Friday, March 11th the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Florida held the 10th Anniversary Laressa Gribbons Memorial Lecture at the McKnight Brain Institute in Gainesville, FL. This Annual Memorial Lecture is held each spring and features speakers whose topics focus on depression, suicide and treatment advances in depression.
The Laressa Gribbons Memorial Lecture was started in 2007 by the family of Laressa Gribbons. Laressa was an outstanding student, artist and writer, which served her well as she attended and graduated from Indiana University. Following her graduation she married and began her efforts to fulfill her dreams. Throughout most of her life, however, Laressa suffered with depression. Although many antidepressant drugs and multiple therapies were tried, she was unable to dispel the chronic symptoms of her disease. In January 2006, the overwhelming sadness, hopelessness and frustration were more than she could bear, so she took her life. She is sorely missed by her family and all who loved her. This memorial fund was started with the hope that through education a greater understanding of the disease and of those that suffer from depression might be attained.
This year’s speaker was Wayne Goodman, MD, Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. His lecture was entitled “Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for Intractable Psychiatric Disorders”. Following his lecture a luncheon was held for family members, residents and special guests to hear more about Dr. Goodman’s work and participate in a question and answer session with the professor.
The family was presented with a plaque thanking them for their generous contribution and involvement in the education and advocacy of mental health awareness. Thanks to their support, the UF Department of Psychiatry has been able to bring in some of the top physicians and researchers from across the country on the topic of depression and suicide. The lecture series has hosted presentations from experts at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Harvard Medical School, University of California San Francisco and more.
“We are so proud to be a part of this event every year, said Dr. Jacqueline Hobbs, Vice Chair for Education. “The 10th Anniversary was very special. Thank you to Mrs. Kye Flotte (Laressa’s sister), Dr. Terry Flotte (Laressa’s brother-in-law), and to Karen (Laressa’s mother) and Robert Hamilton (Laressa’s step-father) for all they have done over the years to remember Laressa and educate and advocate for those with mental illness.”
University of Florida Foundation
Laressa C. Gribbons Psychiatry Research Fund
PO Box 100243
Gainesville, FL 32610