STIGMA REDUCTION ROUNDTABLE
By Karen Zarsadiaz-Ige, Public Information Officer II
On Wednesday, June 27th, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) hosted a meeting at the Vermont Avenue headquarters to develop a mental health stigma reduction community roundtable.
The goals of the meeting were not only to create a community roundtable but also focus on developing and implementing anti-stigma strategies, coordinating a public awareness campaign and sharing best practices and successes statewide.
The meeting was attended by LACDMH, members of the Mental Health Commission, Didi Hirsch, LAUSD, the Pasadena/Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL), and the United Advocates for Children and Families (UACF). LACDMH, UACF and the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) sponsored the meeting which was convened by PACTL.
LACDMH District Chief, Sam Chan, Ph.D., co-hosted the meeting and talked about the need for collaboration in this effort. “If we stand for greatness, we will do amazing things.”
According to organizers, the initiative for a roundtable will implement strategies for a secure and nurturing environment to consumers, families, youth and children in their community by recognizing that mental health is integral in everyone’s well-being.
UACF was awarded a $2.6 million grant over three years from the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) for an anti-stigma campaign that will affect California’s 58 counties. Part of the implementation of the campaign is involving counties like Los Angeles in the planning process.
With the development of a community roundtable, UACF needs to accomplish six key activities as part of its stigma and discrimination reduction plan: to generate county needs assessment, develop a master plan to direct and monitor implementation throughout the project, provide capacity building contact strategies countywide, public outreach, develop a sustainability plan and provide outcomes.
UACF CEO, Oscar Wright, Ph.D., believes working together will help accomplish the goals that have been set. “We’re fortunate the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s Director, Dr. (Marvin) Southard, has been committed to this early on – and involved early,” said Dr. Wright. “Like I like to say, ‘Neither one of us is as smart as all of us.’”