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Please join UCLA's Friends of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital Board of Advisors for an Open Mind/#WOW program with AJ Mendez. Charting her journey from a scrappy Puerto Rican girl in an unstable home to empowered wrestling champion, Crazy Is My Superpower, a New York Times bestseller, is an unflinchingly honest and bravely confessional story about the long road to self-acceptance. As a child struggling with poverty, homelessness, and mental illness, AJ Mendez found escape through comic books and video games. Determined to become the superhero she'd always needed, AJ trained and sacrificed for years to finally achieve her dream of becoming a WWE athlete. Motivated by the tough and unconventional female characters of the stories that saved her, she would fight to reclaim her weaknesses as her greatest strengths.


In addition to being an accomplished writer, AJ is a mental health advocate and speaker, and former championship wrestler with the WWE. She is an ambassador to The Jed Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, awarded NAMI National’s 2018 Multicultural Outreach Award. She is also the co-author of IDW's GLOW comic book series. A social media influencer, AJ has 6 million engaged followers across Twitter and Instagram @TheAJMendez.


Katrina DeBonis, M.D., a psychiatrist at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, will join AJ in conversation. Dr. DeBonis is the Director of Residency Education for the Department of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She has been the medical director of UCLA Student Behavioral Health Services since 2012.

Wednesday, September 2, 5PM PT

Registration is required for this free live private Zoom event.


To watch videos of our past Open Mind programs, please visit www.friendsofnpi.org/open-mind-videos.

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