Mental Health and Addictions Treatment Community Leads the Way to Real Reform

Former Sen. Tom Daschle, NIMH Director Thomas Insel among Speakers at National Council Conference — Broadcast Live Online

CHICAGO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The behavioral health safety net meeting in Chicago April 15-17 is at the National Council's 42nd Mental Health and Addictions Conference. Speakers include National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas Insel, former Senator Tom Daschle, and bestselling author Daniel Pink. More than 3,000 people are attending sessions on topics like Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration; Children & Youth; Health Promotion, Prevention and Recovery; and Health Reform Home Runs.

Conference events include a Mental Health First Aid course, which is free and open to the public. Taught by instructors from the local National Council member organization, Community Counseling Centers of Chicago, the course teaches participants a five-step action plan to offer initial help to people with the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis and to connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care.

All plenaries are being broadcast live at Plenary speakers include:

  • Sen. Tom Daschle: In his speech "70 Yards to the Health Reform Touchdown" on April 15, 9:15-10:15 am, the former U.S. Senate majority and minority leader will discuss how policymakers are asking about addressing access, quality, and rising costs. "If reform were a football field, we're on the 30-yard line with 70 yards to go," says Daschle, the architect of President Obama's healthcare plan and the author of Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis and Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform.
  • Thomas Insel, Director, NIMH: His morning speech, "Autism: What Do We Know?" on April 16, 10:00-11:00 am, will explain how advances in genetics and neuroscience are making it possible to trace the path between genes and illness. From 1:00-2:00 pm, he will speak on "Rethinking Mental Illness" to discuss the promise and the possibilities of the science behind the service and calls on us to "not short-change our grandchildren, sixty years from today, by failing to invest in the long-term promise of more effective diagnostics and therapeutics for mental disorders."
  • Daniel Pink: The bestselling author addresses "Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us" on April 16, 8:30-9:30 am. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does — and how that affects every aspect of life.
  • Pamela Hyde, Administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Her remarks, "Advancing Behavioral Health, Improving Lives," on April 17, 8:30-9:30 am, discuss the federal government's unique role in advancing service delivery systems and community-wide strategies that improve health status and well-being by providing leadership and voice; funding; surveillance and data; public awareness and education; regulation and oversight; and practice improvement in community-based primary and specialty care.
  • Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare: In her speech "A Real Revolution: A Call To Arms" on April 15, 8:30-9:15 am, she offers leadership lessons for what she calls the greatest revolution of our time -- a consumer-directed, technology-driven revolution in the way we receive, process, and use information. She shares how the National Council is working with members to shape the future.

Other speakers include:

  • Adam Bryant: The New York Times columnist and author discusses "The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed" on April 15, 1:45-2:45 pm. Bryant interviewed more than 70 CEOs to learn how they did their jobs and the most important lessons they learned as they rose through the ranks.
  • William C. Moyers, Vice President of Public Affairs and Community Relations, Hazelden: Moyers will speak about his bestselling memoir, "Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption" on April 16, 2:15-3:15 pm, to share his addiction story and his dedication to helping families and communities understand the power of addiction and the possibility of recovery.
  • David Satcher, MD, PhD, Former Surgeon General and Director, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine: Dr. Satcher will discuss  "Building the Next Generation of Leaders" on April 15, 1:45-2:45 pm, to share his vision on how we can nurture the leaders in public health and medicine who will have the understanding, vision, and capability to affect critical public policy decisions.

The Addiction Performance Project on April 16, 11:45AM-12:45 pm, is designed to help break down the stigma associated with addiction and promote a healthy dialogue that fosters compassion, cooperation, and understanding for patients living with addiction. The project is part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse's outreach to practicing health professionals and those in training.

The conference also includes a festival featuring films on mental illness and addiction:

  • "My Brother Mike: Soulful Music, Mental Illness, and Family Love," (April 15, 3:15-4:45 pm) an award-winning documentary about the power of music and a loving family coping with mental illness.
  • "Living with Schizophrenia: A Call for Hope and Recovery," (April 16, 10:00-11:30 am)  explores the lives of people diagnosed with schizophrenia, a chronic brain disorder that can be severe and disabling.
  • "King's Park: Stories of an American Mental Institution," (April 16, 2:15-5:00 pm) follows  Lucy Winer as she returns 30 years later to the now-abandoned institution that once held her captive.
  • "Unguarded," (April 17, 11:00AM-12:30PM) tells the story of Chris Herren, the former Boston Celtics player who fell into a 10-year addiction spiral.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) association of 1,950 behavioral healthcare organizations that provide treatment and rehabilitation for mental illnesses and addictions disorders to nearly six million adults, children and families in communities across the country. The National Council and its members bear testimony to the fact that medical, social, psychological, and rehabilitation services offered in community settings help people with mental illnesses and addiction disorders recover and lead productive lives.

SOURCE National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare