Stories for Children’s Mental Health

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Posted in: Hot Topics, Multimedia, Podcast

Topics: Anxiety, Culture + Society

Stories Matter, especially when it comes to children’s mental health and wellbeing.

For our season finale, Gene and Khadijah are joined by two special guests from Barefoot Books – book editor Lisa Rosinsky and children’s author Joelle Retener. They explore how stories help kids to make sense of the world in all of its confusion and beauty by taking a closer look at Marley’s Pride, a new children’s book about overcoming big anxieties and realizing the power of community. Plus, stay tuned at the end to hear everyone’s favorite children’s book!

We wish you a story-filled summer! We’ll see you back here in October on the third Thursday of every month. Until then, be well.

Media List

Episode Transcript

SPEAKERS: Gene Beresin, MD, MA; Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH; Lisa Rosinsky, Senior Editor; Joelle Retener, Author


Lisa Rosinsky 0:00
This was something I hadn’t seen before, which was a pride story that focuses on specific characters, a very real child, and their identity, as Joelle was just saying, as a non binary kid, is secondary in the story. What’s primary in the story is their fear and the conflict that they feel between that and wanting to show up for their beloved grandparent at the event.


Gene 0:27
Welcome back to Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple. I’m Gene Beresin

Khadijah 0:32
And I’m Khadijah Booth Watkins

Gene 0:34
And we’re two child and adolescent psychiatrists at the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at the Massachusetts General Hospital. And in case you missed it, last May, the Clay Center participated in a program about storytelling at Barefoot Books in Concord, that is Concord Massachusetts, as a part of their annual community conference. Now, storytelling is a topic very close to my heart, and it was an honor to participate in a panel with two with the others who appreciated the importance of stories, not just for social emotional learning, but for child mental health. Now we’re delighted today to have two guests from Barefoot Books on our show to help us explore this topic and that and the topic of stories of and the importance of stories in children’s mental health. So I’d like to welcome Lisa Rosinsky and Joelle Retener to the show.

Lisa 1:29
Great to be here.

Khadijah 1:30
You know what? Lisa, you have a sister who’s a child psychiatrist, right?

Lisa 1:35
I sure do. Yeah, she just started an MGH in August.

Khadijah 1:38
I just kept saying your name, but this name sounds so familiar. Yes, I do know I met her a couple weeks ago.

Gene 1:43
She’s going to be one of. She’s going to be one of us.

Lisa 1:46
That’s right, yep. And my dad is a child psychiatrist too. So it is a topic that is pretty close to my personal life. I would say, yeah.

Khadijah 1:54
Oh, that’s awesome. So and So, for those of you who don’t know, Barefoot Books, Barefoot Books is a very special independent children’s books publisher. They were started more than 30 years ago by two young moms who wanted to create books that introduce kids to diverse cultures and promote understanding and tolerance. And they’re still going strong today. But in their words, this is a quote from, I guess, one of the moms stories of the way we make sense of the world and all of this confusion and beauty, they act as road maps for us. The way we tell them, the way we share them, and the way we reflect on them, gives us clues about what it means to be human. That was a really nice quote.

Gene 2:33
Well, that says it all. So let let me introduce our our guests. Lisa Rosinsky is a senior editor at Barefoot Books. She’s been at Barefoot Books for more than eight years, and in her role, involved in every stage of book development, from editing to writing to art direction. And she was on the panel I participated in last May, and had some great insights to share. So welcome again, Lisa.

Lisa 2:59
Thank you looking forward to it.

Gene 3:03
And Joelle Retener is an author, an advocate and a dreamer. They are a first generation Haitian American children’s author who writes stories steeped in black pride and queer joy, including one recently published book, Marley’s pride, which we’ll get to talk more about today. Welcome again, Joelle,

Joelle Retener 3:22
Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to get to know both of you and chat a little bit more.

Khadijah 3:28
Stories are meaningful to all of us right now. Joelle, you’re an author who writes these books, and Lisa, you’re an editor who helps these books kind of take shape and come for life. Can you share a little bit in your words? Why? Personally it feels so important for children to see themselves represented in books, and how this also may impact parents and caregivers who read them.

Joelle 3:49
Sure, I can dive in as I see it, representation equals visibility. These books that are diverse and accurately reflect the world that we live in, provide possibility models for children, particularly children and historically marginalized communities. I see it as an open invitation for kids to dream big, a door that is open for them to step through and to affirm and assert that they can do those things. They can explore the world just like the characters in their stories. So from my perspective, there is a deep and direct connection between the reader’s self worth, their perceived value and representation. Period. I’m gonna end there.

Lisa 4:43
Yeah, I agree with everything that Joelle just said. And I guess from a editorial perspective, diversity is a fundamental value of our publishing at Barefoot Books, but it is also relevant to this chat, deeply important to mental health, because for a child, seeing yourself, or families like yours in a book, validates identity full stop, and it also combats loneliness, anxiety, isolation, if you don’t know anyone like you in real life, or if you don’t see those positive role models in the media that you’re reading, watching, consuming and promotes a positive self image. And one of the things I love to say about this is that so many of the authors I work with, when you ask them the inspiration for writing their book, will say, I’m writing the books I wish I had had as a kid. I’m writing the representation that would have been life changing for me to see as a child. And so my job getting to midwife those books into the world is a huge honor.

Khadijah 5:44
I do think about and do wish looking back on like my childhood, I wish there were more people in books that looked like me, or more princesses on TV that looked like me. It would have been really nice

Gene 5:57
Here at the Clay Center, we often talk about building resilience in our kids, because this is a skill that can be learned, and it serves as a double edged sword. So on one side it helps us prevent or resist adversity, and on the other side, it helps us to cope in healthy ways in the face of traumatic situations. Now I learned this from my mentor, Chet Pierce, who was a wonderful, wonderful human being, an African American psychiatrist, president of the American Board of Psychiatry, neurology, worked with with in Antarctica, with astronauts in isolation. And in fact, he has a mountain named after him, Mount Pierce. And so I, I, I stole this definition of of resilience from Chet, who certainly knew something about adversity. And this is the way he framed it. So when I started researching it based on his mentorship, I noted there were two key elements. One is engagement with others, and most and more importantly, secure attachment to the reader as part of that engagement. And the other is awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and behavior and how it impacts the other. So actually, secure attachments set the stage for resilience and stories or outcomes of attachment and resilience, as they provide a foundation for personal relation, relational and social meaning, which involves these things in mind. So maybe, Lisa, could you talk about the way in which Barefoot Books helps to seek out and shape stories that help foster secure attachments and build resilience in kids and Joelle, I’ll ask you, as well as a children’s book author, can you speak to whether you feel books helped you promote secure attachments and build resilience for all kids and adults growing up.

Lisa 8:07
Yeah, I can jump in and talk a little bit about my job acquiring books. We tend to look for the most memorable, long, lasting books we can find. And what I mean by that is we tend not to do stories with a more sort of explanatory, instructional or didactic tone. There are a lot of great books out there. Many publishers do them, especially around topics like mental health. And there’s a place for those, of course. But the books that we look for tend to be first and foremost, compelling, unforgettable stories told from a kid’s eye point of view, with a specific setting, a relatable main character in a specific situation, with some sort of overarching message. And the reason why we look for these books is because we feel these have more longevity, the stories that have multiple layers that can grow with a child over time, over the years, over many years of rereading them and then revisiting them in your memory. And we think that those are the books that really build the most resilience and attachment, the kind that you can return to again and again with your caregiver as you get older, and then even in later childhood, on your own as a child, that each time you read these books, you uncover new meaning. So those are the kinds of books that I look for as an editor.

Joelle 9:25
So I will jump right in as it relates to secure attachments and resilience, building from what I gather your question is specific to my experience as a child, myself and I, I, I’ve always been a book lover. I mean, I write books now, so one would hope I was that kid that you know, squirreled away in their room all the time with their nose in a book or at the library. And while part of that was because of my affinity for literature. A big part of that was also because I had a pretty challenging childhood, and so I found solace and an escape in books. The books were a safe space for me to step away from my everyday to push pause, push reset and allow myself to recharge. And through that process, give myself the wherewithal or the energy that I needed to be able to go back into the everyday world. And so if that’s not a you know, strong example of how books promote attachment and resilience, secure attachment, specifically and resilience. But I’m not really sure what, what is an example of such they’ve always played an important role as a child and even to this day, in in helping me to process how I see the world and make sense of various experiences that are happening to me personally, and I take it that other people likely see it the same way as well. But of course, I can’t make generalizations.

Khadijah 11:17
That’s awesome. Let’s talk about Marley’s Pride. Joelle, what prompted you to write Marley’s Pride? Like, had it been something that had been on your mind for a long time and you had been kind of thinking about it, or did it just kind of come to you in a dream one day? Like, what was the motivation behind this book?

Joelle 11:34
I think Lisa said it really clearly, I am definitely one of those authors who wrote the book that they needed, both as a child and in in that particular moment, I started writing Marley’s Pride. It was either 2020 or 2021 I know it was at the height of the pandemic during the specific time though we were actively my partner and myself looking for books. Excuse me for our family that were both intersectional and also had either transgender or Gen gender expansive main characters. And we were extremely frustrated because there was just nothing. There were very few books out there in the market at that time, and so we were eager to find books that reflected our own family, reflected our lived experience, and helped our children to see the beauty and joy that came along with exploring your gender identity and being your authentic self. And again, it was just very difficult to find those picture books. And so I was like, I should write that book. And I have had a long standing I guess I’ve battled anxiety for most of my life, and so it felt very natural for me to bring that specific topic into this book. And so those two situations are, what kind of were the seeds to help plant? What would be Marley’s pride?

Khadijah 13:15
Oh, if it doesn’t exist, you said, I’m just going to create it. That it

Joelle 13:18
If it doesn’t exist, you got to create it. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely,

Khadijah 13:23
And so Marley’s Pride does dress address anxiety pretty head on. And it sounds like you know, maybe your struggles with anxiety is what motivated you to focus on anxiety as as a, or overcoming anxiety really, as as a, as a form of resilience. Um, was, was there anything else that led you to anxiety, as opposed to anything other things like bullying or feeling excluded or loneliness?

Joelle 13:51
Yeah. So, as I mentioned at the time I started drafting Marley’s Pride, there weren’t many intersectional stories which featured transgender and gender non conforming characters, which is why I really wanted to get it right. I was really intentional about my message that I wanted to put forth into the world, which was that black and BIPOC transgender children, gender non conforming children, are affirmed and they are loved, which is why it was imperative that the issue that Marley had to over overcome needed to be internal. It needed to be separate and apart from their gender identity, given my own history with anxiety, it felt natural for me to incorporate it into this book. You know, I grew up in the 80s and 90s, at a time where talking openly about mental health was still extremely taboo, and from my own experience as a child of immigrants, I find that mental health still is a taboo conversation topic. And so the intent behind this book and choosing anxiety as Marley’s challenge was to normalize conversations surrounding anxiety and mental health within my communities.

Khadijah 15:18
So so we know we know why you wrote it now. Lisa, what made you guys decide to publish it? How did it fit? How did this book fit within the Barefoot books? Mission and do you have other books that that address anxiety head on, like this?

Lisa 15:32
Yeah, I’m just observing everything. Joelle said, I love that. Yes, we do have other titles that address anxiety, one that I will mention as a particular favorite, is called Whatever Comes Tomorrow, and it is a lyrical poem about having strength and resilience to get through whatever comes your way. It doesn’t try to sugarcoat life and say there won’t be any difficulties. It says you will, you will have hard things, and you can get through them. And the text stays very abstract, while the illustrations show specific stories of children coping with anxiety in a lot of different situations, like welcoming a new sibling, feeling anxious before a swim meet, deciding to get a gender affirming haircut. So that’s one really beautiful book. What I fell in love with about Marley’s pride was that it takes kind of the opposite approach. It is a specific story, and I just fell in love with Marley and Zaza, their grandparent and their relationship the very first time I read the manuscript. This is a pride story that it’s not an anthem about pride. It’s not a poem about the history of LGBTQ rights. It’s not a general book about parades or love is love. All of those are wonderful. But this was something I hadn’t seen before, which was a pride story that focuses on specific characters, a very real child, and their identity, as Joelle was just saying, as a non binary kid, is secondary in the story. What’s primary in the story is their fear about going to a big, crowded event due to their sensory sensitivities, and then the conflict that they feel between that and wanting to show up for their beloved grandparent at the event because their grandparent is getting an award. And then there’s this beautiful sense of community and accomplishment that they feel at the end of the book, which brings to life the more general meaning of the word pride, that sense of pride in knowing who you are, pride in knowing that you belong, that you can do hard things because you have support and you have love. I could go on and on and on. I’m very proud of this book, and for me as well, the representation of a child who feels anxious in a credit social situation really hit home for me, and I could tell as soon as I read it how authentically it was written because it mirrored some of my own experiences so closely.

