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We are facing an unprecedented crisis of mental illness in today’s children and teens. We desperately need more effective, functional medicine solutions.
Mental health and neurological conditions are reaching alarming levels in children and teens across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified mental health challenges among children and teens, especially when it comes to adolescent depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief and suicidal ideation. Research has found that rates of suicide in 2016 among teenagers were 48% higher than in 2000–a concerning pre-pandemic statistic alone. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of mental health problems in children and adolescents were concerning (Whitney 2019). To make matters worse, prescribing medications to children for mental health conditions is common, yet effectiveness is exceedingly poor. And unfortunately, for many mental health disorders, there are no approved medications for core symptoms.
Join us for a groundbreaking 2-day symposium November 6-7, 2021, featuring renowned clinical experts as they share cutting-edge integrative research and evidence-based treatment protocols. Topics range from treating nutritional deficiencies, to hormonal imbalances, gut flora problems and toxicities, to genetic defects and more.
Top-Notch Training for Busy Professionals
Trusted Researchers & Clinicians
Who Should Attend this Symposium?
This symposium is ideal for the following professions:
Psychiatrists, Pediatricians & Clinicians
Psychologists, Therapists, Counselors, Social Workers, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses
Functional & Integrative Medicine Physicians
- Presentation material (PDFs/downloadable slides)
- Live event presentations (via Zoom) with live attendee Q&A scheduled for all speakers post-presentation
- Private event dashboard providing bonus material and special sponsor offers
- All presentation recordings (post-symposium)**
**Presentation recordings will be available approx. one month post-event. All recordings are included in registration and will be available to registrants post-event. For non-registrants, recordings will be available for purchase at an increased rate.
Meet the Presenters
Andrew Farah, MD
Dr. Andrew Farah is a a graduate of Clemson University who earned his MD at the Medical University of South Carolina, and then completed his residency in psychiatry at Wake Forest University. Dr. Farah was named “Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association” in 2015 for his teaching, research, and his original contributions to the field. He is widely regarded as an expert on post-concussion syndrome, the prevention of dementia, and the “homocysteine theory of depression”. His research focuses on neuro-protection and preventative neuropsychiatry. He has consulted on various forensic cases and legal matters over the past 19 years. He now serves as the Chief of Psychiatry at the High Point Division of the University of North Carolina Healthcare System. He is the author of Hemingway’s Brain, has published widely in his field, and served as editor for two psychiatric journals.
James Greenblatt, MD
A pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, James M. Greenblatt, MD, has treated patients since 1988. After receiving his medical degree and completing his psychiatry residency at George Washington University, Dr. Greenblatt completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA and serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Greenblatt has lectured internationally on the scientific evidence for nutritional interventions in psychiatry and mental illness. He is also the founder of Psychiatry Redefined, and author of seven books, including Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD, and Nutritional Lithium: A Cinderella Story.
Robert Hendren, DO
Dr. Robert L. Hendren is a psychiatrist who specializes in caring for patients with autism, as well as in diagnosing and treating neurodevelopmental disorders, including pervasive developmental, bipolar, schizophrenia spectrum and impulse control disorders. In his research, Hendren studies the use of pharmacological and nutritional therapies in treating autism. He also examines the biological effects of alternative treatments for autism, such as vitamin B12, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Hendren earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree at the A.T. Still University. He completed a residency in general psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center. Before joining UCSF, Hendren was on the faculty of the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and University of California, Davis School of Medicine. A past president of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, he has published more than 150 scientific papers and five books. He serves as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the UCSF Department of Psychiatry.
Nancy H. O’Hara, MD, MPH, FAAP
Dr. Nancy O’Hara is a board certified pediatrician. Prior to her medical career, Dr. O’Hara taught children with autism. She graduated with highest honors from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. After residency, chief residency and general pediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’ Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. Since 1999 she has dedicated her functional medicine practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and ASD. She is also a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the United States and abroad.
Deborah Simkin, MD
Dr. Simkin is a board certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist who practices Functional and Integrative Psychiatry. She trained at Harvard’s McLean and Mass General Hospitals in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Simkin served as Assistant Professor while at Dartmouth Medical School and is presently Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Emory Medical School where she teaches Functional Psychiatry. She is a Distinguished Fellow with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and a Diplomate with the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. She is certified in Functional Medicine by the Institute of Functional Medicine and she is also board certified in neurofeedback by the Biofeedback International Certification Alliance. She is co-chair of the AACAP’s Committee on Integrative Medicine. She has authored and co- authored several articles and chapters on topics involving Functional Medicine and she has served as co-editor on several textbooks on the same topic. She has recently published two articles on the gut-brain-axis: one titled “Microbiome and Mental Health, Specifically as It Relates to Adolescents,” and one written with her distinguished co-chair, Gene Arnold, titled “The Roles of Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and the Gut-Brain Axis in Treatment Refractory Depression in Youth: Complementary and Integrative Medicine Interventions.” She is an international speaker on Functional and Integrative Medicine in Psychiatry and has particular interests in Adverse Childhood Events, Epigenetics and inflammation throughout a lifetime.
