MHA News From National: The Early Bird Catches the Worm! | Mental Health America

You are here

MHA News From National: The Early Bird Catches the Worm!

In this update:

MHA 2016 Annual Conference Update

The Early Bird Catches the Worm!
Have you registered for MHA’s 2016 Annual Conference yet? Don’t delay…only a few weeks left on our special Early Bird Rates! You don’t want to miss it! Register today!

Pre-Conference Day for Affiliates Only-Don’t Miss it!
The 2016 MHA Conference will have pre-conference workshops for MHA affiliates only on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. If MHA affiliates register for the full conference, pre-conference activities are included (please remember to check yes for Affiliate Pre-Conference Day, if you are planning to attend).  All activities will be held at the Hilton Mark Center.

Check out the content-packed agenda and speaker list!

2016 Call for Award Nominations—One Week Left!
Each year, MHA recognizes outstanding work in the field by its affiliates, young people and adult mental health consumers.  This year, in addition to the Media Awards, MHA will be distributing the Clifford W. Beers Award, the mPower Award, the Ruth P. Brudney Award, the Betty Humphrey Cultural Competency Award, and the Innovation in Programing Award.  Nominations are now being accepted, and anyone interested in learning more about the awards and/or nominating someone for any of the awards listed above can review the instructions and submit an application. Nominations will be accepted until midnight, March 31, 2016. All award recipients will be honored during events held at MHA’s 2016 Annual Conference, June 8-10, in Alexandria, Virginia. 

MHA 2016 Film Festival: Tickets Available!
MHA’s 2016 Annual Conference will also have a film festival! On Thursday, June 9—the second evening of our conference—we will host MHA Film Festival: Exploring the World of Mental Health through Films, where we will present a selection of short and full-length films discussing the different aspects of mental illness, addiction and recovery.  This year, the films will include Touched With Fire, The Love Effect, A Drop of Sunshine, Hollywood Beauty Salon, Healing Voices, Buried Above Ground, and Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.

The Film Festival is included in all conference registrations (except student registrations), and individual ticket options are also available for those interested in just attending the evening. Don’t delay…register today for the full conference or get your Film Festival tickets today! 

What's Up with Congress?

The Senate Health, Energy, Labor of Pensions (HELP) Committee last week advanced a bipartisan mental health bill to the full Senate. 

From The Hill: “The bill, a narrow consensus document, passed the committee unanimously on a voice vote. More thorny issues are expected to be dealt with later on the Senate floor. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the underlying bill is ready to be considered whenever Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) chooses.”

In MHA’s opinion, the proposal put forth by Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray is another good start toward mental health reform but in its draft form falls short of the necessary steps needed to truly bring about real change to those dealing with mental health concerns.  You can read Paul Gionfriddo’s blog on the HELP legislation here.

MHA continues to advocate for investment in earlier identification and intervention, integration of health and behavioral health care, the removal of barriers to services integration, the opportunity for peers to be reimbursed by insurers when they work on clinical care teams, the promotion of innovation, the strengthening of the lead federal agency dealing with mental health.

What We're Reading

NPR: Probing The Complexities Of Transgender Mental Health
Tech Times: Only 1 In 2 Suicidal Patients Asked If They Have Access To Lethal Weapons: Study
The Mighty: 16 Things People With Mental Illness Want to Tell the Next President
Military Times: The military's suicide-prevention fight has moved to Facebook and Twitter
PBS: Daredevil comic takes on a demon of a different sort: postpartum depression

Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?

This week, Paul traveled to Palm Beach County, Florida, to present as part of a program on schizophrenia  and then to San Francisco, California where he joined our partners at ITN Productions (and his son Tim!) for the follow-up to the #B4Stage4 Program that premiered at last year’s conference. “Changing The Conversation: #B4Stage4” will premiere at the 2016 Annual Conference, and will look at how we are all responsible for challenging the perception of mental health in America. Through the telling of personal stories like Paul’s journey with his son Tim, ITN will explore insights, personal experiences and real stories of people and organizations that are driving change, advocacy and policy.

Did You Know?

MHA’s May is Mental Health Month Toolkit is Here!
For over 65 years, MHA and our affiliates across the country have been responsible for the continuation and led the observance of the mental health advocacy community’s signature public education event,  May is Mental Health Month by reaching millions of people through the media, local events and screenings. This year’s theme for Mental Health Month is - Life with a Mental Illness - and will call on individuals to share what life with a mental illness feels like for them in words, pictures and video by tagging their social media posts with #mentalillnessfeelslike (or submitting to MHA anonymously). Posts will be collected and displayed on a special page on MHA’s website.

Posting with the hashtag will allow people to speak up about their own experiences, to share their point of view with individuals who may be struggling to explain what they are going through—and help others figure out if they too are showing signs of a mental illness. Sharing is the key to breaking down the discrimination and stigma surrounding mental illnesses, and to show others that they are not alone in their feelings and their symptoms.

The toolkit is now available. Download it now! 

Affiliate News

Affiliates in Action
Want to share your successful program or best practice and be featured in the Affiliates in Action newsletter? We want to hear from you and share your success stories with the Affiliate Network! Upload a submission at:

You will need your affiliate ID and Password to upload a submission. We invite submissions on an ongoing basis. However, the deadline for the spring edition is Friday, April 29, 2016. For questions, contact MHA’s Valerie Sterns at

Affiliate Leadership Change
Welcome Kristina Sabetta as the new Executive Director of MHA of Arizona. Kristina previously worked at one of MHA’s Wisconsin affiliates (under Kristina Finnel, her maiden name). Her new contact information:

MHA of Arizona
5110 N 40th Street, Suite 201 Phoenix, AZ 85018
(480) 982-5305

Webinar Opportunities
Peer Supports for Transition-Aged Youth
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET

A SAMHSA sponsored webinar presented by Mental Health America and the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health will take place Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 2:00pm Eastern Time.

Transition-Aged Youth (TAY), including foster youth, youth who have been through the juvenile justice system, and youth with mental health diagnoses, have unique needs that are often unaddressed. At this crucial stage in development, TAY peer support programs allow young people to work with trained specialists in their own age group who have similar experiences, providing them with both the benefits of best practices and the connection with someone they relate to. Panelists will discuss their programs and experiences in addition to how participants can create similar programs in their communities. 

Presenters: Matthew Gallagher and Meri Viano

Register today:

Peer-Run Respite Programs
Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET

A SAMHSA sponsored webinar presented by Mental Health America will take place Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Peer-Run Respite Programs serve as successful alternatives to hospitalization or other traditional crisis services with focuses on support, hope, and recovery. Operated by individuals who themselves have lived through crises, respites offer services to ultimately improve quality of life and reduce hospitalizations, in addition to shifting costs from expensive crisis centers and hospital stays. Panelists will discuss their programs, what they have learned over time, and share lessons on how communities can build their own peer-run respite programs.

PresentersSteve Miccio and Ashley Wilksen          

Register today:

Feedback on NFN?

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

500 Montgomery Street, Suite 820
 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

Toll Free (800) 969.6642

Fax (703) 684.5968

Web Sponsor

Text Resize

-A +A

The links on this page may contain document data that requires additional software to open: