The focus of the Public Education Committee (PEC) is to improve and expand public education and outreach about anxiety, depression and co-occurring disorders through website content, webinars, blog posts, social media outreach and other collaborative educational projects. Currently, more than 11 million people visit the ADAA website annually (and receives more than 38 million page views each year) to access free resources and support.

The committee, in collaboration with the Child and Adolescent SIG, created two helpful outreach tools -available exclusively for ADAA members - to address a need often voiced by ADAA clinical members: How can we inform parents and pediatricians about child anxiety?

We are always looking for new and innovative ways to disseminate high quality information to mental health consumers.  Our committee values fresh ideas and trying out new communication strategies. 


  • Debra Kissen, PhD, MHSA, Light on Anxiety Treatment Center of Chicago 
  • Neal Sideman,  

Board Liaison

  • Ken Goodman, LCSW,  Private Practice, Los Angeles, CA 

Committee Members

  • Dominique Apollon, M.Ed, Holistic Psychotherapy Services, Chicago
  • Rachel Aredia, LCPC NCC, Light on Anxiety CBT Treatment Center
  • Richa Bhatia, MD, Harvard Medical School 
  • Sarah Bloch-Elkouby, PhD, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital
  • Jackie Bullis, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • Suma Chand, MPhil, PhD, Saint Louis University  
  • Ken Goodman, LCSW, Anxiety Treatment of the Valley, ADAA Board Member
  • Paul Greene, PhD, Manhattan Center for CBT
  • Aarti Gupta, PhD, TherapyNest
  • Mbemba Jabbi, University of Texas at Austin
  • Eli Lebowitz, PhD, Yale University Child Study Center
  • Michelle Lozano, MFT
  • Karen Martinez, MSc, MD, University of Puerto Rico 
  • Kathariya Mokrue, PhD, York College - CUNY
  • Sarah Peterman, MSW, LCSW, Anxiety Treatment Center of Greater Chicago
  • Catherine Pittman, PhD, Saint Mary's College   
  • David H. Rosmarin, PhD, ABPP, Center of Anxiety
  • Lynne Siqueland, PhD, Children's and Adult Center for OCD & Anxiety 
  • Andrea Umbach, PsyD, Southeast Psych 
  • Melanie VanDyke, PhD, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
  • Jenny Yip, PsyD, Renewed Freedom Center for Rapid Anxiety Relief  
  • Michael Ziffra, MD, Northwestern University 

Read the ADAA Committee Guidelines.

Read ADAA's 2019 Impact Report

PECS 2019-2020 Annual Report

The PEC membership is varied, dynamic, and enthusiastic. We currently have 23 active members.

We hold a Zoom meeting every 2 months. Meetings are energetic and creative. At our last meeting, 9 members attended, with everyone actively participating.

Currently, our main projects consist of:

·     Public education webinars

·     Blog articles

·     Our new “Ask an ADAA Therapist” feature

·     Twitter chats

In addition, PEC members are available to respond to requests from our ADAA staff liaison for various tasks, including:

·     responding to inquiries from media representatives

·     providing information to members of the public

·     reviewing portions of the ADAA website

Public Education Webinar Series

In 2019, we adopted a more informal format for our webinars, using webcams and a conversational style. We also started creating short videos to promote the webinars. See these short videos created by Ken Goodman:



Neal and ADAA staff created a step-by-step system to make it easy for any PEC member to host a webinar. Training takes about an hour. Once we have an approved topic and presenter, any PEC member can volunteer to do all the steps to create the webinar.

Here are the 12 webinars we completed in 2019:

·     OCD and Sibling Relationships: How to Cope When Your Brother or Sister Has OCD
Presenter: Michelle Witkin / Host: Neal

·     What to Do When Your Kids Won't Let Go:  Expert Tips for Overcoming Separation Anxiety
Presenter: Rachel Busman / Host: Neal

·     Anxiety and Depression in LGBTQ Youth: What do we know and how can we help?
Presenter: Alexandra Hamlet / Host: Neal

·     When Things Go Bump in Your Head: How to Master OCD with Unwanted Violent Thoughts
Presenter: Jon Hershfield / Host: Debra

·     Can Yoga Help with Depression? What Does the Research Say?
Presenter: Maren Nyer / Host: Neal

·     Overcoming the Fear of Driving (live webinar, $10 fee) – webinar with the most views
Presenter: Ken Goodman / Host: Neal

·     The Mindful Way Through Anxiety
Presenter: Lizabeth Roemer / Host: Kathariya

·     Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): The Disease of Self-Perceived Ugliness and its Relationship to OCD
Presenter: Eda Gorbis / Host: Debra

·     Can Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help with Neurological Disorders?
Presenter: Suma Chand / Host: Neal

·     Health Anxiety – What Is It and How You Can Overcome It (live webinar, $10 fee)

·     Presenter: Ken Goodman / Host: Neal

·     Fostering Mental Wellness for a StressLess Pregnancy
Presenter: Jenny Yip / Host: Karen Martinez

·     Digital Separation Anxiety: When Kids Can’t Disconnect
Presenter: Jenny Yip / Host: Karen Martinez

Here are the two webinars we completed in January 2020:

·     Outsmart Your Anxious Brain
Presenter: David Carbonell / Host: Neal

·     Managing the Stress in Sports: Quieting the Mind and Body
Presenter: Mitchell Greene / Host: Lynne Siqueland

Blog Articles for Consumers

Blog articles greatly enhance engagement on the ADAA website, as well as generating a huge number of visits through Google searches. They become ongoing resources for consumers. In 2019, ADAA posted a total of 39 blog articles. Nearly half – 19 – were contributed by PEC members.

Our blogs with the highest views:

·     How to Calm an Anxious Stomach: The Brain-Gut Connection (Ken Goodman)

·     Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts (Martin Seif and Sally Winston)

·     How to Take the Power Back from Intrusive Thought OCD (Debra Kissen)

·     Health Anxiety: What It is and How to Beat It (Ken Goodman)

“Ask an ADAA Therapist” feature

Recent “Ask an ADAA Therapist” questions:

·     Can I 'get over' my anxiety without seeking help? (answered by Dominque Apollon)

·     How do I know if I should be on medication for anxiety or depression? (answered by Richa Bhatia)

·     How can I support my family member with anxiety without fueling it? (answered by Andrea Umbach)

Twitter Chats

PEC members participated in two Twitter chats in 2019:

·     Debra Kissen @LightOnAnxiety, and Dr. Kevin Chapman @drkchap answered questions focused on common myths surrounding anxiety

·     Jenny Yip and Jonatha Grayson answered questions on types of OCD and treatment

2020 Conference

This year we will hold an “open” meeting at the San Antonio Conference to encourage new members to learn about the committee and become involved.

2021 Conference

We are discussing the possibility of presenting a program for the public during our Boston conference in 2021.

If you are interested in learning more about this committee and how you can be involved, please contact Lise Bram, ADAA Deputy Executive Director.