2015 Conference Agenda | Mental Health America

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2015 Conference Agenda

The 2015 MHA Conference has been approved by the National Association of Social Workers-Virginia Chapter for 19.75 CE contact hours including 3 Ethics hours. The 3 Ethics hours are part of a pre-conference ethics training session on Tuesday, June 2, which requires separate registration. There are a total of 16.75 hours between Wednesday and Friday.

Tuesday, June 2nd (Pre-Conference Workshops)

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Advocacy Briefing
For conference participants only
Hilton Mark Center
We will review talking points for national legislative initiatives in Congress and distribute fact sheets and leave-behinds. There will be webinars in advance of the conference to acquaint you with the issues, the new conference app, and help you plan for appointments with your elected representatives. Think of this as a quick "Advocacy Day Kick-Off."

11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Regional Policy Council Meeting
Northeast Region, invite only
Hilton Mark Center

8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Mental Health First Aid Training
MHA Offices
Mental ​Health ​First ​Aid ​USA ​is ​an ​8-hour ​training ​to ​teach ​participants ​how ​to ​help ​someone ​who ​is ​developing ​a ​mental ​health ​problem ​or ​experiencing ​a ​mental ​health ​crisis. ​The ​evidence ​behind ​the ​program ​demonstrates ​that ​it ​helps ​trainees ​identify, ​understand ​and ​respond ​to ​signs ​of ​mental ​illnesses ​and ​substance ​use ​disorders.Mental ​Health ​First ​Aid ​is ​included ​on ​the ​Substance ​Abuse ​and ​Mental ​Health ​Services ​Administration’s ​National ​Registry ​of ​Evidence-based ​Programs ​and ​Practices ​(NREPP). Breakfast ​and ​Lunch ​will ​be ​provided. ​

To register for this event go to: https://www.regonline.com/mentalhealthfirstaidmhajune

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Peer Support and Certification Workshop
MHA Offices
This workshop will explore the benefits of peer support, methods of reimbursement, continuing education, and training and supervision models. We will discuss MHAs new nationally accredited certification that will be introduced in the fall, and we will examine the enormous workforce development potential of peer support moving into the private health care sector and the beginning of private health insurance coverage. MHA is creating a peer employment service model for affiliates that will be released at the introduction of the new certification. The workshop will be a blend of presentation and interactive, in-depth discussion, and attendee will leave with a greater understanding of the nature of peer support and how it fits with our Mental Health America family. If you are interested in registering, please contact Casey Dillon at cdillon@mentalhealthamerica.net.


1:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Free for attendees, otherwise $25 for 3.0 CE Ethics hours. Seminar is FREE for all registrants who are attending MHA's Annual Conference.

Professional Ethics Seminar
Hilton Mark Center
This session has been approved for 3 CEUs through NBCC by ACEP Provider # 4511, Argosy University-Washington, DC. In addition, this session has been approved by the National Association of Social Workers-Virginia Chapter for 3 CE Ethics hours.

MHA Board Member and MHA of Middle Tennessee president and CEO Tom Starling will be holding a Professional Ethics Seminar. Tom is also a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 Listed Mediator with degrees in ethics, theology, psychology, and educational administration. The seminar on applied professional will be broken down into 3 hour sections: Hour 1 covers Professional Ethics: Introduction & Terminology. Hour 2 covers Difficult Clients. Hour 3 covers Compassion Fatigue and Resources. Upon completion, participants will be able to: define and distinguish between the terms ethics, morals, virtues and values; compare and contrast ethics principles and codes of ethics between different professional disciplines;  demonstrate how to report professional misconduct and abuse; and describe how your personality type might influence your ethical decision making. To register for this seminar please visit: https://www.regonline.com/professionalethics. This is free for conference attendees.

