12 May, 2022, 13:44 ET
LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In recognition of May's National Mental Health Awareness Month, Discovery Behavioral Heath, a nationwide network of evidenced-based treatment centers, will host a free-to-the-public webinar entitled "Trauma - The Invisible Epidemic" on Thursday, May 26 at 10 am to 11:30 am PST. A panel of speakers, including a therapist, an author and a filmmaker, will discuss trauma from different perspectives.
In the U.S., an unprecedented mental health crisis is affecting people of all ages, according to a statement on the "national mental health crisis," issued by The White House on the occasion of President Biden's first inaugural address. Two out of five adults report symptoms of anxiety or depression. And, Black and Brown communities are disproportionately undertreated – even as their burden of mental illness has continued to rise. Even before the pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety were inching higher. But to the grief, trauma, and physical isolation of the last two years have driven Americans to a breaking point.
"While many people associate trauma with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and veterans returning from active combat, it exists in many forms and can be the result of natural disasters, health crises, bullying, abuse, cumulative micro-aggressions and even grief," says George Livengood, LMFT, Vice President, Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program, and the panel's moderator. "Reactions can include exhaustion, confusion, dissociation, anxiety, flashbacks, depression, risky behavior, alcohol and drug use, eating disorders and an overwhelming loss of hope."
The webinar will explore the most common types of trauma, how trauma can be "invisible" with many people experiencing it without realizing it, and coping strategies for people of all ages.
Joining Livengood on the panel will be Maia Evrigenis, author of "Neon Jane," her autobiographical account of surviving a cancer diagnosis in childhood and the impact it had on her and her family, and Elizabeth Ayiku, Director of the feature film "Me Little Me," which made its world premiere earlier this year at SXSW Film Festival, about a young Black woman who is fiercely pursuing a promotion at work while attending an intensive out-patient treatment program for eating disorder recovery.
Evrigenis says that while being treated for cancer as teenager about to begin high school, she resisted the idea that she was experiencing trauma. Later, she learned to appreciate the complexity of the condition. "It wasn't until college that I was able to unpack all these feelings and realize that I was experiencing the aftermath of childhood trauma. So much about my cancer experience felt very beautiful to me and inspiring, due to the way my family and community supported me. I think that's why it was so difficult for me to finally label my cancer experience as trauma." she says.
Filmmaker Ayiku explains how trauma in minority communities inspired and informed her making of "Me Little Me." "In a lot of Black communities disordered eating and eating disorder behaviors are used to manage generational and daily traumas. That's why I wanted to make the most authentic film I could about a Black woman in recovery from an eating disorder while showing the role that trauma plays," she says.
Also joining the panel are Jan Wagman, PhD., a mental health professional with 23 years of experience as a licensed marriage and family therapist and with additional experience in working with victims of natural disasters, and Alex Santana, ACSW, a clinical social worker for Casa Palmera treatment center in Southern California with extensive experience working with PTSD, TBI (traumatic brain injury) and Substance Use Disorders. (As a United States Marine Corps veteran with combat exposure, Santana uses personal experience to form bonds used for healing the wounds of trauma.)
Following the initial discussion, the attending public will be allowed to submit questions to the panel. For more information about the webinar, the panelists and Discovery Behavioral Health, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trauma-the-invisible-epidemic-tickets-333858518817 ].
About Discovery Behavioral Health
Everyone deserves a happy, rewarding life. That's why Discovery Behavioral Health has strived to make evidence-based, outcome driven healthcare accessible and affordable since inception. With a full continuum of care – detoxification, medical residences, residential treatment centers, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, psychiatric and addiction medicine, TMS, virtual and telehealth services, we work to offer the right care at the right time for adults or teens struggling with mental health, substance use or eating disorders. We are a contracted provider with 100 payers and other managed care organizations. Our portfolio of more than 130 treatment centers includes service lines in successful operation since 1985. When treatment is complete, our patients become part of Discovery's growing family of Alumni, connected through free aftercare programs, support groups, activities, and a caring community. Because when quality behavioral healthcare is within reach, so is happiness.
Discovery Behavioral Health, Inc.
SOURCE Discovery Behavioral Health
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