The 10th Annual Lowcountry Mental Health Conference — a world-class educational event for health care professionals and the community at large – begins Wednesday at the Gaillard Center in Charleston.
The Lowcountry Mental Health Conference is designed as an event where practitioners and concerned community members can share their ideas, research and tools to advance mental health care and treatment.
Mental health has become a critical issue in recent years. The 2022 Mental Health America Study, the National Institute of Mental Health and the CDC reported:
- 19.86% of American adults are experiencing mental illness this year (nearly 50 million Americans).
- 7.74% of American adults reported having a substance use disorder in the past year.
- 4.58% of American adults report serious thoughts of suicide (over 11.4 million – an increase of 664,000 people from 2021).
- 15.08% of youth (ages 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode in the past year (an increase of 306,000 youth compared to 2021.
A 2018 National Institute of Mental Health study revealed that suicide is the second-most common reason for death among people aged 10-34 in America. In that same study, suicide was listed as the 10th leading cause of death in America overall.
The suicide rate in America has increased by 35% since 1999, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
CDC data reports that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2019 an average of nearly 36.7% of high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness. For young women, the number was higher at 46.6%.
The Lowcountry Mental Health Conference aims to address the significant mental health issues people are experiencing both here in Charleston and around the world.
The three-day conference will feature 12 renowned mental health experts including:
- Dr. Gabor Maté, New York Times bestselling author and addiction and trauma expert;
- Dr. Anna Lembke, Professor of Psychiatry and Chief of Addiction Medicine at Stanford University; and
- Rev. Dr. Benton, who holds a master’s degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University.
Additionally, the conference will feature an Exhibit Hall of 90+ organizations displaying a wide range of mental health information and resources, include a live acoustic musical performance from former Bare Naked Ladies lead singer, Steven Page and conclude with a performance by acclaimed country and rock fusion band Wild Ponies.
For more information and to register to attend the 10th Annual Lowcountry Mental Health Conference go to www.lowcountrymhconference.com. A virtual attendance option is also available.