Day 1 at the 2023 Mental Health America Conference: Next Gen Prevention

Day 1 at the 2023 Mental Health America Conference: Next Gen Prevention

MHA Admin

Thu, 06/08/2023 – 16:45

The opening day of the 2023 Mental Health America Conference, Next Gen Prevention, kicked off with nearly 600 people in Washington, D.C., and over 10,000 virtual attendees tuning in from across the country and globe.

Jennifer Bright, MHA Board Chair, welcomed Aaron D. Sam, a traditional counselor/healer and medicine man at Tséhootsooí Medical Center, to the main stage. Sam sang a traditional Navajo Nation song about coexistence and presented MHA President and CEO Schroeder Stribling with a gift.

“At Mental Health America, we exist to promote mental health and well-being, prevent mental illness and crisis, and advocate for all those in need,” Stribling said. “This year, we are expanding and deepening our longstanding commitment to mental health and well-being in keeping with our strategic plan, Next Gen Prevention.” Learn more about the basis of this year’s conference theme and Mental Health America’s new strategic plan focusing on Next Gen Prevention.

Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, addressed via video the youth mental health crisis. “[Youth] stories and the data that we’ve been gathering made it clear that depression, suicide, anxiety, and loneliness have been profound challenges for our kids, and they are stealing the future of our children.” He also thanked Mental Health America and the conference attendees for their work in mental health spaces.

Carmela Wallace, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and the mother of Juice WRLD (also known as Jarad Higgins), had a conversation with Mahmoud Khedr, a former MHA Youth Mental Health Leadership Council member and new MHA Board member. Wallace, upon Juice WRLD’s passing, established Live Free 999 to help those who suffer in silence and normalize the conversation about mental health and addiction. She spoke about how she tried to get her son to open up and talk about his anxiety.

“We found an African American male [therapist] that he could talk to, and that was key,” Wallace said. “He needed to feel comfortable. It’s different when [youth] have someone they feel comfortable with.” She told other parents to “listen to your children, take the judgment off, and let them know you’re there for them.”

MHA’s 2023 Clifford W. Beers Award was presented to Antoine B. Craigwell. The award, MHA’s highest honor, was created in 1976 and is presented annually to a consumer of mental health and/or substance abuse services who best reflects the example set by Beers in his efforts to improve conditions for, and attitudes toward, people with mental illnesses. Craigwell produced the documentary “You Are Not Alone”; founded DBGM, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to raising awareness of the underlying factors contributing to depression and suicidal ideation in Black gay men; and provides training in LGBTQ+ peoples of color cultural competency, mental health, and HIV.

“When I attempted suicide in 1999, I did not know of anywhere I could turn,” Craigwell said. “In our society there is a sense of things we should not talk about.” He went on to say, “Community members, it is important that, just as much as we can talk about having a stomach ache, a headache, our ankles are hurting, let’s easily talk about our mental health.”

Breakout sessions led by experts, advocates, and individuals from across the country covered a range of topics, such as the youth mental health implications of the climate crisis, 988, state courts’ response to mental illness, and the role of technology in preventative mental Health care.

Watch brief recap of 2023 MHA Conference Affiliate Day presentations

Watch brief recap of 2023 MHA Conference Affiliate Day presentations

MHA Admin

Thu, 06/08/2023 – 11:07

More than 120 individuals from Mental Health America Affiliates across the country convened June 7 for the MHA Conference Affiliate Day. Twelve sessions covered topics such as 988 implementation, LGBTQ+ peer support, redefining Black masculinities, and making housing attainable. In-person and virtual attendees were able to engage and ask questions for dynamic and interactive presentations.

Watch a recap

Watch recap of the 2023 Mental Health America Policy Institute

Watch recap of the 2023 Mental Health America Policy Institute

MHA Admin

Wed, 06/07/2023 – 11:50

On June 6, Mental Health America conducted its 2023 National Policy Institute: Tweens, Teens and Technology in Washington, D.C. The program explored policies that, if adopted, would support adolescent mental health and healthy behaviors online and eliminate manipulation and harmful behavior online. Experts discussed risk and protective factors for youth using social media, video gaming, and virtual reality.

Participants included Nora Volkow, Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Drug Abuse; Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D., chief science officer at the American Psychological Association; Monica Anderson, director of research at Pew Research Center; Fred Dillon, head of advisory Services at Hopelab; Megan Moreno, M.D., chief medical officer at the Center of Excellence for Adolescent Social Media Use; and Juan Acosta, youth advocate.

Watch a recap

The Future of Mental Health Starts with Prevention

The Future of Mental Health Starts with Prevention

MHA Admin

Fri, 06/02/2023 – 16:40

by Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO of Mental Health America

“Youth have ideas that can transform the system to serve all and not just some.” 
Juan Acosta, Collegiate Mental Health Innovation Council member and 2023 Policy Institute speaker

When the current mental health crisis feels insurmountable, I look to the Next Generation – the emerging activists and visionaries speaking up about their lived experiences and speaking out about the transformation they envision.

