The pervasive stigma that persists regarding mental illness and mental health treatment continues to create a significant barrier to care. Thus, treating those with mental illness offers a particular challenge as the national healthcare system is evolving with a greater emphasis on partnering with patients and other healthcare practitioners to provide optimal, holistic, patient-centered care. There is growing evidence that collaboration and education of both participants and providers can help to achieve equity for mental health outcomes. The Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health will provide a unique forum for mental healthcare providers and participants to work collaboratively on many levels and learn more about evidence-based research, current treatment, community collaborations and support. Hence, the goals of this project include:
- Formation of a mental health consortium involving the Tri-state area, which includes South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia in the Southeastern US. In the future, the geographic region will expand to include Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia
- Developing synergistic relationships among stakeholders, mental health patients, caregivers, academics, healthcare professionals and community partners
- Fostering dialogue and promoting awareness of current trends in mental health treatment, practice, and research to achieve equity for mental health outcomes
- Encouraging mental health advocacy and working towards the eradication of stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness and mental health treatment
- Improving access to mental health care through dissemination of information and resources
- Informing public policy and educational initiatives that promote awareness about mental health issues
The projected output from this project is a symposium that will become an annual event to promote mental health and the eradication of mental health stigma.
Project collaborators include Clemson University.
Project Resource: June 2016 Newsletter
Project Resource: Symposium Packet