Emory Report

May 15, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 33

Satcher, Carter to focus on mental health

By Deanna Congileo

Surgeon General David Satcher will join Rosalynn Carter on Monday, May 22, to rally community mental health organizations nationwide to take action on recommendations in the first-ever surgeon general's report on mental health.

The discussion, titled "The Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health: Taking Action," will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Carter Center as part of the annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum and will bring together some 350 mental health leaders, consumers and policymakers from throughout the state.

"The surgeon general's report gives mental health organizations the tools they need to make the case to local, state and federal governments for more resources and better policies to help those with mental disorders," said Carter. "Grassroots activity is essential if we are going to make mental health the priority it should be."

Released last December, the surgeon general's report gives a thorough account of the causes and prevalence of all forms of mental disorders and of the many effective treatments. One in five Americans is affected by a mental disorder each year, and mental illness is the second-leading cause of disability in the United States.

The forum is co-sponsored by the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) of Georgia, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Georgia, the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network, the Georgia Parent Support Network and the Carter Center's Mental Health Program.

Following the videoconference, participants at the Carter Center will hold a working session on how to use the surgeon general's report to overcome barriers to mental health care in Georgia. The materials used during this session also will be available on the NMHA website at www.nmha.org.

The National Association of State Mental Health Directors and NMHA affiliates will be organizing downlink sites nationwide for local community groups to view the videocast. Information on how to downlink the videoconference may be found on NMHA's website or by phone at 1-800-969-NMHA. Individuals can watch the discussion live at www.sgconference.org, where the event will remain available for download for three months.

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