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From Loneliness to Connection: Learning & Healing with Experts from Silver Hill

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Event Details

Loneliness is by no means a modern or unfamiliar concept, but in recent years it has been declared an epidemic, crossing generations, countries, and cultures.  What happened?  Today, loneliness comes in many forms, not all of them visible to the naked eye, yet all of them impactful to our physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing, and ability to accomplish and thrive. This frank, informative conversation with experts from Silver Hill Hospital will explain why loneliness has become so prevalent, what it can look like, and discuss practical ideas for cultivating a life of meaning and connection.


Jeff Katzman, MD is the Director of Education at Silver Hill Hospital leading SHARE, the Silver Hill Academy for Research and Education. He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico, Department of Psychiatry; Adjunct Professor at the Yale Department of Psychiatry; and medical director for the Project ECHO Resiliency programs, including Silver Hill’s Community Resilience Campaign.  He is a longtime student and teacher of psychodynamic psychotherapy, attachment, and the role of play in our lives.

Dr. Katzman’s lifelong work has been to help patients overcome the isolation that informs so many modern lives, studying human relationships at Stanford before attending medical school at UC San Diego and completing psychiatry residency training at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. In recent years, he has developed an interest in the impact of loneliness on our mental health. Dr. Katzman presented at the First Annual Loneliness Conference in Hull, England in 2023 and is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the Connecticut Collaborative on Loneliness.

Ben Bernstein, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at Silver Hill Hospital, currently serving as Acting Director of the Argent [Assessment] Program and Associate Director of Education, supervising and educating psychologists-in-training across the hospital. Dr. Bernstein is a frequent presenter on engaging adolescents and their families in therapy, helping patients feel real through deeper social connections, and on how to use improvisation in therapy training. His writing has appeared in American Psychological Association publications, as well as The New York Times and The New Yorker. He has held positions at college counseling centers, VA hospitals, state psychiatric centers and various outpatient clinics. He completed his undergraduate degree at Brown University and his doctorate at the City College of New York. Before becoming a psychologist, Dr. Bernstein was a high school history teacher.

Cheryl Bundy, D.Min, BCC, is the Director of Spiritual Care and Hospital Chaplain at Silver Hill Hospital. Cheryl’s clinical specialties are spirituality, grief and human flourishing and she works with patients to help them discover the role of spirituality in the healing process and lifelong wellness. Cheryl began her professional career in finance in New York City before shifting to fundraising and development for mission driven organizations. In 2009, she moved with her family to Connecticut where she attended Yale Divinity School and launched a new chapter in her life. After graduating from YDS, Cheryl completed chaplaincy training at Norwalk Hospital and worked there as a chaplain in psychiatry, intensive care, palliative care and outpatient programs. Cheryl is a longtime student of connection and community, understanding that loneliness may stem from missing connections with others, oneself, and with purpose in one’s life. In addition to her work at Silver Hill, she supports many local organizations and congregations in their ministries and spiritual offerings. She recently completed her doctorate in Integrated Mental Health Chaplaincy at Vanderbilt, and she is proud to add that to her Master’s Degrees from Yale Divinity School and New York University and her undergraduate degree from Smith College. She currently resides in New Canaan with her family.

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