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Inside Passages: A new monthly forum on mental health and wellness

Posted: April 14, 2013 - 12:04am

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Juneau) has partnered with Bartlett Regional Hospital to bring the Juneau community Inside Passages: Monthly Forums on Mental Health and Wellness. This new series will provide a place to explore issues connected to mental wellness and illness that impact us, our families and community. Offered on the fourth Tuesdays of the month from 5:30-7 p.m. at Bartlett Regional Hospital, the series will take place April through June and resume again in September.

NAMI Juneau’s mission is to provide education, support, and advocacy to those affected by mental illness. Through this series, Dov Gartenberg, the new Executive Director of NAMI Juneau, aims to do just that.

“Inside Passages is an easy and accessible way to learn about issues of mental health and wellness that impact our lives. By coming to these forums, folks can network and learn about mental health resources for themselves and for loved ones.” Gartenberg said in a press release.

One in four Americans suffer from some form of mental illness in their lifetime, and many families have the challenge of providing care and support for a family member suffering from a mental illness. There is much misunderstanding and confusion about many areas of mental health, not to mention the stigma and generalizations about those who suffer from it. Because of the vastness and importance of this aspect of the human experience, NAMI Juneau has teamed up with Bartlett Regional Hospital and several community co-sponsors to provide the Juneau area with this monthly focus on mental health.

The inaugural forum, on April 23, features Dr. Joanne Gartenberg with Minding Your Mental Health: The use of mindfulness practices in depression. Dr. Gartenberg is a psychiatrist at Bartlett Outpatient Psychiatry and, along with Dr. Elaine Schroder, founded and currently teaches the popular Stress Reduction Program. The next program, on May 28, is a panel discussion of local experts presenting an overview of mental health resources in the community. This will be followed by guest speaker Dr. Elijah Levy on June 25 presenting, Using Creative Expression to Instill Hope and Optimism in the Mentally Ill. Dr. Levy is a Clinical Psychologist with more than 25 years of experience working with the chronically ill inpatient and community residential care programs in Orange County, Calif.

Inside Passages will take place at Bartlett Regional Hospital in the Administrative Building, room 204. Refreshments and snacks will be offered. These forums are free and open to the entire community. NAMI Juneau extends thanks to Juneau Youth Services, Juneau Alliance for Mental Health (JAMHI), SAIL and Polaris House for co-sponsoring, and to The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority for making this series possible.

For more information, see NAMI Juneau’s website www.namijuneau.org or contact Dov Gartenberg, Executive Director of NAMI-Juneau, at namijuneau@gmail.com or 463-4251.

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