GDK Associates LLC
NBCSL National Office
Mental Health for Our Veterans, Their Families and Communities Takes Highest Priority
(BLACK PR WIRE) (September 22, 2009) INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) will host its 16th Annual Mental Health Conference Oct. 2 to engage state legislators, health care professionals, community leaders and the public on solutions to improve the mental health of African Americans by reducing socioeconomic barriers, cultural stigmas and the incidence of misdiagnoses.
The conference will broadcast live from Indianapolis via satellite to Jackson, MS and Columbia, SC. The conference theme, Breaking Mental Health Stigmas in Our Communities, will allow open dialogue between the conference participants and attendees in these three cities. The conference will be available for public viewing at www.nbcsl.framewelder.com.
Topics will include Follow-on Biologics Role in the Treatment of Mental Health, Culture, Mental Health and Stigmas, and Military and Veterans Affairs Relative to Mental Health.
Rep. Calvin Smyre (GA), NBCSL President, said Mental illnesses are complex and difficult to diagnose and treat. Cultural barriers such as stigmas associated with mental illness within the African American community make it even more challenging to treat and manage. We’ll continue to fail our communities and our returning veterans unless we find solutions. As our soldiers continue to return from Iraq and Afghanistan, we must address impediments to effective mental health treatment. This symposium seeks to find solutions for these issues.
Judge Greg Mathis, Chairperson of PUSH/Excel and a national board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, is among the keynote speakers. Judge Mathis has long been an advocate of mental health reform within underserved communities. In the past he has highlighted that the prison system often becomes the default option for treating underprivileged people with mental illnesses.
African Americans are disproportionately impacted by lack of insurance; this reduces access to mental health care.
For the past 16 years, the conference has been supported through a generous grant from Eli Lilly and Company.
About the National Black Caucus of State Legislators
The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is a membership association representing 646 African American state legislators from 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. NBCSL members represent more than 50 million Americans of all racial backgrounds. NBCSL tracks legislation at all levels of government and actively monitors state and federal policy initiatives to provide its members with important information. Each year, NBCSL members pass policy resolutions that directly impact federal and state policy. The organization focuses on U.S. domestic policy and is committed to policies that positively affect all Americans.