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Putting the Brain Back In the Body: A Call For Integrating Physical and Mental Health

Friday, September 20, 2019, 4:30 PM


Course Description: This presentation will invite the participants to re-conceptualize mental illnesses as medical problems and thereby recognize that a holistic treatment approach that addresses co-morbid conditions, and additionally, the increased cardio-metabolic risks associated with psychotropic medications, is required. The stress-diathesis theory will be discussed as a model for the development of mental illnesses and the participants will be provided with information on the roles of transcription, translation, and epigenes in the genetic expression of diseases. The overlap between the signs and symptoms of major mental illnesses and the “sickness behaviors” that are associated with medical illnesses like infections will be reviewed. Recent evidence suggesting that mental illnesses such as major depression and schizophrenia might be mediated by aberrations in the immune system will be explored. Finally, research of a model wellness intervention aimed at reducing cardio-metabolic risk associated with psychotropic medications will be presented.  Learning Objectives: Detail a model for the development of mental illnesses, using the stress-diathesis theory Understand the roles of transcription, translation, and epigenes in the genetic expression of diseases Revisit the signs and symptoms of major mental illnesses, appreciating the overlap between such symptoms and “sickness behaviors” that are associated with medical illnesses like infections Explore evidence that suggests mental illnesses such as major depression and schizophrenia might be mediated by aberrations in the immune system Appreciate that mental illnesses are medical problems, and therefore require a holistic treatment approach that includes one’s body Biography: Dr. Ray Kotwicki is the Charles B. West Chief Medical Officer at Skyland Trail, a nationally acclaimed private, non-profit residential and day treatment facility for adults with mental illnesses in Atlanta, Georgia. In this role, Kotwicki oversees all the clinical, educational, quality, and research activities within the organization. Kotwicki trained as a Department of Energy Fellow, and was a Medical Scholar at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. He had post-graduate training at Harvard Medical School, the Boston University School of Medicine, and Emory University, where he earned a Master in Public Health degree in Health Policy and Management. He remains on the adjunctive faculty at both the Emory University School of Medicine as well as the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Over his career, Kotwicki has presented over 200 invited lectures, symposia, and seminars to thousands of attendees. He regularly appears on television, radio and in newspaper articles discussing issues related to mental health and integrated medical care. Kotwicki is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is President of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians’ Association. Kotwicki was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2011 and served as President of the Board of Directors of Positive Impact, the Southeast’s premiere HIV mental health program for three years, and is a Board member of the Lovett School. He is a member of Class XI of the Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy. Throughout his career, Kotwicki has received numerous distinctions, including Emory University’s most prestigious Dean’s “Golden Apple” Teaching Award, Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, Mental Health America and Eli Lily’s “Heroes in the Fight” Clinical Team Award, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Exemplary Psychiatrist Award. Kotwicki received the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University’s “Distinguished Achievement Alumnus Award” in 2017. Continuing Education Credit:   Application has been made and approved by LPCA-GA for 3 continuing education hours  Application has been made and approved by GSCSW for 3 continuing education hours  Application has been made and approved

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11138 State Bridge Rd , Suite 100 A
Silver Creek, GA

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