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From Discovery to Recovery: NAMI Hosts Annual Convention In Washington, D.C.

Mary Rappaport/Valerie Rheinstein 703/524-7600
For Immediate Release
7 Jul 98

ARLINGTON, VA -- The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), the nation’s leading grassroots advocacy organization solely dedicated to improving the lives of people with severe mental illnesses, will host its annual convention July 15-19, 1998 in Washington, D.C. In keeping with the theme From Discovery to Recovery the convention will focus on dramatic breakthroughs and scientific advancements in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of serious brain disorders that are helping millions of Americans recover from the once crippling effects of severe mental illness.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 15 through Sunday, July 19, 1998

WHERE: Washington Hilton and Towers Hotel; 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW; 202/483-3000

National newsmakers, policymakers, best-selling authors, and leading medical experts in neuroscience, psychiatry and research will be available for media interviews. More than 2,000 NAMI members from around the country also will available to relate personal accounts of severe mental illness. Issues to be covered include:

  • research breakthroughs on the causes and treatments of severe mental illnesses;
  • the impact of recent federal and state mental health parity legislation on consumers and families;
  • the role of research in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of severe mental illnesses;
  • outreach efforts to special interest groups such as youth, elderly, African American and Hispanic communities;
  • the impact of managed care in behavioral health care, and vocational rehabilitation.

To build upon recent legislative victories, more than 1,200 NAMI members will converge on Capitol Hill to meet with their federal lawmakers to educate them about the true nature of severe mental illness and its impact on American families. Additionally, NAMI members will urge their lawmakers to increase research funding and improve access to quality medical care.

Hi-tech exhibits will be featured for visitors, including the "Science Fair of the Brain," a 12-times life-size walk-through brain, with 50 hands-on devices, computer games, and interactive videos, and "Video Tour of NIMH," a real-time, interactive video tour of the National Institute of Mental Health.

{Editor’s Note: Media interested in covering any session or event must receive credentials in the NAMI Press Room, located in the Bancroft Room on the Terrace Level of the hotel. The Press Room will be opened Wednesday, July 15, through Saturday, July 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. See attached Speaker Highlights sheet for additional information on select speakers.}



{Editor’s Note: Detailed day-by-day listing of events to follow week of July 13th.}

Wednesday, July 15th
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Int’l. Ballroom



  • NIMH Director Steven Hyman, M.D. Visitors can meet some of NIMH’s most prestigious scientists in their own labs and visit an inpatient ward where research subjects are helping to advance scientific research.

Thursday, July 16th
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Int’l. Ballroom

An insider’s view of the current legislative environment for people with severe mental illnesses. Issues to be discussed include managed care and the Patients Bill of Rights, worker incentive issues and health insurance parity legislation. Political commentary and predictions on upcoming elections also will be featured.


  • U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM)
  • U.S. Senator Edward M Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Charles Cook, editor, Cook Political Report and columnist, National Journal
3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Int’l. Ballroom

Special Guest:

  • Tipper Gore to receive NAMI’s Family Advocate Award for her dedication to raising public awareness and understanding of brain disorders and her significant contributions to ending discrimination against people with severe mental illnesses.


  • Cokie Roberts, co-anchor, ABC-TV’s "This Week" and ABC News Correspondent, Washington, DC. This Capitol Hill news veteran will moderate a discussion with federal lawmakers on recent legislative victories for people with severe mental illnesses and what’s next on legislative agenda to ensure stronger protections.


  • U.S. Representative David Hobson (R-OH)
  • U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
  • U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)
  • U.S. Representative Lynn Rivers (D-MI)
  • U.S. Representatives Marge Roukema (R-NJ)
  • U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN)

Friday, July 17th
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Int’l. Ballroom
The allocation of research funding is a key component to improved treatments, prevention and ultimate cures of severe mental illnesses. Speakers will share their views on research priorities for treatment gains and the most promising and important areas of research into severe mental illnesses.


  • Daniel Greenberg, journalist, Science and Government Report


  • Steven Hyman, M.D., director of NIMH
  • Herbert Pardes, M.D., vice president for health services, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., director, NAMI Research Institute
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Int’l. Ballroom
More than half of individuals with schizophrenia receive substandard care. The results of a landmark study released earlier this year on the treatment of schizophrenia will be discussed and what health care systems should be implemented to ensure better care and potential recovery.


  • Anthony Lehman, M.D., professor psychiatry and director, Center for Mental Health Services Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD

{Note: Dr. Lehman will be presented with NAMI’s Distinguished Service Award for his leading role in the landmark Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) study.}

Special Guest:

  • Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter who will discuss her new book, Helping Someone with Mental Illness, and recent efforts by the prestigious Carter Center to raise public awareness and end the stigma associated with severe mental illness.

{Note: Mrs. Carter will be signing copies of her book from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the International Terrace.}

Saturday, July 18th
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Int’l. Ballroom

Special Guest:

  • U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., who will discuss his plans to make suicide prevention a national health priority.
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