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Affiliate CEO Dinner
Clyde's at Mark Center
MHA Affiliate CEOs Only

Wednesday, June 3rd

10:00 am - 5:00 pm


8:30 am - 10:30 am

MHA National Board Meeting
By Invitation Only

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

MHA National Board & Affiliate Delegate Assembly
For MHA Affiliates Only
Hilton Mark Center
MHA National Board Chair Richard van Horn and President/CEO Paul Gionfriddo will review highlights from 2014 and update the field on the work of the MHA Network. Elections for new Board members occur.

12:15 pm - 2:15 pm 

2015 Annual Conference Opening Session and Luncheon
Mental Health America’s Board Chair Richard Van Horn will open the conference. President and CEO Paul Gionfriddo will welcome conference attendees and lay out Mental Health America’s vision for our nation’s mental health and the framework for this year's conference, developed with an eye on interventions and innovations.  We will then hear from Andy Faas, author of The Bully Trap—Bullying in the Workplace with an exciting announcement.

U.S. Surgeon General VADM Vivek Murthy, M.D. will speak about addressing mental health before Stage 4, the importance of his position in the national conversation on reforming the mental health care system, and removing the stigma around mental health concerns.



2:15 pm - 3:00 pm

This is My Brave
Founded by Jennifer Marshall and Anne Marie Ames, This Is My Brave is a live presentation of touching essays, original music, and poetry will be performed by individuals living with ― or loving someone with ― a mental illness. The power of the human connection through the telling of personal experiences will grab hold of the audience for the show’s 45 minutes and beyond.

Lexie Hayden performing BRAVE by Sara Bareilles
Heather Coleman - essay
Niki Lynne Galvin - original song
Claudia Brown - humor essay
Gabbi Sulzer - poetry
Laurie Chuslo - essay
Mary Leaphart - cabaret song

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Breakout Sessions
Choose between four highly informative breakout sessions chosen from four tracks:

Policy and Advocacy
Extending and Enhancing the Mental Health Workforce
The expansion of the mental health workforce is critical if we hope to reduce the barriers that too often prevent people from getting the help they need for mental health and other behavioral health problems. Hear about the importance of including peers  in the behavioral health workforce, the integration of mental health into the nation's larger public health system, and the connection between mental health workforce and population health. Speakers: Patrick Hendry, Vice President of Consumer Advocacy, Mental Health America; Dr. Benjamin Druss, Director, Center for Behavioral Health Policy Studies, Emory University; Richard Feldman, Executive Vice President, Diamond Healthcare

Download Richard Feldman's Presentation Slides

Consumers and Support Systems
Finding Workplace Wellness
Our day-to-day mental health and wellbeing is often impacted and influenced by the type of work environment we experience. In order to be mentally healthy, we need a mentally healthy workplace, supportive colleagues and an employer who understands the value of work/life balance. Speakers: Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs and founder of the campaign 1 Million for Work Flexibility; Andy Faas, author of The Bully Trap—Bullying in the Workplace; and Charlie Hoehn, author of Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure for Anxiety

Children and Adolescents
Mother, Daughter, Father, Son: A Discussion on Recovery
What is it like to realize that your child is dealing with mental illness? What would you do? Throughout this country, parents who are caring for a child with mental illness are making incredibly tough, life-changing decisions every day. It can sometimes tear families apart, strain marriages, and have a ripple effect on the mental health of everyone involved. Coming out on the other side means finding strength and resolve from both the parents and the child. In this session, hear the stories of two families, told from the perspective of mother and daughter, and father and son. Speakers: Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, Vice President for Mental Health and Systems Advocacy, Mental Health America; Ashley Quinn, is a Hospice Nurse, Certified Rolfer™, and Certified Yoga Instructor; Pete Earley, journalist and author of CRAZY: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness; Kevin Michael Earley, board member, This Is My Brave and certified peer specialist in Fairfax County, Virginia

