BYLINE: Erin Frick

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 16, 2023) – May is Mental Health Awareness Month and this Thursday, May 18, marks the third annual Mental Health Action Day.

Observed in the U.S. since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month aims to elevate the many ways that mental health affects our lives — from the prevalence and diversity of mental health issues to the importance of seeking and increasing access to treatment and eliminating stigma surrounding mental health care.

University at Albany experts are available to discuss the importance of mental health and related topics, with a focus on actionable steps we can take to support our own mental health, as well as the mental health of those around us.

Drew Anderson, associate professor of psychology, studies eating-related issues — from factors that shape an individual’s vulnerability to eating disorders to best practices for eating disorder assessment and treatment. Anderson’s current research interests in this area include predicting individual responses to weight loss, effects of dieting on stress hormones and developing innovative treatments for bulimia and restrained eating.

Anderson also studies first responders and mental health, with a new project underway focusing on trauma among all categories of first responders. Anderson is himself a volunteer firefighter and EMT.

Lisa Baranik, associate professor of management at the School of Business, is an expert on chronic pain and mental health in the workplace. Baranik’s research focuses on understanding how employees learn and develop, with an emphasis on stressors that employees experience at work. Focal topics include mentoring relationships in the workplace, work motivation and achievement goals and occupational health psychology.

John Forsyth, is a professor of psychology and director of the Anxiety Disorders Research Program. He is also a clinical psychologist with expertise in acceptance and mindfulness-based approaches in relation to psychological health and well-being. Focal areas of Forsyth’s research include causes and treatments of anxiety disorders, mindfulness and self-compassion and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Kelly Gorman is the director of the Office of Health Promotion. In this capacity, she leads the University’s strategy, resources and programs related to student health and well-being at the population level. Her office is responsible for sexual violence prevention and survivor support and advocacy, mental health promotion, sexual health promotion and substance misuse prevention, as well as the Collegiate Recovery Program to support students in recovery from addiction. Gorman also leads the Well-Being Collective, which is tasked with implementing the Okanagan Charter at the University at Albany as a Health Promoting University.

Ewan McNay, associate professor of behavioral neuroscience, is available to discuss the ways that diet, sleep and exercise affect brain health and cognitive function. McNay has also long been involved in research looking at the role of insulin in cognitive function and the ways that aging, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes influence cognitive function and mental health.


About the University at Albany:

The University at Albany is one of the most diverse public research institutions in the nation and a national leader in educational equity and social mobility. As a Carnegie-classified R1 institution, UAlbany and its faculty and students are creating critical new knowledge in fields such as artificial intelligence, atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, education, public health, social sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering, informatics, public administration and social welfare. Our courses are taught by an accomplished roster of faculty experts with student success at the center of everything we do. Through our parallel commitments to academic excellence, scientific discovery and service to community, UAlbany molds bright, curious and engaged leaders and launches great careers. 


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