Mental Health America's 2010 Annual Conference Slideshow
Thank you to everyone who attended Mental Health America's 2010 Conference, Get Connected: Social Inclusion in Wellness and Recovery, and helped make it such a resounding success.
The event brought together hundreds of advocates, mental health experts, organizations and researchers to explore the importance of meaningful social roles and connections in maintaining health and achieving recovery.
I wish you the best of luck in the coming months and look forward to seeing you all next year for our 2011 Conference.
David Shern, Ph.D.
President and CEO
View Conference Highlights
- Wednesday, June 9 Highlights
- Thursday, June 10 Highlights
- Friday, June 11 Highlights
- Saturday, June 12 Highlights
One of highlights of the first day of our Conference was the Advocacy Training session, which gave advocates key messages for Thursday's Capitol Hill Day, when attendees visited their federal legislators.
The featured speaker, Kareem Dale, Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, said the Obama Administration has and will ensure the mental health community has a seat at the table and that its voice is heard. He also said that the administration wants to see seclusion and restraint legislation passed. In addition, he said the administration will also be holding a number of events surrounding the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilties Act.
Dr. David Shern, president and CEO of Mental Health America, also presented a Legendary Leadership Award to Ken Libertoff, who is retiring as executive director of the Vermont Association for Mental Health. A recent newspaper article noted that “every major mental health bill in Vermont since the early 1980s has Libertoff's fingerprints on it,” including the 1997 law that mandated parity in health insurance plans in Vermont between mental health care and physical health care services. It is still considered a model for the rest of the country. Ken also played a major role in the crafting of the federal mental health parity law.
Kirsten Beronio and Julio Abreu of our Public Policy and Advocacy Department briefed attendees on key issues, including the need to extend an increase in Medicaid funding through the middle of next year. Steve McCaffrey of the Regional Policy Council said that relationships are key in communicating with lawmakers.
Attendees reconnected with old friends and made new ones and networked with experts and leadership from mental health groups from across the nation and around the world.
Capitol Hill Day
Thursday was Capitol Hill Day at the Conference. Attendees met with their federal legislators to urge they support critical issues such as increase in Medicaid funding and legislation that would prevent and reduce the use of seclusion and restraints in schools.
Prior to their visits, Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) received Legislators of the Year Awards in recognition of their longtime advocacy and work on mental health and substance use issues. Both were strong supporters of mental health parity legislation and have worked together to raise the importance of the prevention of mental health conditions among children and youth. Dr. David Shern, president and CEO of Mental Health America, called them true mental health champions.
Baldwin spoke about legislation she has introduced to continue federal funding for therapeutic foster care services. Bono Mack said she supports a bill introduced by Reps. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) and Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) to expand eligibility for federal health information technology (HIT) resources to a broad range of mental health and substance use professionals and providers.
For more information about these and other issues, visit our Capitol Hill Day page.
Screening of “Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia”
Dr. Delaney Ruston was on hand for a special screening of her documentary, “Unlisted: A Story of Schizophrenia,” which tells the story her struggle to stop hiding from and start caring for her schizophrenic father. The film will air nationally on public television this fall. For more information, go to: http://www.unlistedfilm.com/.
PLENARY: Building Inclusive Communities-Keys to Health and Well-Being
Dr. David Shern, president and CEO of Mental Health America, and Kenneth S. Thompson, M.D., associate director of Medical Affairs for Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided a framework to understand social inclusion and how working toward inclusion can improve everyone’s well-being.
PANEL: Social Inclusion and Health Disparities
Ken Thompson moderated a panel of leading researchers and policy advocates on the concepts of cultural identity and building communities that both appreciate and endorse diversity while facilitating social participation and equity for all. Participating in the panel were Margarita Alegria, the director of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research at the Cambridge Health Alliance, whose work focuses on improving health care services delivery for diverse racial and ethnic populations; Terrie M. Williams, a leading advocate for change and empowerment, author and founder of The Stay Strong Foundation; DJ Ida, who has over thirty years experience working with Asian American Pacific Islander communities and works directly on providing culturally and linguistically competent services; Spero M. Manson, founder and director of the American Indian and Alaska Native Programs at the University of Colorado, and who has conducted landmark research among American Indian and Alaska Native military veterans.
PANEL: Health Care Reform
Attendees had the opportunity to hear from three federal officials who are living and breathing Health Reform implementation. Mental Health America’s board Chair John Morris moderated a session with Jeff Crowley, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy and senior advisor on Disability Policy at the White House, Barbara Edwards, director of the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at CMS, and John O’Brien, Senior Advisor for Health Finance at SAMHSA. Each panelist highlighted how important this new legislation will be for the behavioral health community, and are working very hard in fast paced offices to begin the implementation process.
