MHA News From National: December 10, 2015 | Mental Health America

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MHA News From National: December 10, 2015


  • MHA 2016 Annual Conference Update
  • What’s Up With Congress?
  • What We’re Reading|
  • Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?
  • Did You Know?
  • Affiliate News

MHA 2016 Annual Conference Update
On June 8-10, 2016 MHA will hold its 2016 Annual Conference with the theme Media, Messaging and Mental Health at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference will take an in-depth look at the impact and influence of media and the entertainment industry on the complex issues of mental health and mental illness. We will explore the good and the bad of portrayals on the big and small screen; how celebrity can be used to influence the conversation; how messaging and language can sometimes contribute to and perpetuate the destructive stigma and discrimination of people living with mental illness; and how mental health advocates can work together to change the conversation.

Ashley Judd to Chair 2016 Annual Conference Honorary Committee
We are excited to announce that actress and mental health advocate Ashley Judd has agreed to serve as chair of our 2016 Annual Conference Honorary Committee! Our Honorary Committee is comprised of prominent local and national leaders and advocates who are dedicated to addressing mental health Before Stage 4. Last year’s committee was chaired by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and included several members of the U.S. Congress and advocates from around the country. In the coming months, we will continue to grow our supporters list, so stay tuned for more exciting additions!

2016 Conference Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities
Want to engage and interact with Mental Health America, mental health advocates, stakeholders, and decision makers eager to learn more about mental health services, products, and options for living mentally healthier lives? Don't miss this opportunity to gain visibility in person, in print and online with the influential audience at MHA's 2016 Annual Conference!  Check out our full sponsorship, exhibit and advertising guide to learn about what is possible!

Call for Workshop Proposals
Want to suggest a panel topic or speaker for this year’s conference?  There will be a traditional mixture of keynote speakers, plenary discussions and workshop panels. All workshop panels will fall within three dedicated tracks: The Power of Storytelling, Non-Fiction and Reporting, and The World of Digital. There will be pre-conference sessions on June 7, 2016 for MHA affiliates only. You have until December 31 to submit a workshop proposal for consideration. Submit a workshop proposal today!

What’s Up With Congress
Post-San Bernardino, the issues of mental health and guns have again risen to the top as ways to address the violence epidemic in this country. Mental Health America has made it clear to reporters and to policy makers that there is little connection between those with mental illness and a propensity of violence.  Study after study show that the large majority of those with a mental illness are not nor will they ever be violent. Those with a mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence. Fear and stigma have perpetuated the myth that those dealing with mental illness are violent.

MHA continues to urge Congress to move mental health reform because the system is broken, not because of any specific headlines. Our leadership and staff continue to talk with the sponsors and proponents of mental health reform legislation. 

When it was in town last week, MHA’s Board of Directors gave hours of thoughtful consideration to all the proposals before Congress, took a strong position in support of MHA continuing to urge Congress to act, and offered specific recommendations for improving both the House and Senate proposals by incorporating provisions of both together.

We believe it is time for investment in earlier identification and intervention, time to integrate health and behavioral health care and remove barriers to services integration, time to make it possible for peers to be reimbursed by insurers when they work on clinical care teams, time to promote innovation, and time to strengthen the lead federal agency dealing with mental health. 

Confused about the rhetoric around the various proposals in Congress? MHA has put together a new fact sheet that explains what the legislation does--and does NOT do. Check it out.

What We’re Reading
Modern Healthcare: Advocates Want Mental Health Reform Separate from Gun Control (Paul Gionfriddo quoted)
Today: Pediatricians Release Updated Guidelines for Children’s Medical Screening
Washington Post: Getting Mental Health—Virtually—at Your Regular Doctor’s Office

Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?
Last week Paul welcomes the MHA Board of Directors to Alexandria for its winter meeting and MHA’s annual holiday party. Earlier this week he traveled to South Carolina to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of MHA of Greenville Country in Greenville, South Carolina. Later this week he will be in Nashville, Tennessee for the next MHA Regional Policy Committee meeting. He’ll be back in Virginia next week and will continue his push for mental health reform on Capitol Hill before taking a much-deserved holiday break.

Did You Know?
Winter break can be a special time for family, friends, and a familiar place. Unfortunately for college students, going home can present its own challenges and can sometimes feel more overwhelming than school. Learn more about Winter Break Survival Tips for College Students from our Life on Campus campaign.

Affiliate News
Three MHA affiliates have new leadership. Please join MHA in welcoming Ruth Feder as the new Executive Director of MHA of Rhode Island, Marge Sondler as the Acting Executive Director of MHA of Illinois, and Robert Collesano as the new Executive Director for MHA of Maui County.

500 Montgomery Street, Suite 820
 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

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