Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D.


Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer, Ph.D., is a science writer, mental health advocate and pioneer in using creative writing as a tool for easing depression. In 1998 she developed the creative writing program for people with mood disorders meeting at Stanford University. Since its inception, she has led this weekly group which now draws students from across the San Francisco Bay Area while recovering from her own severe depression. As someone who's "been there," her knowledge and insight lend awareness and empathy to depressed people, who have particular fears and concerns.

Schaefer earned her doctorate in biological sciences at Stanford University in 1991. She has written about medical and scientific topics for the Stanford News Service, and served as the West Coast Correspondent for Nature. She was awarded a science writing internship at Newsweek, and has been published in other magazines and newspapers, including The San Jose Mercury News and Longevity.

As a developmental editor for Benjamin/​Cummings and Addison-Wesley, she wrote chapters for, and worked with authors on, numerous high-profile college science textbooks. In addition, she has edited trade books on topics ranging from science to business to history.

Schaefer speaks frequently for chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and for the Alameda County (California) Mental Health Board, among other groups. She has spoken on mental health issues, both personal and professional, to police, physicians and other mental health professionals, and mental health consumers and their families. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.