2021 Annual Virtual Meeting: March 4-6, 2021

Thank you for attending the 2021 APPA Virtual Meeting!

Mental Health Aspects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Greetings everyone. We talked previously about plans to have a 2021 APPA meeting focused on mood disorders. As you all well know, a lot has happened since March! As a result, we have decided to shift the focus of the meeting to mental health aspects of COVID-19. We will maintain some elements of what was envisioned earlier, in particular with a focus on stress, including its biology and its relation to the development of depression. We will add sessions on stress in relation to anxiety disorders, and also substance use disorders. The new meeting will begin with a review of what is known about the mental health aspects of disasters and pandemics. It will then move to a focus on what is unique in the mental health components of the COVID-19 pandemic, including, for example, the biology of brain effects, the mental health of survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome, and the effects of social isolation on domestic violence and PTSD. Another area we will highlight is the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of vulnerable and marginalized communities. This meeting will be a chance to assess what we know about the psychological response to disasters and crisis, to see what we have learned in a year about mental health in the current pandemic, and to exchange ideas about the work and research that need to be done next.

James "Jimmy" Potash, MD, MPH, APPA President
Henry Phipps Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Department Director and Psychiatrist-in-Chief
Johns Hopkins Medicine



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

12:00-5:00  Pre-Conference Training Workshop


Thursday, March 4, 2021

9:00-12:00         Session 1: Disaster Mental Health

9:00 – 9:10        Welcoming Remarks

James Potash, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins

9:10 – 9:40        Disaster Mental Health: A Brief Overview and Review

Carol North, MD, UTSW

9:40 – 10:10      Psychological First Aid in the Covid Context

George Everly, PhD, Johns Hopkins

10:10 – 10:25    Discussion

10:25 – 10:40    Break

10:40 – 11:10    Preventing Post-Disaster Psychopathology

Craig Katz, MD, Mt. Sinai

11:10 – 11:40    Long-Term Mental Health Outcomes of Disasters

Evelyn Bromet, MD, Stony Brook

11:40 – 12:00    Discussion

12:00 – 12:15    3 oral poster presentations

12:00 – 12:05      Neighborhood-Level Factors and Depression in an Urban Student Sample During COVID-19

Talia Schulder, Kat McNeal, Michelle Hernandez, Sasha Rudenstine

12:05 – 12:10        Racial Differences in Suicide Mortality During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Maryland, USA

Michael Bray, Nicholas Daneshvari, Indu Radhakrishnan, Janel Cubbage, Michael Eagle, Pamela Southall, Paul Nestadt

12:10 – 12:15      Differential Associations Between Types of Social Media Use and University Students' Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Suicidal Behavior 

Mila Kingsbury, Bjørn-Atle Reme, Børge Sivertsen, Jens Skogen, Simon Øverland, Nathan Cantor, Ian Colman

12:15 - 12:20      Racial-Ethnic Differences in Reasons for Misuse of Prescription Medications: Analyses of the National Survey of Drug Use and Health 2015 to 2018

James Cury, Vinita Sharma, Alyssa Falise, Catalina Lopez-Quintero

12:20 – 1:30      Lunch break

1:30 – 5:00       Session 2: COVID and Mental Health

1:30 – 1:40        Chair/Discussant

Sandro Galea, PhD, Boston U Pub Health

1:40 – 2:10        COVID and Psychopathology

Gabriel de Erausquin, MD, PhD, UT SA

2:10 - 2:30         Hamilton Award: The Distressed and the Depressed in the Pandemic

James Potash, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins

2:30 – 3:00        Ethnic Variation in COVID Mental Health Outcomes

Joshua Breslau, PhD, Rand

3:00 – 3:15        Discussion

3:15 – 3:30        Break

3:30 – 4:00        The Impact of COVID-19 on Perinatal Outcomes

Cynthia Rogers, MD, Washington University School of Medicine

4:00 – 4:30        COVID and the Virtualization of Psychiatric Care             

Jay Shore, MD, MPH, University of Colorado

4:30 – 5:00        Session Discussion

5:00 – 6:30         Poster Session 1


Friday, March 5, 2021

8:00 – 9:30        Poster Session 2

9:30 – 12:30      Session 3: Stress

9:30 – 9:40        Chair/Discussant

Huda Akil, PhD, Michigan

9:40 – 9:45        Zubin Award

9:45 – 10:15      Sensitive Period Effects of Early Life Stress on DNA Methylation and Risk for Depression

Erin Dunn, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital

10:15 – 10:45    Stress, the Brain, and COVID-19

Josh Gordon, MD, PhD, NIMH

10:45 – 11:00    Discussion

11:00 – 11:15    Break

11:15 – 11:45    Stress and Suicidal Behavior

Barbara Stanley, PhD, Columbia

11:45 – 12:15    Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

Dennis Charney, MD, Mt. Sinai

12:15 – 12:30    Discussion

12:30 – 1:15      Lunch break

1:15 – 2:00        Annual Business Meeting

2:00 – 5:00        Session 4: Anxiety

2:00 – 2:10        Chair/Discussant

Naomi Simon, MD, NYU

2:10 - 2:40        The Mental Health Impact of COVID-Related Deaths

Naomi Simon, MD, NYU

2:40 – 3:10      Who Gets PTSD? Gene-Environmental Interplay in Response to Traumatic Stress

Karestan Koenen, PhD, Harvard

3:10 - 3:30         Discussion

3:30 - 3:45         Break

3:45 - 4:15       Exposure and Response Prevention Treatment During COVID-19     

Eric Storch, PhD, USF

4:15 – 4:45        Hoch Award: PTSD in Post-ICU Patients

Joe Bienvenu, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins

4:45 – 5:05        General Discussion


Saturday, March 6, 2021

8:00 – 9:00        Early Career Roundtable

9:00 – 9:15        Robins-Guze Award

9:15 – 12:00      Session 5: Substance Abuse

9:15 - 9:20         Chair/Discussant

James Potash, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins

9:20 – 9:50        Collision of the COVID-19 and Addiction Epidemics

Nora Volkow, MD, NIDA

9:50 – 10:20    Impact of Substance Use Disorders on Risk for COVID and Poor Prognosis in Veterans Administration Patients

Deborah Hasin, PhD, Columbia

10:20 – 10:35    Session Discussion

10:35 – 10:45    Break

10:45 – 11:15    Impact of COVID on Opioid Crisis

Jeanmarie Perrone, MD, Penn

11:15 – 11:45  Alcohol and Cannabis Use Among Black Americans During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rene Johnson, PhD, Johns Hopkins

11:45 – 12:00    Session Discussion and Conference Wrap-up

James Potash, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins


Click HERE for a downloadable version of the program.


2020-2021 APPA Council


James Potash, MD (Johns Hopkins University)


Kathleen Merikangas, PhD (National Institute of Mental Health)

Vice President

Dost Öngür, MD, PhD (McLean Hospital)


William S. Stone, PhD (Harvard Medical School)


Joshua Breslau, ScD (RAND Corporation)

Membership Chair

Helen Wilson, PhD (Stanford University)


Raymond DePaulo, MD (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

John M. de Figueiredo, MD, ScD (Yale School of Medicine) (Treasurer-Elect)

Deborah S. Hasin, PhD (Columbia University) (Past President)

Susan L. Santangelo, ScD (Maine Medical Center)

Nehal P. Vadhan, PhD (Northwell Health)