Ris­ing Above Stigma Con­fer­ence tack­les at­ti­tudes to­ward men­tal ill­ness and sub­stance abuse in His­panic com­mu­nity

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Travel Life - By Kris­lyn Placide Sun Sen­tinel So­ci­ety Scene

Gon­zalo Cadima, Is­mael Cala, Kathleen Can­non and Joe Rada Maria Her­nan­dez, Chief Pro­gram Of­fi­cer, United Way of Broward County; Is­mael Cala, Key­note Speaker; and Gon­zalo Cadima Dr. Laura Ganci, Ana Val­ladares, Myr­iam Campo-Gold­man and Is­mael Cala

The United Way of Broward County Com­mis­sion on Be­hav­ioral Health & Drug Pre­ven­tion part­nered with Broward Be­hav­ioral Health Coali­tion to host the in­au­gu­ral Ris­ing Above Stigma Con­fer­ence on Feb. 22-23.

The con­fer­ence’s mis­sion is to chal­lenge ideas in the His­panic com­mu­nity sur­round­ing men­tal ill­ness and sub­stance abuse.

“Some­times the ma­jor prob­lem fac­ing men­tal health is not the sit­u­a­tion or the An­gela Ven­tura, An­gela Ven­tura, Jose Rada and An­drea Ven­tura Roo­sevelt Jean-Fran­cois, Kathleen Can­non and Kim Saiswick ill­ness it­self, it’s the stigma, the taboo, the state of shame and guilt sur­round­ing it.” said busi­ness strate­gist Is­mael Cala, the key­note speaker. “What we are do­ing here is nor­mal­iz­ing the di­a­logue.”

Dur­ing the first day of the con­fer­ence, speak­ers ad­dressed more than 85 Broward County be­hav­ioral health ser­vice providers at Holy Cross Dorothy Man­gurian Com­pre­hen­sive Women’s Cen­ter in Fort Laud­erdale. On the sec­ond day, speak­ers ad­dressed more than 250 par­ents and com­mu­nity mem­bers in Span­ish at Sig­na­ture Grand in Davie.

Visit DrugFreeBroward.org. Rose­marie Stadel­man, Gretchen Rovira-De Courceuil and Ledy Guzmán

DOWN­TOWN PHOTO/COUR­TESY PHO­TOS

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