Hello! My name is Kelly Barnes, and I am HIKE for Mental Health’s newest volunteer. As the Mental Health News Compiler, I’ll be posting regular updates to the site about current discoveries and advances in mental health research.
To tell you a bit about myself, I grew up in New Jersey and I’m a recent transplant to the Houston area. My husband, Jeff, our children, and I have settled in and have begun exploring the Gulf Coast of Texas. With two toddlers, our family’s “hikes” look more like walks to the park or around the neighborhood. But we’ve managed to squeeze in a few adventures in some beautiful places (Colorado!) since the kids arrived on the scene. I hope that my children will find time spent outdoors to be as restorative as I do.
I teach Psychology at Alvin Community College and at San Jacinto College here in Texas. Prior to starting in these positions, I worked as a cognitive neuroscientist. I studied how the brain develops and how it supports learning and decision making. In a pleasant coincidence, I was a 2012 recipient of a NARSAD Young Investigator Award from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation–the very foundation that HIKE for Mental Health supports through their donations. I can say first-hand that your donations do help to advance research! My background will help me share with you many of the exciting research breakthroughs that scientists are making. These advances are at the forefront of a tremendous effort to understand mental illness and mental health. Scientists still have a long way to go, but these truly are amazing times to be studying the mind and brain!
I’m looking forward to contributing to the fantastic work done by the all-volunteer team at HIKE for Mental Health. If you come across a research study that you’d like to see shared on the site, or if there’s a particular topic that you’re curious about, please drop me a line in the comments to let me know!