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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

Racial Disparities in Mental Health

According to a study by John Hopkins Medicine, about 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder each year. And addiction is equally prolific—killing thousands annually. And yet when it comes to getting help, the stigma of the illness, how you’re treated and the outcome of these illnesses, racial disparities play a huge role. In this dynamic talk, Dr. Nii Addy,  Neuroscientist, Yale Professor and Mental Health Advocate, 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.

Supporting Employee Wellness

If there is one good thing that has come out of the pandemic, it’s that mental illness has been increasingly destigmatized. We have all been impacted in one way or another and mental health and wellness affect all of us. The outcome is that corporate leaders are beginning to realize that the mental health of their managers and employees needs to be a priority. When your staff is paying attention to wellness and using effective practices, productivity, creativity and your culture will improve and turnover will go down. In this engaging talk, Dr. Nii Addy, Neuroscientist, Yale Professor and Mental Health Advocate, shares the importance of having a culture that supports employee wellness, the workplace factors that positively affect mental health and the cultural changes that are needed to ensure everyone is at their best.

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—especially in these times when so many are fighting against it? How do we foster a sense of belonging where we value, support and respect all students? In this keynote, Dr. Nii Addy, Neuroscientist, Yale Professor and Mental Health Advocate, illustrates how we can work towards inclusivity and belonging and create more equitable educational opportunities for people who have historically remained underserved and underrepresented.

Living Your Best Life

Is it possible to achieve life satisfaction and emotional wellbeing, especially after the last couple of years? 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, Neuroscientist, Yale Professor and Mental Health Advocate, Dr. Nii Addy, dives into topics that many of us are thinking about, but very few are talking about. He describes them as conversations that are at the intersection of brain science, mental health, faith, culture and social justice. In this upbeat, interactive session, you’ll explore the topics and questions you’ve been thinking about with one of the top experts on these subjects in the world.

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.

Work/Life Balance: Lessons from the Pandemic

In 2020, thousands of Americans left their offices and started working from home as we began battling the global pandemic. More than two years later, many have yet to return to their companies or are working hybrid schedules. Sounds awesome, right? There’s no commute, more job satisfaction and money saved. That may be true, but home offices are causing problems, too, especially 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 equilibrium even more challenging and important. Dr. Nii Addy, Neuroscientist, Yale Professor and Mental Health Advocate, leads your audience through a discussion of the ways to achieve the elusive goal of work/life balance. With everything that we all are continuing to deal with, this topic is incredibly relevant and important to all. What we’ve learned over the last 24-plus months is that life, indeed, is sweet and we all need to make the most of it. Dr. Addy will help you get started, so you can get to a place where you experience life satisfaction, emotional health and true balance.

Books & Media


"Addy Hour" Podcast