Every day, 20,000 people visit Mental Health America’s free and anonymous National Prevention and Screening platform. About three quarters of them are under age 25. We hear countless stories from individuals, parents, peers, friends, loved ones, and educators, and young people about the distress and despair they are facing, and the life circumstances which are contributing to their challenges.

Yet also every day we are witness to resilience, strength, and hope. We are committed to following these voices and stories – to understanding what helps, what harms, and what heals, and to ally ourselves with the youth leaders of tomorrow to build a future of mental health care to “serve all and not just some.”

According to our 2023 State of Mental Health in America Report, 1 in 10 youth or young people in the U.S. are currently experiencing depression that is severely impairing their ability to function at school or work, at home, with family, or in their social lives, and nearly 60% of young people with major depression report not receiving any mental health treatment. Additionally, our 2022 National Screening and Prevention data noted escalating rates of concern and risk among adults about ADHD. BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Screeners were at the greatest risk – scoring at higher rates than others on measures of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

There are multiple factors involved in our current crisis: lack of access and affordability, a mental health workforce shortage, the effects of pandemic isolation and loneliness, social media dangers, systemic inequities and racism, which is particularly impacting our youngest populations.

If we are to keep pace with their needs, their demands, and their vision for the new future they want to see, we need to focus on what’s next – and what’s next is prevention. Prevention measures are essential to reduce the emergence of new mental health conditions, intervene early when they do emerge, and promote the recovery and resilience of those struggling, living with, and/or experiencing mental health and substance use conditions or crises.

Over the next two years, Mental Health America will continue to activate on our strategic plan, which is focused on the next generation of prevention (Next Gen Prevention). We are focused on the future – a focus that centers our attention on the health and well-being of future generations, amplifies the necessary systemic reforms to address equity, quality, and inclusion in mental health care, and embraces new insights and potential from the frontiers of science and technology. We are continuing to fight for and center the needs of people with lived experience through six horizon focus areas:

Social Determinants of Mental Health | Next Gen Equity
Next Gen Digital | Next Gen Innovation
Spirituality | Next Gen Resilience
Screening 2.0 | Next Gen Prevention
Collective Impact | Next Gen Sustainability
Substance Use | Next Gen Support

Across every focus area, Mental Health America is expanding and deepening our 114-year commitment to the overall mental health and well-being of the population with Next Gen Prevention. Through our programs and policy work, we are promoting public mental health literacy, which includes an understanding of the vital conditions necessary for basic safety and well-being, and highlighting the protective factors that reduce risk and promote overall health, mental fitness, and resilience. We are ensuring that the next wave of digital services centers lived experiences, prioritize an openness to new thinking, approaches, and partners, and we are advancing our own digital and screening supports to meet these standards and ambitions.

As we look to harness and deploy the protective factors that will increase the mental health of future generations and promote recovery for those in need, we will explore the role of spirituality as a population-scale driver of resilience and well-being. With most Americans saying some form of spirituality plays an important role in their lives, there is an ever-increasing bank of evidence that personal well-being is enhanced by mindfulness, spirituality, and social connectedness.

And we are further developing what we already know – expanding the deployment of Mental Health America’s National Prevention and Screening Program for individuals, schools, and other partners and advancing our Screening Program. We will continue supporting and enhancing the capacity and impact of our vibrant Affiliate Network and establish strategic partnerships to expand our national reach and impact. And we will ensure the integration of mental health conditions into all of our mental health work, giving equal weight to substance use and eating disorders, which often face a greater weight of stigma.

Our focus will come to life at Mental Health America’s Conference, Next Gen Prevention, which kicks off tomorrow, June 6, in Washington, D.C. and online. With breakout sessions like Supporting Youth Substance Use and Addiction Recovery from a Peer Perspective and Emerging Trends in the Development and Uptake of Digital Peer Support Technologies, the conference integrates our horizon areas and focuses our attention and conversation on our priorities.

Mental Health America’s Conference and strategic plan provide the frame, and together we commit to action. We are integrating Next Gen Prevention across our work in direct service, public education, research, advocacy, and public policy. By activating the preventive mental health measures in Next Gen Prevention, we look to make measurable progress across key indicators of mental health – reducing the percentage of all people, and especially young people, reporting psychological distress.

This is what’s next for Mental Health America, and I am eager to build and implement our Next Gen Prevention plan alongside you. If you are joining the conference, I’d love to meet you in person and hear how you’re already achieving what’s next. You can also send me an email at [email protected] and learn about other opportunities to get involved with Mental Health America.

Today, Mental Health America is activating our next plan for progress and pursuing our vision for a future of well-being and flourishing for all.

NIMH Data Archive (NDA) Data Submission OH Webinar

This webinar outlines the general data submission process from determining what data to submit through validation and upload. Topics included are: cumulative vs. non-cumulative data, Data Structure approval, Submission Templates, required vs. recommended Data Elements, GUID and pseudoGUIDs, mandatory Data Structures, Submission Exemptions, and an overview of the Validation and Upload Tool.