GSW Mental Health FairThe first Mental Health Fair at Georgia Southwestern State University was recently held at the Storm Dome auditorium. Participants were welcomed by student hosts from the GSW nursing program’s Mental Health and Community Health Class. Perry Wellness Center contributed to the event, which focused on mental health education for local communities.

Nine activity and information booths were set up in the Storm Dome, and attendees were encouraged to visit these event stations to receive data leaflets and participate in unique question/reward programs designed by the host nurses. Speakers for the event were Richard Lamphier, Executive Director of the Georgia Nurses Association Peer Assistance Program; Sarah Holiday, Domestic Violence Services and author speaker; and Stuart Perry, founder and CEO of Perry Wellness Center. The three speakers shared their life experiences that led to their interest in helping others and addressing mental health needs.  

Stuart Perry was the final speaker for the morning and his personal story of severe depression, following the suicide death of his father, reinforced the theme of the morning event. Information was also shared on the growing need for mental health awareness services in Georgia. Stuart was then challenged to partner with the GSW nurses to find ways to utilize the GSW Mental Health Program in partnership with Perry Wellness Center to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of individuals throughout Southwest Georgia.

Stuart was enthused at the prospect of such joint planning, and shared his excitement about the possibility of creating a new program to broadcast help for clients in Southwest Georgia. 

In the photo above, Georgia Southwestern State University nurses, students, and event speakers stand united to address the growing mental health needs of area residents. Such assistance may be provided through future mental health workshops, personal addresses, and other activities.

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