Cameron University to present “Sustainable Communities are Mentally Healthy: What Can You Do to Help?”

In conjunction with “Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities,” Cameron University’s triennial academic festival, the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Psychology will present “Sustainable Communities are Mentally Healthy: What Can You Do to Help?”, a seminar designed to reduce the stigma toward mental illness and encourage those who need help to seek it. The presentation is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to Noon in the Goodyear Lecture Hall, Room 100 in the Sciences Complex, and is open to the public at no charge.

“We want to actively take a role in educating the public about mental illness,” says Dr. Mary Dzindolet, Chair of the Department of Psychology. “Ideally, we would like for people to view mental illness as a brain disease or brain disorder, much the way cardiovascular disease is a heart disease/disorder and diabetes is a pancreas disease/disorder. Eliminating the stigma that is so frequently associated with mental illness will have a positive impact on those who live with mental illness every day.”

Panel speakers include Jane Bowers and Kim Bartlett, who will speak as persons living with mental illness, and Dr. Leigh Holmes and his wife, Sally, who will tell their story from a parent’s perspective. In addition, Jill Melrose, Director of Cameron’s Student Wellness Center, will be available to speak with students who have questions about mental health resources available on campus.

“Early detection and intervention play a significant role in helping patients live with a mental illness, yet too often young people are hesitant to ask for help due to the stigma associated with mental illness,” says Dzindolet. “Others are not aware of the valuable resources that are available. We are working to reduce the stigma of seeking care and to effectively communicate that help is accessible.”

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March 2, 2015

PR# 15-046