Mental Illness Awareness Week: Recovery is Possible

Mental Illness Awareness Week: Recovery is Possible


October 6-10 at 1:00 PM CDT

Registration Fee:


Program Description:

In conjunction with The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Mental Illness Awareness week, the Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH) and NAMI-Saint Louis are collaborating to bring you an exciting array of programs celebrating the theme of “Recovery is Possible.” Each day during the first full week of October, we will hold a free Web Conference highlighting a different aspect of mental illness and recovery. Our goal is to help destigmatize mental illness, describe how persons with mental illness can “recover,” and to explain the symptoms of some common diagnoses. The programs will feature both professionals and consumers talking about their experiences of mental illness.


Monday, October 6 – Depression

Franco Sicuro, MD is a board certified psychiatrist whose work encompasses several areas of psychiatry. He is in private practice with a group that provides consultation services to nursing homes in the St. Louis area, and he heads the gero-psychiatric services at DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton. Dr. Sicuro is actively involved in clinical research in pharmacological trails on dementia, schizophrenia and bipolar illnesses. Additionally, he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at University Health Science in Kansas City, MO.

Floyd Williams has been a member an member of Hopewell Center for 30 years. Despite his struggles with depression, he enjoys helping others at Hopewell (especially new members) understand and cope with mental illness. He attends NAMI’s Connection Recovery Support Group at Hopewell regularly, and graduated from NAMI’s 9-week Peer to Peer Education Course.

Tuesday, October 7 – Schizophrenia & Schizoaffective Disorder

Dr. Radika Rao, a board certified physician in psychiatry/neurology, began her medical career in India. She completed medical training in psychiatry at the University of South Dakota. She is licensed to practice in both Missouri and Illinois. She worked as staff psychiatrist at Metropolitan St. Louis Psychiatric Center and is currently with the Crider Center in Wentzville, MO. She also has a private practice in affiliation with Barnes Jewish Hospital.

Joanie Milligan has been a member of NAMI and the Depression, Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) for 12 years. She is currently a member of the board of directors at DBSA. Her NAMI volunteer work includes being a Peer to Peer mentor and In Our Own Voice speaker. She is happily married and the proud owner of Molly the mischievous dog.

Wednesday, October 8 – PTSD in Veterans

Martha Metter is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri. A graduate of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Martha has also completed a 2-year certification course in psychodynamic psychotherapy at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute. Martha has extensive experience in working with trauma. Her specialites include working with survivors of trauma, addictions, chronic mental illness, crisis interventions.

Charles Clyde served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. After the war, he was diagnosed with “post Vietnam syndrome” which is now called “post traumatic stress disorder”. Charles, who is now retired, has been working to help other veterans get benefits and services they need for over 30 years. He worked for the Veterans Administration as a counselor and is most proud to have established a veteran’s service center in 1973. The center did outreach, education, and support to vets as they returned to from various branches of military service.

Thursday, October 9 – Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Saaid Khojasteh is currently the Chief of Dept. of Psychiatry at St. Joseph Hospital in St. Charles and Wentzville, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. He is board certified in Adolescent, Adult, and Geriatric Psychiatry. He has been in private practice since 1989. He has been involved in teaching, pharmaceutical research, and mental health advocacy. He is the President of the Board of Electus Academy, a not-for-profit alternative school in St. Peters, MO. He has been the recipient of NAMI’s Mortimer Gordon Award, and recognized as one of eighteen Exemplary Psychiatrists nationally.

Ignacio Gomezwas born in Colombia, South America, and has lived in the United States for 31 years. He is happily married to Cindy, and they have 5 wonderful sons. He enjoys his work as a sales person and spending time with his family. He was diagnosed with manic depression (bipolar disorder), and since 1984 has learned to live successfully with the illness.

Justin Idleburg joined the Independence Center, two years ago, after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He enjoys many programs there and works in the video lab 4-5 days each week. He enjoys reading history and is interested in doing whatever he can to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

Friday, October 10 – Family Member Forum

Mimi Melosi, recently returned to Missouri, after working as a psychologist in Pennsylvania for 35 years.  In August 2001, her son was diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder and is currently on disability.  After seeing the devastating impact his illness had on her son and family, Mimi became active in NAMI and was on the Board of Directors for Pennsylvania for four years.

Arletus Muskin is from a small close knit family and has a family member with mental illness. She has seen the domino effect of darkness of mental illness(if not treated) in every aspect of their lives from home, school, friends, various relationships ,employment, etc. She learned about NAMI from an EMT when she and the family felt forced to call the police because of her family member’s behavior. She is participating in this program because she feels knowledge is power.

Larry Daniels has a B.S. degree in Business and Administration and a certificate in Family Development from University of Missouri. He became a member of NAMI in 1993 after having a family member diagnosed with mental illness. He has worked for NAMI in various capacities including serving as a family support specialist, mental health court advocate, teaching NAMI’s Family to Family Classes and Provider Classes. He is a NAMI state trainer for these programs as well as for the family support groups.

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