Los Angeles, May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the nation marks its one millionth fatality from Covid 19, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology hosted a “State of Mental Health Summit 2022” yesterday in Los Angeles, putting out an urgent call to policy makers and community leaders: we need to approach mental health with the same urgency as physical health.
“As we grieve over lost loved ones and recover from all the economic and social uncertainties we’ve experienced, our nation continues to suffer mentally as well as physically,” said Dr. Michele Nealon, president of The Chicago School.
“The pandemic brought social inequities into stark relief, and now it’s clear that we need multifaceted solutions to ensure complete wellness for all members of our communities,” she added.
At the summit, medical, social service and educational leaders came together to discuss wellness solutions to dismantle barriers between communities and holistic wellness.
“We can see the strain on our mental healthcare systems – systems that now must be re-fortified with a new pipeline of mental health professionals who come from and understand the needs of underserved populations,” she said. Dr. Nealon emphasized that The Chicago School is a “majority-minority” institution, with two out of three of its 6,000 students nationwide at seven campuses identifying as people of color.
Medical panelist, Dr. Jorge Partida, chief of Psychology at the LA County Department of Mental Health, called on “a new generation of warriors to transform society—to provide answers to the mental health needs of underserved communities as a social justice response.”
Speaking on the education panel, Megan Reilly, deputy superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, said 81 percent of the district’s half million students come from low-income backgrounds. “We must turn our schools into community centers where families can get the help they need, whether it’s a hot meal or mental health counseling,” she said. “We can only do this by putting more resources into promoting overall wellness.”
According to a report, “No Health Without Mental Health,” released at the summit, we are on the verge of another pandemic—a mental health emergency, as we enter year three of battling Covid 19. “The pandemic is teaching us that there is no health without mental health and there is no health without systemic change.”
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