Deep Dive on Mental Health Issues
The Impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health issue that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault, an accident or disaster. Symptoms of PTSD can be repeatedly thinking about the trauma, anxiety and panic attacks, substance abuse, and depression. In this session, hear from storytellers, truth tellers and leaders in the fight against PSTD. Watch a sneak preview of Buried Above Ground, a new documentary that interweaves the stories of Americans battling the symptoms of PTSD. Hear what the military is doing to combat this epidemic amongst its soldiers. Listen to those with lived experience, and learn what it took for them to find the path to recovery. Speakers: Capt. Mike Colston, Director of Mental Health Program in the Clinical and Program Policy Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense; Ben Selkow, filmmaker and producer of the documentary Buried Above Ground; Jimmie Briggs, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Man Up Campaign; Alivia Tagliaferri, author, documentary filmmaker, playwright and advocate

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception
Network with attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors. Our warm and engaging receptions are a great way to unwind after a day of travel or Hill visits.  

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Former Board Member Reception
By Invitation Only


Evening On Your Own

Thursday, June 4th 

7:30 am - 6:00 pm


7:00 am - 9:15 am

Exhibitor Set-Up

9:30 am - 4:00 pm 

Exhibit Hall Open

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Legislator Awards Breakfast
The MHA Legislator Award Breakfast honors one or more current or former local, state or federal legislators who have shown leader-ship in improving the lives of people with mental health and addiction disorders, and for dedication in preserving and improving services and supports for individuals with mental health conditions. Speakers: Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO, MHA; United States Senator Debbie Stabenow; United States Representative Tim Murphy; Legislator Award Recipient former Representative Sandy Pasch (WI).

9:00 am - 10:00 am 

Opening Plenary Session
Join Paul Gionfriddo, CEO of Mental Health America as he leads an incredibly relevant discussion on the latest science of mental health with those on the front lines. Speakers: Dr. Tom Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); Pamela Hyde, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Brandon Staglin, Director of Communications at the international mental health research institution, One Mind Institute

Download Brandon Staglin's Presentation Slides

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Breakout Sessions 
Choose between four highly informative breakout sessions chosen from four tracks:

Policy and Advocacy
Advocacy in the Digital Age
Roughly one-third of the United States population gets news from Facebook, and half of all social network site users have shared the news on their profiles (Pew Research Center, 2014). As advocates, it is important that we meet our supporters where they are – and where they are is online. Social media enables 24/7 contact with supporters and to-the-minute updates about policy and legislation. You don’t want to miss out on a chance to engage! Learn best practices in online community building for advocates from the experts and how innovative online platforms are making a difference in mental health. Speakers: Shana Glickfield, partner, Beekeeper Group; Brian Loew, CEO, Inspire

Download Shana Glickfield's Presentation Slides

Download Brian Loew's Presentation Slides

Consumers and Support Systems
Improving Youth Access to Quality Care
Did you know that 50 percent of people with a mental health condition experience problems before age 14 – and that it takes an average of 10 years to get the right help?  When early warning signs start to show, it’s hard to know what to do.  Come learn and discuss problems in access to quality care for our youth. Our speakers will share about how programs like screening, residential, and outpatient care can provide the right early treatment in addressing early mental health concerns. They will discuss factors that can support or slow down the recovery process and discuss what we have heard from consumers and support systems about some strategies to address barriers and support positive changes individually and systematically.  Speakers: Theresa Nguyen, LCSW, Director of Policy and Programming, Mental Health America, Cecelia Kirkman, MSW, PhD, Research Coordinator, SEIU Healthcare, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Children and Adolescents
The Voices of Youth: Speaking Up About Mental Health
As MHA and our advocates work to support and discuss early intervention and innovation in mental health concerns, it’s important to hear from the population this often impacts directly. Many youth are diagnosed with mental illnesses or know someone that is dealing with mental health concerns, but the headlines tend to focus on those in trouble. There are so many more who are fighting against the stigma, speaking up and making a difference. Join us in listening to the inspirational stories of youth who are passionate about mental health and who are not sitting back, waiting for things to change—they are addressing mental health before Stage 4! Speakers: Andrea Hightower, Miss Mississippi Teen USA 2015; Fable the Poet; Jessica Van Tuinen, California Youth Empowerment Project (CAYEN), Chloe Westphal, Tri-Tech Skills Center