Amelia Villagomez, MD
Dr. Villagomez attended medical school at Texas A&M, completing her training in General Psychiatry at Yale, and did a fellowship in Child/Adolescent Psychiatry at Harvard. After completing her fellowship, she served as the Medical Director of the outpatient child/adolescent psychiatry clinic at the University of Arizona. She then practiced child/adolescent psychiatry in Canada and worked in various settings (inpatient, outpatient, and ER). Currently, Dr. Villagomez has a private practice (findmindful.com) and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona where she trains residents, fellows, and faculty in Integrative Psychiatry. Dr. Villagomez has always been interested in searching for tools to help people heal more holistically. To this end, she completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, is certified in Mind-Body techniques, and trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy, a rapid trauma therapy based on the science of memory reconsolidation.
Schedule tentative; speakers, presentations and times subject to change.
We will also host a post-symposium open forum meeting on Zoom for anyone who would like to participate to discuss any ideas and final thoughts around the symposium topics. All symposium registrants will receive an invitation closer to the event date. Day and time TBD.
Day 1: Saturday, November 6, 2021
Day 2: Sunday, November 7, 2021
We are facing a growing youth mental health crisis. And since the pandemic, rates of mental health disorders appear to have worsened.
A survey in the United States evaluated mental health in adults and teens during the pandemic, revealing that in teenagers 55% had depression, 48% anxiety, 45% post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 58% prolonged grief, and 37% suicidal ideation (Murata 2020). And the problem appears to be global. Studies out of China have shown rates of depression and anxiety in adolescents reaching as high as 43.7% and 37.4% respectively (Zhou 2020).
Currently, suicide is the second leading cause of death in adolescents after accidents (CDC 2020), and the data indicates the rates of suicide are increasing among teenagers. The rate of suicide in the United States for both boys and girls has increased up through 2016 with rates 48% higher than they were in 2000 (Miron 2019)–a concerning statistic even before the pandemic.
The time to act is now, as rates of mental illness have been found to be higher as adolescents approach adulthood (Racine 2020).
Teenagers aren’t the only demographic facing unprecedented mental health challenges. In children, autism has increased to 1 in 54 (Maenner 2020), and rates of developmental disability in children overall are 1 in 6, or 17% (Zablotsky 2019). Along those same lines, eating disorder rates have more than doubled worldwide, from 3.5% during 2000-2006, increasing to 7.8% from 2013-2018 (Galmiche 2019).
While prescribing medications to children for mental health conditions is common, effectiveness is exceedingly poor and in need of transformation. As of 2008, doctors prescribed antidepressant medication to about ⅓ of children struggling with depression in the United states (Murphy 2014). Yet a recent meta-analysis came to the conclusion that of 16 different standard antidepressants, only fluoxetine had any efficacy for treating depression in children (Zhou 2020). More serious still, for many mental health disorders, such as autism and anorexia, there aren’t any approved medications for core symptoms.
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Whitney DG, Peterson MD. US National and State-Level Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders and Disparities of Mental Health Care Use in Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(4):389-391. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5399
Ghandour RM, Sherman LJ, Vladutiu CJ, et al. Prevalence and Treatment of Depression, Anxiety, and Conduct Problems in US Children. J Pediatr. 2019;206:256-267.e3. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.09.021
Murata S, Rezeppa T, Thoma B, et al. The psychiatric sequelae of the COVID-19 pandemic in adolescents, adults, and health care workers. Depress Anxiety. 2021;38(2):233-246. doi:10.1002/da.23120
Zhou SJ, Zhang LG, Wang LL, et al. Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of psychological health problems in Chinese adolescents during the outbreak of COVID-19. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020;29(6):749-758. doi:10.1007/s00787-020-01541-4
Racine N, Cooke JE, Eirich R, Korczak DJ, McArthur B, Madigan S. Child and adolescent mental illness during COVID-19: A rapid review. Psychiatry Res. 2020;292:113307. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113307
Miron O, Yu KH, Wilf-Miron R, Kohane IS. Suicide Rates Among Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States, 2000-2017. JAMA. 2019;321(23):2362-2364. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.5054
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2019 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2020. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2019, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed at http://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html on May 11, 2021.
Maenner MJ, Shaw KA, Baio J, et al. Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2016 [published correction appears in MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Apr 24;69(16):503]. MMWR Surveill Summ. 2020;69(4):1-12. Published 2020 Mar 27. doi:10.15585/mmwr.ss6904a1
Zablotsky B, Black LI, Maenner MJ, Schieve LA, Danielson ML, Bitsko RH, Blumberg SJ, Kogan MD, Boyle CA. Prevalence and Trends of Developmental Disabilities among Children in the US: 2009–2017. Pediatrics. 2019; 144(4):e20190811
Galmiche M, Déchelotte P, Lambert G, Tavolacci MP. Prevalence of eating disorders over the 2000-2018 period: a systematic literature review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2019;109(5):1402-1413. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy342
Murphy JM, McCarthy AE, Baer L, Zima BT, Jellinek MS. Alternative national guidelines for treating attention and depression problems in children: comparison of treatment approaches and prescribing rates in the United Kingdom and United States. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2014;22(3):179-192. doi:10.1097/HRP.0000000000000026
Zhou X, Teng T, Zhang Y, et al. Comparative efficacy and acceptability of antidepressants, psychotherapies, and their combination for acute treatment of children and adolescents with depressive disorder: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020;7(7):581-601. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30137-1