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    How Mental Health and Pop Culture Can Partner for Good

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    Los Angeles, CA – For the first time, the psychiatrists of Broadcast Thought, H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., will bring their unique expertise in mental health and pop culture to New York Comic Con for a fun and informative panel!

    On Sunday, October 11, 2015, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in Room 1A24, Broadcast Thought will be joined by a team of entertainment and mental health professionals to present “A Force for Good: The Powerful Partnership Between Mental Health and Pop Culture.”

    Awareness of pop culture’s power to help people with mental illnesses is reaching new heights, from celebrated depictions of superhero struggles to the personal stories of creators themselves.

    • Actress and writer Mara Wilson (Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda, Welcome to Night Vale, What Are You Afraid Of?) will share her personal struggles with anxiety and depression and how her experiences have shaped her career.
    • Eisner-nominated writer Alex de Campi (Smoke/Ashes, No Mercy, Grindhouse) will talk about the creator and mental illness, as well as treating mental illness respectfully in fiction.
    • Comedian Jenny Jaffe (Camp Time with Jenny Jaffe, CollegeHumor) will discuss her outreach to teens and young adults through her innovative mental health nonprofit, Project UROK.
    • Psychologist Janina Scarlet, Ph.D., (Superhero Therapy) will share moving stories of patients inspired by accurate comic book depictions of mental disorders in their recovery from mental illnesses.
    • Forensic psychiatrist Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., (Broadcast Thought) will discuss Aura, his PRISM Award-winning short story about a stigmatized superhero with bipolar disorder, published in Rise: Comics Against Bullying #2 from Northwest Press.
    • Forensic psychiatrists H. Eric Bender, M.D., and Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., (Broadcast Thought) will discuss why accurate mental health depictions matter and how less stigmatizing — and more creative — representations can benefit patients and publishers alike.

    Attorney Jeff Trexler (The Beat, The Comics Journal) will moderate, highlighting how entertainment can be a force for good in mental health and why more accurate and less stigmatizing mental health representations are a “win-win” for media outlets and people with mental illnesses alike.

    About Broadcast Thought:

    Broadcast Thought is a creative collective of three psychiatric physicians, H. Eric Bender, M.D., Praveen R. Kambam, M.D., and Vasilis K. Pozios, M.D., whose goals include shifting the paradigm of how the media and entertainment industries portray mental health issues. The doctors serve as creative consultants and subject matter experts to the media and entertainment industries and co-create mental health-related content. They are freelance contributors to The New York Times, Wired, and The Walking Dead: The Official Magazine, and they have been featured in Time, The Huffington Post, ABC News, Entertainment Weekly, and Discover.

    *Editor’s note: Social Work Helper will be covering this panel and others at New York Comic Con 2015. For behind the scenes interviews and access, follow Social Work Helper on Periscope and on twitter at @swhelpercom.

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    SWHELPER is a news, information, resources, and entertainment website related to social good, social work, and social justice. To submit news and press releases email contact@swhelper.org

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