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National and International Leaders Address Mental Health Care Crisis and Explore Solutions at Austen Riggs Center Conference



Stockbridge, MA – August 15, 2019– Increasing rates of suicide, depression, and PTSD, along with the opioid epidemic, underscore an unprecedented crisis in mental health care in the United States. This September, during a two-day international conference convened by the Austen Riggs Center, leading experts in the fields of mental health treatment, research, advocacy, and the law will present unique insights and solutions to these and other pressing issues. Presenters will challenge the status quo, which often uses a narrow biomedical lens to look at mental health problems and that prioritizes reimbursement for crisis stabilization over taking the critical time needed to address root causes of patient suffering.

What: The Mental Health Crisis in America: Recognizing Problems, Working Toward Solutions
When: September 21-22, 2019
Where: Linde Center for Music and Learning at Tanglewood, Lenox, MA.

If you are a journalist who covers topics related to suicide, mental health, access to care, the politics/economics of health care, and related issues, this conference will provide you with access to leading thinkers and policy-makers. Specific topics to be discussed include: 

  • Suicide-An Escalating Threat: Causes, Collateral Damage, and Survival
  • Inner-City Youth: Assessing Complex Problems Arising from Health Disparities
  • Veterans Facing Mental Illness: PTSD and Depression, Substance Abuse, Self-Harm. . . and the Road to Recovery
  • Mental Health Parity: What Will It Take to Get People Treatment They Need?
  • Top Down and Bottom Up Solutions: The Role of Legislation and of Class Actions Like the Landmark Wit v. United Behavioral HealthCase
  • Crisis in Connection: The Role of Community, Relationships, and Human Dignity in Solving Complex Problems

Keynote speakers at the conference are: 

Other presenters include: Meiram Bendat, JD, PhD, Attorney in Wit v. United Behavioral Health, and Psychoanalyst, Founder and President, Psych-Appeal, Inc.; Anita Everett, MD, Director of the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Jeffrey Geller, MD, President-elect, American Psychiatric Association (APA); Harold Kudler, MD, Adjunct Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University; Saul Levin, MD, CEO and Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association (APA); Caroline E. Reynolds, Esq., Partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP, and Plaintiff Counsel for Wit v. United Behavioral Health; along with several Riggs clinical staff members. 

Media passes for the conference are available upon request through the Riggs communications office. 

For full speaker and topic descriptions, see: www.austenriggs.org/CentennialConference.

About the Austen Riggs Center

Celebrating its centennial year in 2019, the Austen Riggs Center, located in Stockbridge, MA, is a leading psychiatric hospital and residential treatment program that has been serving adults since its founding in 1919. Within an open setting, patients participate in an intensive treatment milieu that emphasizes respectful engagement. Individual psychodynamic psychotherapy is provided four times a week by doctors on staff. The Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center studies individuals in their social contexts through research, training, education, and outreach programs in the local community and beyond. Riggs is consistently ranked a “Best Hospital in Psychiatry” by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit www.austenriggs.org.




John Zollinger                                                          Maurie Perl                                Dan Scheffey
Austen Riggs Center                                               Perl + Scheffey                          Perl + Scheffey
Director of Communications                                    (917) 678-8072                          (917) 647-7626 
(413) 931-5816                                                        maurie.perl@gmail.com            dan@scheffey.net       



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