Azusa Pacific University celebrates Brain Awareness Week (BAW), March 11–17. BAW, an international initiative observed by more than 82 countries since 1996, raises public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. APU partners with the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives to offer three campus lectures by leaders in mental health research. These free lectures are open to the public.

“These lectures help foster a better understanding of the neuroscience behind these mental illnesses—particularly anxiety and depression that are most common in young people—and provide an open dialogue about how we as a community of believers can effectively meet the needs of those with mental illnesses,” said BAW organizer Skyla Herod, Ph.D., assistant professor in APU’s Department of Biology and Chemistry.

Depression and Anxiety
Tues., March 12, at 7:30 p.m., in Munson Chapel on East Campus, located at 901 E. Alosta Ave., in Azusa

Ian Cook, MD, delivers his lecture “Depression and Anxiety Disorders: In Your Head, Your Brain, and Your Body.” Cook discusses these widespread disorders, focusing on their neurobiology, their relationship to other bodily functions, and the importance of treatment.

Cook is the director of the UCLA Depression Research and Clinic program, chief of staff at UCLA’s Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA.

Mental Health and the Community
Thurs., March 14, 12 p.m., in Perry Lecture Hall inside Segerstrom Science Center on West Campus, located at 701 E. Foothill Blvd., in Azusa

Kenneth Wells, MD, MPH, presents his lecture “Community Engagement to Address Depression Disparities: Research that Builds Capacity.” Wells shares data from several of his studies in the Los Angeles area on socioeconomic barriers to equality of treatment and ways in which community efforts may help.

Wells is the director of the Health Services Research Center, senior scientist at RAND Health Services, and professor in residence of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

Mental Health and the Church
Thurs., March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Munson Chapel on East Campus, located at 901 E. Alosta Ave., in Azusa

This panel discussion brings together a clinician, neuroscientist, theology professor, and pastor who study the questions and controversies surrounding mental health in the Church. Panelists will examine what Scripture says about caring for those with mental illnesses and the Christian ethics of mental health research.

Presenters include Marvin Southard, DSW, director of the Los Angeles Country Department of Mental Health; Kenneth Wells, MD, MPH, director of the Health Services Research Center, senior scientist at RAND Health Services, and professor in residence of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine; Heather Clements, Ph.D., professor of theology at APU and author of The Church, Mental Disabilities, and Adult Faith Decisions; and Jeff Vines, senior pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley.

To learn more about APU’s involvement with BAW, contact Skyla Herod at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 6619, or sherod@apu.edu.