The Mental Health Awareness Project, slated for May 11, features experts on mental health and community advocacy

by Contributed Content on May 7, 2013

Being An Advocate and An Ally is the topic of The Mental Health Awareness Project set for May 11. The event will take place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Menlo Park City Council Chambers. Admission is free.

The program features a panel discussion covering such topics as the power of language, mental health terminology, the stigma and societal misconception, and that recovery from a mental health condition is possible.

“Language gives birth to ideas,” said panel moderator Lisa Pamphilon. “The term ‘mental illness’ is antiquated terminology. It has the potential to elicit fear and anxiety in the minds of the general population. The more inclusive term is ‘mental health condition.’ This implies that recovery is possible, and a mental health condition is a problem that we can work on, a problem we can solve. In order to provide a new societal shift in perspective towards people with mental health conditions, we need to pay attention to the power of language and how stigma is created.”

Other panelists include Chip  Huggins, CEO of Caminar for Mental Health, a nonprofit agency that has been providing community-based support services for people with mental health and other disabilities for over 49 years; Gary Tsai, resident psychiatrist for the San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, and Mary Cortani, a certified Army Master Instructor of Canine Education as well as an American Kennel Club Certified Canine Good Citizen© Evaluator.

The Mental Health Awareness Project May event is co-produced by the Menlo Park Library and Turning Point, LLC. and sponsored by Friends of the Menlo Park Library, Dr. Douglas Arakawa, and Turning Point.

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