from across the country convened last month in Washington, D.C.,
for NMHA’s 2005 Annual Conference,under the theme “Justice
for All,” to discuss new ways to put an end to inequities in
the mental health system, raise awareness and increase access to care.
An expansive cross-section of plenary sessions, more
than 30 workshops and a series of special events and networking opportunities
attendees with tools they can put to use in the field to make a difference
in their communities.
Top: Award winners (l-r) Reese Butler, Ira Lourie,
Jordan Walton, Katie Walton, Pat Risser, Emily Rose, Lori Pede
Bottom: MHA of South Central Kansas staff and volunteers (left)
meet with the staff of Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
A major highlight of the conference was journalist
acceptance of NMHA’s William Styron Award. The award“helped
give my life meaning,” said Pauley, who was recognized for speaking
out about her bipolar disorder in her book SKYWRITING: A Life Out
of the Blue.
Attendees also had a chance to screen the critically-acclaimed
documentary “Juvies,” which
follows the lives of children who’ve been prosecuted and imprisoned
as adult criminals. The film’s director, Leslie Neale, was on
hand to accept NMHA’s President’s Award on behalf of actor
Mark Wahlberg, the film’s producer.
Other award winners honored at the meeting include:
- Clifford Beers Award: Pat Risser, advocate and
mental health consultant, for pioneering the inclusion of consumers
as service providers, and
- Sandy Brandt Volunteer Service Award: Sharon Speer,
a University of Utah graduate student and former Miss Davis County
her tireless service on behalf of the MHA of Utah.
- Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award: Ira Lourie,M.D.,
for reforming the way in which children with complex behavioral
heath treatment needs and their families get care.
- mpower Youth Awards: Rebecca Jones, 19, of
Melborne,Fla.; Lori Pede, 17, and Emily Rose, 17, of Broken Arrow,Okla.;
23, of La Grange Park, Ill.; and JordonWalton, 16, and Katie Walton,
14, of Paradise Valley, Ariz.,for speaking out to help
change youth attitudes about mental illness, and to fight stigma
- Lela Rowland Prevention Award: Beverly Long, M.S.,M.P.H.,
former president of the MHA of Metropolitan Atlanta, MHA of Georgia,
and the World Federation of Mental Health, for her 30 years of work
as a leader and visionary in global mental illness prevention.
- Innovation in Programming: MHA of Middle
Hope—Don’t Duck Mental Health” public education
- Betty Humphrey Cultural Competence Award: NMHA of Georgia for
programs that reach out to African Americans;Latinos; and the Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning communities.
- Special Honors: Reese Butler, president of the
Kristin Brooks Hope Center, Inc., for his groundbreaking work in
launching the center
and the 1-800-SUICIDE crisis line.
Left: NMHA of Los Angeles County President and CEO Richard
Van Horn and Lela Rowland Prevention Award Winner Beverly
Long at the opening night dinner.
Middle: NMHA of Georgia Executive Director Cheryl Josephson and NMHAG’s
Rainbow Brigade Co-chair Terrance McPhaul, accepts the NMHA Betty Humphrey
Cultural Competence Award on behalf of the NMHAG.
Right: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., receives a 2005 Legislator
of the Year Award from NMHA Board Chair Cynthia Wainscott. Rep. Ted Strickland,
D-Ohio, also received a 2005 Legislator of the Year Award.
NMHA’s 2005 Annual Conference was made possible
through the generous support of Bristol-Myers SquibbCompany/Otsuka
Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; ABILITY magazine; AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
LP; GlaxoSmithKline PLC; Janssen Pharmaceutical Products,L.P.; and
Pharmaceuticals. Additional generous support was made possible by
the Center for Mental Health Services,the National Institute of Mental
Health, and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.
NMHA’s 2006 Annual Conference will be held
June 8-10 in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned to this newsletter and
to www.nmha.org for updates.