Mental health expert to speak at Mental Health Symposium

VERO BEACH —  Revered mental health expert, Dr. Frederick Frese will be the keynote speaker at this year’s mental health symposium hosted by the Mental Health Collaborative of Indian River County, 2 to 4:15 p.m., Thursday, February 24 at the Indian River County Administrative Complex, 1801 27th St., Vero Beach. The symposium will include personal experiences by local residents, expert testimonial on the science of mental illness and programs proven to work. Dr. Frese, a psychologist who has specialized in the area of schizophrenia for over forty years, will focus on translating mental health research into public policy that facilitates effective programs for people living with mental illness. Frese is considered an expert in the field not only because of his successful career, but because he himself was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 25. Despite his illness, he was able to gain a degree from the American Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix, AZ; and a doctorate in psychology from Ohio University.

Joining Dr. Frese as a guest speaker is Dr. Barbara Krantz, the Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director of Research at the Hanley Center. Dr. Krantz will speak about her research into the biological connection of mental illness as a pathway to substance abuse and addiction. Dr. Wayne Creelman, the Medical Director of the University of Florida Center for Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine in Vero Beach will speak about local programs that are making an impact on our community as well as national programs that work, such as medical insurance parity for mental health care.

In addition to professional experts, several mental health advocates will give a personal perspective about the impact of mental health care on their lives, the importance of early diagnosis and treatment, and long-term recovery as a realistic expectation for many people who suffer from mental illness.

The symposium is expected to attract a broad representation of municipal, county and statewide elected officials as well as mental health advocates and professionals from throughout Indian River County.  It is hosted by the Mental Health Collaborative of Indian River County, a group primarily of public and private mental health funders who work in conjunction with local providers to increase access, decrease duplication and facilitate community-wide support of mental health issues.

For more information, or to reserve a seat the symposium, contact Lisa Kahle at (772) 567-2166 or

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