Mental Health Summit Breaks Down Mental Illness Barriers

Organizations from across Jackson, Josephine, Klamath counties and northern California came together Tuesday afternoon for the 6th Annual Mental Health Summit.

Posted: Sep. 18, 2018 6:14 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Organizations from across Jackson, Josephine, Klamath counties and northern California came together Tuesday afternoon in almost a networking event.

"We're working to collaborate together to use our skill sets and strengths of each of our organizations to move veterans who experience behavioral health conditions and also non-veterans," said Rosa Ruggiero. She’s the Chief of Psychiatry for the White City VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics (SORCC).

More than 30 organizations filled the room to learn how each one helps those with mental illnesses. They discussed a variety of important topics including homelessness, substance abuse treatments, and veterans’ benefits services.

"This gives us an opportunity to come together as community partners and leverage more meaningful behavioral health outcomes," Ruggiero added.

One of the organizations that came to the Mental Health Summit was Compass House. It helps adults with mental illness get reintegrated back into the community. Adults like Wolf Philips. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. He came to the event with compass house to help educate the community about what it’s like living with mental illness.

“Doing presentations out in these events brings awareness to what mental illness is and that you have a place to go where you're not frowned on and you don't feel left out. This event breaks that barrier. It puts people's guard down to where they're able to share themselves," Phillips said.

He found a sense of purpose since finding compass house six months ago and hopes through events like these others with mental illness will do that same.

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