Mental Health Issues Will be Focus of Jan. 28 Program Sponsored by Stanford Blood Center

January, 2010
Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Hyndman (650) 723-8237

STANFORD, Calif. — The Stanford Blood Center will sponsor a Café Scientifique program Jan. 28 titled, “Out of sight, out of mind: Monologues on mental health issues.” The program will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the center’s Palo Alto site, 3373 Hillview Ave. Admission is free, and espresso and cookies are complimentary.

Students from the Stanford Theatre Activist Mobilization Project, known as STAMP, will present monologues written anonymously by Stanford students living with depression, bipolar disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health issues.

Terence Ketter, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the School of Medicine and founder of Stanford’s Bipolar Disorder Clinic, will put the dramatizations into context, answer questions and offer resources.

“After hearing STAMP featured on National Public Radio, we thought Café Scientifique would be the perfect forum to spotlight mental health issues,” said blood center marketing manager John Williams. “It’s such a relevant issue for the Palo Alto community.”

The project’s mission is to create theater to educate and mobilize people for progressive social change. STAMP is the only Stanford campus group dedicated to politically educating and motivating students through theater and performance. The group has performed across a wide variety of theater genres, and in just three years has grown to one of the most well-known and influential student-activist groups on campus.

Ketter has done extensive research into bipolar disorder. His research interests include the use of brain-imaging methods to better understand the neurobiology of mood disorders and to explore the possibility of using these techniques to more effectively target treatments for patients with bipolar disorders. He has also done research in the use of novel medications and combinations of medications in the treatment of bipolar disorders.

"Mental health problems such as mood disorders commonly begin between the late teenage years and early 20s, and are thus frequently seen in university students. Unfortunately, such problems are often only accurately diagnosed and appropriately treated after a substantial period of time, after they have yielded severe problems with academic or social functioning,” said Ketter. “Programs such as this hopefully facilitate earlier detection of such problems, and also serve to counter the stigma regarding these common conditions."

Café Scientifique is an international network of informal groups that brings scientific debate into local communities. Stanford Blood Center has been hosting Café Scientifique discussions for two years and topics have included H1N1 influenza, cystic fibrosis, and global warming. For more information or directions, call (650) 723-7831 or visit

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The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10 medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. For information about all three, please visit