This event is hosted by the Middlesex County Unit.
New to a Unit event? NASW-NJ has 12 volunteer-led, county-based Units that hold regional events around the state of New Jersey for members in that area. (However due to the public health emergency, Unit events will be held virtually until further notice!) These events are planned and coordinated by an appointed volunteer Chair and Co-Chair, as well as a Regional Representative from NASW-NJ’s Board of Directors. The Middlesex Unit Chairs are Tina Maschi (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Vimmi Kaumil (email@example.com), and the Central Regional Representative is Caelin McCallum, MSW (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Unit events are a fun, informative way to grow your network near your home or workplace. These events are one of the many benefits of NASW-NJ membership, but we do invite all mental health professional to join us at this meeting. Learn more about our Units here.
Topic:Advancing Global Mental Health through Local Initiatives
Speaker: Dr. Rebecca Davis
Event Description: The theme for the 2021 Mental Health Awareness Month celebrated in May is “You are not alone,” with a focus on healing through connection in safe ways (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2021). The theme for World Mental Health Day celebrated on October 10, 2021 is “Mental Health in an unequal world.” These parallel themes recognize the importance of equal connection and access to community supports and treatment, while addressing stigma, structural discrimination, and the lack of public and private investment in research and culturally relevant treatment approaches. In recent years, there has been increasing acknowledgement of the important role mental health plays in achieving global development goals, as illustrated by the inclusion of mental health in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (World Health Organization [WHO], 2021a). Depression is one of the leading causes of disability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. People with severe mental health conditions die prematurely – as much as two decades early – due to preventable physical conditions (WHO, 2021b). The evidence shows that in low- and middle-income (LMIC) countries, 75%-95% of people with a mental or substance use disorder have access to treatment services, while access in high income countries is not much better (World Federation of Mental Health, 2021).
This presentation will highlight the parallel themes related to the treatment gap including racial inequities, shortage of trained mental health professional, high utilization of institutions over family and community-based treatment and prevention approaches, with special focus on how current practices specifically impact women and children (UN Women, 2019). Also key is the link between poverty, violence (Wainberg et al., 2017), and mental health risks with women and children who experience higher levels of stress and trauma, which has also been heightened during the COVID pandemic (Thibaut & van Wijngaarden-Cremers, 2020). Evidence-based practices including treatment engagement of family, careers, reducing stigma, and strengthening the health and social service workforce using innovative and contextualized trauma-informed psychosocial support practices with a special emphasis on front-line social workers will be highlighted.