Continuing Education & Events

Meeting the Challenges of Professional Health: The Paralyzing Power of Fear in Mental Illness; Overcoming Shame & Stigma
November 6, 2015

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Meeting the Challenges of Professional Health: The Paralyzing Power of Fear in Mental Illness; Overcoming Shame & Stigma

Of the 23 million Americans who meet the criteria for substance use disorder each year, only 10% access treatment. While healthcare professionals suffer from mental health conditions including substance abuse at the same rate as the general population, the tragic reality is health professionals are reluctant to seek care and treatment. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (SMA) identified stigma as a major barrier to seeking help. Fear of license discipline and loss of professional status and fear of disappointing self and others results in shame-based denial and avoidance of desperately needed care for mental illness. Shame and stigma also stops colleagues from reaching out to the suffering professional. Unfortunately, this leads to disastrous results. Suicide rates for healthcare professionals exceed that of the general population.

This program is designed to expose the attitudes that influence shame and stigma and to empower medical professionals to promote mental health care with respect and dignity. The nationally recognized speakers will examine the challenges to accessing mental health care for healthcare professionals and offer insight into how we may change the culture of shame within our medical community. At the end of the program, attendees will be able to:

-Explain the ways in which stigma affects treatment adherence and success
-Differentiate stigma and discrimination for individuals with behavioral health disorders
-Cite three changes that must occur at a macro level (systemic, institutional, organizational and training) in order to eradicate shame and stigma


Our distinguished speakers for this year's symposium include

Michael Myers, M.D.
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and immediate past Vice-Chair of Education and Director of Training in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Author of "The Physician As Patient" and "Touched by Suicide."

Paula Davies Scimeca, R.N., M.S., C.A.R.N.
Author of "Unbecoming a Nurse: Bypassing the Hidden Chemical Dependency Trap"

Patricia Rehmer, M.S.N., A.C.H.E.
Former Commissioner of the State of Connecticut's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and current Senior Vice President of HHC Behavioral Health Network

DATE: November 6, 2015
TIME: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Registration Fees