News Release

Enhancing positive emotions to prevent depression in youth - a free webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Meeting Announcement

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Webinar Presenter


Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D.

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Credit: BBRF

The CDC has reported alarming rates of depression among America’s youth, with 42% of high school students feeling so sad or hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row in 2021 that they stopped doing their usual activities and 22% seriously considering attempting suicide. This indicates a mental health crisis facing our young people. How can we reduce the risk of depression in youth?

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF) is hosting a free webinar, “Enhancing Positive Emotions to Prevent Depression in Youth” on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at 2:00 pm ET, offering new insights on addressing depression in children and young adults. The presenter will be Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Director of the Mood, Emotion, & Development Lab at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Kujawa is also the recipient of two BBRF Young Investigator Grants. Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, and host of the public television series Healthy Minds will be the webinar host. Register today at

Treatment for depression traditionally focuses on reducing negative emotions like sadness or anger and less on increasing positive emotions like contentment and happiness. In this talk, Dr. Kujawa will first review research informed by neuroscience that highlights difficulties with positive emotions as a key risk factor for the development of depression in youth. Next, Dr. Kujawa will describe new approaches to intervention that aim to increase positive emotions in children and emerging adults to reduce depression risk across time.

About Brain & Behavior Research Foundation 
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation awards research grants to develop improved treatments, cures, and methods of prevention for mental illness. These illnesses include addiction, ADHD, anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, and schizophrenia, as well as research on suicide prevention. Since 1987, the Foundation has awarded more than $450 million to fund more than 5,400 leading scientists around the world. 100% of every dollar donated for research is invested in research. BBRF operating expenses are covered by separate foundation grants. BBRF is the producer of the Emmy® nominated public television series Healthy Minds with Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, which aims to remove the stigma of mental illness and demonstrate that with help, there is hope.

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