ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Nov. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 150 Florida doctors, therapists, hospital leaders and behavioral health executives will gather Dec. 2 in St. Augustine for a one-day symposium, hosted by New Directions Behavioral Health, to learn, share and discuss how to improve mental health and addiction treatment.
The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort and will include presentations by health experts from Rogers Memorial, Center for Discovery, and Genoa Pharmacy, among others. The symposium will aim to educate health care providers about how to curb the rising prescription drug and heroin epidemic sweeping the U.S., and how to improve the way mental health and substance use disorders are treated. Mental health illness and drug and alcohol addiction continues to soar in the U.S. In 2015, 20.8 million Americans had a substance abuse disorder, according to the recently released Surgeon General's report, called Facing Addiction in America. That's as many as had diabetes and 1 1/2 times as many as had cancer, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy points out. Additionally, one in five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year and one in five youth aged 13-18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. New Directions is committed to working with health care providers to advance and modernize the approach to treating substance use and mental health disorders - one that begins with evidence-based practices, early intervention and increased integration of behavioral, pharmaceutical and medical care.