Deep Dive on Mental Health Issues
Innovations for Cognition and Psychosis
MHA knows that with treatment of mental illness, there is no silver bullet. Some individuals respond to medication, some to nutritional changes in their diet, some to online programs that stimulate the brain. Everyone responds differently; treatment and recovery is incredibly individual and unique, and sometimes one or a combination of treatments is necessary for success. Around the country, there are some amazing innovations out there that are making a difference in the lives of so many. Hear about some of them from experts in the field. Speakers: Ray Gonzalez, Executive Director, Center for Cognition and Recovery; Capt. Joseph Hibbeln, Acting Chief of the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics; Section of Nutritional Neuroscience at National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH); Dean Najarian, PharmaD, BCPP, CNS Medical Science Liaison, Janssen Scientific Affairs, 

Download Ray Gonzalez's Presentation Slides

Download Captain Hibbeln's Presentation Slides

12:15 pm - 1:45 pm

2015 Media Awards Luncheon
The media play a critical role in breaking down stigma and promoting positive mental health. From individual journalists to major news networks, the media can influence how mental health is reported on, discussed, and portrayed. Each year, MHA honors media professionals who excel in their reporting and portrayal of mental health issues in news and entertainment media. The Media Awards Luncheon will highlight and honor MHA’s 2015 awardees, and showcase their important work on the mental health issue. MHA will be presenting the 2015 Media Award to journalist Yochi Dreazen, the managing editor for news at Foreign Policy, and author of The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War; ESPN’s program Outside the Lines for its investigative report in 2014 of College Athletes and Mental Health: Sasha’s Story; and NBC4, the Washington, DC NBC affiliate for its year-long series on mental health, Changing Minds.

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Innovation Nation: Affiliate Program Poster Session
MHA affiliates are leading innovators with a focus on early intervention and whole health. Learn what makes MHA Affiliates special as they give brief presentations in the Exhibit Hall. We'll also give our coveted Innovation in Programming Award during this session to MHA of Wisconsin for its innovative program called Strong Families Healthy Homes (SFHH).

MHA 2015 Media Award Winner Yochi Dreazen will also be signing books during this time. Books will be available for purchase onsite by local Washington, DC bookstore Politics & Prose.

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm 

Breakout Sessions 
Choose between four highly informative breakout sessions chosen from four tracks:

Policy and Advocacy
Advocacy at Work: Innovation in Programming
In an effort to truly highlight the great work from around the country by MHA affiliates, this session is a deep dive into two incredibly successful affiliate programs: the 2015 Innovation in Programming Award winner MHA of Wisconsin for its innovative program called Strong Families Healthy Homes (SFHH) and MHA of Illinois, who will highlight their incredibly successful story-telling project. Speakers: Karissa Vogel, MHA of Wisconsin; Mary Ruth Coffey, MHA of Illinois

Consumers and Support Systems
The Military, Suicide and Stigma
The importance of discussing the mental health of America’s soldiers and the ingrained culture of stigma in the military cannot be understated. In this panel discussion, hear from MHA Media Award winner Yochi Dreazen, Major General (ret.) Mark Graham and Carol Graham. Mr. Dreazen’s book The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War, chronicles the beautifully compelling story of the Graham’s family heartbreak and courage in the face of unimaginable tragedy. Through the story of Mark and Carol Graham, Mr. Dreazen bring to light not only the tragedy of suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder throughout the military, but also the evolution of how the institution and its leaders are dealing with this crisis. Speakers: Major General (Retired) Mark Graham, Carol Graham, Yochi Dreazen. Moderated by Brigadier General (Retired) Stephen Xenakis, MD.

