Mental well being is focus of Health Science Symposium 2009 at BU

For immediate release: March 24, 2009

BLOOMSBURG — "Improving Health through Mental Well Being" is the focus of Health Science Symposium 2009 on Thursday and Friday, April 2 and 3, at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

The keynote speaker, attorney Terry Wise, will open the symposium Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in Kehr Union, Ballroom. Events on Friday, April 3, include the Health Science Lecture Series from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kehr Union Ballroom and the wellness fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kehr Union, multipurpose rooms. All events are free and open to the public.

Wise is a young lawyer who will share the story of her fiance's death from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Because of her involvement and dramatic loss, she became suicidal and depressed. In her recovery, she sought help and published a book about her experiences, "Waking Up: Climbing through the Darkness."

"The Health Science Symposium plans to address mental wellness and the high rate of depression and mental health issues in the Susquehanna Valley, deemed the leading health issue facing our region," said organizer Jackie Davie, assistant professor of audiology and speech pathology. BU's Suicide Prevention Program is co-sponsoring the event to help promote awareness of suicide on campus and ways to get help, she added.

The two-day event will be filled with speakers, demonstrations and information regarding mental health and wellness. The wellness fair will include more than 40 vendors from the community and feature presentations by health professionals, health screenings, yoga demonstrations and free, healthy food. Student research and informational posters will be displayed.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Professional Studies, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.