Mission and Work | MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds

Mission and Work

illustration of colorful hands reaching for the stars over dark blue background

Mission Statement

The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital is a free, practical, online educational resource dedicated to promoting and supporting the mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being of children, teens, and young adults.

Download the Clay Center Mission and Work Statement

Like the public library, the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds is a free educational resource that is available to all who want to learn how they can better support the mental, emotional and behavioral wellbeing of young people, and build resilience. 

  • Parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, clergy and other adults, are in a unique and valuable position to monitor the social, cognitive, emotional and behavioral development of the young people in their lives and help guide their development through secure and trusted relationships.
  • With concerns about mental health widespread and growing, the Clay Center empowers these adults with knowledge and practical guidance about what to look for, when to worry, and what to do, so they are in a much better position to foster good mental health and increase resilience.
  • Important topics include depression, anxiety, stress, learning, eating, and developmental disorders – as well as insight on many social and societal issues including use of digital media and cyber-bullying. New resources focus on the importance of self-care as a skill leading to wellbeing and resilience.
  • The Center’s innovative online multimedia platform provides content in the form of a blog, short videos, and podcast that are engaging and easy to understand, filled with practical tips, and regularly updated based on new research, current events, and feedback from our readers and listeners.
  • The Center is led by Executive Director Dr. Gene Beresin, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and career clinical educator with a passion for creative connection and healing and supported by a small staff.
  • In its seventh year of operation, the Clay Center is funded predominately by private philanthropy.  The Center shares its resources across MGH and MGH for Children to promote collaboration among the clinical disciplines that support parents/families, and to provide education about the mental health components of medical conditions and navigating in challenging times. Spanish translation, and broad continuous outreach to schools, after school programs and community organizations are making these resources much more widely available.
  • The Clay Center is also an expert resource for numerous media outlets that turn to us for help in understanding and reporting on mental health topics, including WBUR/NPR, CNN, NBC Nightly News, the NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and a range of network and cable TV channels.
  • Key collaborations include: NY Office of Mental Health Project Teach, where we provide parent educational materials in conjunction with professional education for pediatricians on child and adolescent psychiatry; Christie Campus Health, where we provide educational materials on key topics in college mental health; Illuminating Mental Health, a participatory art model, which uses collaborative art making as a vehicle for sharing feelings, building awareness, and activating conversations about mental health with young people.

The Clay Center welcomes your ideas, interest and involvement.  For more information, please call Deirdre Phillips at 617-724-1297 or dphillips13@mgh.harvard.edu.

Your support makes a difference! Learn more about the many ways to contribute.