PRI Headers (2)


  • Mind the Brain: Resilience Building in Uncertain Times

    Dec 16, 2020
    Resilience – it’s what we are all searching for during this season of unprecedented uncertainty. In this week’s episode, Dr. Neill Epperson speaks with Dr. Anne Dondapati Allen to gain her insight on connecting with our inner resilience.
    Full story
  • Mind the Brain: Vaccine Hesitancy in the Time of COVID-19

    Dec 8, 2020
    In our second episode of the new season, we discuss why some Americans may be hesitant to get COVID-19 vaccines and strategies for effectively addressing concerns related to new vaccines. Dr. Neill Epperson discusses these various barriers to participation in an insightful conversation with Dr. Chad Morris.
    Full story
  • Mind the Brain: Managing During Uncertainty

    Nov 18, 2020
    Dr. Neill Epperson is joined by family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, Laura McGladrey. Together they reassess our definition of “thriving” as we continue to live through uncertainty and a rapidly changing reality.
    Full story
  • Mind the Brain: The Microbiome and Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

    Jul 28, 2020
    You’ve probably heard people say that a healthy gut equals a healthy mind. But what does this actually mean and what can we learn from this in the time of COVID-19? In this episode, Dr. Neill Epperson explores how to mind our microbiome-gut-brain axis with Dr. Christoper Lowry, an Associate Professor in both the Department of Integrative Physiology at UC Boulder and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Center for Neuroscience here on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
    Full story
  • Mind the Brain: What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Adolescent Stress and Resilience

    Jul 22, 2020
    We can all agree that 2020 has been a real mess. The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused immense disruption to our daily routines, social connections, family relationships, working and academic goals, and plans for the future. In this episode, Dr. Epperson talks with Dr. Roselinde Kaiser, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at UC Boulder, about what brain science can teach us about adolescent stress and resilience
    Full story
  • Mind the Brain: Sleep and Stress During COVID-19

    Jul 16, 2020
    During a global pandemic, it comes as no surprise that getting good sleep can feel difficult. Decreased sleep quality and quantity including difficulty falling and staying asleep, sleeping too much, distressing dreams and sometimes nightmares are common during times of stress and the current period of prolonged urgency, uncertainty and heightened work/life demands. The following are concrete suggestions to help improve sleep during this challenging time.
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Why We Created Mind the Brain

Resilience — what is it and how to boost it — has become a recent focus of numerous medical talk shows, blogs, books and electronic apps. Surveys to calculate one’s resilience quotient have become popular. Of course, facing the morbidity, mortality, social isolation and economic uncertainty that characterizes the COVID-19 pandemic, we crave concrete reassurance that we and our loved ones are going to be okay. We will weather this storm. We will bounce back, as one of my colleagues texted me earlier today, “Bigger, badder, stronger.”

Indeed, the majority of us will demonstrate resilience. We will return to our workplaces, schools, houses of worship, favorite restaurants, and mountain trails with no appreciable adverse health effects from the pandemic.

However, this is not the case for roughly one million Coloradans who will suffer from mental health concerns this year alone. Add the adverse psychological and biological effects of chronic, pervasive and persistent stress to the baseline prevalence of any mental disorder (19%) or serious mental illness (5%) and we should expect — and prepare for — a surge in suicides, depression, post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety disorders and problems with alcohol and drug use.


Mental Illness: The Second Surge?

While we have had other infectious disease scares and disasters in the U.S., we have not experienced a pandemic of this scope for more than a century. This type of disaster is unprecedented in our current society. We are psychologically inexperienced.

However, it is time that we go beyond focusing on emotional supports and discussing resilience, coping strategies, sleep hygiene or exercise routines. While these are all admittedly important to one’s well-being, we must launch a frank dialogue about psychiatric disorders as the “second surge” of this pandemic.

Over the next several weeks, we will begin an open and honest discussion of what we can expect, from a psychiatric point of view, over the coming months. We will publish conversations with experts in the assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD and other stress reactions, as well as problems with substance use and abuse. These are exceptionally common medical problems in our society and, like COVID-19, are not exclusive to any particular socioeconomic class, race, ethnic or age group, sex or gender.

Our goal is to promote recognition that mental illness can strike any of us during and after this pandemic. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms in ourselves and others. Mental health care is available through multiple avenues such as one’s primary care provider, the Department of Psychiatry and the Johnson Depression Center. There is no shame in reaching out for help. Suffering from depression or PTSD does not mean that one is not resilient. Resilience is complex and multifaceted. Appropriate and timely treatment can aid a person’s innate resilience and return him or her to health.

We hope you will take a few minutes to read and discuss these articles. The more frequently we speak the words “depression, PTSD, panic, suicide” the less stigmatized they become. I am optimistic that one day we will feel as comfortable seeking treatment for psychiatric and substance use concerns as we are for any other common medical condition. The majority of psychiatric disorders are episodic and highly responsive to treatment. Let’s all do what we can to prevent this second surge from becoming the chronic medical condition that will be the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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C. Neill Epperson, M.D.
Robert Freedman Endowed Professor and Chair 
Department of Psychiatry 

C. Neill Epperson, MD

Chair, Department of Psychiatry 

Host, Mind the Brain

Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


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