Speaker to Discuss Mixed Drinks, Mixed Emotions

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Ross Szabo

CORTLAND, NY (09/24/2015)(readMedia)-- As a young man, Ross Szabo was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But from that diagnosis he saw an opportunity.

Szabo took charge of his life and used his advocacy skills to educate young people across the nation on the importance of maintaining mental health. He has used his knowledge and experience to reach over 1 million young people and make them conscious of their own substance abuse and mental health issues.

He will visit SUNY Cortland on Wednesday, Sept. 30, to help students understand the relationship between alcohol, anxiety and depression and inform them on how to get help.

Szabo's speech, "Mixed Drinks, Mixed Emotions: Alcohol Abuse and Mental Health," will begin at 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Function Room.

Part of SUNY Cortland's semester-long Wellness Wednesday Series, the event is free and open to the public.

"The goal of the presentation is to get people to realize why they are drinking; to notice if it is a coping mechanism," Szabo said.

"The importance of understanding the cause of alcohol abuse and how to maintain mental health is relevant to the entire campus, students and faculty alike. Your mental health is as important as your physical health."

Health promotion is a crucial aspect of the SUNY Cortland campus services and this event will move a big step toward further educating students on wellness, said SUNY Cortland health educator Lauren Herman. Educating the students on alcohol use and its consequences is important.

"Alcohol use can lead to other issues involved with student conduct and safety," Herman said.

The Ross Szabo event is sponsored by the College's Student Conduct Office. Co-sponsors include the Health Promotion Office and the Student Development Center.

In keeping with a College priority of well-being, each semester SUNY Cortland offers weekly encouragement to the campus and community to pursue a lifetime of good health. The series takes place on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Corey Union Exhibition Lounge, unless otherwise noted. The events are free and open to the public.

For more information on the presentation, contact Michael Pitaro, associate director of student conduct, at michael.pitaro@cortland.edu or 607-753-4725.

For more information or accommodation to attend an event, contact Herman in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-1, or 607-753-2066.