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Northeast Node co-sponsors Koop symposium on behavioral health stigma

The Northeast Node of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network co-sponsored the Dartmouth College 10th annual C. Everett Koop Symposium on Addiction Medicine, Thursday, December 8, 2016. This year’s symposium, “Reducing Behavioral Health Stigma in Healthcare Systems and Communities,” featured speakers from various settings that encounter behavioral health stigma in their daily activities.

In one of the most well-attended symposia in the northeast region in recent years, over 130 people from various healthcare, behavioral healthcare, law enforcement, public health, and other related settings attended the day’s events.

This year’s symposium was led by Dr. Seddon Savage, education advisor to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Substance Use and Mental Health Initiative, and Medical Director of the Chronic Pain and Recovery Center at Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut.

Attendees heard presentations (access below) on various forms of stigma encountered in behavioral health treatment. Stigma affecting substance use treatment was pervasive throughout, with several speakers and attendees identifying themselves as in recovery. Speakers presented on the state of New Hampshire’s comprehensive response to the opioid crisis (James Vara, JD); community perspectives on stigma (Elizabeth Carpenter-Song, PhD); how language reinforces stigma (Seddon Savage, PhD); identifying and addressing stigma in healthcare settings (Gretchen Grappone, LICSW); building a peer-recovery support system to counteract stigma (Joseph Harding, MSW); stigma’s impact on disclosure in recovery (Marty Boldin, LICSW); and reducing behavioral health stigma by identifying the Five Signs of mental illness (John Broderick, JD).

This didactic blend of presentations allowed symposium attendees to discuss stigma from multiple angles, provided insight into the effects of stigma on the rural populations served, and invited providers from various fields to think about the effect stigma has on their patients, especially those with a substance use disorder. The importance of words, titles, and even proper diagnoses for patients is imperative to reducing stigma and breaking down silos in healthcare.

 Presenter PowerPoints, Handouts and Recommended Resources

General Information:

2016 Addiction Medicine Symposium Agenda – link not currently working; stay tuned
2016 Addiction Medicine Symposium Presenter List

Presentation PowerPoints and Handouts:

The Opiate/Opioid Public Health Crisis Update on the State of New Hampshire’s Comprehensive Response – James Vara, JD, NH Governor’s Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health

Missed Opportunities in Behavioral Healthcare for Vulnerable Populations: Community Perspectives on Stigma – Elizabeth Carpenter – Song, PhD, Dartmouth College Department of Anthropology

Words Matter: How Language Reinforces Stigma – Seddon Savage, MD, MS, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Substance Use and Mental Health Initiative Advisor

Words Matter Handout

Identifying and Addressing Stigma in Healthcare Systems- Gretchen Grappone, MSW, LICSW, Atlas Research. Click on items below from this presentation:

Identifying and Addressing Stigma in Healthcare System PowerPoints – link not currently working; stay tuned
Health Center Assessment

Building a Peer Recovery Support System in New Hampshire – Joseph Harding, Director, New Hampshire Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services

Stigma in Recovery: Impact on Disclosure – Marty Boldin, LICSW, MLADC, Co-Chair, New Hampshire Governors Commission on AOD Recovery Task Force – link not currently working; stay tuned

Change Direction – Five Signs Campaign in New Hampshire: Engaging health systems – Chief Justice John Broderick. Click on items below from this presentation:

Change Direction Toolkit
Change Direction Website

Additional Resource Links:

The Opiate/Opioid Public Health Crisis Update on the State of New Hampshire’s Comprehensive Response
Stop Talking ‘Dirty’: Clinicians, Language, and Quality of Care for theLeading Cause of Preventable Death in the United States – link not currently working; stay tuned
Mental Health First Aid
NAMI Family-To-Family