McElwaine Spreads Messages About Substance Abuse and Stigma

Pat McElwaine

Dr. Patrick McElwaine continued to raise awareness about substance abuse issues, education, and stigma during two notable speaking engagements.

The Assistant Professor in the Graduate Counseling Psychology program spoke at the Lilly Conference in Bethesda, Maryland on Friday, May 31. His presentation was entitled "Designing an Effective Substance Abuse Class" and discussed various ways to have an impactful and informative substance abuse classroom experience.

McElwaine will also speak at Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s annual convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Friday, June 21. His talk is entitled "Breaking Stigma: Addiction and Mental Health" and will provide an overview of substance use and mental health disorders, as well as highlight numerous ways that an individual can overcome stigma.

The discussion will also include warning signs, various myths, and negative perceptions associated with addiction and mental illness, as well as the role of perceptions in initiating and maintaining treatment.

“I believe anything we can do to diminish the stigma of addiction and mental illness should be done,” McElwaine said. “The primary way to do this is through open communication. The more discussions and conversations we can have on this subject, the more knowledge we gain, and the stronger the chance for positive change.”