Mental Health & HealthComm Symposium: A New Adventure in the New Year

Mental Health & Health Communication Symposium: A New Adventure in the New Year

By Mike Mackert

The Center for Health Communication (CHC) is a full semester into a 2-year theme on Mental Health & Health Communication that we announced heading into the fall semester. The CHC had never done anything quite like this, but the idea of a theme was to provide an opportunity for new partners across campus and in the community to learn about the CHC and get involved in what we’re doing. We knew going in that a theme would be an experiment – we would be inventing this as we went along.

Reflecting on the fall, the theme definitely accomplished what we were hoping for in its first semester. We had a range of speakers at our monthly meetings – such as Dr. Octavio Martinez from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and Dr. Luis Zayas from the Steve Hicks School of Social Work – who shared their work around mental health and ideas for partnering with CHC affiliates. We also made new connections with faculty and organizations across campus and in the community who found us through the launch of the theme. Several CHC Doctoral Fellows also became involved in supporting the work of the theme.

Now as we look to the spring, we’re pursuing a new and ambitious event: a 1-day symposium on mental health and health communication on February 21 in HLB 1.111. The symposium will start with a flash funding grant competition: UT-Austin faculty, staff, and students will have three hours to write and submit a grant the morning of the symposium, and we’ll make funding decisions by the end of the day. It will also include a student poster session, followed by a series of speakers and panels who will all come at issues related to mental health and health communication from different perspectives.

We’re excited about what 2019 holds for the CHC’s mental health theme, and hopefully, it will continue to be a great way to make new connections. To learn more about the theme and RSVP for the symposium, click here.