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Workshops to Feature Diversity, Inclusivity at Women’s Mental Health Conference at Yale

October 02, 2019

From human trafficking and immigration to pregnancy loss, LGBT mental health, and gender-based violence, the Women’s Mental Health Conference at Yale on October 25 will feature 17 workshops that highlight the breadth and diversity of mental health issues in women.

Organizers received 43 session proposals for the day-long event, which is the first academic and trainee-led conference dedicated to women’s mental health. At least five sessions are led by world-class researchers and clinicians in their field. Another five are led or co-led by a trainee or student, and three will be presented by community groups from the greater New Haven area.

The sessions will be held in the afternoon following a keynote talk by Eve Ensler, Tony-award winning playwright and author of “The Vagina Monologues.” Many of the sessions are dedicated to women of color, LGBT health, and social issues with the goal to highlight the intersection of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation.

“We hope that attendees are able to gain insight about those that they are in community with daily,” said speaker Jameela Jackson, LPC, LMFT, who will present “Treating African American Women: When the Cape Gets in the Way.” “I believe that when we can gain an understanding about one another it helps us to engage in dialogue about ways we can help one another. Stronger individuals build stronger communities.”

Among the other speakers will be Andrea Mendiola, MD, a fellow at the Hispanic Clinic at Yale who will present “Family, Culture and Mental Health in Latino Women.” She said Latino immigrant women play important roles in their families, the community, and society, but that the Latino community is suffering from stress related to immigration and acculturation.

“A deeper and culturally sensitive understanding of how risk factors and protective factors contribute to resilience in Latino women will help the community as a whole,” she said of her talk.

Speaker Angy Rivera, Co-Executive Director of the New York State Youth Leadership, will cite her own experiences in her lecture about undocumented immigrants and gender-based violence.

“I myself was an undocumented immigrant and survived sexual assault,” she said. “I know first-hand these experiences and how hard it has been to navigate immigration and legal systems that are not designed to protect me. I hope to share some of these learnings so others can support people in my community better.”

The conference sessions will also feature some underrecognized clinical topics in women’s mental health. Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, a Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Illinois at Chicago, and Howard Li, a PGY-1 in OB/GYN here at Yale, will present on the treatment and management of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. “I study and advocate for patients with premenstrual mood disorders (PMDs) because I believe a person’s reproductive system should never keep them from living their life,” Eisenlohr-Moul said.

Other sessions will feature: transwomen health, LGBT mental health, eating disorders, women and serious mental illness, postpartum depression, substance use and pregnancy, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, pregnancy loss, immigration court, human trafficking, gender-based violence, African-American women and mental health, women veterans, colorism, and history of women’s mental health.

The presenters include Christy Olezeski, PhD; Jillian Scheer, PhD; Devorah Kamman, APRN; Rebecca Miller, PhD; Rochelle Joly, MD; Hendree Jones, PhD; Tory Anne Eisenlohr-Moul, PhD; Christina Mailhos, Howard Forman, MD; Charlee Borg; Angy Rivera, BA; Louisa Gilbert, PhD; Mackenzi Davis, LCSW; Andrea Mendiola, MD; Lynette Adams, PhD; Flavia DeSouza, MD; and Maayan Bick, BA.

Conference registration is closed, but people may sign up for the wait list here. No registration is required for Ensler’s keynote, which begins at 10:15 am in Harkness Auditorium at Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St.

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on October 02, 2019