Kay Warren speaks for our Psych Section during the Annual Conference
June 28, 2017
We were pleased to host Kay Warren, of Saddleback Church, as the plenary speaker for our Psych Section Annual Meeting on May 23rd. Mrs. Warren, who lost her son to suicide four years ago, delivered a sobering account of her family’s difficult experiences with providers who appeared to lack compassion and a system that not only failed him, but also contributed to the torment of his mental illness. Mrs. Warren’s testimony is a powerful reminder to us of how important empathic interactions are with every family member we engage with during our clinical work, and also of how our mental health care delivery system can be so woefully inadequate to meet our patients’ needs.
When listening to Mrs. Warren speak, I personally found myself in awe at the level of strength God has given to her to be open and transparent about her own family’s struggle with mental illness. By speaking openly as a prominent national leader in the church, Mrs. Warren is delivering a powerful blow to the stigma of mental illness.
To watch Mrs. Warren’s address to our Psych Section, click the below link:
Some of our members have encouraged Mrs. Warren to take the next step with her message and deliver it in a larger venue at the larger APA conference, and are investigating the process towards making that happen.
Towards the latter third of her talk Kay also provided very helpful insight as well as resources that addressed the topic of how we, as psychiatrists, can help our local churches decrease stigma and care for persons within our congregations who struggle with mental illness (in ways that involve more than just seeing patients in our office). The resources that she and her husband, Rick Warren, have developed can be found at http://hope4mentalhealth.com/ . I have personally found these resources to be excellent for my own patients as well as churches in my own area, so I would encourage checking them out to see what you think.
Brian Briscoe, M.D.
Chair, Psychiatry Section of CMDA