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Experts and Politicos to Discuss Mental Health Issues

Summit to focus on strategies and implementation for mental health services locally

The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative will host a mental health summit at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus on Friday, Oct. 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

The free summit, which will take place in the campus’s Indian Wells Theater, is a “working-summit.” Local decision makers and community leaders in the fields of healthcare and mental health are encouraged to attend. 

The public is invited to attend the morning session on a space-available basis. No walk-ins will be accepted. 

“Our concern is that our comprehensive and actionable strategic plan, designed to reduce mental illness stigma and increase access to mental health services, will lie on a shelf only to be dusted off in a few years with nothing accomplished,” said Gary Jeandron, CVHC director. “The Mental Health Summit II will ensure this does not happen.” 

Mental healthcare leaders will be invited to the afternoon session to review a strategic plan designed to reduce mental illness stigma and increased access to mental health services in the Coachella Valley and Pass area. Based on the strategic plan, attendees will be asked to develop action plans and commit to implementing them. 

Confirmed panelists include:

  • · Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack
  • · Assemblyman Brian Nestande
  • · Assemblyman Manuel Pérez
  • · Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit 

The keynote speaker will be Ron Manderscheid, executive director, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors. 

To register for the summit or for more information, contact Regina Garrison at rgarriso@csusb.edu

The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative held its first mental health summit in March 2012 to discuss reducing mental health stigma. 

This summit was primarily designed for individuals involved in the delivery or receipt of services. Attendees discussed how to implement a local campaign to reduce stigmas related to mental illness and develop ideas on how to increase services for those who need them. 

Attendees participated in four breakout sessions in the categories of Latinos, LGBTQ, seniors, and youth. The sessions collected brain-storming information to be used in the development of a strategic plan to reduce mental health stigma and increase access to mental health services. 

The mission of the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative is to provide a meaningful forum for individuals, agencies, and organizations to improve the health and well being of residents of eastern Riverside County. 

Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus, on behalf of the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative, received funding from Riverside County to focus on early intervention in mental health issues. 

The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus is located at 37-500 Cook St. in Palm Desert. 

For more information about the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative, contact Gary Jeandron, project director, at gjeandro@csusb.edu or (760) 341-2883 or visit the Coachella Valley Health Collaborative website.

Ellen Carr October 16, 2012 at 08:11 PM
How nice the public can attend the morning session but not the afternoon. I suppose we're all too dumb to know what it means to be stigmatized because you suffer from mental illness. Also we have no idea how to increase access help to mental health services. Boy, do I feel "dumb"! The confirmed panelists are politicians not mental health users or maybe they are. If they don't suffer from a mental illness how do they know how any of us feel or what services we need. We suffer from an illness not stupidity!!!! Give us a chance to have a say in our future!!
Mariana Zuelsdorf October 16, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Depression is a form of mental illness, and you can't always tell if someone is perpetually depressed. Hopefully the panelists, politicians or not, would be able to suggest organizations that would offer help to all those who need it for any form of mental illness. There are organizations that provide help, but the public needs to know who they are and how to contact them.

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