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Behavioral Health Care Gap is Focus of Carter Center Symposium

Contact: Jon Moor

ATLANTA….A critical chasm is developing between major medical research advances and applying those breakthroughs to the treatment of people with mental illnesses and addictive disorders. In what will be the first national meeting focusing on the Institute of Medicine report "Crossing the Quality Chasm: Adaptation to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders," the 21st Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy will convene on Nov. 2-3, to leverage the recommendations from the report and build an action agenda.

Bringing together behavioral health practitioners, consumers, patients, advocates, payers, and policy makers, the symposium will issue a call to action for implementation of the report's findings on the front lines of behavioral health care.

"President Bush's recent New Freedom Commission report acknowledged the need to reinvent the nation's mental health care system. The time has come for us to stop the unnecessary suffering associated with mental illnesses and addictive diseases. We need to put quality of care at the center of all future efforts," says Dr. Thom Bornemann, director of the Carter Center's Mental Health Program.

Carter Center Mental Health Task Force Founder Rosalynn Carter wants the gap narrowed.

"Recovery from mental illnesses today is possible, but while there have been major advancements in our understanding of the brain and new treatments developed, our ability to provide quality care for people with mental illnesses is tragically inadequate," she says.

Mrs. Carter receives the Aetna Voice of Conscience Award at 8:45 p.m., Nov. 2. Please click here or visit for complete details on the two-day symposium agenda.





The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. To learn more about The Carter Center, please visit:

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