Over 400 people attended the first trainee-led women’s mental health conference in the nation. Here’s what happened:
On October 25th, 2019, a group of 20 dedicated students and trainees launched the first-ever Women’s Mental Health Conference at Yale University. Over 400 people attended the keynote and 150 people attended the afternoon workshops. The amount of interest in the conference far exceeded our expectations, and our team worked hard to accommodate the waitlist of 100 people. The committee was thrilled to raise enough funds for the event to be free and open to the public.
Keynote Address by Eve Ensler
We were thrilled that Eve Ensler, the author of the Vagina Monologues, graciously agreed to headline the conference. Her incredible empathy, activism, and soulful insights into women’s mental health moved the packed auditorium to both laughter and tears. Her talk was open to the public and attracted over 400 attendees. Eve’s keynote, which is available online, was followed by a private lunch with students and trainees.
The opening session featured powerful talks by two faculty members and two trainees, who outlined why they care about women’s mental health and their hopes for the conference. Each speaker brought a different perspective and powerful life story to their talk. Chyrell Bellamy, PhD, MSW; Ariadna Forray, MD; Kayla Issacs, medical student; and Casey Chu, public health student, were the featured speakers.
We received over 40 session proposals from around the nation and globe, and ultimately selected 17 for presentation at the conference. These 50-minute sessions provided practical skills and insights on a wide array of women’s mental health topics, from the effects of colorism on women’s wellbeing to the history of women’s marginalization in psychiatric practice to the management of substance use in pregnancy.
Alumni Committee Members
The inaugural women’s mental health conference could not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our 2019 committee members!
Howard Li, MD
Danilo Rojas-Velasquez, MD
Thank you to the wonderful sponsors, advisors, and supporters who believed in our cause and vision. We couldn’t have held this conference without them!
Yale School of Medicine
Yale Department of Psychiatry
Yale New Haven Health
Belonging at Yale
The Gruber Program for Global Justice and Women’s Rights at Yale Law School
Poynter Fellowship In Journalism
Office of Student Affairs, Yale School of Medicine
Women Faculty Forum
Yale Department of OB/GYN
Program for Humanities in Medicine, Yale School of Medicine
International Association for Premenstrual Disorders (IAPMD)