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    NFL and Morehouse School of Medicine Join for Forums on Mental Health

    NFL and Morehouse School of Medicine Join for Forums on Mental Health
    Athletes and families to help communities develop “game plans” for dementia and other issues

    ATLANTA – Professional athletes, biomedical researchers and community members will be joining a forum on Wednesday, August 25 at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta to discuss the growing epidemic of dementia in America. It is part of an overall discussion of mental health issues and associated stigmas that can prevent proper recognition and care of these challenges.

    The facts are disturbing:

    • An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – about one in four adults – suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
    • People living with mental illness are dying 25 years earlier than the rest of the population, due in part, to unmanaged physical health conditions.

    Recognizing this reality and the impact of stigma on mental health, the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine has teamed up with the National Football League to host a series of “town-hall” forums around the country. These forums will educate, motivate and mobilize communities to work together at a grass-roots level to address important issues like dementia, depression, financial and relationship stress, drug and alcohol abuse, among others.

    Communities will be coached on creating “game plans” for reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and encouraging timely and effective responses to mental disorders. The NFL is involved because of the well-recognized connection between sports related brain trauma and increased risk of dementia and other mental disorders.

    “It is critical to understand that mental health is essential to our overall well-being.” said Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. “Mental disorders are common and sometimes disabling, but they are also treatable.”

    The August 25 forum at MSM will be held 7-9 p.m. and will include presentations by:

    • Dr. David Satcher – former U.S. Surgeon General
    • Mark Kelso – former NFL player
    • Eric Hipple – former NFL player
    • Sylvia Mackey – wife of retired NFL player

    An article by Dr. Satcher explaining this important topic in more detail can be found here.