To inaugurate Mental Health Awareness Month UC San Diego Health had a special ceremony on May 3, 2016 at our Hillcrest Medical Center during which the hospital tower was floodlit green, the color of Mental Health Awareness Month. Speakers emphasized that mental illness, which includes addictions, is one of the most important sources of distress and disability nationally, that many disorders are lifelong, and strike people early in life, thereby making it difficult for those who are affected to reach their potential. In addition, mental illness remains a stigmatized, and therefore frequently hidden problem, and is sometimes incorrectly attributed to bad life choices, failure of will, or defect in moral character. Speakers pointed out the interplay of genetics and life events in genesis of these disorders, and importance of early diagnosis and treatment. UC San Diego’s Department of Psychiatry highlighted our efforts to bring research findings to innovative treatments, and to train the next generation of providers of personalized, evidence based, compassionate mental health care.
Pictured are, from left: William Perry PhD, Psychiatry Department Vice-Chair for Program Development and Operations, Patricia Judd PhD, Psychiatry Department Chief Patient Experience Officer, Sarah Hancock, who receives care from UC San Diego Behavioral Health,Dave Roberts, San Diego County Supervisor 3rd District, Patty Maysent, UC San Diego Health Chief Executive Officer, and Igor Grant MD, Psychiatry Department Chair.