WCU Professor and Graduates Present at MS Department of Mental Health Conference
Hattiesburg, Miss., September 19, 2013 - Dr. Paul Cotten, professor of music and psychology at William Carey University, along with WCU music therapy graduates Kathryn Boyer of Slidell, La., and Carol Winstead of Jackson, presented at the 14th Annual Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Psychiatric Disorders held by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health August 14-15 at the Mississippi State University Riley Center in Meridian.
Boyer and Winstead, both of whom are board certified music therapists who work at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, discussed the use of music therapy for persons with dementia. Dr. Cotten, who began his career working in the field of mental retardation specializing in music therapy, along with Dr. Neil Marsh, family discipleship pastor oat Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, focused on faith and dementia. Before coming to WCU, Dr. Cotten served as director of Ellisville State School, director of the division of mental retardation for the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, and director of Boswell Regional Center. He also established the Quality of Life Project in 2009 which benefits senior adults with special needs. In addition to being a pastor, Dr. Marsh is also a licensed psychologist.
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health develops and maintains a statewide system of prevention, service, and support options for adults and children with mental illness or emotional disturbance, alcohol/drug problems, and/or intellectual or developmental disabilities, as well as adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. The mental health service has three major components: state-operated programs and community service programs, regional community mental health centers, and other nonprofit/profit service agencies/organizations.