International Conference on Social Work Highlights Health and Mental Health

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Haluk Soydan, conference co-chair and associate dean of research, presents Soon Noi Goh with a set of golden chopsticks symbolizing the shift of conference leadership to a delegation from Singapore, which will host the event in 2016. (USC Photo/Eric Lindberg)

The USC School of Social work and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health hosted the International Conference on Social Work in Health and Mental Health recently, the first time the event has ever been held in the United States. Hundreds of social work researchers, clinicians and policy makers discussed the most recent breakthroughs in health and mental health.

Marilynn L. Flynn, the dean of the USC School of Social Work, noted that Los Angeles is a microcosm of the world and that it is on the leading edge of social work innovations.

“Southern California and the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area really is an ideal location to focus on the role of social work in client-centered health and mental health,” said Flynn.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas addressed the attendees and noted the importance of good social work in helping people overcome abuse, addiction and mental illness.

“It seems to me we owe a great debt of gratitude to social workers,” he said. “They help prevent crises and counsel individuals, families and communities to cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life.”

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