The Bigger Picture

COSGP Hosts Mental Health Panel at OMED 2017

Calli SchardinCalli Schardein, OMS-III
National 2nd Vice Chair
Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents

Recently at OMED I had the honor of hosting the second Mental Health Panel for the Student/Resident Tract. Our panel consisted of six physicians and physicians-in-training that were passionate and dedicated to making positive and impactful changes in mental health culture for medical professionals and students. Our panelists consisted of Alissa Craft, DO, Seger Morris, DO, Maureen Faust, DO, Sarah Wolff, DO, Caleb Hentges, OMS-IV, and Laura Gurenlian, OMS-IV.

The first half hour of our session, the panelists took a moment to introduce themselves and share their personal connection and passion for mental wellness. It was incredibly empowering as an audience member to bear witness to these champions of wellness share personal stories and allow himself or herself to be vulnerable. Following introductions, the remaining hour of the session was filled with thought- (and sometimes tear-) provoking questions from our audience members.

The panelists’ answers were consistently compassionate and understanding. With every question, the audience seemed to become more and more comfortable speaking freely and openly about the struggles of mental health in medicine and the often-faced barriers to resources. After the formal session ended, several audience members came up to have private conversations with the panelists or myself, many to inquire how they could best get involved back on their home campuses and hospitals.

The entire experience was exceedingly positive and empowering. Events like these are instrumental in breaking down the stigma of mental health in medical professionals and students and I was unbelievably fortunate to be involved.

Check COSGP's Mental Health Awareness Task Force (MHATF) page for more information and updates on the campaign.