Dr. Leah Casuto recognized for Community Outreach Efforts
December 19, 2011 — Mason, OH — Dr. Leah Casuto, a psychiatrist and researcher at Lindner Center of HOPE has been selected as a Health Care Hero finalist by the Business Courier for her community outreach efforts. Through a rigorous process and evaluation by community leaders, individuals are chosen based on their impact on health care in the community through their concern for patients, their research and inventions, their management skills, their innovative programs for employees and their service to the poor and uninsured.
In 2010, what started out as a training program for three local high schools quickly spread to the installation of the nationally renowned Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP). Dr. Casuto worked to implement ADAP in eight schools with trainings to 40 school representatives. The program spread further as those representatives took the curriculum back to their schools to present to students in a classroom setting.
“Depression is a potentially fatal illness and Dr. Casuto recognizes the critical need to educate students, parents and school staff about its symptoms,” said Dr. Paul E. Keck, Jr., President & CEO of Lindner Center of HOPE. “She believes in the first line defense of depression and suicide-that which incorporates education and treatment.”
This school-based program, designed to educate high school students, faculty, and parents about adolescent depression is developing around the country. Dr. Casuto’s efforts hope to combat the third leading cause of death in 15-24 year olds and the second leading cause of death amongst college students – suicide. “As an advocate for increased awareness and education she works with schools to help develop and incorporate mental health curriculum as part of their school based health programs,” said Dr. Keck. “This education increases awareness about depression and the need for evaluation and treatment.”
Dr. Casuto recognizes that Major Depression is a common medical illness experienced by at least 5% of American teenagers. With 1 in 20 teenagers experiencing depression, it is nearly as prevalent as asthma. It is crucial to treat depression–to ease the pain and hopelessness experienced by those with the illness. Sometimes it’s not enough to sit in an office and help patients that come in for treatment. One needs to go to the source. “That’s what’s so remarkable about Dr. Casuto and ADAP,” said Dr. Keck. “She goes to the schools, where these issues are present and makes a direct impact when and where these issues arise, not just through ADAP but in her own presentations to faculty, staff and students. Because depression is also associated with increased risks of substance abuse, unemployment, early pregnancy, and educational underachievement, there are overwhelming reasons to identify and treat anyone suffering from depression. Dr. Casuto does just that,” Keck added.
About Lindner Center of HOPE:
Lindner Center of HOPE provides patient-centered, scientifically-advanced care for individuals suffering with mental illness. A state-of-the-science, free-standing mental health center and charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, the Center provides psychiatric hospitalization for individuals age 12-years-old and older, outpatient services for all ages, research, comprehensive diagnostic assessments and residential services. The Center’s clinicians are ranked among the best providers locally, nationally and internationally. Lindner Center of HOPE is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.