The 12th annual Focus on Eye Health Summit, a free, virtual, interactive national event hosted by Prevent Blindness, will pose the question “Why the Eye?” to stimulate dialogue exploring vision “through a public health lens.” Conversations will cover challenges to equitable access to eye care, explore collaborations among stakeholders, and look for opportunities to include vision and eye health into public health policies, practices, and the advancement of research. The two-day event, from July 12 to 13, 2023, will reinforce the importance of focusing on the eye. Along with expert presentations, the program offers an exhibitor hall, educational materials, videos, toolkits, and opportunities for networking and collaboration. Summit attendees will include patient advocates, community, advocacy, vision, and eye health organizations, researchers, health care providers, educators, government and corporate representatives, and more. For additional information read the press release announcing that Prevent Blindness to Host 12th Annual Focus on Eye Health Summit. And register here for the two-day event.
Summit to Address Mental Health and Vision
Vision loss can have a significant impact on mental health. According to findings from a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults with visual impairments experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, compared with about one in six in the general population. To address this issue, the second day of the Focus on Eye Health Summit (July 13, 2023) will be dedicated to presentations and discussions related to mental health and vision. The keynote speech, “Innovative Mental Health Approaches,” will highlight the importance of including mental health, with action steps, in the “vision and eye health community.” Prevent Blindness has also convened a Mental Health Task Force made up of professionals from different fields, along with clients. The Task Force has identified opportunities to improve processes and advocacy related to vision rehabilitation, resources, professional training, and development of an integrated model for eyecare. Their work will be shared with policy makers, providers, professionals, and others involved in the emotional well being of individuals with vision impairment. For additional information on mental health and the Task Force, read the Prevent Blindness news release announcing the Launch of Multiple Efforts to Provide Education and Resources on the Effects of Vision Loss and Blindness on Mental Health. And read more about vision impairment and mental health in this CDC article, Vision Loss and Mental Health.