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Georgia Tech Mental Health Task Force

Last May, GT President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, appointed a Mental Health task force. Chaired by Lynn Durham, assistant vice president and chief of staff in the Office of the President, the 13-person group, composed of students, faculty, and staff met during the summer to discuss mental health issues, support, and needs in Tech’s student body. Peterson appointed the group as a result of concerns raised by undergraduate and graduate student leaders.

“Our students see mental health issues in others, but not necessarily in themselves,” Durham said. “They are under a great deal of pressure and don’t see the stress points, or the concerning behaviors such as staying up all night multiple nights in a row. They feel invincible and often don’t reach out for the help they need.”

The group released it’s report and recommendations October 30.

Read more.

See all POSTS.

World Mental Health Day 2013

Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Federation of Mental Health, World Mental Health Day is designated to raise awareness of mental health issues around the globe. The 2013 Theme is “Mental Health and Older Adults”.

Mental health in people aged 60 and over is a growing challenge. By 2100, the number of older people worldwide is expected to triple. More than 20 percent of adults aged 60 and over have a mental or neurological disorder, depression and dementia being the most common. Anxiety disorders affect nearly four percent of the elderly population; around a quarter of deaths from self-harm are among people in this age group. Neuropsychiatric disorders among older adults now account for nearly seven percent of the total disability for this age group. (Source: WHO)

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation regularly funds innovative mental health research ideas particular to “late life” issues. Please read just a few examples here:

  • Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., a leading authority on mental health issues specific to the aging population writes about the importance of mental health

Sept is suicide prevention awareness month

September is suicide prevention awareness month.
One conversation can save a life.
Read more about signs of risk, and prevention on NAMI’s suicide fact sheet at NAMI.org.

White House Conference on Mental Health

NAMI Press Release:

ARLINGTON, Va., June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michael J. Fitzpatrick,  Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)  issued this statement after attending the White House Conference on Mental Health on June 3, 2013:

NAMI applauds President Obama’s leadership in convening the White House Conference on Mental Health.

NAMI is grateful for both the opportunity to participate in the conference directly and to have shared information and expertise for resources,  including the Obama administration’s new www.mentalhealth.gov website, which features NAMI’s video interview with Yashi Brown as a voice for hope and recovery. We also look forward to our partnership with the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and North American Interfraternity Council (NIC), cited by the White House, for presentations on approximately 800 campuses starting this fall.

Today’s conference and many activities to follow in the weeks and months ahead are part of the national dialogue on mental health that the President promised after the Newtown, Conn. tragedy in December 2012.

It is a dialogue that must occur in communities throughout the country, but with a clear understanding that although talk must precede action, the result must be to stimulate action. The significance of the conference is that it reflects new kinds of collaborations and partnerships that extend beyond the traditional mental health community.

The challenge is to expand awareness and support for improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. That means creating a mental health care system that is truly accessible to all who need it, when they need it.

In 2000, President Clinton convened the first White House conference on Mental Health. In 2003, President Bush created a Presidential Commission on Mental Health. Progress resulted, leading particularly to enactment of mental health insurance parity.  But we still have a long, long way to go in building an effective mental health care system.

President Obama’s White House Conference is a call to keep building on progress.  It is a call to build new community partnerships. It is a call to expand mental health care—including Medicaid, which NAMI recently highlighted in a special report. It is a call for support of young people, veterans and others, goals that NAMI shares.

NAMI looks forward to continuing to participate in the national dialogue.

Out of the dark – a personal story

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Kimberly Minor sits with her parents Stephen and Geneva at their Lithonia home. Kimberly, a student at Georgia Perimeter College, had a mental breakdown during her first year of college at Clark Atlanta University. She spent several years in recovery and is now graduating this May with a 2-year degree. She has become a spokeswoman for mental health issues, and started a branch of Alive Minds, a mental health support organization on college campuses.

Here is her story.

Kimberly Minor drove pell-mell from Clark Atlanta University, where she was a freshman, and pulled into the steep driveway of her parents’ three-story stucco house on a cul-de-sac in Lithonia. Her father, Stephen, a heavyset man with close-cropped hair, came out of his basement office, surprised to see his daughter in mid-afternoon.

“Dad, I quit my job,” she announced as she got out of the car.

“What?” he exclaimed in amazement. “You can’t do that.” He was stunned as he pulled her roller-bag of papers and books into the house. She was so proud of her internship at Morehouse School of Medicine, where she helped with communications, putting together newsletters and press releases.

“You didn’t give two weeks’ notice?” he demanded. “I taught you better than that.”

Kimberly Minor loses and finds her way after a sudden emotional breakdown during her first year in college.

18th Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum Friday May 17!

This year’s topic is Building Quality Behavioral Health Community Services & Supports for All Georgians. This event is open to the public, but registration is requested by Monday, May 13.

Registration Form.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing a spotlight on children’s mental health. CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., will release the supplemental MMWR titled “Children’s mental health: Surveillance of mental disorders among children in the United States” at the Georgia Mental Health Forum. This report describes current federal efforts to track children’s mental disorders, the prevalence of these disorders, identify gaps, and inform a public health approach to prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and promote mental health in children.

The 2013 Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum will provide an opportunity for consumers, families, providers, and other stakeholders to be updated on the settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of
Justice and the State of Georgia and consider how to improve public policy for Georgia’s children and adolescents with behavioral health challenges.

More information.

2013 Georgia Annual Conference

NAMI Georgia’s Annual Conference and Membership meeting is THIS Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 8:30am – 5:00pm. Topics include:  VA programs, Dual Diagnosis, Legal Issues, Recognizing Autism, Mental Health and Immigrant Communities and more. Register at NAMI Georgia’s site.

Arts in the Garden at Skyland Trail

Arts in the Garden at Skyland Trail:
Friday, May 3 from 9:30-3:00
Celebrate the Artistic Talent and Contributions of the Mental Health Community

You’re invited to Arts in the Garden!  Arts in the Garden gives consumers of mental health services an opportunity to display their talents, educates the community about mental health and related resources, and helps to reduce the stigma sometimes associated with mental illness. Free and open to the public, more than 500 individuals attend each year.  Many opportunities are available for artists with a mental illness or disability to sell or display their art and to perform.  Arts in the Garden is a great networking opportunity for consumers, family members and mental health professionals.  Learn more at www.skylandtrail.org/AITG.

AITG Postcard Invite

How to find FREE and LOW COST Mental Health services in the Atlanta area

Where to go, what to do, who to call, to obtain free and low cost Mental Health Services in the Atlanta area. A directory of Mental Health resources from the Atlanta United Way.