Mental Health is Community Health

In our first session in our Spring Community Education Series, Dr. Simha Ravven, Howard Center’s Chief Medical Officer, will offer insights and perspectives on mental health treatment and services within our community. Using a case study to provide background and guide the presentation, Dr. Ravven will discuss Vermont mental health law, including voluntary and involuntary psychiatric treatment in inpatient and hospital settings; mandated, community treatment; and the limits of voluntary treatment.

Like many other U.S. cities, Burlington and the surrounding towns recognize the inherent tension between providing the highest quality, least restrictive services to people who experience serious mental health disorders and community safety and comfort. Additionally, unaddressed mental health issues impact the overall health of a community, including in our schools, workplaces, and businesses. Future conversations about mental health treatment must include recognition of cultural stigmas and discrimination, accessible treatment and services, preventive services, and collaborative solutions.

Tonight’s session will include discussion about a collective community response that balances individual rights with the safety of a community. The path to recovery is enhanced when a community offers compassionate and respectful care, while recognizing that mental health impacts us all; there is no “us” or “them.” Community partnerships and collaborative efforts are necessary to support individuals in recovery, and, equally important, they are crucial to the creation of thriving communities.

All are encouraged to attend this session and to participate in this ongoing community-wide conversation.

About the Speaker

Dr Simha Ravven headshot with Howard Center brand color (gold)

Dr. Simha Ravven is the Chief Medical Officer of the Howard Center, Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, and past President of the Vermont Medical Society.

Dr. Ravven was a studio art major as an undergraduate at Hamilton College and decided to pursue medicine after serving in the United States Peace Corps in Morocco. She graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and completed her residency in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She went on to train in Forensic Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and continues to serve on the faculty there. Dr. Ravven is Board Certified in General Adult and Forensic Psychiatry. Her passion is caring for adults with serious mental illness and contributing to research and policy on the intersection of law and mental health.

Dr. Ravven has received numerous professional honors and recognition, has presented extensively at conferences and symposia, and has published research, chapters, and books.

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