If you or someone you know has a mental health issue, this is your opportunity to 'Ask the Expert' any of your questions or concerns. And it's a great chance for folks who deal with the public to learn more, as well!

This is the 3rd Annual Mental Health Awareness Seminar, and it's been very popular, particularly the Question and Answer portion of the conference. So this year, organizers are inviting attendees to write down any questions they have about mental health, treatment options, and related issues. Then stop by for this very unique chance to 'Ask the Expert.'

Mental Health issues have such a stigma attached to them, that many sufferers will try and hide their pain. Conditions like Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and others are often misunderstood and, unfortunately, people tend to fear what they don't understand. But the truth is, most mental health issues can be treated successfully. So the challenge is to Stop the Stigma and help people with mental health issues feel safe in seeking help.

Once again this year, the keynote speaker will be Psychiatrist Dr. Tom Jensen, M.D. In addition to his work with the International Bipolar Foundation, Dr. Jensen treats people with mood disorders in his private practice on the West Coast, specializing in treatment-resistant mood disorders. He is the only child psychiatrist on the West Coast who is board certified in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. He also teaches on the faculty of the UCSD School of Medicine and lectures extensively.

The conference is targeted at consumers and family members, caretakers, mental health professionals, law enforcement, and educators, as well as anyone who wants to learn more about mental health. Contact hour certificates will be available.

The Mental Health Awareness Conference will be held Saturday, October 3rd, from 8:30 to Noon, at Machias Savings Bank, on Wilson Street in Brewer. For more information and to register for this free conference, contact Tammy at 299-6855. While the event is free, participants are encouraged to help support the Brewer Area Food Cupboard by bringing non-perishable food items for donation.