MHA News From National: November 19, 2015 | Mental Health America

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MHA News From National: November 19, 2015

In this update:

  • 2016 Annual Conference Update: Call for Workshop Proposals!
  • 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: Call for Workshop Proposals!

It’s that time of year! No, not Thanksgiving…MHA Annual Conference planning time! And this year, we are issuing a Call for Proposals for our 2016 Annual Conference: Media, Messaging and Mental Health.

MHA’s 2016 Conference is scheduled for June 8-10, 2016 and 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 film, television, the digital landscape and the press, 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. 

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.

Submit a workshop proposal today!

What's Up with Congress?

As we continue to follow the progress of various mental health reform bills on Capitol Hill, MHA continues to talk with the sponsors and proponents of mental health reform legislation, as well as leaders of other advocacy organizations, and agencies and individuals affected by the proposals.  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.  Last week, Paul Gionfriddo, MHA’s president and CEO, elaborated on why mental health advocates need to come together. You can read his opinion on MHA’s blog Chiming In.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. There is growing momentum in Congress to address mental health. As a champion for all affected by mental health challenges, Mental Health America hopes to hear from you—Mental Health America affiliates, individuals, family members, community members and others—about what you think our government can do to improve mental health. Visit our website an answer a few quick questions to share your perspective!

What We're Reading

Washington Post: It’s 3 a.m. and you’re feeling depressed. How technology is transforming mental health care.
The Atlantic: The Silicon Valley Suicides
Columbus Dispatch: Most people who commit suicide have mental illness, don’t receive care needed
U.S. News and World Report: Did Veterans Anti-Suicide Bill Go Far Enough?

Where in the World is Paul Gionfriddo?

Last week, Paul traveled to New Orleans to give a presentation to the National Dialogues on Mental Health Conference and then continued on to Danbury, Conn. to deliver the keynote at the Ability Beyond Annual Breakfast. Earlier this week he traveled to Hartford, Conn. to speak to the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits, and today he is in Staunton, Va. with MHA of Augusta for their 61st Annual Dinner Meeting and Silent Auction. Tomorrow he’ll be back in Washington, DC to address the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health Annual Conference.

Want to see Paul at your event or host a book signing? Contact Michael King at to schedule something!

Did You Know?

…that MHA is a partner with the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities? You are invited to participate in a one-hour webinar by the Collaborative, December 9th 1:00 PM EST, to discuss the role that peer specialists can play in helping the people with whom they work connect to the religious congregations of their choice.  Last month, the Temple University Collaborative re-issued "Helping People Connect to the Religious Congregations of Their Choice: The Role of Peer Specialists" which recognizes the important role that faith and fellowship play in the lives of many peers and recommends specific strategies for peer specialists to pursue to make those connections a reality.  

The Temple Collaborative invites you into a national conversation on the topic asking:

  • What have been your experiences - as a peer or peer specialist - in connecting to mainstream religious groups?
  • What strategies have you developed to help other peers successfully become a part of religious congregations? 
  • What are the roles the peer specialists can and should - or cannot and should not-play in this sensitive arena?

You can register here.

Affiliate News

MHA Screening Webinar:  An Overview for Affiliates and Partners
Tuesday, December 8th at 2:00 p.m.  EST

This webinar will provide an overview of MHA’s screening program, including what science says about the benefits of screening, which mental health screens are offered, some highlights from the data, and how affiliates and organizations can benefit from MHA Screening. Individuals struggling with the early warning signs of mental illness often tell us, “I just want to figure out what’s going on.” Helping people explore this question was the reason why Mental Health America (MHA) decided to provide online mental health screenings.

Since launching in May 2014, the number of screeners continues to increase monthly and today we have close to 3,000 screens taken daily. Providing anonymous and confidential screens at MHA Screening allows people to explore their symptoms in a safe environment.  We’ve heard from many that taking a screen was their last step before seeking help.

Register here:

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 Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone (703) 684.7722

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Fax (703) 684.5968

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