The Adler University and its Institute on Social Exclusion (ISE), in joint sponsorship with the University of Illinois (UIC) College of Medicine at Chicago and the UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work, hosted "The Social Determinants of Urban Mental Health: Paving the Way Forward” on Sept. 19-20, 2012.  The two-day conference that brought leading global experts on the social determinants of mental health to Chicago—and generated significant discussion throughout the meeting and online about the challenges confronting urban well-being.

Conference Highlights

Read the final conference proceedings, including a recap of all presentations and speaker bios.

See Day One conference highlights in tweets, photos, video and presentations.

See Day Two conference highlights.

Watch video highlights and additional conference video on the Adler University YouTube channel.


Presentations from "The Social Determinants of Urban Mental Health: Paving the Way Forward.”

Read a “New Public Health” blog post (“Speaking to the Next Generation of Mental Health Professionals”) from conference presenter Jane Lowe, Team Director for the Vulnerable Populations Portfolio at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She writes with perspective on public policies’ impact on the urban populations’ mental health and well-being as explored at the conference.

Read presentation recaps by Adler University students Dana Whitt and YeVette Harris and more on the Adler University Blog.

Additional Information

Find additional conversation and posts at the Adler University Facebook page—including our Facebook photo album—as well as on Twitter.

For more information about “The Social Determinants of Urban Mental Health: Paving the Way Forward” or the Adler University’s Institute on Social Exclusion and its MHIA project, email



Michael G. Marmot, Ph.D.
Europe’s renowned scholar on health inequalities and the director of the University College London Institute of Health Equity (Marmot Institute), Michael G. Marmot, Ph.D., gave a keynote address on “Taking Action on Social Determinants to Improve Mental Health in Urban Settings.”

Alex Richardson
“They Are What You Feed Them” author Alex Richardson, senior research fellow, Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention, University of Oxford, and cofounder of the U.K. charity Food and Behaviour Research, who shared her latest work and research on “The Critical Role of Nutrition in Mental Health.”

Kwame McKenzie
Kwame McKenzie, M.D., medical director of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, who unveiled work demonstrating how social factors such as racism are linked to poor mental health, in his presentation “How Do Cities Cause Mental Illness?”

Sarah Curtis
Sarah Curtis, D.Phil., professor of health and risk at University of Durham, U.K., who examined “Space, Place and Mental Health”—how why geographical settings lead to mental health and other health inequalities.

Lynn Todman
Lynn Todman, Ph.D., ISE executive director and a prominent U.S. expert on the link between public policies and the mental health of urban communities, also facilitated a workshop presenting the Institute’s groundbreaking Mental Health Impact Assessment (MHIA) project in collaboration with Chicago’s Englewood community, and topline results of the 18-month study.