17 & 18

May 2019

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


2017 Year in Review

The 2017 Symposium was held on May 12-13th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

The theme for 2017 was “#MindsMatter! Mental Health Across the Lifespan: Ending Stigma through Research, Education, and Practice.” This annual educational forum facilitated collaboration amongst patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, academicians and community partners 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.




Symposium Overview

The 2017 Southeastern Symposium on Mental health featured:

  • Top-notch psychiatrists, researchers, psychologists and clinicians providing tools and resources to advance and sustain recovery from mental illness.
  • Well-known persons and professionals 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.
  • Innovative and important topics about living with mental illness.
  • Current research updates and innovative recovery initiatives.

Keystone Events

Luncheon Speaker, Dan Westbrook, JD
Friday May 12, 2017

Dan Westbrook is a partner in the Columbia, SC office of Nelson Mullins, where he has practiced in the areas of healthcare law and business litigation for more than 25 years.  He was co-leader of a team that represented Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities and successfully handled a class action lawsuit on behalf of 3,500 mentally ill inmates to improve mental health services and obtain better prison conditions from the South Carolina Department of Corrections.  His advocacy and pro bono work were important to South Carolina and also set a national precedent.  Dan Westbrook was our luncheon event speaker on Friday May 12, 2017.

The Luncheon was held on the first floor of the main ballroom on Friday, May 12 from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Tickets were $60.00 each, and tables could be purchased for $600.00 (10 seats).

Dinner & Gala
Friday May 12, 2017

The dinner, proceeded by a reception with live music, cash bar and silent auction, was on the first floor of the main ballroom on Friday, May 12  from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. Dinner tickets were $60.00 each, and tables could be purchased for $600.00 (10 seats).

Dinner Speaker, Pete Earley
Friday May 12, 2017

Pete Earley is a storyteller who has penned 17 books including four New York Times bestsellers, including The Hot House and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness. Pete Earley was our dinner event speaker on Friday, May 12 from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Morning Speaker, Frederick J. Frese, PhD
Saturday May 13, 2017

Frederick J. Frese, PhD is a psychologist who has specialized in the area of schizophrenia for over forty years. He has worked tirelessly as a practitioner and advocate for consumers and their families. He is a prolific writer and outstanding speaker, revered both for his sense of humor and his remarkable ability to translate research and public policy into usable information. Dr. Frese was our speaker in the main ballroom on Saturday, May 13, from  8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Luncheon Speaker, Tipper Gore
Saturday May 13, 2017

Tipper Gore’s commitment to eradicating the stigma associated with mental illness placed her in the unique position to serve as the Mental Health Policy Advisor to President Clinton during her husband’s tenure as Vice President. In June 1999, she chaired the first-ever White House Conference on Mental Health, which interactively involved tens of thousands of Americans in over 1,000 cities across the country. In 1990, Mrs. Gore founded Tennessee Voices for Children, a coalition to promote the development of services for children and youth with mental health problems.  Tipper Gore was our luncheon event speaker on Saturday, May 13.

The Luncheon was held on the first floor of the main ballroom at the Hyatt on Saturday, May 13th, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Tickets were $60.00 each, and tables could be purchased for $600.00 (10 seats).

Keynote Speakers

Rich Jones, MA, MBA, LCAS is Executive Director of FAVOR Greenville and is a Senior Healthcare/non-profit Director who is an experienced strategist and creative catalyst with a passion for program and policy development, human resources, building partnerships and exploring systems innovation to drive social impact across multiple domains including mental health, substance use disorders, co-occurring, and intellectual disabilities.  Rich Jones was our speaker in the main ball room on Friday, May 12 from 8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Vladimir Maletic, MD is a Clinical Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Maletic also serves as a consulting associate with the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Duke University.   Dr. Maletic was our speaker in the main ball room on Friday, May 12, from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Desmond Kelly, MD is Vice Chair for Academics and Community Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics and the GHS Children’s Hospital. He is also a Professor of Pediatrics at the USC School of Medicine Greenville and Clinical Professor at Clemson University School of Health Research.  Dr. Kelly was our speaker in the main ball room on Friday, May 12, from 2:35 – 3:40 p.m.


Health Sciences Center Partners