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Bill W. Burgess Jr. Business Research Center to discuss child and adolescent mental health

In conjunction with Cameron University‘s current academic festival, “Care and Health: A Generational Approach,” the Bill W. Burgess Jr. Business Research Center (BBRC) will present “Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Children and Adolescents.” Robyn Cowperthwaite, M.D., a psychiatrist specializing in child adolescent mental health and an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, will address “The Adolescent Mental Health Crisis and the Student Knowledge Gap.” The forum will take place on Thursday, November 16, at 4 p.m. in the Mary Lou and W. Carey Johnson Auditorium, Room 111 in Ross Hall.

According to Dr. Syed Ahmed, director of the BBRC, “Covid-19 has affected the mental health of not only the people who were afflicted with the disease, but others as well. The incidence of mental illness has risen among the population of all ages since the pandemic. The rate has skyrocketed particularly for the young generation who became more susceptible to mental health problems because of protracted lock-downs, not being able to go to schools and interact with fellow students and peers, limited opportunities for games and exercises, less traveling, the fear and anxiety stemming from the pandemic, etc.”

Following Cowperthwaite’s presentation, she will join Dr. Rachel Zettl and Dr. Eleanor Lastrapes, both clinical assistant professors of child and adolescent psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, for a panel discussion exploring the challenges being by faced by today’s youth and the support available for this mental health crisis. The panel will also feature Cassie Jones, a mental health professional for Project AWARE, a federally funded initiative that promotes youth mental health awareness among schools and communities and improves connections to services for school-age youth, and Andrea Tracy, assistant principal at Eisenhower High School.

“Child and adolescent mental health needs have grown dramatically,” Cowperthwaite says. “Oklahoma has particularly high needs with a severe shortage of appropriate professionals to treat our children. According to the latest evidence, the global prevalence of child and adolescent mental illness has increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents should know mental health crisis services are available.”

The forum is open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Syed Ahmed at (580) 581-2842.


PR# 23-154

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