University of Miami to Host Mental Health Summit

In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will host “STOP the Stigma: A Mental Health Summit” on Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at University of Miami Hospital’s Seminar Center. The event is free and open to families, professionals and those living with mental illness.

“Surprisingly, very few people know that Miami-Dade County is home to the largest percentage of people with serious mental illness, 9.1 percent of the population, of any urban community in the United States,” said Susan M. Racher of NAMI and chair of the STOP the Stigma Summit. “That amounts to 200,000 people. We coordinated this summit because stigma results in indifference, prejudice, insufficient funding for treatment and deficient access to care, assumptions that the ill cannot be helped and unconscionable delays in treating those who are ill until they are in crisis.”

Presenters include Charles Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Center on Aging; Philip Harvey, Ph.D., professor and Director of the Division of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Sara Czaja, Ph.D., professor and Co-Director of the Center on Aging; and Ushimbra Buford, M.D., assistant professor of clinical psychiatry.

“The summit is designed to educate the public and professionals on the latest research, diagnosis, intervention and best practices to optimize recovery,” Racher said. “Recovery is achievable; people can get better.”

Continuing education credit (7.5 units) will be available for professionals attending the event. To register for the STOP the Stigma Summit, visit

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