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Symposium to address stigma of mental illness

February 10, 2011
by News release
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Seattle, Wash. — Mental Health advocate Jessie Close, sister of actress Glenn Close, will headline "Fighting Stigma - Finding Solutions: A Thomas C. Wales Symposium on Mental Health in our Community" on March 4-5 in Seattle.

Designed to promote public awareness about the vital topic of mental health issues, and to destigmatize mental illness and mobilize community action, the symposium will take place at the University of Washington’s Kane and Mary Gates Halls.

“A core part of the Thomas C. Wales Foundation mission is to facilitate and enhance discussion of tough issues facing our community,” said Richard Wales, chairman of the Thomas C. Wales Foundation.

“As we are all too aware, mental illness is a significant and timely public issue, and we’re pleased that so many outstanding organizations have collaborated to present compelling panels on this long overdue topic."

Panelists will address such diverse issues as access to treatment; community safety; youth and education; the workplace and more. Featured speakers include:

  • Rep. Jim McDermott; Washington state DSHS Secretary Susan N. Dreyfus
  • King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg; King County Sheriff Sue Rahr
  • King County Mental Health Director Amnon Shoenfeld
  • UW Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Chair Richard Veith, MD
  • Seattle Filmmaker Delaney Ruston, MD
  • Seattle’s Mental Health Chaplain Craig Rennebohm
  • Linea and Cinda Johnson (professor, Seattle University), mental health advocates and speakers
  • Martha Monfried, board member National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Washington and Eastside.

The event is sponsored by AstraZeneca, NAMI Washington and Eastside, Navos Mental Health Solutions, Sound Mental Health, Seattle University College of Education, Puget Sound Energy and UW Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.

“Fighting Stigma - Finding Solutions promises to bring many of the key players in local, regional, state and national leadership together with the members of our community to foster understanding, engage in thoughtful dialogue and develop long term solutions.”

To learn more about the forum, registration, sponsorship opportunities and fees, visit the event

registration site. Community participation is strongly encouraged.

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