News from National: October 26, 2017 | Mental Health America

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News from National: October 26, 2017

News From National: October 26, 2017
By: Catherine Reynolds, Communications and Marketing Associate

In this update:

2018 Annual Conference Update

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Become a 2018 MHA Conference Sponsor!

Every year, Mental Health America brings together mental health advocates from all walks of life - from peers and their support networks to legislators and c-suite executives, our conference continues to grow. This year, we are offering more opportunities than ever to get involved as a supporter of our efforts. Join us in June as we explore mental health that is "fit for the future."

MHA expects over 900 registrants to descend upon Washington, DC. Our conference has grown exponentially since the founding of our Before Stage 4 Philosophy and continues to grow each year.

Download the 2018 Supporter and Promotional Opportunities Brochure to see how you can be a part of the action!

MHA’s 2018 Call for Proposals is accepting speaker applications until November 30th!

At our Fit for the Future event, we will offer a traditional mixture of keynote speakers, plenary discussions and workshop panels. All workshop panels will fall within four dedicated “fitness” tracks:

  • Track 1: Personal Fitness - What can individuals do for themselves to stay healthy for the future, focusing on exercise, nutrition and overall mental wellness?
  • Track 2: Fit Programs - What are some of the most promising innovations in research and programming currently available or will be available to the field in the coming years?
  • Track 3: Fit Practices - How is collaboration, integration, accountability, and outcomes-based thinking in providing services changing the way we treat mental illnesses?
  • Track 4: Fit Policy - What are the opportunities to build on the foundation of mental health reform in 2018 and beyond? How do we seize and act upon them for meaningful change?

We’re looking for cool concepts and bold ideas, cutting-edge innovations, and evidence-based initiatives in all tracks. We’re looking for programs and practices that are, frankly, more innovative than you’d typically get at the big, traditional conferences that also offer content to practitioners, advocates, family members, and people with lived experience.

Because our conference is different – more hands-on, more diverse in its audience, more intimate, more dynamic, more energetic, more fun – we want all our participants to leave with a better understanding about what great, new things they can do when they go home to improve the mental health of our population.

For more information and to download the full Call for Proposals and Application, visit

Please note that all submissions must be received no later than November 30, 2017.

What's Up With Congress?

Congress is continuing to work toward a possible path forward on the individual insurance markets. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is awaiting approval of the Alexander Murray legislation before scheduling a vote. A recent ruling found that President Trump does not need to pay the Cost Sharing Reductions, which will create spikes in premiums or health plan withdrawal from the markets.

The Congress is debating how to pay for reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). MHA is working to encourage quick passage of a temporary fix, as well as fund the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Community Health Centers.

Learn more here about how you can help get CHIP reauthorized.

Be on the lookout for more information and ways to take action!

What We're Reading

MHA’s Blog Chiming In

Life, Death, and Stable Markets- Reauthorize CHIP and Fund Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

Millions of Americans are impacted by mental health conditions nationwide and Congress must not let people’s coverage get stripped away.

Playing Hurt: A Narrative of Hope

John Saunders’ memoir is more than worth the read, not just because it’s hard to put down, but because ultimately, he comes to terms with his serious mental illness.


girl hiding face

Me Against the World: When Your Favorite Holiday Perpetuates Stigma

Individuals living with mental health conditions aren’t scary, but the way we treat them can be. Learn some ways to make a difference this Halloween.

What I Learned About People Through Mental Health Screens

With 2.25 million mental health screens, we remember that screeners are more than just numbers, they are people with a story.

Clips from Around the Country

Huffington Post: Find Your Words: Hope for People with Depression or other Mental Health Conditions (MHA Mention) 

Forbes: A New Study Finds Most Employees Want to Quit, But There’s a Simple Way to Keep Them Happy (MHA Mention) 

BP Magazine: Bipolar Disorder and Grappling With Obsessive Thoughts

Esperanza: Depression and the Mystery of Motivation 

Harvard Business Review: What Happens to Mental Health at Work When Our Devices Know How We Feel?

Teen Vogue: How Incarceration Impacts LGBTQ Youth’s Mental Health

Where In the World Is Paul Gionfriddo?

Last week, Paul and senior staff traveled to New Jersey to meet with their counterparts at Janssen to discuss areas of mutual priority in the coming year. At week’s end, he and Kelly Davis were in Portland, Maine, to present to members of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems on the value of using MHA certified peer specialists in health care systems.

This week, MHA hosted a meeting in Alexandria of corporate Clifford Beers Society members, during which Paul, MHA Vice President of Policy and Programs Theresa Nguyen, and other senior staff gave them a sneak peek at the soon-to-be-launched Screening-to-Supports (S2S) program.

After quick trips to visit family in Austin and Palm Beach County, and a few days in the office next week, Paul will be on a short trip into DC the week after to present on screening, S2S, workplace mental health, and peer certification, for a Leadership Institute health care systems fall meeting.

There are still miles to go before the end of the year for Paul, with work-related trips on the schedule to Boca Raton FL, New York City, southwest Pennsylvania, and – as part of a seven-member delegation in December of national nonprofit leaders – Israel.

Did You Know?

MHA Will Host a Webinar on Peer Partnership in Recovery and Social Inclusion Part 2 On Thursday, November 9th, 2017

What: MHA Webinar on Peer Partnership in Recovery and Social Inclusion Mental Health America realizes that social exclusion and isolation contribute to ill health. MHA's It's My Life Program promotes social connectivity through the use of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Peer Support, professional Life Coaching, and Self Direction. To reduce costs of implementation and increase availability, MHA has created a new model of its immensely successful program that utilizes a support group format, “It’s My Life: Peer Partners”. Please join us for the a 3-part webinar series to learn how you can implement this remarkable cost-saving intervention that promotes social connectivity to support the members of your community.

