Category Archive for ‘Events’

Brain Awareness Week: A Festival for the Brain

Every year, in March, international Brain Awareness Week features educational activities all over the world, organized by local partners under the umbrella of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. Brain Awareness Week is the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research, and this year it takes place March 14-20. Last year, we wrote a piece describing Brain Awareness Week and why on earth we need such a thing. The short answer is: because the brain is infinitely complex and with new discoveries coming at fast pace, it’s hard to keep up! This year, we took on Brain Awareness Week in our home state of Rhode Island, and we created Brain Week RI, with the help of many dedicated people who are interested in brains—neuroscientists, neurologists (no, they’re not the same thing), artists, college students, mental health providers, and a bunch of people who […]

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At the NAMI Annual Convention

Cure Alliance is just back from the annual convention of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Washington, DC. We had a booth in the exhibits area, where a steady stream of people stopped by to learn about what we are doing, and to sign our petition calling for more research on mental illness. Perhaps some of you visited us there! It was an energizing trip, not least because of the impassioned advocates at the meeting–we got to see Patrick Kennedy, Creigh Deeds, Demi Lovato, and NAMI President Mary Gilberti fire up the crowds on NAMI’s National Day of Action, before NAMI members made their visits to Capitol Hill to convince their legislators to pay attention to the burden of mental illness. We also saw Tom Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), give the Research Plenary on Saturday morning (see the video). He is eloquent and […]

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Cure Alliance Hits the Big Apple for Brain Week

by Hakon Heimer New York City is the epicenter of Brain Awareness Week, sponsored by the Dana Alliance on Brain Initiatives, a yearly celebration of the 3-pound organ that runs the show. I made the trek to the Big Apple to join Cure Alliance for Mental Illness cofounder Robin Cunningham and local volunteer Elliott Koch for some of the BraiNY events at the invitation of organizer Heather McKellar of the New York University Neuroscience Institute. At the March 12 NYU Brain Fair, an incredible range of people from elementary school kids to senior citizens came by to see real brain slices, participate in educational games and attend lectures on brain health. Particularly popular were lectures on Staying Sharp and Enhancing Memory: Fact or Fiction? Elliott and I spent the afternoon talking with people about the need for more research into mental illness and collecting signatures for our petition to the […]

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Cure Alliance Debuts Campaign At National Rally For Recovery

By Robin Cunningham By the end of the event, we were all exhausted and a bit giddy. Cure Alliance for Mental Illness went to the National Rally4Recovery on 21 September 2013 in Providence, Rhode Island, and our booth  was a measurable success. All the hard work of Cure Alliance supporter Tom Monahan, founder of ad agency creative powerhouse Leonard/Monahan, and our Communications Director Alden Bumstead had paid off. We were supported by enthusiastic volunteers, many from a business school class at Johnson & Wales University that has adopted Cure Alliance as their senior marketing project. Supporters Dr. Anne Whitaker and her husband, Dr. Mark Bear, a leading brain researcher at MIT, stayed all afternoon and competed fiercely to gather the most signatures for our petition calling for more mental illness research. We had the opportunity to meet Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, R.I. congressman Jim Langevin, and advocacy stalwart Patrick […]

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Conversational Caffeine

by Hakon Heimer On Thursday, Robin and I were guests at the first ever MentaLatte MeetUp for Cures, at the Stone Creek Bar and Restaurant in the Murray Hill neighborhood in Midtown Manhattan. (See the photos here.) The MentaLatte MeetUp event was the brainchild of newly arrived New Yorker Elliott Koch and recently relocated Mirna Kvajo. (Congratulations to Mirna on her new job in Boston at Cell Press!) The idea behind the MentaLatte events is to get us talking about mental illness, normalizing it so that we can be open about autism or schizophrenia or anxiety disorders in the same way we have come to be about cancer or AIDS. On Thursday, Robin talked about his experience with schizophrenia, and about the fractures he has seen in the whole system from treatment delivery on down to research. Hakon followed with some slides about our work to build Cure Alliance for […]

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Cure Alliance Launch Party!

Cure Alliance for Mental Illness, a new national organization that promotes research on mental illness, will hold its launch party Thursday, February 2, 2012, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The event will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at PeaceLove Studios, 171 Main St. in the Downtown Pawtucket, RI, and will feature food, drinks, and music donated by local enterprises, as well as a raffle of art and culinary prizes. Cure Alliance for Mental Illness is the brainchild of Hakon Heimer, a Rhode Island-based science editor, and Robin Cunningham, a retired finance banker living in New Jersey (Learn more in About Us.). Realizing that the existing mental illness organizations have their hands full just trying to protect basic care and services for peoplle with mental illness, they decided to use their experience in science and business to create a new organization that will focus attention on the need for research […]

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