GHS to present third annual symposium on mental health

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The Greenville Health System’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine will present their third annual Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health at the Hyatt Regency in May.

The Symposium will address the multifaceted nature of mental health and mental illness, and it will include regional and national keynote speakers.

The theme for 2018 is Mental Health Collaborations: Diversity and Inclusion – Integrating Research, Education, and Practice.

Dr. Eunice Peterson, a psychiatrist with GHS, said one of the goals of the symposium is to open a dialogue on mental health. “According to the National Institute on Mental Health, more than 44 million adults in the United States are living with mental illness,” Peterson said.

This annual educational forum will facilitate collaboration among patients, caregivers, health care providers, academicians, and community partners for those living with mental illness.

To spread awareness on mental health, this year’s symposium will feature both a clinical track for health care providers and a community track for the public.

“We strongly believe that it is important to make current information available to both the community and providers in order to maximize access to appropriate care for treatable disorders,” Peterson said.

While the specifics of each track have yet to be finalized, Peterson said the clinical track will offer updates on how to best diagnose and treat mental illness, while the community track features clear and relevant presentations on mental health for those who want to learn more about the subject.

This year’s symposium will include speakers such as Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Elizabeth Vargas, the Emmy-winning co-anchor of “20/20.”

“Mental illness impacts so many lives. We hope that by having such renown speakers that more attention will be brought to this most important topic,” Peterson said.

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