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Nov. 25, 2014 - USA Medical Students Host Mobile Mental Health Outreach Event

Chris Buckley (L) and Lindsey Stewart (R) PsychSIGN.pngChris Buckley and Lindsey Stewart of the USA College of Medicine PsychSIGN chapter distribute tote bags with informational brochures on depression, anxiety, and substance abuse at the Mobile Mental Health Outreach event Nov. 8, 2014.

The Mobile Mental Health Outreach, a new initiative created by the University of South Alabama College of Medicine PsychSIGN chapter, was held on Nov. 8, 2014.

PsychSIGN is a student interest group for USA medicine students interested in a career as a psychiatrist. The event was held to provide health screenings at local shopping centers for hypertension, depression, and substance abuse. Several of the PsychSIGN officers led a group of student volunteers to the Mobile Flea Market on Schillinger road for the opening event. In less than two hours the group reached more than 150 patrons by distributing tote bags with informational brochures on depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and teen suicide. Each tote bag also contained contact information for CarePointe, the entry point into the majority of AltaPointe's programs and services.

“The aim of this outreach was twofold: get valuable information into the hands of those struggling with mental illness and addiction, but also to provide these educational materials to people who may not understand that these conditions are very debilitating to those who suffer from them,” said medical student Chris Buckley, PsychSIGN chapter president.

The American Psychiatric Foundation awarded the PsychSIGN chapter with the 2014 Helping Hands Grant in order to fund the initiative for the next three years. The yearly allotment for the chapter is nearly $4,000.

Buckley thanks the PsychSIGN sponsor, Dr. W. Bogan Brooks, as well as Dr. Sandra Parker and the rest of the department for their continued support. He also wanted to extend a very special thank you to PsychSIGN officers Natalie Hallmark and Heather Griffin for their tireless dedication in maintaining and managing the requirements of the APF grant.

“It’s wonderful that the USA chapter of the Psychiatry Student Interest Group Network was awarded a nationally competitive Helping Hands Grant from the American Psychiatric Foundation,” said Dr. Brooks. “The funding helps make it possible for medical students to address the profound need for improved mental health education and assistance in an underserved community like Mobile.”

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