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Dr. Nii  Addy

Dr. Nii Addy

Neuroscientist, Yale Professor & Mental Health Advocate


While growing up, Dr. Nii Addy knew one thing for sure: He was never going to choose his father’s profession of psychiatry. Fortunately for all of us, he changed his mind. Dr. Addy did, indeed, choose a similar path as his dad. And today, he is an influential neuroscientist and mental health advocate at one of the nation’s premier universities. Read More >

Dr. Addy is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University. At the Yale School of Medicine, he directs a federally funded research program investigating the neurobiological bases of depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. Dr. Addy’s team also studies the ability of tobacco product flavor additives to alter nicotine use behavior and addiction.

As the creator and host of powerful town hall events, he has also built unique partnerships between scientists, clinicians, educators, faith leaders, entertainers, professional athletes, and community and mental health advocacy groups. In these engaging town hall conversations, panelists discuss topics at the intersection of neuroscience, mental health, faith, culture and social justice.

Dr. Addy also hosts the Addy Hour podcast, where he explores the same subjects with community leaders, scientists, professional athletes, entertainers, faith leaders and mental health experts.

His research and community work has garnered national media attention, including coverage by National Public Radio (NPR), Newsday, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), The Source Magazine, Chuck Norris, STAT, Relevant Magazine, Proto Magazine and others.

In his groundbreaking initiatives, Dr. Addy has collaborated with Lecrae (Grammy Award-winning artist and NY Times Best Selling Author), Allan Houston (former NBA All-Star, NY Knicks/FISLL Project), Doug Middleton (Jacksonville Jaguars/Dream the Impossible Initiative), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Veritas Forum, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the Yale University Chaplain's Office, Yale Well, the Salvation Army, Every Nation Church NYC, and the American Bible Society.

Dr. Addy has spoken at venues throughout the United States and Europe. He engages audiences through his expertise in brain biology. His familiarity with effective psychological interventions and his perspective as a black scientist in the midst of ongoing racism and racial injustice makes him a sought-after speaker on topics such as neuroscience, mental health, faith, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

STEM Interview | The Veritas Forum

How Do We Express Anxiety in Healthy Ways

Complexities of Mental Illness

Speech Topics

Anxiety, Depression, Addiction & Racial Disparities

Although discrimination is a commonly understood symptom of racism, racism can also affect mental health through deeply embedded disparate policies and beliefs. Dr. Nii Addy maps out the tragic effects of systemic racism that disproportionately affect the health of racial and ethnic minority groups, and how we can find the courage to address these wrongs and initiate change.

Work/Life Balance: Lessons from the Pandemic

One of the truly difficult parts of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increasing blur between work life and home life. Many of us are struggling to find anything resembling balance. The uncertainty surrounding the future makes finding that balance even more challenging and more important. Dr. Nii Addy will lead your audience through a discussion of the ways to achieve the elusive goal of work/life balance.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Anti-Racism in Education

With race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status and so many other aspects of identity, how do we put inclusion into practice in the classroom? How do we foster a sense of belonging where we value, support, and respect all students? In this keynote, Dr. Nii Addy illustrates how we can work towards equity, inclusivity and belonging to create more educational opportunities for people who have historically remained underserved and underrepresented.

Mental Health & Wellness in 2021

Is it possible to achieve life satisfaction and emotional wellbeing, especially after 2020? How do we deal with lockdowns and isolation, so many lives lost, ongoing racial injustices, political tensions and riots, financial stressors and unemployment, and emotional challenges? Bringing insights from his podcast, The Addy Hour, Yale professor, researcher, and mental health advocate Dr. Nii Addy dives into topics that many of us are thinking about, but very few are talking about.

The Benefits of Prayer & Meditation

When it comes to mental health, there is no one-size-fits-all fix. There are many tools that can be utilized in addition to therapy and medication. In this faith-focused talk, Dr. Nii Addy shares the physical, spiritual and mental health benefits of meditation and prayer and the positive impact they have on one’s sense of well-being. Taking the time to pause, breathe and reflect can change your perspective. And knowing something outside of us can also intervene in our lives is powerful, too. It is possible to get to a place of healing, Dr. Addy says, when we utilize all understanding and the tools that God has allowed us to develop to address our mental health challenges.

Books & Media


"Addy Hour" Podcast