Monday, June 20
Exploring the Issues, Training for Action
Learning, exploring, sharing and training were the main activities today. The day began with a series of learning tracks on seven different issues critical to the success of the NAMI movement, ranging from children and adolescent issues to Medicaid reform, and from criminal justice reform to workforce issues. One of the sessions focused on the role of NAMI on college campuses, with student group leaders presenting their vision. And for the first time this year, there was an entire program track in Spanish.
The learning continued into the afternoon with two blocks of workshops designed to give attendees practical tools for making a difference in the lives of people with mental illnesses in their states and local communities. Another first this year was a special session on the role of spirituality and faith in the acceptance and treatment of mental illness in communities of color.
The evening brought three headliner events. The first was a panel discussion on the insanity defense that examined the feasibility of a new model for considering severe mental illness in criminal cases. Among the panelists were George Parnham, attorney for Andrea Yates, and David Kaczynski, brother of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty.
The second event was a presentation on transforming the practice of psychiatry in
The third event was a reading and book signing by author Bebe Moore Campbell of her soon-to-be-released novel, 72 Hour Hold. Ms. Campbell is an active NAMI member, and her new novel focuses on the effects of bipolar disorder in a contemporary African-American family.
View photos of Monday's activities!
Stars helping slay stigma of mental illness
At a time when Texas' public mental health system is cracking under the strain of too many patients and too little money, Austin celebrities are joining the ranks of national figures who are openly talking about their battles with mental illness. (opens new window toAustin American-Statesman; requires free registration)