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President Nealon-Woods of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology to Speak on Psychology's Role in the World Today

Tour to Begin in Peru with Academic Partner Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP), one of the leading nonprofit national graduate schools in the U.S. devoted exclusively to psychology and related behavioral and health sciences, today announced the launch of an international speaking tour featuring its president, Michele Nealon-Woods, Psy.D. This year, Dr. Nealon-Woods will visit Lima, Peru and Northern Ireland, to speak about psychology's role in several aspects of today's modern world, and will address the persistent issue of mental health disorders and stigma across the globe.

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"Today, the world is a dramatically different place than it was 10, or even two years ago. Stress levels are high across the globe, and all too often individuals, families and whole communities are exposed to yet another tragic event or conflict, all of which destabilize societies," explained Dr. Nealon-Woods. "Psychologists and physicians have long emphasized the contributory role of mental health well-being to our overall health.  As a discipline, psychology has so much to contribute to the advancement of our educational, business, legal systems, and more. It is not just central to the healthcare system."

On her visit to Lima, Peru, Dr. Nealon-Woods will meet with TCSPP students who are traveling abroad to gain a better understanding of mental health issues facing this country. The Chicago School has had a partnership with the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) since 2009, and through this partnership, students have the opportunity to study at UPC, while also getting field experience and applying their theoretical training to real-world experiences in the community. Additionally, she will be participating on a panel with psychologists from three different countries to discuss "Psychologists Across Cultures:  Are Psychologists Exercising Leadership in the World Today?"  Dr. Nealon-Woods will also be meeting with several experts, including Javier Sota Nadal, former Education Minister of Peru; Manuel Rodriques, Director of the UPC Education Department;  and Christiane Ramseyer of La Asociacion Taller de los Ninos.

Mental Health & Peru
Peru, like many countries across the globe, has a need for greater mental health services. A 2011 World Health Organization (WHO) report states that mental health is just .27% of the country's total health budget.  A WHO World Mental Health survey conducted in 2004 and 2005 also found that in five of Peru's biggest cities, the prevalence of mental health disorders in individuals 18 to 65 was at 13.5% in the prior 12 months. Of that population, less than 33% who met the criteria for severe mental health disorders received treatment. Of those diagnosed with moderate and mild disorders, 18.1% and 15.4% respectively received treatment. The most prevalent mental health issues found in the society were anxiety (7.9%), mood disorders (3.5%), impulse control problems (3.5%) and substance misuse (1.7%). Some of the impulse control problems can be attributed to substance use/abuse, but can also be attributed to other things.

Peru is not alone. A World Mental Health survey conducted from 2001-2003 found that up to half of all people with serious mental health disorders in the United States and some European countries were not receiving treatment.

"In addition to our focus on education and on providing direct service to the communities in which we are anchored, The Chicago School is also committed to international programming initiatives, especially study abroad, international field experiences, student exchanges and the development of strategic international partners," said Dr. Nealon-Woods. "At TCSPP we believe it is our obligation to prepare students to achieve success in a world where colleagues, clients and competitors can come from next door or around the world.  We believe that a model of comprehensive internationalization, infusing a global perspective into all aspects of our institution, is the only way to achieve that goal; and that partners such as UPC are crucial to such a hefty endeavor."

The Chicago School's other international partners include among others: Santa Marselina and University of Sao Paulo, both of Brazil; Kigali Institute of Education, the National University of Rwanda and Rulindo Institute in Rwanda; Teach with Africa and LEAP in South Africa; Centro de Ensenanza Tecnic y Superior of Mexico and University de Valle de Guatemala in Guatemala among others.

Dr. Nealon-Woods is an alumna of TCSPP's doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at the Chicago Campus, and later served as a faculty member and chair of the program. In 2006, Dr. Nealon-Woods received the institution's Distinguished Teaching Award in the area of public service teaching. An accomplished writer and speaker on a wide range of psychology-related topics, she often blogs about psychology and mental health issues in The Huffington Post. Through a forward-thinking strategic plan that positions The Chicago School as a national institution with global reach, Dr. Nealon-Woods has led the development of innovative new programs, including the formation of the National Centers for Research and Practice in Latina/o Mental Health, and Veterans and Military Psychology.

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas 
Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) –The Peruvian University of Applied Sciences—was established in 1994 and is one of the top private institutions of higher education in Peru. The UPC is an innovative institution founded on principles, education, and research, and to promote knowledge, culture and development. These functions are fulfilled through quality, modernity, efficiency and international competitiveness. Located in Lima across three campuses, UPC offers its more than 38,000 students the opportunity to earn undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in architecture, business, communications, economics, engineering, hospitality management, medicine and health sciences, law and psychology. To learn more, visit www.upc.edu.pe

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Founded in 1979 and celebrating 35 years, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit, private graduate school devoted exclusively to psychology and related behavioral sciences. It serves more than 4,500 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles, Irvine, Westwood); and Washington, D.C. as well as online programs. The institution is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and its Clinical Psychology doctoral program in Chicago is accredited by the American Psychological Association. A member of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, TCSPP is recognized for its distinguished service and outstanding contributions to cultural diversity and advocacy. The community service initiatives on the Chicago Campus have also earned recognition on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for five consecutive years. The Los Angeles Campus gained its first recognition in 2013. With more than 20 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology education. To learn more, visit www.thechicagoschool.edu.

Contact: Carolyn Aguayo
(213) 615-7292
[email protected]

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