August 18

The Friends Open Mind Program, “Back To School Anxiety”

Students, Parents, Grandparents, Educators, and Mental Health Professionals! Everyone interested in the welfare of students as they head back to school! This program is for you!
Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 5 PM PT a kids book about ANXIETY with Ross SzaboPlease join The Friends of the Semel Institute and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for a special “Back to School Anxiety” virtual Open Mind program.

World-renowned experts and high school students will discuss how to manage the worries and stress of returning to school, especially after a pandemic, and how to transition to a successful start to the school year.

Featured SpeakerRoss Szabo, Director of Wellness at the UCLA Geffen Academy; Author “Behind Happy Faces: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health” and A Kids Book About Anxiety that was named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2020. Moderator/UCLA Faculty DiscussantJohn Piacentini, Ph.D. – Director of the UCLA Child Anxiety Resilience Education and Support (CARES) Center; Director of the UCLA Child OCD, Anxiety, and Tic Disorders Program; Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesPanelists: Sibyll Carnochan Catalan, Ph.D. Founding Head of School at the Geffen Academy at UCLA and long-time advocate for challenging and engaging education for students of all background in all kinds of schools. Zach Gottlieb is a mental health activist, speaker, and the creator of Talk With Zach, a movement and community that aims to change the culture surrounding emotional health for teens. He is a rising 10th-grader in Los Angeles. You can learn more about @talkwithzach on Instagram and Tiktok. Lucia Cleveland is a rising high school senior. She has been taking wellness classes for all of her high school career, where she has developed a love and deep respect for this subject. She employs the skills she has learned in co-leading her school’s Black Student Union, being a founding member of the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, being involved in her school’s Student Council, being the captain of her basketball team, and sharing these skills with her peers. When not involved in these things she can often be found on the beach with her nose in a book.Professional Bios: Ross Szabo – Mr. Szabo is a social innovator, award-winning speaker, and author who pioneered the youth mental health movement. He is the current Wellness Director and founding faculty member at the Geffen Academy at UCLA and the CEO of Human Power Project, a company that designs mental health curriculum. Ross turned a diagnosis of bipolar disorder with anger control problems and psychotic features at age 16, into an opportunity to educate others and set a positive example to empower young people to seek help. His natural ability to make mental health approachable for large groups of people has led to countless media appearances and presentations to over 2 million people about the importance of mental health. During his 8 years as Director of Outreach for the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign, he created the first national youth mental health speakers’ bureau in the country that is now a part of Active Minds. His tremendous efforts in the mental health field have led to him receiving the 2010 Didi Hirsch Erasing the Stigma Leadership Award, 2012 Changing Minds Award and his advocacy work was entered into the Congressional Record by Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Human Power Project’s first curriculum titled, Behind Happy Faces, is being utilized by over 200,000 students. The curriculum received the 2016 Excellence in Education Award from the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors.John Piacentini, Ph.D. – Dr. Piacentini is a board-certified clinical child and adolescent psychologist whose works focuses on the development and testing of effective treatments for childhood anxiety and related disorders. He has played a lead role in several major treatments studies for these disorders and has published over 240 research papers, many in leading medical journals, chapters and books. He has a long history and child and family advocacy and serves on Boards of several organizations including nationally, the Anxiety Depression Association of America, the International OCD Foundation, the Tourette Syndrome Association Behavioral Sciences Consortium (Chair), the Trichotillomania Learning Center, the American Board of Professional Psychology and locally the SM-Malibu Education Foundation. He is currently President of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Sibyll Carnochan Catalan, Ph.D. – Prior to joining UCLA, Dr. Catalan created and led a fellowship for outstanding public-school teachers and principals from across the country. An initiative of America Achieves, the Teacher and Principal Fellowship honors and showcases the work of outstanding educators. Dr. Catalan has worked in numerous other educational settings, including the Broad Foundation, U.S. Congress’ Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor, the Council of Chief State School Officers; and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Wednesday, August 25
5PM – 6PM PT
Registration is required for this
free live private Zoom event.

To watch videos of our past Open Mind programs, please visit or our YouTube Channel.