COVID-19: What are people speaking about during the global crisis? Speakers for COVID-19

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Sue Varma, MD

  • Dr. Varma is a board-certified psychiatrist, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

As one of the leading mental health go-to experts, Sue Varma, MD has played an integral role in guiding the nation through the emotional ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. Drawing from over a decade of experience as a psychiatrist in New York and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Health, she has become a trusted voice on managing mental health and wellness during trying times.

An informative and engaging presence, Dr. Varma can be seen on multiple media outlets including NBC News, MSNBC, CNN, CBS News, ABC News, NPR, PBS, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and in Conde Nast. She provides insight into the impact everything from mass shootings, poverty, suicide, and homelessness to what trends in marriage, relationships, and lifestyle have on our general wellbeing and emotional health.

In the age of coronavirus, Dr. Varma provides key tips on how to stay healthy and sustain a more hopeful, optimal life while facing loneliness, health anxiety, loss, and grief. Both educational and inspirational, she stresses the role of the “Four M's” of mental health: Movement, Mindfulness, Mastery, and Meaningful Engagement as part of her comprehensive, holistic approach. She is also a practicing cognitive-behavioral therapist and couples counselor.

As part of an international benefit for coronavirus relief sponsored by Global Citizen in conjunction with the World Health Organization, Lady Gaga, and the United Nations, Dr. Varma appeared in a prime-time special aired across networks, streaming and globally alongside Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Oprah, Elton John, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, John Legend and the Rolling Stones. Her mental health tips were recognized amongst the “Top 7 Highlights” and she was honored as one of the “Top Five Health Experts” along with the WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Bill and Melinda Gates. She was awarded the Mayoral Proclamation and a Public Sector Award from the Indo American Psychiatric Association. She is a 2019 Sharecare Emmy winner based on her series on depression and was just nominated in 2020 for this prestigious award once again.

Dr. Varma has also been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, Dateline and 20/20. She led four mental health discussions for The Today Show that featured specials on mass shootings (addressing a nation in mourning), state of women's health with Maria Shriver, longevity, and climate grief. She was also a part of a four-hour ABC special on the royal family.

Dr. Varma has delivered virtual presentations and panel discussions on the impact of trauma to audiences ranging from journalists to C-Suite women leaders throughout the world. An active member of the medical community, Dr. Varma is the recipient of many awards, including recognition as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association—the highest honor bestowed upon its members. She was also the first medical director treating first responders and civilians for PTSD, depression, and anxiety at the World Trade Center Mental Health program at NYU Langone/Bellevue.

Keywords: Covid-19, depression, isolation, trauma, health and wellness, mental health, loneliness, anxiety, PTSD

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