Dr. Mehmet Akkurt champions global mental health equity in keynote address

In his first presentation as a keynote speaker, Dr. Mehmet Akkurt, assistant professor of counseling at Lamar University, is continuing his efforts to bridge the gap between mental health services and accessibility across the globe. Dr. Akkurt

In December, Akkurt addressed attendees at the National Board of Certified Counselor’s (NBCC) Mental Health Connections: Advancing Global Health Equity International Conference. He spoke about the importance of creating lasting solutions to mental health access through the utilization of local resources. 

This year’s conference focused on increasing mental health equity while providing training through a diverse lens. 

According to Akkurt, based on feedback from an NBCC session last year, participants requested more time with him. Because of his relatability and creative online interactions, he was chosen to give a keynote address at this year’s conference. 

“The goal is to provide sustainable mental health care solutions in developing countries, and in doing so, showing the utmost respect to locals who have been doing that with limited resources for a long time,” Akkurt said. 

Akkurt, whose clinical work and research focuses on underrepresented and marginalized groups, has a long-standing relationship with the NBCC. As a panelist, he has presented on topics about the needs and challenges of ethnic minority and international students in counseling and how to utilize the best practices when supervising clinical skills in counseling students. 

In addition to speaking at conferences, Akkurt has actively trained local paraprofessionals and lay persons across the globe, through an outreach initiative between NBCC and the World Health Organization. As a registered master mental health facilitator, he has worked with numerous mental health advocates around the world and has provided training since 2013. 

“My hope is to inspire those who are already advocating for mental health all around the world, and my goal is to inspire people to do that in recognition of the local efforts and resiliency of the communities they serve,” Akkurt said. 

For more information about the LU Department of Counseling, visit https://www.lamar.edu/education/counseling/index.html.