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USC Students Host Mental Health Discussion


By Kathleen Piché, L.C.S.W., Public Affairs Director

Two University of Southern California (USC) students, Danny Lee and Patra Childress, hosted Mental Health: A Dialogue at the USC Tutor Campus Center on October 5, 2013, in honor of National Mental Health Awareness Week.  Lee and Childress co-founded Free Minds, a student organization encouraging creative expression for those experiencing symptoms of mental illness. The event engaged the USC community in a discussion on the quality and effectiveness of behavioral health resources available to students off-and-on campus.

An impressive group of panelists included representatives from various student departments at USC and community services, such as Didi Hirsch and LACDMH, including: Jeremy Royce, Independent Filmmaker and USC Graduate; David Baron, M.D., Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Psychiatry, Keck School of Medicine; Sabrina Brown, Officer, USC Public Safety; Ilene Rosenstein, Ph.D., Engemann Student Health Center Director; Christina Davis, Director, Office of Residential Education; Grant Burlew, Assistant Director, Office of Residential Education; Emily Sandoval, Assistant Director, East Area, Office of Residential Education; Lynette Merriman, Assistant Provost for Student Affairs, Support and Advocacy; Sandri Kramer, Director, Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center Crisis Hotline; Kalan Leaks, Chemical Engineering student; Elyn Saks, Orrin B. Evans Professor of Law, Psychology and Psychiatry, USC Gould School of Law, author of The Center Cannot Hold.

Free Minds gives people an avenue to express their mental illness through written and spoken mediums, and aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and empower those who suffer from it. For more information, visit: uscfreeminds.com