When: Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET/ 11:00 AM PT

Where: Visit and Dial: 701-801-1211, Enter Access Code: 808-178-774

Why: To learn about the application of the Peer Partner model, explore its advantages and potential challenges, and learn more about the training MHA offers to organizations desiring to implement the program. If you are unable to attend the webinar, a recording will be uploaded to the MHA Webinar Webpage following the event.

Instructions to join the webinar:

Register for the webinar by clicking here. About five minutes prior to the webinar start time, click this online webinar link, and follow the prompts. It is recommended to join your audio by dialing in, rather than using your microphone and speakers; however, both options are available. Google Chrome and Firefox are compatible browsers. Unfortunately, Safari is not supported.

1. Register for the Webinar Prior to November 9th, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET

2. Join the Online Webinar: Online Webinar Link:

3. Dial Into the Conference (United States): Phone Number: (701) 801-1211 Access Code: 808-178-774 International Dial-In Numbers:

For more information on the program please contact Shavonne G. Carpenter, or Patrick Hendry,

Join our Emerging Minds LinkedIn Group!

In partnership with Guidewell Innovation, the Emerging Minds event was held as a means of exploring how organizations can work together towards shortening the path to wellness for millions of people living with mental illness. As we continue to work together, we invite you to join our Emerging Minds LinkedIn group. As a member of this group, you’ll enjoy these benefits and more:

• Be the first to know about key journey updates and milestones

• Get access to impactful articles and research

• Share updates from your work related to the journey

• Have the opportunity to discuss the opportunities and challenges of illuminating the path to mental wellness with your peers

Just click the icon to request access to the group. If you know of a colleague that you feel would benefit from participating with the group, please feel free to invite them to join us.

Exclusive Bell Bracelet for Mental Health Awareness

Thank you so much for your continuous support of Mental Health America. With your support we are able to reach millions with our message to #fightintheopen.

bell bracelet

In our efforts to motivate more people to #fightintheopen, we teamed up with Terradamus to offer an exclusively-designed Mental Health Bell charm Bracelet.

The bell charm is a replica of our 300 lb. Mental Health Bell, which was cast from the chains and shackles once used in asylums across the US. The Bell was cast with the vision of creating hope out of heartbreak and serves as a reminder that we must not be afraid to fight in the open.

We ask that you join us in continuing to #fightintheopen and pick up your own Mental Health Bracelet at our online store.

MHA Associate Partnership Program 

Did you know you can become an Associate Member of MHA? Learn more about our Associate Membership program:


Affiliate News

Mental Health Connecticut’s Fifth Annual Art of Wellbeing: An Evening of Jazz, Hope, and Healing

art of wellbeing
Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) held its Fifth Annual Art of Wellbeing: An Evening of Jazz, Hope, and Healing on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at The Cabaret Theatre of Mohegan Sun. Each Art of Wellbeing features a different art form but the consistent thread with each event is to explore how art can be a powerful force in health and wellness.

The event featured special guests Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene, two inspirational and remarkable members of the Connecticut community. Jimmy and Nelba are the parents of Ana Grace whose life was taken during the tragedy in Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012. Connecticut-born, jazz musician Jimmy Greene and his quartet, played music from his recent Grammy® nominated release. Through an intimate discussion, led by New England News Collaborative and WNPR’s John Dankosky, Jimmy and Nelba shared their experience of the power of healing through music and personal expression and how the Márquez-Greene family promotes love, connection, and community to honor their daughter, care for their son, rebuild their lives, and impact the lives of those around them.

Nelba also shared the good works of The Ana Grace Project, a nonprofit where the family’s slogan of “Love Wins” has become a powerful force for changing thousands of lives in our schools and communities.

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With guests in attendance from across the Connecticut community and beyond, this powerful event made a strong impact on event goers while raising funds for MHC and The Ana Grace Project, through ticket sales, a successful silent auction, and sales of notecards that feature artwork from a MHC program participant and artist.

“Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene are treasures to the greater Connecticut community. Jimmy with his music and Nelba through her advocacy demonstrate fighting in the open after the life of their daughter Ana Grace was taken during Sandy Hook,” Reginald Williams, Board Chair, Mental Health America and Senior VP of Avalere Health.

“What an awesome event you held on Saturday, the Art of Wellbeing at its finest! The entertainment, discussion and cause were so beautifully woven together. It was inspiring and what a superb venue! Thanks so much!” – Kristie Barber, Keep The Promise Co-Chair, Executive Director of Region II Regional Mental Health Board in Connecticut.

Registration for Las Vegas RPC Meeting Now Open!
Rooms are filling fast at the Las Vegas RPC Meeting which takes place on Wednesday, 12/13 – Thursday, 12/14. As just a few rooms are left, we encourage affiliates to book a flight and room reservation as soon as possible! December’s meeting coincides with the Council of State Governments National Conference and will highlight the intersections of mental health, criminal justice, and immigration. Suicide prevention efforts, and innovative programs within MHA affiliate network will also be featured.

Submit Legislator Nominees
Have you worked with a legislator in your state to improve behavioral health policies and practices? Please nominate your state legislative champions by sending the legislator’s name, title, state, and mental health accomplishment to Caren at The nomination deadline is November 30.

Feedback on NFN?
Want to see more or less of something? MHA welcomes your feedback! Please send any thoughts and suggestions to me at

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