Professor of Urban Policy and Health, The New School, USA
Mindy is a social psychiatrist who explores the ties between environment and mental health. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and her MS and MD degrees from Columbia University. She completed residency at NY Hospital Westchester Division and Montefiore and is board certified in psychiatry.
With her colleagues at the Cities Researach Group and the University of Orange, Mindy explores the consequences of social fracutre for our society and our health and seeks ways to reconnect the broken parts. Prior to joining the New School full-time in 2016, Mindy taught at Columbia University and was a lecturer at Parsons.
She has published numerous articles and six books including Main Street: How a City's Heart Connects Us All, From Enforcers to Guardians: A Public Health Primer on Ending Police Violence (with Hannah L. F. Cooper), Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America's Sorted-Out Cities, Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It, and House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place.
Insight from "Health Disparity and Public Space in High Density Environments"
Mindy wrote the book Root Shock, illustrating how urban renewal programs in the US destroyed neighborhoods and removed people without careful considerations like plants are removed in gardening, causing a “Root Shock”. People were dispersed and entered into states of confusion and near despair, losing all or part of one’s emotional system. Mindy thought that the whole world is experiencing “Root Shock” in this pandemic, all of us face the risk of infection and experience some kinds of disruptions. With the closing of many businesses and organisations, we won't emerge into what we retreated from. Infrastructuring thus becomes the crucial physiatric and social process of managing this mental health crisis, which otherwise cannot be handled by the healthcare system through therapies. Mindy gave three recent examples. 1) New Orleans musicians videotaped second-line performances so that people in mourning could have access to it. 2) A Catholic church decided to take the church to people with priests circulating the neighborhood, stopping at each house who set their own altars and pray together. 3) The Poor People's Campaign had artists make posters “stay inside, stay alive, organize, don’t believe in lies” to lift people's spirits. With these joint efforts, they can hopefully manage the distress of the population, if not, would otherwise turn into serious civic conflicts