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Talk at Texas Psychological Association

  • November 18, 2017

This video discusses our peer support group called ConnECT.  I delivered this talk at the Texas Psychological Association annual meeting meeting in Houston, TX. Our group involves people who have had Electroconvuslive Therapy (ECT), are considering ECT, or are supporting someone who is having ECT.  If you are interested in information on our support group, you can email


When Life Hands You Teenagers Talk

  • September 20, 2017

In September, Julie gave a presentation at the annual When Life Hands You Teenagers conference hosted by Grant Halliburton Foundation in Plano, TX.  This confrenece is an annual gathering of doctors, educatorts and parents of teens with a focus on mental health and wellness of teens..  Julie gave a TED-style talk about her early battles with depression as a college student, how early intervention is changing the way we work with our youth now and what the landscape looks like for the future through a partnership with the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern.   


Depression Management from the School of Hard Knocks

  • June 05, 2017

This is the talk I gave for my Notre Dame 2017 35th reunion on June 3, recounting my first depressive episode at the University of Notre Dame. The visuals are reversed - what I refer to as being on the left is on the right and vice versa. Wonderful to reconnect with my ND Classmates and see all the powerful things they are doing. Go Irish '82! I am VERY proud of both my children who have just graduated (Daniel) and are attending (Rachel) Northwestern. The "cringe" part was just a point of humor for my Notre Dame classmates, many of whom have children who have graduated from Notre Dame.


Music and the Brain

  • May 22, 2017

On May 20th, Julie spoke at Soluna's Music and the Brain - a remarkable collaboration between Dallas Symphony Orchestra and UT Southwestern Medical School. Dr. Mark Goldberg, Chair of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern curated the event including keynotes Dr. Ping Ho from UCLA, Tod Machover composer and an innovator in the application of technology in music (and creator of Guitar Hero) and Dr. Charles Limb the Francis A. Sooy Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the Chief of the Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at University of California, San Francisco. Julie provided a musical interlude of her experience with music and the 2017 Tony Award Winning Dallas Theater Center's production of Public Works Dallas.


A Conversation with Dr. Madhukar Trivedi and Dr. Vikram Patel

  • March 31, 2017

March 29, 2017, UT Southwestern Peter O’Donnell, Jr. Brain Institute and Austin College hosted Dr. Vikram Patel and Dr. Madhukar Trivedi in a discussion about changing the model of mental health care. Both of these men have participated in work that pushes care out into the community. Dr. Patel published a manual, Where There is No Psychiatrist in 2003.. He used this approach to train community members in India, Uganda and elsewhere (many with less than a full high school education), to provide basic mental health care. He’s publishing a free, online version of this book in the summer (2017), which incorporates over 20 years of data to back up his approach. Dr. Patel is now the Pershing Square Professor at Harvard Medical School, having recently moved to Harvard from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Trivedi’s work involves primary care practices and high schools with the Center of Depression Research and Clinical Care at UTSW. Trivedi’s team has trained 19 primary care practices to screen for depression every patient, every time s/he comes to the practice, for any type of medical care. The effort has lead to extraordinary results in about a...


UTSW Peter O’Donnell, Jr. Brain Institute Cocktails and Conversation

  • March 24, 2017

On March 8, 2017, Bonnie and Peter Smith hosted an event as part of the UTSW Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute.  I was on a panel with Dr. Marc Diamond – brilliant UT Southwestern research who is Director of the Center for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases and, moderated by Dr. Mark Dr. Mark Goldberg, Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UTSW, Do you think I was a little intimidated? Yes! Mark proved the most genuine moderator, he’s a friend and fellow lover of the arts (especially music, in Mark’s case). He bounced back between the two of us with ease and equal respect. The three favorite questions he asked of me were: What is your dream for the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care? I answered my dream would be to have eventually two things. 1) Some type of tool to help primary care physicians to better detect depression and bipolar disease at an early level, where we have the best chance of success for management of the disease and allowing people to live full, healthy and productive lives. 2) Tools to help physicians to direct people to the best portfolio of...


