Maintaining a healthy brain at every stage of life will be the focus of more than twenty talks, films, and panel discussions during CONNECT Summit County’s May Mental Health Awareness Month. The events, free and open to the public, will bring experts to the county for a month-long consumer education campaign. Programs will focus on a range of issues from teen suicide and early detection/intervention of adolescent psychosis to Alzheimer’s and sleep disorders. Research on the effects of living at altitude on depression, suicide prevention, and cutting edge trauma treatment are also among the topics to be addressed.

The whole point of Mental Health Awareness Month is to diminish stigma by getting the community to talk openly about both mental health and mental illness,” according to CONNECT President Ed Rutan who gave an informative interview to Park City Television highlighting the month’s events, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Among the highlights of the Mental Health Awareness Month programs:

  • Kevin Hines, who lives with bipolar disorder and is among the one percent to survive a jump from the Golden Gate Bridge, will tell his dramatic and inspiring story, “Cracked Not Broken: Surviving and Thriving After A Suicide AttemptWednesday, May 17, 6:30 p.m. Jim Santy Auditorium, Park City Library.
  • The University of Utah Department of Psychiatry will host a cutting-edge Mental Health Research Showcase for both mental health professionals and the public. Six fifteen-minute presentations will examine pioneering subjects including: Biological Insights into Mental Illness; the Genetics of Opioid Addiction; Autism Research; and Treatment of Depression and Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly, Tuesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Park City.
  • Dr. Gail Hornstein, professor of psychology, Mt. Holyoke College, author, and an internationally recognized scholar for The Hearing Voices Network, a peer support for people living with schizophrenia and other mental disorders, will discuss “Our Minds and Each Other: Re-Imagining Mental Health,” Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 p.m., Blair Education and Conference Center on the ground floor of Park City Hospital.
  • Living at Altitude and Depression, will be the subject of “Utah: The Saddest and Happiest State In the U.S.A.,” a talk by Dr. Perry Renshaw, a psychiatrist and biophysicist recruited from Harvard Medical School in 2008 will reveal the innovative research now underway in his lab to examine the effects on the brain of living at altitude. Wednesday, May 10, 6:30 p.m., Blair Education and Conference Center on the ground floor of Park City Hospital.

Adolescent Mental Health will be the focus of three programs:

  • Feed Your Brain: How to Eat To Improve Health and Performance,” by  award-winning dietitian, author, and Dr. Oz nutritionist Kate Geagan and mental health counselor Kwinten Kemp, followed by a school-healthy Deer Valley chili meal, Thursday, May 18, 5:30 p.m. Park City High School Lecture Hall;
  • Early Detection and Intervention for Adolescent Psychosis, a lecture by Emily Owens, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior, Wednesday, May 24, 6 p.m., Blair Education and Conference Center on the ground floor of Park City Hospital;
  • What ARE they thinking? Inside the Adolescent Brain, by Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, University of Utah, Wednesday, May 31, 6 p.m., Park City Library.

The Brainstorm Film Festival at the Jim Santy Auditorium, Park City Library, will feature documentaries with panel discussions including:

  • “Hope Lives: Preventing Teen Suicide in Utah,” a KUED documentary, Tuesday May 9, 6 p.m.
  • “God Knows Where I Am”, in partnership with the Park City Film Series, Thursday, May 11, 6:30 p.m.
  • “Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts,” a PBS documentary Tuesday, May 16, 6 p.m.
  • “Dying In Vein: The Opiate Generation,” Thursday, May 25, 6 p.m.

A complete schedule and program details are available at and on Facebook.  A brochure with the full calendar of events can be found here.

CONNECT’s Mental Health Awareness Month programs would not be possible without generous contributions from people like you, including a generous grant from the Marriott Daughters Foundation.