The Kay Jamison keynotes examine the artistic qualities that are often tied to those who suffer from mental illness. While many have supported this commonplace association, Jamison has stressed the need to avoid such glorification and to instead focus upon treatment.
Jamison's current interest in mental illness is an outgrowth of her educational background. She began studying clinical psychology at the University of California in the late 1960s, receiving a B.A. and eventually an M.A. in 1971. Her interest in the subject continued, and in 1975 she attained her Ph.D. from UCLA. As she excelled academically, she joined the UCLA faculty board and founded the institution's Affective Disorders Clinic.
The insightful nature of Kay Jamison's keynotes is consistent with her authorship of several books, inclusive of her 'Manic-Depressive Illness' and 'An Unquiet Mind,' which addresses her own personal battles with depression. Her intense dedication to psychology was applauded on behalf of Time Magazine as she was named a 'Hero of Medicine.'