Dr. Altha Stewart sees the Stepping Up Initiative not only as a way for counties to improve the treatment of the mentally ill, but as a challenge to the psychiatric community to generate solutions. She discussed that and other topics with County News a year after she spoke at the 2016 Stepping Up summit in Washington, D.C.
Stewart is on the faculty at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center department of psychiatry and serves as the university’s chief of social and community psychiatry and director of the Center for Justice Involved Youth. She is president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association. Previously, she led Defending Childhood Shelby County (Tenn.), an initiative that developed supports and services for children with mental illness and their families, defragmenting the social service system to ease families’ navigation.