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Press Release

Mental Health Conference, Reception To Address Stigma

April 26, 2004

The mental health community of Contra Costa County will promote May as Mental Health Month in gathering for a daylong conference in Concord on how to "Take the Initiative to Combat Discrimination and Stigma."

"So much of the difficulty in treating people's mental health and helping them lead productive lives in the community is connected to the stigma and discrimination people encounter from the public," said Donna Wigand, Director of Mental Health for Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS), the county health department. "Those of us in the mental health community of the Bay Area can benefit from hearing experts and exchanging ideas about how to overcome this barrier."

To that end, CCHS Mental Health Division's Recovery Task Force and the Bay Area County Mental Health Directors are sponsoring the May 7 conference from 9:30-4:30 at First Presbyterian Church of Concord, 1965 Colfax Street.

It will feature as its keynote speaker Patrick Corrigan, a Professor of Psychiatry from University of Chicago and nationally renowned author and researcher on discrimination and stigma.

Other speakers include Steve Mayberg, director of the state Department of Mental Health; Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg; Sandra Goodwin, director of the California Institute for Mental Health; Barbara Lurie, director of the Los Angeles-based Mental Health Media Partnership; Luis Garcia, who works on Latino Program Development for Pacific Clinics in Los Angeles; Susan Rogers of the Philadelphia-based National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse; and Linford Gayle, Consumer Affairs Coordinator for San Mateo County.

"Each of these speakers will address the impact that stigma and discrimination have on people with mental health issues," said Wigand. "We think it will be a very enlightening day."

Corrigan's talk is titled "Strategies for Combating Discrimination and Stigma," while Mayberg's is "California State's Elimination of Barriers Initiative and the President's Freedom Commission Report."

Workshops during the day will include Looking at the Message, The Media and Stigma, and California and Bay Area Initiatives to Combat Stigma.

The conference admission fee of $25 includes lunch, and CEUs are available for those in attendance. It is open to the public. For more information or to receive a registration form, call Anna Lubarov at 925-957-5142 or Julie Boucher at 925-957-5169.

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Press Contact
  • Jay Mahler
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  • Lisa Booker
  • 925-646-5645