. Her published works focus on  conceptual and methodological issues with minority populations, risk behaviors, and disparities in service delivery. She will give receive the Carl Taub Award and give the lecture on Oct. 28 at 12:30 p.m. in Manchester Ballroom G.
The Mental Health Section Award will be presented to Kathleen C. Thomas, PhD, at the section social on Monday Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Dr. Thomas has been a significant contributor to the Section, including diligently working on the Section booth for the past several years. She also converted the Mental Health Section materials into a CD that has been well received by members. She will receive the award at the Section Social* on Oct. 27.
The Steve Bank Award for Mentioning will be awarded to Joseph J. Gallo, MD, MPH. Dr. Gallo has demonstrated dedication to both teaching and mentorhip. He shares his time, energy and experience in order to help those he mentors achieve their personal and professional goals. He will receive the Steve Bank Award at the Section Social* on Oct. 27.
The Kenneth Lutterman Award will be received by Darrell L. Hudson, MPH for his paper, "Cost of Mobility: Examining the effects of Racial Discrimination and John Henryism on Depression Among African Americans in a Nationally Representative Sample." He will present this paper on Oct. 27, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. at the Bruno Lima Symposium on Mental Health Issues among Minority Populations.
*See the article on Connecting with Colleagues to find details about this year's Section Social.


Looking for Mentors and Mentees

Each year the Section sponsors a session to offer junior investigators an opportunity to present work and have mid-career and senior investigators provide feedback. This year's mentoring session will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. If you are a junior investigator who would like to present, or a mid-career or senior investigator who would like to serve as a mentor, please contact David Mandell at