Monday, October 26, 2009

Purging the stigma of mental illness

Joseph Rochford, associate professor of psychiatry at McGill and a director at the Douglas Hospital, hopes the hospital's Mini-Psych School will help debunk myths surrounding people suffering from mental disorders.

"Molecular biologists and geneticists are like the engineers who develop a new Formula One racing car. We're the ones who test drive it and then go back and say 'this is how it behaves.' "

That's Joseph Rochford, associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University and director of the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, on what a behaviour pharmacologist does.

The head of the neurophenotyping centre at the Douglas Institute studies how drugs used for treating mental disorders affect behaviour.

Starting this week, Rochford - also the director of academic affairs - will launch the Douglas's Mini-Psych School by giving the first session on the myths of mental illness. The purpose of the six-week course is to educate and sensitize the public to mental health issues.


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