Gene 17:45
So you know, one of the missions of the Clay Center is to destigmatize mental mental illness, mental health issues, whether they’re due to biological, psychological or environmental factors, so we’re right in line. And what could be more important than starting with children’s books when you know kids are very young, another big issue that many young people are facing today are feelings of loneliness and isolation. We also know that relationships with supportive adults, but beyond the immediate parent, can be super important in fostering feelings of connection. And I want to get to grandparents. Joelle, why don’t you decide to have a grandparent be the caring adult in your story? And I just had to ask this, as I’m a grandparent of nine grandchildren, from one to 14. So could you tell us a little bit about why you chose a grandparent?

Joelle 18:50
The reason why I chose Zaza as a caretaker for Marley was that I wanted children to see that families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Um, historically, the queer community has done a beautiful job of really embracing that notion that family is very much chosen, right? We we have our families of origin, but there are people in our lives that we actively invite into our world, and they become family. And so I wanted Zaza’s relationship with Marley to embody that idea. And in addition to Marley’s relationship with their broader community, which is why I focused on on Zaza being the primary caretaker. In addition, I just have a soft spot for intergenerational stories as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t get in my lifetime to grow up with my grandparents. And perhaps there’s just like still. A soft you know, unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend much time with my grandparents growing up, and so I have a soft spot for intergenerational stories. I love the idea of elders in the community imparting knowledge and wisdom onto our youth. So that’s how Zaza was born. I also thought about all the queer elders in the community who have passed on, and Zaza is kind of the quintessential representation of all those people that are some of which are referenced in the book, what they would look like if they lived today, and how they would engage and support a young transgender child exploring the world that we live in.

Khadijah 20:51
I loved, love, love. The colorful the colorful glossary at the end, I mean, it covered things like what it means to be queer, what pronouns are and other terminology, and I can see this being really, really helpful for kids, but also super helpful for the parents and other caregivers for the adults. And we’ve talked in previous episodes about how many parents are relearning a lot about gender and sexuality. I mean, the learning curve is steep, especially as parents and caregivers are learning and relearning so much that pertains to young people in their growing up today, things are very different on so many levels and so many domains for kids now versus what it was like growing up before. But this also includes learning about mental health disorders like anxiety. As parents, I imagine most parents feel the same, like we want to get it right for our kids, but you know, these topics are pretty unfamiliar to a lot of us as well. Is this something Lisa that Barefoot Books tries to promote, is the processing of this new information for both kids and adults alike?

Lisa 21:55
I’m so glad that you brought this up, and thank you for saying that you love the colorful glossary, because Joelle knows how many drafts we went through to get it right. What we started with was just an overwhelming amount of text, because there was so much we wanted to say about this topic. But like you just said, Dr. Watkins, we really want this content to be approachable, not just for the kids reading the book, but for the grown ups reading it with them, so that the grown ups are motivated to actually read that nonfiction content at the end and make it interesting and usable for the kids that they’re reading the book to. So yes, in a lot of our books, we include nonfiction endnotes, especially for books that are addressing mental health topics or social emotional development skills, milestones, and we often do consult with experts, often more more than one expert, as we’re developing that information. So for this book, we consulted with someone from the National Center for Transgender Equality, as well as someone from inclusive story time and a couple of mental health professionals just to make sure that we had all the facts right and that we were presenting it all in as accessible a way to young kids as we could. I think you’re also absolutely right that even though it’s a book for children, it is a really powerful tool for grown ups as well. And we try to make all of our books into powerful tools for grownups, because they can give grownups the scripts and language that they need to use around these tough topics for kids. I mean, what better tool can you give a parent or educator than a book that has the language they need to use in a situation where their kid is struggling? And, you know, I like to say, as a parent myself, I certainly do not have the time to listen to all of the wonderful parenting podcasts out there, read all the parenting books. I wish I did, but what I do do every night is sit down with my kid to read a bedtime story. And so if those stories can contain the lessons for the parents, I think that makes them doubly powerful. They can also be a model for situations where the adults might not know how to approach the topic. So one thing I do love, one thing I do love about this book is the character of Zaza, as Joelle was just saying, being the supportive elder. There is a scene where Marley is feeling really unsure, and Zaza uses the exact language that a parent or educator could use with a kid in this real situation where Marley’s feeling unsure. And there’s this beautiful paragraph where Zaza like, Okay, let’s take a minute. Let’s breathe. Let’s remember your tools. We don’t have to go through with this. Tell me how you’re feeling. You could just really copy it pitch perfect with any kid that you experience this type of situation with,

