Healthy Minds Matter Conference To Be Held

Apr 17, 2019 /


May is national Mental Health Awareness month. A topic that often carries a heavy stigma, mental health is not a character flaw, nor a weakness. Mental illness does not discriminate by age, race, religion, or socio-economic status. It impacts a large number of people in communities across the globe and it is important that a community work together to overcome the stigma and educate people regarding mental illness. An educated community is a healthy community.

Merriam-Webster defines stigma as a mark of shame or disgrace regarding a person’s circumstance. Often times stigma exist as a result of lack of understanding or misconceptions. When a person suffers from a mental illness the impact of stigma can have lasting, harmful effects. Some people may be reluctant to seek and accept help for fear others will discriminate against them because of their mental illness. As a result the illness goes untreated and the symptoms become progressively harder to manage. Just like any other physical illness, when left untreated, mental illness can have a significant impact on the individual, family members, and the community. With the proper treatment people with mental illness can live successful, productive lives.

In an effort to overcome the stigma of mental health issues, Uvalde Memorial Hospital’s Crossroads Behavioral Health program is hosting a Healthy Minds Matter Conference on Thursday, May 9 from 5pm-7pm at Ssgt. Willie De Leon Civic Center. The event will bring together professionals, caregivers, parents, friends and community members who are affected by mental or behavioral health. This is an opportunity to explore the truth, discuss the reality, and move towards a healthier future as a community. Working together, the community can overcome mental health’s negative stigma.

The event will feature keynote speaker Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the gunman responsible for the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. In the aftermath of the worst high school shooting in history, at the time, Sue struggled with grief and humiliation. Her search for understanding spanned over 15 years and she has emerged a passionate advocate, dedicated to the advancement of mental health awareness and intervention. Sue is a New York Times bestselling author, has appeared on numerous national media outlets, and presents at conferences across the nation.

The event will also feature breakout sessions on adolescent and teen mental health, addiction and opioid use, stress and coping skills and Alzheimer’s/ dementia for caregivers. Professionals in each field will present on the topics and allow additional time for questions and answers in each session.

For more information on Healthy Minds Matter, contact Karla Radicke at (830) 278- 6251 extension 1037.