The Health Reform law is huge and complicated, and the panelists did a short overview of some of the applicable provisions for behavioral health, highlighting its potential to improve quality, expand access, promote integration with primary care, and perhaps most importantly promote person-centered planning and community integration. John O’Brien and his team at SAMHSA are working on developing a “good and modern behavioral health system package” to advise HHS on appropriate services to include in any benefits design. Mental Health America and other stakeholders are weighing in on this important work to ensure recovery-oriented, person-centered services are key parts of the benefits package.
KEYNOTE LUNCHEON: Exploring the IOM Report on “Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children”
Dr. William Beardslee, a member of the Mental Health America board and the Institute of Medicine report on “Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children,” reviewed the most recent findings and recommendations regarding the effectiveness of treatment for parental depression and its impact on youth development.
Legendary Leadership Awards were also presented to Rose Mary Mohr, president and CEO of the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas, and Richard Van Horn, a board member of Mental Health America and President Emeritus of Mental Health America of Los Angeles.
PLENARY: Communities That Work—Prevention Strategies
Renowned researcher J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., the founding director of the Social Development Research Group at the University of Washington, updated attendees on the 15-year follow-up study of effective prevention programming and how to implement it.
PLENARY: Now What? Implementing Best Practices
Dr. Karen A. Blase, the founding member of the National Implementation Research Network who developed the Teaching Family Model for residential care settings for children with emotional or developmental disability, discussed implementation strategies that are proven to work at the local level.
Delegate Assembly Breakfast
Leading mental health advocate, U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) spoke about the need to create a national framework for tapping the potential of advances in neuroscience. He pledged to remain active in the mental health field after he retires from Congress this year.
Sandra Rhodes, a volunteer at Mental Health America of Colorado (MHAC) in Denver, was honored with the Sandy Brandt Volunteer Service Award for her outstanding contribution to MHAC’s Pro Bono program and her over 20 years of service to individuals who might not otherwise be able to access care. The Innovation During Challenging Economic Times award was presented to Mental Health America of Hawaii for its “Healing the Trauma of War” project. Made possible through the Mary Jane Ward Memorial Fund, the award recognizes the innovation and creativity of Mental Health Affiliates in the face of funding challenges and the fallout of economically difficult times for the nation and their communities.
PANEL: The Power of One—Creating Individual Opportunity Using Social Connections and Peer Support
Author Pete Early led a panel on how one person can change America’s mental health using social connections and peer support. We heard from four national leaders who have fundamentally changed the way people with mental health conditions are involved in their communities: Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and co-director of the Mood Disorders Center and author of widely praised books; Thomas Nerney, executive director of The Center for Self-Determination, which is leading a national effort to work with individuals with disabilities, family members and professionals to create a training and technical assistance capacity to implement the principles of self-determination nationwide; William A. Anthony, executive director of Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation and one of the founders of the modern movement in psychiatric rehabilitation and pioneer in the field of recovery-oriented rehabilitation; and Larry Fricks, a founder of the Georgia Consumer Council, Georgia’s Peer Specialist Training, the Georgia Peer Support Institute and Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network that now has 3,000 members.
Media Awards Luncheon
Sixteen awards were presented to journalists, writers and producers for outstanding coverage and portrayals of mental health issues during 2009. A list of winners and links to their works is available here.
PANEL: The Changing Face of America—Building Resources and Opportunities that Recognize and Value the Contributions of Everyone to the Community
Steve Luxenberg, author and editor at The Washington Post, led a panel that examined how we can more effectively implement and/or advocate for services. Providing successful approaches were Joanne Nicholson, Ph.D., professor Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Sam Tsemberis, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Pathways to Housing, Inc.; Jacki McKinney, executive director of the Trauma Knowledge Utilization Project; and Henry Acosta, executive director of the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health.
Closing Night Awards Banquet
Haley's Acceptance Speech
Singer Ashley Miers spoke about why she is working with Mental Health America and performed for the audience. She also presented the mpower Award to Hayley Winterberg, 16, for her exceptional efforts to raise awareness of mental health issues among America's youth. Hayley, who created the Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment (MY LIFE), also showed her video, This is MY LIFE.
Noted psychologist Dr. Fred Frese was presented with Mental Health America’s highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, for his efforts to improve conditions for and attitudes toward people living with mental health conditions. A national spokesperson for people with severe mental illnesses for well over 20 years, Frese was among the first psychologists to publicly disclose his diagnosis schizophrenia while serving on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University. He inspired the audience with a moving and deeply personal speech.
The Conference closed with the ringing of The Mental Health Bell—a reminder of our past, the progress we have made, and powerful symbol of our vital mission to improve mental health and achieve victory over mental illness.