Khadijah 24:36
You know. And I think this is really so, so important, because as parents, you know, we do really, really want to get it right. And sometimes our desire or drive to just get it right kind of paralyzes us. We want to have these conversations with our kids, and often we just don’t know where to start or how to start them. And I reading a book can be so helpful in the way that we kind of, again, share through storytelling could come. More dialog and conversations and really kind of kickstart, you know, more ongoing conversations. I think this is so amazing

Gene 25:08
Now, before we end, Lisa, can you tell us how Barefoot Books addresses other mental health conditions besides anxiety? As you know, we’re in the midst of a mental health epidemic in the US, and there’s no better way to help our children understand, cope with, and even overcome mental disorders. So what are some other conditions? Barefoot book address. Barefoot books addresses in the areas of mental health promotion or combating these disorders.

Lisa 25:34
Yeah, we do have a lot of beautiful social emotional stories on our list. I can give a couple of examples. One is a book called Making Happy, which addresses a child dealing with a parent who’s going through cancer treatment. So it’s not a sad book. It’s about the family coming together to find joy even during a tough time, and it models the importance of talking about big feelings so that you can work on them together. There’s this one scene in the middle of the book where the child is having too many big, heavy feelings that she doesn’t know how to talk about, so her dad suggests, let’s make a big mess together. And they do. And there’s this beautiful illustration where the family’s throwing pillows and feathers are flying. They’re ripping up newspapers and toss them all over the house. They’re dancing to loud music, and by releasing all of that physical tension, they are then able you turn the page, you see them snuggling up together and finally talking through the big feelings that were all stuck inside. So that book isn’t about a specific mental health issue, but it provides this like beautiful coping strategy that I think can apply in a lot of different situations for kids. And then we also have products like our Mindful Kids Deck, which is an activity deck of 50 cards that have different coping strategies on them, like breathing exercises, visualizations, art activities, movement activities, and again, those teach mindfulness, which I think is such a powerful tool for approaching many, many different mental health issues, and has remained at the top of our best sellers list ever since it came out seven years ago, which I think just points to what you said, Dr Beresin, about the mental health epidemic and the huge need for these kinds of products that can be support tools for kids, and those are designed for kids as young as four. But honestly, I use them too, and I always tell parents and other adults that these are great for people of all ages. I think we all need those kinds of activities to pull out of our pocket and have in a moment of crisis. And then the last thing I’ll say is that we we look for funny stories as well as the hard hitting and serious ones. I think humor is a really great tool to use with kids, not only because it is engaging and it makes the tough topics feel less scary and more approachable, but because it can make a story so much more memorable. We have a book called Jet the Cat is not a cat, and it’s all about a cat who’s having a bit of an identity crisis because he likes to do things that other cats don’t like to do, like go swimming, and all of the other creatures are telling him, well, that means you’re not really a cat. And he sort of tries out each identity before figuring out he’s a cat. He’s just not like other cats, and that’s okay. And because that book is so funny, I think that message stays very memorable.

Gene 28:11
So, I’d like to end this incredible conversation with one of my favorite reflections that came up at the Barefoot Books panel last May. So I don’t know if you remember this, Lisa, but we were talking about, I think, how stories are a safe escape for kids, and sometimes we’re more, maybe the importance of doing it every day. And a person in the audience shared that in reflecting on story time with their child, they realized it was actually a forced mental break, mental health break for them as a parent and that that time was was focused. It was an uninterrupted time to engage and escape with their child. In short, it was kind of a mutual way for parent and child to reflect on mental health together? That’s not so much a question, but a reminder for all of us that we all need mental health breaks and stories can certainly be a vehicle for all of us.

Lisa 29:13
I do remember that, and I remember the round of applause when that person stood up and said that everybody in the room agreed immediately. It was lovely.

