MHA News From National: January 29, 2016 | Mental Health America

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MHA News From National: January 29, 2016

By: Erin Wallace, MHA Vice President of Communications and Marketing

In this update:

MHA 2016 Annual Conference Update: Registration is Open! Take Advantage of Early Bird Rates!

I’m constantly amazed by the dedication of mental health advocates. We opened registration just over a week ago and I’m so excited to see how many people have signed up already! If you missed our last News from National, you may have missed the news that registration for Mental Health America’s 2016 Annual Conference: Media, Messaging and Mental Health is officially open! So what are you waiting for? Register Today!

MHA’s conference (June 8-10 in Alexandria, VA) 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. With a particular focus on the entertainment industry, the digital landscape, and the press, we will explore the good and the bad of portrayals on the big and small screen; how the digital landscape is revolutionizing how we deal with mental health; 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.

Register now and take advantage of our Early Bird rates and save big! Check out the conference website. You can check out the agenda, register and secure your hotel room at a special, limited-time rate at the Hilton Mark Center.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is going to be the most exciting, content-rich MHA conference ever. We are finalizing breakout speakers and carving out time in the agenda for some incredible keynotes. In the coming weeks, we will have several exciting announcements about our agenda—from Hollywood to Washington, from television to film to sports—our speaker line-up is going to be amazing.

Be sure to look for future emails and check out for updates on speakers and topics! 

Don’t miss out, Register Today!

What's Up with Congress?

Our message is the same: 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, and have 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. We are hopeful that the House and Senate committees that have jurisdiction over H.R. 2646 and S. 1945 will be marking up the bills soon.

What We're Reading

Washington Post:  Mental Health Screenings Could Save Lives
MHA Chiming In: MHA Applauds Growing Support for Mental Health Screening for Women and Children
Health Affairs Blog: Reducing Health Care Costs Through Early Intervention of Mental Illnesses
Psych Central: Language Matters When Referring to Mental Illness
Forbes: Improving The State Of Mental Health Care In 2016
NYT: De Blasio’s Wife and Council Members Bare Personal Revelations at Mental Health Hearing

Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?

Paul has (thankfully!) been in the office a good amount this month, but will hit the road again shortly. He will be in Clearwater, FL on February 17 for the MHCA Winter Quarter Conference and in Missouri at the end of February for the Missouri Mental Health Rally at the State Capitol with MHA of Eastern Missouri.

Did You Know?

You can drive a Ferrari and support mental health at the same time?
Join one of our newest partner organizations, Exotic Garage Promotions, in increasing mental health awareness through the #PurposeDrivenTour. First stop is Jacksonville, Florida during Valentine’s weekend, February 12-14. Select your exotic car (Lamborghini, McLaren, or Ferrari) and DRIVE with a purpose. Learn more and purchase tickets at  Join @Exotic__Garage on their #PurposeDrivenTour and support #mentalhealthawareness. More info & tix

You can get your exercise in and support MHA at the same time?
MHA, The Herren Project (THP), and Break the Stigma Project have partnered to present the HEROES IN RECOVERY 5,000K Icebreaker Run. On Sunday, May 16 the Icebreaker Run Team will depart from Los Angeles. Six runners, all people in recovery from mental health issues, will begin a 3,100-mile journey in order to shine a bright light on the power and possibilities of recovery from addiction, depression, PTSD, and other mental health illnesses. The run is a relay that will have each runner covering 22 miles per day, for 22 straight days. Icebreaker will invite the world to meet a group of runners, guest runners, and everyday people that have been impacted by mental illness. The run will finish on June 9, 2016 in Alexandria, VA at MHA’s Annual Conference. MHA will have more details to share in the coming weeks, including news on some big names participating, so stay tuned!

MHA is HOW old?!
MHA National is celebrating its 107th birthday on February 19th! We're compiling some of the reasons why our network celebrates MHA, our affiliates, and our history. Please share your thoughts (short and succinct are preferable) by sending them to Casey Dillon at today!

Affiliate News

Please welcome Ann Mendez, new Executive Director of MHA of Charlottesville-Albemarle and Trisha Kajimura, new Executive Director of MHA of Hawaii!!

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

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