Burke hosting conference to raise awareness of mental illness in East Texas

Burke hosting conference to raise awareness of mental illness in East Texas

Burke is hoping East Texans can enjoy a day of learning and connecting with other professionals at their Mission Possible Conference.

The conference is to raise awareness about mental health and Alzheimer's in East Texas.

"It's an exciting conference that we have planned," Burke's Paul Jackson said. "We plan to involve a lot of professionals from the Deep East Texas area and educate the community."

Before the March 8 day of learning, the conference will host a free pre-conference on March 7. The pre-conference will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Stephen F. Austin State Univeristy Movie Theater. The pre-conference is free and will feature a movie with a comedic feel that tackles a serious issues facing millions in America.

"Your identity basically goes," Crystal Capps with the Alzhimers Association said. "It eventually causes problems with motor skills, eating, and swallowing. It effects everything eventually. "

The main conference will kick off at 7:30 the next morning at SFA,

The conference will be kicked off in the morning with a Keynote Address from Paul McGaha, DO, MPH, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. His address will focus on "Health Challenges of East Texas and how we can Become Champions of Change."

This year, a special afternoon keynote speaker has been invited to speak at Mission Possible. Kevin Hines, a documentary filmmaker and suicide prevention and mental health advocate who has reached millions with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live. Two years after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Kevin's will to live and stay mentally well has inspired people worldwide.

A special presentation will be made to several people featured in the weekly KTRE Survivor series, that focuses on people that have overcome life's challenges.

"They are putting them selves out there," Burke's Kinnie Reina said. "They are being vulnerable and telling their story, so what we are able to do with this conference is kind of showcase them in front of their peers, social workers, counselors, and nurses."

More information on the conference including registration can be found here.

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