Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation is a monthly lecture series offered through Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The series features innovative leaders in behavioral health treatment and research and offers continuing education credit for mental health professionals.

As the rate of mental illness—especially depression, anxiety, and substance abuse—continues to climb in the United States, the mental health field of medicine is in dire need of new perspectives and treatments. The Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation Lecture Series seeks to address this mental health crisis head-on by providing fresh, scientifically-supported perspectives on mental illness and a framework for understanding a range of new evidence-based treatments. The novel interventions explored in this lecture series approach emotional health in ways that leverage ecological and psychosocial understandings of wellbeing and that tap into evolved human capacities for strengthen psychological and physical resilience factors that are protective against mental illness.

Who is the lecture series for?

The Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation Lecture Series is designed for psychologists, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and other behavioral health clinicians. However, a vast variety of interesting and popular mental and behavioral health topics will be covered throughout this series. We encourage anyone interested in the topics to participate and learn.

Cost & Accreditation

This accredited lecture series is FREE. Participants must register for each lecture to access the information and receive course credits. 

In support of improving patient care, the Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation Lecture Series has been planned and implemented by the University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP and Vail Health. The University of Wisconsin–Madison ICEP is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Learning Objectives

From participation in this educational lecture series, members of the healthcare team will be able to:
  • Describe the scientific rationale behind adaptive stress based and related empirically supported interventions for depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and related mental health conditions
  • Plan and implement adaptive stress based and related empirically supported mental health interventions in clinical practice
  • Describe and mange risks associated with adaptive stress based and related empirically supported mental health interventions

How to Register

There are two registration buttons available for Upcoming Lectures. Please register based on your need for continuing education credits:

If you are intrigued by the monthly topics and would like to learn more for your own personal interest, please register via the 'REGISTER TO WATCH >' button. This button will prompt you send a pre-filled email our team at You will then receive a response with the upcoming lecture Zoom link. Please note: you will need to register each month to receive the upcoming lecture link.

If you are clinical mental health professional participating in the series for continuing education credit, please register via the 'REGISTER FOR CREDIT >' button. This link will direct you to sign up through the University of Wisconsin-Madison's system. You will receive access to the lecture through the UWM portal and/or via a reminder link that will be emailed through that system. Please note: you will need to register each month to be enrolled in each session.

Upcoming Lectures

Session 4  |  October 5, 2023  |  12:00 - 1:00PM MST  |  ZOOM (Online)
Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation: Psychedelics as Novel Treatments for Depression: Yes, They Work, But How Will They Work

Presented by Charles Raison, M.D.
Psychedelic compounds—long stigmatized—have re-emerged in the last decade as the most promising new mental health treatments in a generation. An ever-growing outpouring of studies demonstrate that various psychedelics benefit a range of psychiatric conditions, including major depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Among the classic psychedelics, the evidence of benefit is strongest for psilocybin—the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms—as a novel treatment for depression.

This talk will focus on psilocybin and depression, and explore key questions for psilocybin to be optimally deployed. Given the intense clinical need, public interest and clinical availability of psilocybin in the next half decade (via FDA approval or state level legalization), gaining an understanding of the questions below will be essential:
  1. Are certain conditions more responsive to psychedelics than others? 
  2. Are some psychedelics better for one condition than another?
  3. How can a drug that’s only in the body for a few hours produce therapeutic benefits that last for weeks to months (or longer)?
  4. Do the therapeutic effects of psychedelics result primarily from the psychological impact of the psychedelic “trip” or from the drugs’ direct neurobiological effects?
  5. If the psychological effects of the psychedelic experience do contribute to long-term benefit, can the impact of the experience be heightened in ways that will extend the benefits of each dosing session?
  6. Do psychedelics pose risks that mental health clinicians may not be prepared to recognize and resolve?


Past Lectures

Session 1 
Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation: Non-Specific Treatments, Adaptive Stress and the Future of Depression-Enduring

In this talk, Dr. Charles Raison will apply an evolutionary lens to address the urgent question of why treatments for mental illness have not made the type of progress that has occurred in other fields of medicine, especially oncology. 

Session 2
Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation: Challenging Yourself with Thermal Stress to Improve Health and Well-being

Presented by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D.
Intentional exposure to both heat and cold can have remarkable health benefits. 


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