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posted: 2/25/2013 12:01 AM

Shining light on mental health topics theme for day at AU

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Submitted by Aurora University

The Aurora University Institute for Collaboration will be hosting a Community Mental Health Day Monday, Feb. 25, to help raise awareness and offer education on the topic of mental illness.

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Presentations will focus on the stigma of mental illness and what actions can be taken by the public to address how mental illness is perceived in the community, as well as current research trends in the causes and treatment of mental illness and common adolescent behavior challenges. The day's resource fair will give those in attendance a chance to gather information about community agencies that may be of assistance to their loved ones who cope with mental illness.

"Workshops held throughout the day are designed to provide information to the community, helping individuals better understand the challenges of those who face mental health issues," said Sarah Russe, vice president for community relations.

The event also will be a learning opportunity for several of Aurora University's nursing, social work and psychology students, who will be participating and presenting throughout the day.

These events and presentations will take place Monday, Feb. 25, in University Banquet Hall in Alumni Hall, at 1410 Marseillaise Place, Aurora:

Resource Fair: 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at University Banquet Hall South. Participating agencies include: AID Behavioral Health, Aurora University School of Nursing Students, The Awakening Project, Cadence Health Behavioral Health Services, Family Advocacy on IPS/Supported Employment, Family Counseling Service, Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice, Gateway Foundation, Kendall County Health Department, The Light of the Heart, Mutual Ground, National Alliance on Mental Illness-DeKalb, Kane South and Kendall Counties, Open Door Clinic, Presence Mercy Medical Center, Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Suicide Prevention Services of America, TriCity Family Services and VNA Health Care.

Layperson's Guide to Mental Illness: 4 to 4:40 p.m., University Banquet Hall North. Jerry J. Murphy, executive director of the INC Board, will address the topic of mental illness on a nonclinical level in order to educate the general public. The biology and stigma of mental illness will be discussed, as well as what actions can be taken by the public to address how mental illness is perceived in the community.

National Alliance on Mental Illness: 4:45 to 5:25 p.m., University Banquet Hall North. Pat Doyle, education coordinator with NAMI Metro-Suburban, and Mary Dalton, volunteer speaker with NAMI DuPage and NAMI Metro-Suburban, will share information about mental illness from a patient and family perspective. Participants will learn about current research trends in the causes and treatment of mental illness and will gain understanding and empathy for those who suffer from mental illness.

Adolescent Behavioral Health: 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., University Banquet Hall North. Panelists for this session include Dr. Lorna London, clinical psychologist with Rush-Copley Medical Center, Connie Parr, nurse practitioner for the ADHD program at Presence Mercy Medical Center, and Stacy Colgan, licensed-clinical social worker with Lisle Unit District 202. These professionals will discuss common adolescent behavior challenges, when families should consider seeking professional help, and how families and professionals can work together to help the adolescent curb challenging behaviors.

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