Dr. Harsh K. Trivedi is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, as well as president and CEO of Sheppard Pratt, the nation’s largest private, nonprofit provider of mental health, substance use, developmental disability, special education, and social services. He also has a passion for giving back to the community. This year, Dr. Trivedi is a NYC Marathon runner fundraising for NAMI-NYC. Dr. Trivedi’s journey into long-distance running began during his child psychiatry fellowship in Boston, where he first took up half marathons to clear his mind.
For Dr. Trivedi, running is more than just a physical activity. It’s a transformative experience. Whether he’s racing through the streets of New York City, or Nashville, he finds a surreal feeling of escape and healing. Dr. Trivedi can clear his head and the endorphins released during his runs leave him in a good mood for the rest of the day.
Over the years, Dr. Trivedi has become a part of a meaningful running community, bonding with other runners who share his passion. While he initially trained alone, he discovered the power of group training and community. As he embarked on his journey into marathon running, he found himself asking, “How did I miss this?”
Dr. Trivedi is an immigrant who was raised in New York City, in Forest Hills, Queens. Dr. Trivedi cares deeply about raising awareness in communities of color, where strong-held beliefs often stigmatize mental health struggles. Dr. Trivedi is actively working to change this narrative by partnering with media to initiate dialogues about mental health. By having mental health experts engage in conversations with radio hosts, they aim to bridge the gap and increase understanding.
Additionally, Dr. Trivedi recognizes the need to reimagine how mental healthcare is delivered, especially for children and teens. Due to structural barriers in healthcare, every adult involved in a child’s life plays a role in reducing trauma and providing necessary support. “The average time from first psychiatric need to care is 11 years. What does that mean in the life of a child? They lose their childhood, and the opportunity to get better,” shared Dr. Trivedi. “Mental health issues should be treated no differently than physical conditions like cancer or diabetes. Early intervention matters.”
Dr. Trivedi also urges his colleagues in the healthcare industry, both in mental health and across medicine, to join the conversation. He believes that it’s essential for healthcare professionals to recognize when they are burning out and take steps to recharge, as well as help others. “Healthcare professionals, as well as other individuals, families, and communities across the U.S. are struggling with mental health challenges. We need to eliminate stigma from our schools and our workplaces—and now, more than ever, we must come together to prioritize mental health. ”
Thank you, Dr. Trivedi, for running for mental health!