Who is Dr. Lloyd Sederer: Dr. Lloyd Sederer is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and Director of Columbia Psychiatry Media. Dr. Sederer served for 12 years as the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the New York State Office of Mental Health, the nation’s largest state mental health system, where he continues as Distinguished Psychiatrist Advisor. He has been Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in New York City (the “chief” psychiatrist for NYC), Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA (a Harvard teaching hospital), and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association. He has led the mental health disaster responses to 9/11 (as mental health commissioner in NYC), called Project Liberty, Hurricane Sandy and other disasters.
Amava Take: Did you ever wish you could revel in the stories of a brilliant, witty and thoughtful person who has deep insights into human psychology and then see how he interprets the facts of his own life? This charming, insightful memoir is a unique look into the early life of a giant in the field of public mental health and each chapter of memories is accompanied by a rich essay addressing the adjacent psychological themes. It is full of pearls of wisdom and belly laughs. Dr. Lloyd Sederer generously shares his memories and his insights in the most articulate, delightful and nourishing way. It’s impossible to read it and not feel a connection to the author. That can’t be an accident, as Dr. Sederer is well-acquainted with the research that shows how important connection is to health and well-being and he has devoted his life and career to the wellness of others.
Memorable Line: “As a psychiatrist, I am convinced that work, purposeful activities with personal and/or social meaning (whether paid or not), is the best antidepressant we have—if an individual can summon the energy and will to contribute their unique value to a family, community, or enterprise.”
What We’d Tell Our Friends: If you want to spend time with someone wise, warm, funny and deep, here’s your chance. Reading this book will make you a better person. Truly.
If you want to smile and learn at the same time, check out our interview with Dr. Lloyd Sederer.