Gene 29:21
So to wrap up, let me ask each of you, this is a tough one. What’s your favorite children’s book of all time? If you had to pick just one, can you do that Joelle?

Joelle 29:39
I think that question is just as as difficult for me as the last one that you just asked where I was like, oh, god, wait.

Gene 29:44
Well, just pick, just, just pick one. Just pick one of your favorites. It doesn’t have to be the best of all time, but because I don’t know, I have a million favorites, but what? What’s one that really stands out for you?

Joelle 29:56
Yeah, it’s definitely extremely difficult for someone who reads a lot of picture books. I honestly can’t even remember most of the ones that I read as a child anymore, because I just have no more space left in in my in my brain. But one of the picture books that I read recently that just stuck with me is called Berry Song by Michaela Goad. And I, I love it. I fell in love with it. It is so beautiful. The lyricism is gorgeous. And it’s about a story. It’s an intergenerational story, of course, about a grandmother and their grandchild going foraging in the woods. And if you all haven’t read it yet, I strongly encourage it.

Lisa 30:42
Well, this question is like asking someone to pick their favorite child. It’s highly unfair, but one of my current favorite reads at home is Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wall, which is a beautiful story that goes through all four seasons. And one of my favorite parts is summertime, where the little character of little witch hazel, is trying to get a lot of stuff done, but everyone else is just busy relaxing, floating down the river, enjoying a nap in the shade. And finally, by the end of the summer chapter, little witch hazel decides, yeah, I can get everything else done tomorrow. And that is such a mentality that I want to bring into my own life as well. I feel like we’re such a high pressure society. We talked a bit on the panel with Dr. Beresin, and also about kids being over scheduled these days and just not having time to be bored and sit around and breathe and imagine and get to know themselves. And that’s a message that I really, really love.

Gene 31:39
So Khadijah, what about you?

Khadijah 31:41
You know, I’m I’m struggling to remember if these are books that I enjoyed reading as a kid, or they’re books that I have read to other kids or my own kids, but I think I used to enjoy reading as a kid The Snowy Day. I think it’s the name of it, and I and I think also to my delight, last year, maybe the year before. It was also like a holiday stamp or a winter stamp. But I love that book. I love the the the idea of being just free in the snow in the city, which is my favorite place to be in New York City, but just being able to explore the city, the idea of kind of untouched snow, and how you keep to make your mark, make your angel. But I just love that book, and I remember it being one of my favorites. And I think I read it as a kid. I don’t think this is a book that I loved reading to my kids, but I also fell in love with books, as I did reading to my children all over again. And you do get to see them differently. You know, pick up some of the nuances that you didn’t get when you’re a kid. But I think that would be the one that I would choose. What about Gene?

Gene 32:52

Khadijah 32:52
One, one.

Gene 32:57
Well, it’s one that I give. I’ve given all of my graduates over 30 years, and that is the Velveteen Rabbit, how toys become real, which I think is just such an incredibly powerful book that resonates about how we how toys become real. How we become real? You know, it’s, it’s um, it’s both metaphorical, but it also really relates to how we use transitional objects, or how we use our our stuffed animals, and our, our bedtime rituals and and I think that’s probably one of my all time favorites,

Khadijah 33:46
That goes back to the quote that we talked about earlier, about what it means to be human.

Gene 33:54

Khadijah 33:55
Full circle, look at you, Gene.

Gene 33:58
Now, by the way, we’re going to add all of these books, all of our favorites in the media list at the end of the episode. So and for those of you listening, we’d love to know your favorite children’s books. So please email us, tag us on Instagram @MGHClayCenter, and I want to thank our special guest today, Joelle and Lisa, and to barefoot books and to those at home, we hope that our conversation will help you have yours.


I’m Gene Beresin

Khadijah 34:29
and I’m Khadijah Booth Watkins until next time you


Episode music by Gene Beresin

Episode Produced by Spenser Egnatz and Sara Rattigan

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Gene Beresin

Gene Beresin, Executive Director

Gene Beresin, MD, MA is executive director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and a staff child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also...

To learn more about Gene, or to contact him directly, please see Our Team.

Khadijah Booth Watkins

Khadijah Booth Watkins, Associate Director

Khadijah Booth Watkins, MD, MPH, is associate director of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the Associate Director of the Child and...

To learn more about Khadijah, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team.