PACTS to Bring Together Experts, Providers on Bridging Gaps in Mental Health Care for Children After COVID – UTHSC News

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Written by Christopher Green
The Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being and the Office of Community Health Engagement at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in partnership with the University of Memphis School of Social Work and the Tennessee Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, will host the 2024 Psychiatric Advocacy Collaborative Teams Summit (PACTS) Saturday, May 11, on the UT Health Science Center campus in Memphis.
PACTS aims to bring present and future mental health providers and professionals together in a collaborative effort to improve the care and support for young people impacted by adverse childhood experiences. Attendees will include professionals from across the medical field, including child and adolescent psychiatrists, physicians, nurses, and residents, in addition to students, social workers, and others who work with children and their families.
The theme of the conference is Bridging the Gap and Overcoming Disparities Post-COVID. Among the educational objectives are to identify social determinants impacting equity in mental health care for young people, with a special emphasis on societal changes after the COVID pandemic, and to describe factors that result in inequity in diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues in minority youth.
The summit will feature keynote speaker Sarah Vinson, MD, a board-certified adolescent, adult, and forensic psychiatrist and associate clinical professor at Morehouse School of Medicine, who will discuss the PACTS mission with a goal of inspiring attendees to work together to address disparities exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. The summit will also include a panel discussion on topics including suicidality and enhancing systems of care, networking opportunities, and specialized discussions centered on bridging gaps in mental health provision.
“This conference is an excellent ‘next phase’ in the almost decade of work done by the Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being to introduce a true system of care to address the mental health and trauma-related needs of children in Memphis and Shelby County,” said Altha Stewart, MD, director of the Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being, senior associate dean for Community Health Engagement, and chief of Social/Community Psychiatry in the College of Medicine.
UT Health Science Center’s Center for Youth Advocacy and Well-Being works to raise awareness for better mental health services in the community for young people and their families, and to coordinate delivery of those services to increase the chance of success of the community’s youth. The center is led by Dr. Stewart and Associate Director Alicia Barnes, DO, MPH, associate professor in the College of Medicine and president of the Tennessee Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Tags: Altha Stewart, Center for youth Advocacy and Well-Being, Dr. Alicia Barnes, Office of Community Health Engagement, PACTS, Psychiatric Advocacy Collaborative Teams Summit
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