On May 20th and 21st, we held our annual conference, "B4Stage4: Starting the Conversation". It brought together individuals and family members living with mental illness, health care providers, and other mental health partners in public safety, education and faith communities, by discussing the early detection and prevention of mental illness.
There were over 200 people attending, 12 sponsors, many exhibitors and so much more! It was a fantastic event, we saw so many colleagues, friends, and associates there. Paul Gionfriddo, our main Keynote Speaker for the event and CEO and President of Mental Health America, gave especially moving speeches. His speech topics centered on ideas relating to the integration of other services with behavioral health systems, prevention, early identification, and intervention in regards to mental illnesses. We also had amazing people that gave insight and information during their panel on Recovery.
Be sure to check out some of our photos from the conference posted on our Instagram account by clicking the "Conference Photos" button! Thanks for coming! Stay connected with us by joining our mailing list and following us on social media! Here is a preview of some of those conference photos featuring our Board of Directors members, event attendees, and panelists.
Behavioral Health in Rural Arizona: Assessing Network Strength
On November 17th, we co-sponsored a video-conference “Behavioral Health in Rural Arizona: Assessing Network Strength”. In total, via all locations, 101 participants (23 via the internet, 22 on-site in Phoenix, and 56 at host sites in Nogales, Bisbee, Parker, Somerton, Prescott, Flagstaff, and Tucson) attended the video-conference. Dr. Michael Shafer from ASU’s Center for Applied Behavioral Health and Policy spoke about approaches to network adequacy. Dr. Michael McKinney from Cenpatico Integrated Care and Shawn Nau from Health Choice Integrated Care both spoke about assessing Arizona’s rural behavioral health networks and what each of their organizations are doing to meet this need. Lastly, Rep. Heather Carter from District 15 spoke about HB 2502 and the opportunities to increase access to tele-psychiatry through state legislative policy.
Association of Associations
On November 22nd, we held another Association of Associations (A of A) meeting. The A of A is a network of advocates who come together to discuss mental health issues in our community and the advocacy needs surrounding them. Together, we work to see change. This last meeting addressed the potential implications of the recent election and was attended by 48 fellow advocates. The meeting was recorded and viewed by 50 additional advocates whom were not able to attend our event in person. Speakers included: Emily Jenkins, Executive Director of Arizona Council of Human Service Providers, who spoke on state advocacy issues; Debbie Plotnick, Vice President Mental Health and Systems Advocacy at Mental Health America, who spoke on national advocacy issues and Shannon Groppenbacher, Policy Advocacy Director at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc. who spoke on the need and strength on working together to make the greatest impact. To view the recording of the meeting, click here.