Taylor Manor holding 25th symposium today

April 22, 1994|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Sun Staff Writer

Taylor Manor Hospital will hold its 25th annual psychiatric symposium today, featuring a lecture by an internationally known author on the topic of shame and pride, and an award to Del. Virginia M. Thomas, D-13A, for her contributions to the mental health field.

More than 125 mental health practitioners from around the mid-Atlantic area are expected to attend the half-day seminar at the private Ellicott City psychiatric center.

The hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Delegate Thomas will receive the Taylor Manor Humanitarian Award.

Among her contributions to the mental health field that are being honored is her work on a new state law providing parity in mental health and substance abuse insurance benefits.

Ms. Thomas said the law, which takes full effect July 1, 1995, requires insurers to provide nearly the same level of coverage for mental illness as for other diseases.

"It's fair," she said of the new law.

1l "Why should you discriminate against a person with mental illness or substance abuse if it's treatable? That's wrong. It's destroying people."

Guest speaker Donald L. Nathanson, a lecturer and author, will discuss his book, "Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex and Birth of Self."

Dr. Nathanson is expected to focus on the nature of human emotion and the emergence of new therapy based on emotion.

Dr. Irving Taylor, owner of Taylor Manor, began the symposiums in 1969 to battle conventional attitudes about mental illness.

"We felt destigmatizing psychiatry was very important," Dr. Taylor said.

Many people believed "it was one of the things that should be hidden or not talked about."

That first symposium was a three-day event that featured many of the leading discoverers behind drugs used to treat schizophrenia, manic-depression and other mental illnesses.

In 1979, the hospital began offering free monthly forums for the general public that examine such topics as child abuse, cigarette smoking and gambling.

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