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2015 Annual Conference
On June 3-5, 2015 Mental Health America held its 2015 Annual Conference: Intervention and Innovation Before Stage 4.
The event was a resounding success! We welcomed over 600 participants over the course of the three days to Alexandria, Virginia, where they heard from speakers including United States Surgeon General VADM Vivek Murthy; U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Christopher Murphy, Representative Tim Murphy (PA-18), Glennon Doyle Melton, and many other leaders and advocates around the country within the mental health community. Attendees of the Clifford Beers Awards Dinner even got a surprise when the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama (via video) opened the program with a special message for the group and thanked everyone for their commitment to addressing mental health before Stage 4.
Throughout the conference, we highlighted the impact MHA and our affiliates have had in improving mental health in America, and the challenges and opportunities in the years ahead. We examined innovations and programs that will play a vital role in shaping the future of mental health care.
We discussed the critical need to address those initial signs of a mental illness—before Stage 4—so that we can intervene early and make a difference. We heard from many individuals about their own personal struggle and triumph in the face of mental health problems; and we premiered the ITN Productions/ABC program, #B4Stage4.
The MHA Annual Conference is designed to provide educational opportunities for a diverse group of individuals and organizations working to advocate for and implement innovative interventions within the Before Stage 4 philosophy. The resulting audience includes members of community mental health organizations such as MHA affiliates, licensed mental health professionals, alcohol and drug counselors, peer support specialists, prevention specialists, case managers, advocates, health care consumers and their families, health care professionals, and other professionals engaged in social services, health care and public policy.
About the Before Stage 4 Philosophy
Mental Health America (MHA) – founded in 1909 – is the nation’s leading community-based non-profit dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. Our work is driven by our commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care and treatment for those who need it--with recovery as the goal.
All of our work is guided by the Before Stage 4 (#B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process. When we think diseases like cancer or heart disease, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4—we begin with prevention, identify symptoms, and develop a plan of action to reverse and hopefully stop the progression of the disease. So why don’t we do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness? Like other diseases, we need to address these symptoms early, identify the underlying disease, and plan an appropriate course of action on a path towards overall health. Mental Health America is committed to addressing mental health #B4Stage4.