News From National - March 13, 2015 | Mental Health America

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News From National - March 13, 2015

By: Erin Wallace, MHA Senior Director of Communications and Marketing

TGIF Mental Health Advocates! Spring has (finally) sprung here in Virginia and the snow is melting. So, it’s time to jump in some puddles! Really—it’s my new form of therapy. What better way to release the frustrations of the work week and remember the simple joys of life than to recall the fun of being a kid? So go ahead and get a little wet…it’s worth it!


MHA 2015 Annual Conference Update (June 3-5, 2015 in Alexandria, Virginia)

Seriously, have you registered for MHA’s Annual Conference yet? What are you waiting for? The confirmation of yet ANOTHER amazing headliner? OK, you got it!

MHA is excited to announce that United States Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut will be speaking at the conference, as the guest speaker for the Legislator Awards Breakfast on June 4. Elected in 2012, Senator Murphy is a longstanding supporter of MHA and mental health reform, and serves on the Appropriations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee.

We are also excited to share that This Is My Brave, founded locally in Virginia, will be performing the morning of June 3.  We all know the power of storytelling…so many of us in the MHA community have personal stories of mental health and mental illness, and many have run programs highlighting those important stories. This is My Brave is a local non-profit that puts on a live presentation of touching essays, original music, and poetry performed by individuals living with―or loving someone with―a mental illness. As they say on their website “The power of the human connection through the telling of personal experiences will grab hold of the audience for the show’s ninety minutes and beyond.”

As Paul Gionfriddo likes to say: “There are many conferences you should attend. THIS is the conference you will WANT to attend.” Check out the latest speakers list for even more exciting additions and don’t forget to register!

Already registered? Then help spread the word on social media by sharing our Facebook Event page with all your friends!

Nominations OPEN for MHA 2015 Awards

We want to honor the great work in the field by affiliates, young people and adult mental health consumers. This year, in addition to the already-selected Media Awards, MHA will be distributing the Clifford W. Beers Award, the mPower Award, the Legislator Award, and the Innovation in Programing Award. All award recipients will be honored during events held at MHA’s 2015 Annual Conference. For more information about the awards and the nomination process, click here to review criteria and download nomination forms. But don’t delay! Nominations for all awards must be submitted by March 31, 2015.

What’s Up with Congress?

This month, some great things! Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) and Chris Gibson (NY-19) reintroduced the Mental Health in Schools Act (H.R. 1211) on March 3rd. The Mental Health in Schools Act authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to fund and assist school systems to implement and evaluate programs and policies that bring mental health treatment and prevention into schools. MHA sees the integration of mental health into schools as one of the next frontiers in effectively addressing mental health needs and hopes to see this bill passed this session.  The Mental Health in Schools Act is an excellent next step in realizing our vision of prevention for all, early intervention for those at risk, treatment for those in need, and recovery as the goal.

What We’re Reading

Psychology Today: Homeless by Choice, By Paul Gionfriddo

SAMHSA Announces Suicide Prevention App: Suicide Prevention App Aimed at Health Care Providers

USA TodayMental health coverage unequal in many Obamacare plans

New York TimesIt’s Not Always Depression

Washington Times: Suicide down among reservists, National Guardsmen: report

New York Times: Blocking the Paths to Suicide

Where in the world is Paul Gionfriddo? (And where is he going?)

Last week the MHA Board of Directors gathered for its quarterly meeting, where Paul and MHA staff were able to share many of the exciting developments and activities from MHA. After a taking quick trip to Emory University to give a lecture and do a book signing at the Rollins School of Public Health earlier this week, he even got to spend a couple days in the office! But soon he’ll hit the road again to see many of you. Next week, Paul travels to Tennessee where he will participate in a book signing in Vanderbilt and then join MHA Middle Tennessee, MHA East Tennessee and other members of the TN Coalition for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for their “Day on the Hill.” He then heads to Louisville, Kentucky to attend MHA Kentucky’s “A Celebration of Mental Health” event. Down the road in May, Paul will be doing events with affiliates in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Connecticut (more to come on these later), and be the keynote speaker for MHA of Monmouth County Annual Dinner on May 13 in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.

Want to see Paul at your event or host a book signing? Contact Michael King at to schedule something!

Did You Know?

…that MHA has two new exciting partnerships?

We are national partners with Guard Your Health, an online resource for Army National Guard Soldiers and family members to find health-related tools and information. MHA has also joined forces with 1 Million for Work Flexibility, a diverse coalition of companies, nonprofits, and business leaders who understand that work flexibility benefits us all. MHA believes that work-life balance can lead to better mental health, greater productivity and less stress.

Affiliate News

Mental Health America: Charlottesville-Albemarle announced the appointment of Sue Hess as Interim Executive Director. “Sue is the Mental Health Navigator with MHA: C-A.  Her experience as Executive Director of The Women's Initiative, her long experience as a mental health nurse at the University of Virginia and her involvement with the Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition (Coalition) will be valuable in guiding MHA: C-A until a permanent Executive Director is hired.”

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 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

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