Community leaders and officials attend Mental Health Symposium

VERO BEACH — More than 140 elected officials, community leaders and philanthropists attended the second annual Mental Health Symposium held Thursday, February 24 at the Indian River County Administration Building.

The event was hosted by the Indian River County Mental Health Collaborative and featured personal testimonials as well as evidenced based research about need for early diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

Giving personal testimony about the importance of mental health were Mary Sammartino, Peggy Pilicek and Earl Morgan. Sammartino spoke about finding resources for her young son and Pilicek explained what it was like to be a professional working in the mental health care field, while battling the illness herself. The final testimonial was given by Morgan, who lost his son to suicide last year.

Also making presentations were Dr. Barbara Krantz, the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Research at the Hanley Center; Dr. Wayne Creelman, the Medical Director of the University of Florida Center for Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in Vero Beach; and Ellie McCabe, a local philanthropist who talked about the value of forming public and private partnerships to improve the continuum of mental health care.

The keynote address was given by Dr. Frederick Frese, a nationally known psychologist who has specialized in the area of schizophrenia for over forty years and who suffers personally from the disease.

The program was broadcast live on the government access channel and will be repeated Periodically.

For a copy of the symposium contact Lisa Kahle at (772) 567-2166 or {igallery 350}

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