By James Herrera*

CARMEL » A conference that will bring together mental health professionals to discuss youth mental health research and treatment is coming to the Monterey Peninsula in May, organizers announced this week.

The inaugural AIM Youth Mental Health Scientific Symposium will be a gathering of doctors from around the world, along with AIM’s scientific advisory board, for a retreat focused on research, early intervention and dissemination of the best treatments for youth struggling with mental health.

The public will have the opportunity to hear from the doctors and meet them at two special events, May 15 and May 17.

“To have the greatest minds in the field, all in one location, strategizing youth mental health research and critical next steps is unprecedented,” said Susan Stilwell, co-founder of AIM, in a press release. “We are excited to make these distinguished doctors accessible to our community.”

Special guests include Dr. David M. Clark of Oxford University who is transforming the dissemination of mental health services in the UK, Dr. Adam Gazzaley of UC San Francisco who is at the forefront of digital medicine, Dr. Tom Insel, the former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as Monterey County’s new executive director of Ohana — a new mental health facility in development — Dr. Susan Swick.

On May 15, members of the public are invited to “An Evening with the Best and Brightest in Youth Mental Health,” a cocktail reception and dinner at a private club in Pebble Beach giving attendees an opportunity to mingle with the top youth mental health doctors including Steve Adelsheim from Stanford, Hilary Blumberg from Yale and David Miklowitz from UCLA, among others, and hear updates on AIM- funded research. Tickets for the evening are $125 or $150 to include the symposium.

1/2 top doctors in pediatric mental health on the latest advancements in research and treatment including:

  • “Eating Disorders: Insights into Choosing Effective Treatments” from Dr. Walter H. Kaye of UC San Diego.
  • “Childhood Anxiety and OCD: Does Early Intervention Work?” from Dr. Kate Fitzgerald of the University of Michigan.
  • “Adolescent Depression: Prevention and Treatment” from Dr. W. Edward Craighead of Emory University.
  • “Social Anxiety: Promising Therapies” from Dr. David M. Clark of Oxford University.

Tickets for the symposium are $30 and free for students with I.D.

Nearly 1 in 4 youth currently suffer from a mental health disorder and the AIM Scientific Symposium and work of AIM is a direct response to this growing epidemic, said the press release.

“The innovative work of AIM is leading the way by empowering clinical research teams to advance our understanding of what children and adolescents need to realize their full potential,” said Dr. John R. Weisz of Harvard, an AIM Scientific Advisory Board member.

The doctors will also meet in a private thinktank to discuss cutting-edge research designed to help youth now while sharing resources across their focus areas, along with the public events they will be participating in. Visit or call 831-372-1600 for tickets and more information.

*Article Originally Published in Monterey Herald Saturday, March 16, 2019. Click here to view the online article, or click here to download a PDF version of this article.

Please contact Monterey Herald reporter James Herrera for questions specific to this story.