Mental Health Symposium Raises Awareness & Funding

This post was originally published by the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center

“Treating individuals in the community by providing them with the financial and clinical support needed for them to thrive long term is far more cost-effective and humane than short-term incarceration.”
– Benjamin Brafman, CEO of Destination Hope

One in four American adults live with a seriously disabling mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. That means just about every single person knows someone who is suffering from an internal battle that we can’t always see. Yet mental illness remains taboo in many cultures, creating a stigma surrounding those who suffer from it and prejudicial conclusions from those who don’t.

This prevents many who need treatment from seeking it in fear of judgement or discrimination. So they suffer in silence, unable to break free of the invisible bondage that holds them hostage in their own minds and bodies.

Growing Through Education and Discussion

In order to address this very issue, Guardian Behavioral Health, in partnership with Destination Hope, hosted the very first Mental Health Symposium on November 6 in Boca. More than 150 guests came together to raise awareness through education to break the stigma associated with people who suffer from mental health disorders and to give back to those in critical need of treatment.

The event raised over $5,000 to help bridge the gap between individuals suffering from mental illness and the services they need and deserve.

Tackling Key Issues Among Providers and Patients

The Symposium served as the platform for South Florida community leaders, city officials and professionals within the industry to come together and tackle some of the key issues providers and patients struggle with on a recurring basis. It included morning coffee, networking, a silent auction and a luncheon panel discussion.

The discussion focused on the decriminalization of mental illness and was comprised of an interdisciplinary team including law enforcement and legal professionals, clinicians and licensed providers, treatment professionals, and educators moderated by Benjamin Brafman, CEO of Destination Hope.

Making a Change in Our Community and Beyond

Bringing together people from across the professional spectrum created an environment conducive to change and to bettering the lives of those within our community. The success of the symposium is a powerful indicator of the drive amongst the mental health industry to destigmatize mental illness and remove roadblocks to treatment. If you would like to learn more about how you can help in your community, please give us a call.

[caption id="attachment_511" align="alignleft" width="750"]Ben Brafman, Catherine Lovern, Allison Seriani, Alton Smith Ben Brafman, Catherine Lovern, Allison Seriani, Alton Smith[/caption] [caption id="attachment_512" align="alignleft" width="685"]Ben Brafman, Suzanne Brafman, Elise Kahn and Michael Morresi Ben Brafman, Suzanne Brafman, Elise Kahn and Michael Morresi[/caption] [caption id="attachment_513" align="alignleft" width="685"]Assistant Chief Doug MacDougall, Officer Jaime Costas, Officer William Schultz Assistant Chief Doug MacDougall, Officer Jaime Costas, Officer William Schultz[/caption] [caption id="attachment_514" align="alignleft" width="750"]Alton Smith and Ben Brafman Alton Smith and Ben Brafman[/caption] [caption id="attachment_515" align="alignleft" width="685"]Suzanne Brafman, Ben Brafman Suzanne Brafman, Ben Brafman[/caption] [caption id="attachment_516" align="alignleft" width="750"]Officer Jaime Costas and Sandra Cumper Officer Jaime Costas and Sandra Cumper[/caption]
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