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St. Vincent Charity Chief of Behavioral Health to Speak at City Club

By Rebecca Gallant on 
Posted on April 1, 2021

St. Vincent Charity Chief of Behavioral Health to Speak at City Club

Free livestream of the forum will be available beginning at 12:00 p.m. on April 27. Interested parties can register here for an email reminder. 

On April 27, The City Club of Cleveland will present a forum on COVID-19 and mental health featuring St. Vincent Charity Medical Center Chief of Behavioral Health Michael J. Biscaro, Psy.D., ABPP (Forensic), alongside Joan Englund, executive director of the Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition, and Jonathan Lee, president & CEO of Signature Health. Together, they will discuss the pandemic’s impact, and new approaches to help Northeast Ohio residents.

Free livestream of the panel presentation will be available beginning at 12:00 p.m. Interested parties can register here for an email reminder. For more than a hundred years, all City Club speakers—from sitting presidents to community activists—have answered unfiltered, unrehearsed questions directly from the audience. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.

The City Club of Cleveland is one of the nation's great free speech forums. Founded in 1912, it is one of the oldest continuous independent free speech forums, renowned for its tradition of debate and discussion. The City Club produces forums on a range of topics for a variety of audiences, and programs are often broadcast on radio and television outlets around the country.


THE PARALLEL PANDEMIC: COVID-19 AND MENTAL HEALTH

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., The City Club of Cleveland

Panelists:

  • Michael J. Biscaro, Psy.D., ABPP (Forensic), Chief, Behavioral Health, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
  • Joan M. Englund, Executive Director, Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition
  • Jonathan Lee, LICDC, President & CEO, Signature Health

While the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe over the last year, experts forecasted a "parallel pandemic" of declining mental health due to the stress, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety brought on by job loss, economic uncertainty, and work and social restrictions. For those who already suffered from mental health and substance use disorders, the pandemic often exacerbated their symptoms and created new barriers for treatment.

Mental distress during the pandemic occurred against a backdrop of high rates of mental illness and substance use that existed prior to the current crisis. A recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that four in 10 U.S. adults now report symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder, up from one in 10 adults who reported these symptoms at the same time in 2019. Another 11 percent reported having seriously considered suicide in the past month. The increase in symptoms was most striking for young people aged 18-24. In addition, in December 2020, the CDC reported that the 12-month period ending May 2020 had the highest recorded number of drug overdose deaths in the United States, more than 81,000.

At the same time, Americans, especially people of color and people with marginalized gender identities, are finding it even more difficult to access behavioral health services. President Biden, initially criticized for not including mental health services in his COVID-19 recovery plans, has included $1.5 billion for community mental health service block grants and another $1.5 billion in block grants to fund substance-use disorder prevention and treatment in the recently announced American Rescue Plan. But is it enough, especially for states like Ohio?

Join us as local experts discuss the current mental and behavioral health crisis and share new approaches to help improve the mental health of Northeast Ohio residents.

 

Free livestream of the forum will be available beginning at 12:00 p.m. on April 27. Interested parties can register here for an email reminder. 

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