17 & 18

May 2019

Reducing Mental Health Disparities Through Sustaining and
Strengthening Healthy Communities: Increasing Knowledge through Research, Education and Practice


Welcome to the 2019 Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health!

The 2019 Symposium will be held on May 17-18th at the Greenville Convention Center.

The theme for 2019  – Reducing Mental Health Disparities Through Sustaining and Strengthening Healthy Communities: Increasing Knowledge through Research, Education and Practice. The Symposium will harness the skills and facilitate collaboration among patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, academicians and community partners on how we can help reduce mental health and substance use disparities, strengthen our communities, and increase knowledge, education, and practice for those suffering with mental illness.

The Executive Committee of the SESMH and our partners are committed to advancing the welfare of our communities through improving access to mental health care, knowledge and education. We are excited about the diversity of our program and the culmination of our collaborative efforts. We look forward to your participation in this annual event.





The 2019 Southeastern Symposium on Mental Health will feature:

  • Top-notch psychiatrists, researchers, psychologists and clinicians providing tools and resources to advance and sustain recovery from mental illness
  • Professional and mental health consumers discussing how they cope with their own mental illness  and with clients or  family members who have mental illness, while providing stories of experience and perspective on recovery
  • Networking opportunities
  • Topics about living with mental illness
  • Cutting-edge research updates and innovative recovery initiatives




Friday, May 17, 2019 6:30 pm
Dinner Speaker, Purple Heart Recipient & NFL Recruit – Daniel Rodriguez
Never asking for a handout, only a chance, Rodriguez reminds audiences what it means to take control and work to succeed with determination. Rodriguez shares the story of how he came back from the edge of war in order to honor his friend’s life and create a new one for himself. His accomplishments resonate with anyone who has ever fought for what they wanted.

In 2012, Rodriguez was honored with the Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award for his display of courage on and off the field. In 2014, he received the Armed Forces Merit Award, presented by the Football Writers Association of America and honoring an individual with a military background that has made an impact in college football. He was also awarded the American Hero Award by the Walter Camp foundation. During his senior season with the Tigers, he published Rise: A Soldier, A Dream and a Promise Kept, the firsthand account of his journey from Kamdesh to Clemson.

Saturday, May 18, 2019 11:25 pm
Plenary Speaker – Best-selling Author & Screenwriter, Antwone Fisher
Antwone Fisher is the screenwriter and real-life subject of the Hollywood hit Antwone Fisher, directed by Denzel Washington. The film tells the story of his childhood at the hands of the foster care system.

Antwone Fisher was born in prison to seventeen-year-old Eva Mae Fisher and twenty-three-year-old Eddie Elkins. His father, Eddie, was shot and killed before Antwone was even born. Antwone was placed in foster care within the first few weeks of his life, and for two years he lived with a loving family. The state eventually put Antwone back in the foster system, claiming that Antwone’s attachment to his foster mother could be problematic. He was subsequently placed in the home of Reverend and Mrs. Pickett, where some of his most traumatic childhood experiences unfolded. For fourteen years with the Picketts, Antwone suffered both emotional and physical abuse.

Saturday Luncheon Speaker 12:35 pm- Dr. Drew Pinsky
Dr. Drew Pinsky is a practicing physician, Board Certified in Internal Medicine, and Board Certified in Addiction Medicine.

For over 5 years, Dr. Drew Pinsky hosted his own nightly show on HLN, Dr. Drew, where he attracted audiences and explored what makes people do what they do. In addition, Pinsky starred in the hit reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew which chronicled the struggle for sobriety and the cycle of addictive disorders of a group of celebrities. The sixth installment of the series Rehab with Dr. Drew followed the real-life experiences of everyday people who are struggling with addiction as they undergo detoxification and treatment. Additionally, Dr. Drew hosted the nationally syndicated radio show Loveline where he took calls from listeners and answered questions about love, sex and relationships for over 32 years.

Health Sciences Center Partners