Children and Adolescents
Suicide Prevention and Youth
Teen suicide is a growing health concern. It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed only by homicide and accidents, according to the CDC. National suicide prevention efforts have included crisis center hotlines, screening programs targeting at-risk adolescents, research, and educational programs and support to those affected by suicide. Join this important conversation and hear from those on the frontlines dealing with this issue every day who are making a difference in the lives of young people. Speakers: Lynda Gargan, Interim Executive Director, National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health; Doreen Marshall, Senior Director of Education and Prevention, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention; David Bond, Vice President of Programs, The Trevor Project

Download David Bond's Presentation Slides

Deep Dive on Mental Health Issues
Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Debate
Forty-five states permit the use of assisted outpatient treatment (AOT), also called outpatient commitment. AOT is court-ordered treatment (including medication) for individuals who have a history of medication noncompliance, as a condition of their remaining in the community. AOT is a controversial topic within the mental health community, but the debate is something worth having. Join two passionate, informed affiliates for what will certainly be a lively debate on the pros and cons of AOT. Speakers: Robert N. Davison, Executive Director, MHA of Essex County; Dave Pilon, Ph.D., president and CEO, MHA of Los Angeles.

Download Bob Davison's Presentation Slides

Download Dr. Pilon's Presentation Slides

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

General Reception Featuring Premiere of #B4Stage4
Network with attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors while taking in a sneak preview of the MHA/ITN Productions project #B4Stage4. Enjoy light hors d'oeuvres and drinks in advance of the Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner.

6:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Clifford Beers Society Reception
By Invitation Only

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm 

Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner
At this Awards Dinner, MHA’s highest award is given in honor of Clifford W. Beers, the founder of Mental Health America and the country’s volunteer mental health advocacy movement. Created in 1976, the Clifford W. Beers Award has been presented annually to a consumer of mental health and/or substance abuse services who best reflects the example set by Beers in his efforts to improve conditions for, and attitudes toward, people with mental illnesses. MHA will also give the mPower Award, which celebrates the life and work of a teen or young adult who has spoken out about mental health issues to educate his or her peers and fight stigma. We will also hear an incredibly compelling story of courage, resilience and lived experience from William Kellibrew, an international advocate and trauma survivor. Speakers: Senator Christopher Murphy; William Kellibrew; Clifford W. Beers Award Winner Sue Bergeson; mPower Award Winner Chloe Westphal, Tri-Tech Skills Center for the Safe&Sound App


Friday, June 5th 

7:30 am - 2:00 pm 


8:00 am - 2:00 pm 

Exhibit Hall Open

7:30 am - 8:00 am 


8:00 am - 10:45 am

Plenary Sessions featuring:

  • Saul Levin, CEO and Medical Director, American Psychiatric Association (APA)
  • Performance by Fable the Poet
  • Tim Neal, president, TLN Consulting
  • Dwight Hollier,  Director of Transition and Clinical Services for the National Football League (NFL)
  • Terrie Williams, mental health advocate and author

Download Dr. Levin's Presentation Slides.

Download Tim Neal's Presentation Slides.

Download Dwight Hollier's Presentation Slides.

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Closing Keynote and Luncheon
Following a plated lunch, in a dialogue format led by journalist Angie Goff of NBC4, hear the story of Glennon Doyle Melton, the author of the inspiring and hilarious New York Times bestselling memoir, Carry On, Warrior. She is the founder of Momastery.com, an on-line community where hundreds of thousands of readers meet daily to experience her shameless and laugh-out-loud funny essays about marriage, motherhood, faith, addiction, recovery, and serving the marginalized. She is also the creator and president of Together Rising, a non-profit organization that has revolutionized on-line giving through “Love Flash Mobs” and has connected countless families in need with hundreds of thousands of dollars in critical resources.

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Book Signing By Glennon Doyle Melton
Glennon Doyle Melton will be on hand for a book signing of Carry On, Warrior. Local Washington, DC bookstore Politics & prose will accompany her to sell copies of the book.


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 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

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