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CHCS Speakers Bureau

Interested in learning more about mental illness, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities?

The Center for Health Care Services now offers the Mental Health Basics Speakers Bureau, a team of subject matter experts who are available by request to speak about the various signs, symptoms and treatment options associated with mental illness and substance use.

Our subject matter experts, who represent both the healthcare provider and consumer perspectives, are able to address topics including mental illness, substance use, brain disorders and developmental disabilities among many others related to mental and behavioral health.

Several of the subject matter experts include psychiatrists, healthcare professionals and community leaders who are well respected for their experience and depth of knowledge in brain disorders. Other speakers have firsthand experience in working through their own personal battles with mental illness, substance abuse, recovery, crisis, and intervention. A handful of our speakers have family members who have suffered from mental disorders and will be able to offer valuable insight and advice on the resources available to families in need.

The goal of the Mental Health Basics Speakers Bureau is to begin a dialogue with our community about the fundamental elements of mental illness through compelling messages and stories designed to deliver hope and inspiration.

If you’re interested in scheduling a Speaker’s Bureau presentation, please complete the online form below.

List of Topics Include:

Each one of us has felt sad or blue, but major depression goes well beyond temporary feelings of sadness. Roughly 15.7 million Americans (ages 18 and older) will have at least one episode of major depression this year, and medical professionals estimate that depression affects 6.7% of adults in the United States. Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the US.

Depression is a lifelong condition which touches a person’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health.  It occurs 70 percent more frequently in women than in men for reasons that are not fully understood. Without treatment, the frequency and severity of these symptoms tend to increase over time, leading to serious impairment in daily functioning at both work and with everyday tasks in additional to long-term effects on an individual’s health outcomes.

Through our Speakers Bureau, subject matter experts are on-hand to help you understand the major causes and symptoms of depression, and the options that are available for treatment.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. There is a strong link between suicide and depression, with 90% of the people who die by suicide having an existing mental illness or substance abuse problem at the time of their death.

Suicide is tragic but it is often preventable. Feelings of hopelessness can be a strong predictor of suicidal risk, even more so than depressive symptoms or a mood disorder diagnosis. Knowing the risk factors for suicide and who may be at risk can help reduce the suicide rate.

Our subject matter experts are available to speak to the risk factors and warning signs of suicide, and will provide helpful information on what to do if you believe someone may attempt suicide.   

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. Schizophrenia is usually characterized by hallucinations and delusions with changes in behavior, thinking and feeling.

According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), people with Schizophrenia may hear voices other people don’t hear, and may believe that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.

One percent of Americans will develop the disorder in their lifetime. Our subject matter experts are available to offer exclusive insight into what causes this brain disease.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that can be debilitating for individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as war, sexual or physical abuse or assault, terrorist attack, serious accident, death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. Families of victims, emergency personnel and rescue workers can also develop PTSD.

Many Americans experience trauma within their lifetime and most recover from the traumatic event but individuals who develop PTSD may experience severe depression and anxiety for months or years following a traumatic event.

To learn more about the signs, symptoms, risk factors of PTSD and potential treatment and therapies options, CHCS experts are available to speak to your group.

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress that helps a person cope with a tense situation. The symptoms of anxiety can be extreme social inhibition, obsession, compulsion or a phobia, and they can all be persistent and often overwhelming. Many times, physical symptoms including heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and chest pain accompany anxiety disorders.

Treatment for anxiety is widely available and includes medication and counseling. Our subject matter experts can offer information about several different types of anxiety disorders as well as various treatment options.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe and differ from the normal ups and downs that everyone experiences from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide, but it can be treated, and people with this illness can go on to live full and productive lives.

CHCS has experts on staff who can speak to your group about bipolar disorder and the treatment options available.

Substance abuse, commonly known as drug abuse, refers to using a harmful or hazardous amount of a psychoactive substance that leads to a dependency on the substance. Examples of psychoactive substances include but are not limited to alcohol, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, inhalants, marijuana, opioids, prescription drugs and cold medicine, steroids, and antipsychotics. Substance abuse can affect an individual’s behavior, cognitive development and physiology.

CHCS speakers can discuss programs that provide a comprehensive array of treatment and recovery services.

Behavioral Issues in Children

Health statistics from the Mayo Clinic indicate that mental illness in children can be hard for parents to identify. As a result, many children who could benefit from treatment don’t get the help they need. Children can experience a range of mental health conditions including anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, eating disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenia.

Our subject matter experts will help you understand the warning signs of mental illness in children and what you can do to help your child cope.

Bullying among children and teens is a growing epidemic. Subject matter experts are available to help raise awareness for bullying and aggression, and will share solutions for adolescents, parents and teachers who are trying to cope with this widespread problem.

If you or someone you love has bulimia, or you have experienced the eating disorder’s devastating and addicting binge and purge cycles, you may be aware of the severe medical complications that can result from bulimia and the distorted body image and self-worth the disorder can create.

At CHCS, we understand how hard it is to break the cycle of bulimia, but our subject matter experts are available to provide information that can help.

Anorexia is more serious than most people are aware. In fact, anorexia has a higher mortality rate than any other mental disorder including depression. Anorexics often suffer with depression, severe medical complications and substance abuse. Without proper treatment, anorexia can easily claim lives and the longer one struggles with anorexia, the greater the chance that they will lose the battle. If you or a loved one suffers from anorexia, getting the right eating disorder treatment is critical to recovery.

The Center for Health Care Services focuses on increasing independence at home and in the community. We take pride in providing a supportive environment and in giving individuals the opportunity to reach their highest potential possible.

Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as on the autism spectrum–. Careful research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. Studies show an estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

Your Time is Valuable!

At The Center for Health Care Services, we recognize the importance of your time and are committed to providing efficient and timely care Beginning February 1, 2024, The Center established prescriber scheduling instructions for quicker access to health care services.

For detailed instructions

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call CHCS or speak with your
Care Management team member Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
at (210) 261-CHCS (2427).


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