The 2019 U.S. Celebration of World Vitiligo Day – officially designated as June 25th – will take place June 21-23 in Houston, Texas. Focusing on the mental and medical journey of vitiligo, the event will include medical research and treatment updates, mental and emotional health sessions, and a panel discussion promoting open dialogue about the social impact of vitiligo.
The decision to include mental health as part of the event’s theme reflects growing conversation about the role of mental health in vitiligo treatment.
“Mental health should be part of overall treatment of any patient who is having difficulty dealing with their vitiligo,” said Dr. Amit Pandya, dermatologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Studies have shown that mental stress is related to activity of vitiligo.”
And psychologists tend to agree. Dr. Lisa Schuster, child psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, has vitiligo herself and recognizes the emotional toll the disease can take on patients.
“The most difficult part of living with vitiligo isn’t necessarily the medical issues, but rather the social and emotional difficulties that accompany the diagnosis,” said Dr. Schuster. “Open and honest conversation about the mental impact is necessary and it’s essential that we acknowledge the ways vitiligo can affect a person’s quality of life and their overall well-being.”
The conference will be held at the Marriott Town Square located in Sugar Land, Texas. Reservations can be made online here. The event is hosted by the Houston Vitiligo Awareness Movement in partnership with the Global Vitiligo Foundation and V-Strong. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
To register, visit https://www.houstonvitiligoawareness.com/wvd-registration. Questions can be directed to Diane Wilkes Tribitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the conversation on social media with #WVD2019Houston.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.