The Black Dot and Bringing the Conversation to Light

  • November 13, 2015

Yesterday, I had the honor of speaking at the Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation Bring the Conversation to Light Luncheon.  Wonderful organization developed in honor of Jordan Harris, who lost her life to depression at age 22. I followed Mark Ware who detailed the work MHMR of Tarrant County has done in suicide prevention and preceded Eric Hipple. Eric is a good friend, whom I had met years before at the Grant Halliburton Foundation luncheon and visited at the University of Michigan while touring their Depression Center. Eric has done some phenomenal work with the NFL, military and college campuses breaking down barriers of communication and enlightening people on the power of human contact to dispel depression. He spoke lovingly of his son Jeff, who was lost to depression, and Eric’s own struggle with the depression, which he details in his book, Real Men Do Cry. Ellen Harris ended the program with a courageous speech and showing a recent video created by the foundation that honors her daughter's name. I am continually impressed with the efforts and steady persistence of the Harris family in opening the conversation about the impact of mental illness. Here is my speech,...


From the Ashes of Disaster…

  • May 13, 2015

Last night’s talk was a train wreck. I violated all my cardinal rules of public speaking 1. Prepare 2. Don’t depend on technology 3. If you rely on technology have a backup plan. In all honesty I did prepare. I watched the film my son Daniel and I made with the Mental Health Channel and my entire speech hinged on the preface of that 8 minute film. When I arrived at Pollman Hall at Temple Emanuel, I saw Mental Health Channel emblem on the screen and thought, Great, they’ve already tested this, I can relax. Rabbi Debra Robbins asked me to write down a couple of softball questions for the Q&A after my talk.  In my over-caffeinated-I-am-invincible state I thought I hate softball questions. I pride myself on my ability to respond on stage, forgetting that my cat-like thinking usually depends on sleep and better nutrition than cheez-its, an oversized chocolate chunk cookie and shot-gunned Diet Coke. I scribbled down my starter question: I understand you have an interfaith marriage. Do you think this contributed to your depression? Did I forget to mention I had never answered that question in front of a crowd before?...


Expect the Unexpected, Avoid the Winner’s Vortex

  • November 16, 2014

I'm writing this blog the day after my alma mater's (University of Notre Dame) stunning loss to Northwestern. No one expected Northwestern to win. My son Daniel, a sophomore at Northwestern, met me and my husband in South Bend for some in-person-intra-family football trash talk. Even Daniel deemed the game an impossible long shot for the Wildcats. My dread at the field goal that set the game into overtime was only partially offset by his giddiness. The thrill of an underdog upset (if you're the underdog), is one of life's gems. I remember feeling that way a few weeks ago, right before the official called back ND's touch down in the FSU game. The experience of ND's loss combined with other events this week amplified a question in my mind. Does depression in high  achievers happen because success steals the possibility of an underdog upset?  With the constant expectation of success, winning becomes a no-win proposition. If you win, great, you should. If you lose, you're not just a failure but an underachiever.  One of the reasons most of us love sports is because on any given day, any...


Decidí Vivir Celebration

  • November 03, 2014

When I asked Jorge Correa about what we should do to launch Decidí Vivir to reach Spanish speakers, he wisely advised, “Latinos will come to a party, but they are not going to come to a talk about depression!” Listening to his advice, we garnered some good food and drink and put our depression experts on a glistening green-blue stage with a castle in the background. I knew it was going to be an interesting night when a young from the catering staff asked if he could have a book. “My brother,” he told me, “Killed himself when he was 19.” We spent several minutes talking before the event. It was clear this young man had not told his story to many people, certainly not a stranger he had just met. But as has happened many times before, being open about my story swings wide the door so others can release theirs. He seemed visibly relieved to know that someone else could listen without judgment. I told him as I tell all people who have lost loved ones: “What your loved one did is not out of lack of love for you.” ...




"Great insight into the mind and life of someone struggling with this devastating illness. Enjoyable, informative and touching, Struck by Living may assist those suffering with major depressive disorders to recognize and get help for their symptoms earlier."

Harold C. Urschel
Harold C. Urschel III MD MMA, Author of New York Times Bestseller, Healing the Addicted Brain, Chief Medical Strategist,
About Struck By Living

In Struck by Living, Julie Hersh picks apart the irony of her life with humor and brutal honesty. Despite a loving husband, healthy children, financial security, Julie attempted suicide three times. With the help of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), Julie broke the deadly course of her disorder. Now well, Julie promotes the importance of mental health with collaborations with other artists and organizations.

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