Breaking the Silence, Shattering the Myths: A Community Leadership Dialogue to Launch Mental Health Awareness Month at Detroit Central City Community Mental Health, Inc.

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This unprecedented dialogue will be led by Michigan's Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and Detroit Central City President & CEO Irva Faber-Bermudez. Breaking the Silence...Shattering the Myths will feature a cross section of the community, with clients, including legislators, practitioners, reporters, business and community leaders all working to enhance access to mental health and wellness for all.

With one in five Americans struggling with mental illness at sometime in their lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, one of the area’s oldest community mental health organizations, Detroit Central City Community Mental Health, is bringing together elected officials and media with clients and healthcare, community and business leaders to have a candid discussion about the common cause of mental illness and community mental health. Mental Health Awareness Month will launch in Detroit with an unprecedented cross-sector leadership dialogue led by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon and Detroit Central City Community Mental Health President & CEO Irva-Faber Bermudez on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 from 6pm – 8:30pm.

Simultaneously, a 30-second public service announcement featuring Napoloen, Faber-Bermudez, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Detroit Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee, Jr., Henry Ford Health System President and CEO Nancy Schlichting and Bishop Edgar L. Vann will air on several TV and cable channels. The PSA is designed to celebrate Detroit Central City’s 40 years of unwavering service, while bringing awareness and encouraging people to support community mental health and seek help for mental illness if needed. “We shouldn’t have to wait for high profile examples of mental illness, left unchecked and untreated, to have a discussion about mental health and wellness. The dialogue and campaign will bring awareness of the growing demand for mental health services, encourage people to seek help, and not feel ashamed to do so,” said Irva Faber-Bermudez.

Located in the heart of Midtown Detroit, the dialogue will include discussion about healthcare and the fact that “there is no health without mental health,” said Nancy Schlichting, Detroit Central City’s 2010 mental health hero award recipient. Participants will also discuss how mental health and wellness plays a leading role in the 15 x 15 movement to bring 15,000 new residents to Midtown by 2015; how law enforcement, legislators, businesses, non-profit organizations, practitioners and healthcare officials bonds can be strengthened to positively affect mental health and wellness; how the media plays a crucial role in erasing the stigma; and how innovative collaborations are working to serve all who seek help.

Participants, to date, include: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, U.S. Congressman John Conyers, Lt. Governor Brian Calley; Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon; Detroit Deputy Mayor Saul Green; Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee; Judge Timothy Kenny of the Wayne County Third Circuit Court; Dr. Valerie Parisi, Dean of the Wayne State University School of Medicine; Dr. Yvonne Anthony, Director of the City of Detroit Health and Wellness Promotion; Dr. Reginald Eadie, President of Detroit Receiving Hospital; Dr. Robert Lagrou of Henry Ford Health System; William Heaphy, Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office; Tamela Aikens of the Michigan Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative; Giancarlo Guzman of United Way of Southeast Michigan; Bishop Edgar L. Vann of Second Ebenezer Church; Marc Scheuer, Vice President of Comerica Bank; Dr. Alireza Amirsadri, Chief of Psychiatry at Detroit Receiving Hospital; Jeff Gerritt, Editorial Writer of the Detroit Free Press Editorial Board; Jay Greene, Senior Healthcare Reporter for Crain’s Detroit Business, Bankole Thompson of the Michigan Chronicle, and many others. Ron Savage, Fox 2 Anchor and Reporter will serve as moderator.

Detroit Central City, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, thanks Henry Ford Health System, Health Alliance Plan and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals for their sponsorship and participation in this program. Detroit Central City is conveniently located at 10 Peterboro, corner of Woodward, in Detroit. Parking will be available at the Detroit Central City gated lot on Peterboro as well as the Michigan State University lot on Woodward.

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Peggy K. Goodwin
peggygoodwin@goodwinconsulting.us
(248) 376-0390
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