Anti-Stigma Symposium at JJC Aims to Educate on Mental Health Issues

Joliet Junior College is hosting an Anti-Stigma Symposium on Saturday, April 26 from 2 to 9:30 p.m. in the J-Building cafeteria. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP at

The symposium, which will feature a number of presentations from subject-matter experts and JJC students, is designed to educate and provide resources to community members about behavioral health and reduce the stigma attached to behavioral health illness. There will also be a special presentation of anti-stigma public service announcements produced and made by JJC students.

“The purpose of this event is to decrease stigma and discrimination against members of our community through our amazing student-created public service announcements,” said Margot Underwood, JJC associate professor of social and behavioral sciences. “I just can’t say enough how this has been a journey with some pretty impressive student collaboration.”

Symposium schedule of events:

2 p.m.
Check in

2:30 p.m.
Welcome and Introductions, Allyson Schwartz and Cory Jones

3 p.m.
Track 1: Individual Success: Patti Dore (Empathy and Advocacy: Addressing Mental Health in College Students)
Track 2: Community Leadership – Bill Patrianakos (Heroin)
Track 3: Alumni Success Panel – Pam Ortiz & Allyson Schwartz (Speech Pathology)

4 p.m.
Track 1: Individual Success: Kyle Wilkinson (Recovery)
Track 2: Community Leadership – Joe Roche (Violence and Mental Health)
Track 3: Alumni Success Panel – Sarah Knudsen (Internships & Counseling, Veterans)

5 p.m.
Track 1: Individual Success: JJC Student Speakers
Track 2: Community Leadership – Michele Batara (Crisis Line)
Track 3: Alumni Success Panel – Rashel Marrero (Social Work)

6 p.m.
Community Resource Hour and Networking

7 p.m.
Awards and celebration

8:30 p.m.
Sonder, a multi-cultural interactive event led by the JJC Latinos Unidos and Psych Club student organizations. Individuals of various cultures and identities will perform scenarios based on audience suggestions to help further discussion and understanding of different cultures.

9:30 p.m.
Concluding statements 

This event is hosted collaboratively by several JJC departments, JJC students, Chestnut Mental Health, partners from the MAPP Collaborative, Will County Mental Health Department, and other community partners.

For more information about behavioral health resources and anti-stigma efforts in Will County, visit

For more information about the event, contact Margot Underwood at 815-280-6733 or

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