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Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health

Presented by Thomas Insel, MD

Presenter Bio

Tom lnsel, M.D., a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, has been a national leader in mental health research, policy, and technology. From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). More recently, he led the Mental Health Team at Verily (2015-2017); co-founded Mind strong Health (2017-2019), a start-up building tools for people with serious mental illness; and served as a special advisor to California Governor Gavin Newsom (2019), helping on behavioral health issues. In 2020, he co-founded Human est Care, a therapeutic online community for recovery. In 2022, he joined Vanna Health as a co-founder and executive chair. Vanna Health is a start-up helping people with serious mental illness engage in psychosocial supportive care. He currently serves on the boards of Foundation for NIH, Fountain House, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy, and the Steinberg Institute (Chair, 2019-2022) as well as being an advisor to several mental health start-ups (including Alto Neuroscience, Cerebral, Compass Pathways, Owl Insights, Koa Health, Valera Health).

He is the author of Healing: Our Path from Mental Illness to Mental Health (Penguin Random House, 2022). With journalist co-founders, he launched Mind Site News (, a non-profit digital publication focused on mental health issues. Dr. Insel is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has received numerous national and international awards including honorary degrees in the U.S. and Europe. More info at

The last four decades have seen unprecedented progress in the science of mental illness, yet we have seen little progress in outcomes for people with serious mental illness. At a population level, morbidity and mortality are increasing not decreasing for those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and severe mood and anxiety disorders. How to explain this gap between science and social impact? This lecture will suggest we have a crisis of care, with five major problems contributing (capacity, engagement, quality, accountability, and equity). Remarkably, while there is no magic bullet (or molecular target), there are solutions for each of these problems. Technology will help. But we need high touch as well as high tech. Most of all, we need to shift our model from a narrow medical “sick care” approach to a broader recovery “health care” approach, addressing the 3 P’s: people, place, and purpose. The problem of serious mental illness is indeed medical, but the solutions will need to include social, environmental, and political efforts if we are to bend the curves for morbidity and mortality.

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize that progress in research has not translated to progress in outcomes for people with serious mental illness (SMI).
  2. Identify the reasons for lack of progress in outcomes for people with SMI.
  3. Define the critical elements (the three P’s) of recovery.
  4. Understand that health is about more than healthcare.

Instructional Level


Licensed mental health professionals employed through Kaiser Permanente and psychological assistants performing under supervision of a licensed psychologist.

This CE program is free to Kaiser Permanente employees.
Instructional Methodology
On-line Presentation

Continuing Education Information

Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists. The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Mental Health Training Program maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Refund and Attendance Policy

All programs offered on KP Learn for CE credit through the KP Northern California Mental Health Training website are free of charge to Kaiser Permanente Staff and trainees. Once a course is selected in the KP NCAL MH Training Website, the registration process begins, and it will appear in the individuals KP Learn profile for completion within 90 days.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Those who attend the program in full and complete the appropriate evaluation form will receive CE credits. Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire program. An attestation of attendance will be given once the individual has completed viewing the program, which will then initiate the final steps of completing the evaluation forms to receive a certificate of completion.

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