William R. Beardslee MD

Baer Prevention Initiatives

William R. Beardslee, MD, is Director of the Baer Prevention Initiatives, Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston, and Gardner Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He received his B.A. from Haverford College and his M.D. from Case Western Reserve University.

He has a longstanding research interest in the development of children at risk because of severe parental mental illness. He has been especially interested in the protective effects of self-understanding in enabling youngsters and adults to cope with adversity and has studied self-understanding in civil-rights workers, survivors of cancer, and children of parents with affective disorders. He has developed and evaluated several effective prevention strategies for families with parental depression. He has served on two Institute of Medicine‘s committees that recently released reports on parental depression and mental health promotion and prevention approaches.

He is the author of over 200 articles and chapters and two books: The Way Out Must Lead In: Life Histories in the Civil Rights Movement, a story of what enables civil rights workers to endure; and Out of the Darkened Room: Protecting the Children and Strengthening the Family When a Parent Is Depressed, a book about how parents and caregivers can help families overcome depression.