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National Mental Health Experts to Discuss Impact of Budget Cuts on Services at ODU Forum

Slashed budgets can mean slashed services, particularly when it comes to mental health, substance abuse and other behavioral services. The city of Norfolk, Norfolk Community Services Board (CSB) and Old Dominion University will jointly host a trio of national mental health experts at a forum from 6-9 p.m. Monday, March 29, in the Big Blue Room of ODU's Ted Constant Convocation Center, to tackle this issue.

Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim and ODU President John Broderick will offer opening remarks at the event, billed as "Behavioral Healthcare Is a Good Investment." Norfolk CSB Chairman Lewis J. Taylor will give an overview of the issues, and Theodore Remley, who holds the Batten Endowed Chair in Counseling at ODU, will moderate the forum on how best to deliver behavioral health care in a climate of shrinking budgets and increased demand - and how effective care can save public money.

"This forum will provide Norfolk policymakers with information that is important to providing mental health, substance abuse and behavioral health services to our community. ODU is proud to be a partner of the Norfolk Community Services Board with the Community Counseling Center we currently jointly operate," Remley said.

Headlining the forum are national and international experts:

· Rear Adm. Eric Broderick, acting administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will address the role of SAMHSA, priorities for development of the behavioral health care system, and the importance of evidence-based practices and national outcomes.

· Charles Ray, operations manager, World Federation for Mental Health, an international organization with members and contacts in more than 100 countries on six continents, will speak on the prevalence of mental health and substance abuse disorders and the burden it places on businesses, schools, communities and individuals.

· George DelGrosso, Colorado expert on the economics of behavioral health care, will address the cost-benefit of providing treatment and how investment in treatment provides good financial and economic outcomes for communities.

The forum is free, but seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call 823-1600.

This article was posted on: March 24, 2010

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