September 29th, 2016

// CMHA’s inaugural Mental Health For All Conference 2016: Together by Design

CMHA's inaugural Mental Health For All Conference 2016: Together by Design

Alicia Bell - Winter Running

The most creative and inspiring mental health and addictions thinkers and leaders in the country gather for a two-day exchange

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is hosting an inaugural national conference that promises to become the premier professional mental health and addiction conference in Canada.

One hundred and twenty-five speakers from across the country; 68 workshops; compelling keynotes. CMHA's inaugural Mental Health for All Conference 2016: Together by Design (MH4A Conference) - taking place just one year before CMHA's 100th anniversary - will be a two day "think-fest" to advance work in the dynamic fields of mental health and addictions.

"This conference is the first-of-its-kind opportunity for individuals and organizations in mental health, mental illness and addiction to put their collective minds together", says Dr. Patrick Smith, National CEO, CMHA, who will open the conference proceedings. "It's the one place in Canada where people with lived mental health experiences, decision-makers, funders, researchers, front line workers and practitioners can gather under one big tent, and work together toward making big change."

It will be held on Thursday September 29 and Friday September 30, 2016 at the Hilton Toronto Hotel, (145 Richmond Street West, Toronto).  It is preceded by CMHA Ontario's pre-conference on Wednesday September 28 focusing on quality improvement in the mental health and addictions sectors.

Conference Partners
CMHA is proud to have the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) as national partners for this year's conference.

Both organizations see the conference as an important opportunity to bridge these sometimes disparate sectors.

"This conference, which gathers together key experts and organizations in mental health, mental illness and addictions, creates a unique opportunity to break down the silos that have sometimes been a barrier to collaborative action on mental health and addictions" said Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission.

"Issues of substance use and mental health are complex. They are diverse and they impact millions of Canadians in a variety of ways," adds Rita Notarandrea, CEO of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).  "This conference is a real reflection of that complexity. By drawing together people with a variety of expertise and perspectives, we can learn from one another and make progress on designing a system that is collaborative, compassionate, and based on our shared experience and expertise."

Keynotes speakers and panels
Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), will speak about closing the gaps in mental health.

A keynote panel, entitled "Mental Health Reform is a Team Sport" will focus on youth mental health services and will be led by Ian Boeckh, President of the Graham Boeckh Foundation.

A second keynote panel, "I've stood up to stigma and reached out for help: Now what?" features panelists exploring from personal and professional perspectives what happens when Canadians go looking for mental health and addictions services.  Panelists include Dr. Karen Cohen (CEO, Canadian Psychological Association), Mark Henick (CMHA National/MHCC board member), Robin Payne; and Ann Dowsett Johnston (author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol).

Conference Highlights
Suicide Prevention Panel
with Mara Grunau (Centre for Suicide Prevention), Jonny Morris (CMHA BC Division), Karla Thorpe (MHCC), Marion Cooper and Reid Hartry (both of CMHA Manitoba and Winnipeg) Panel highlights suicide prevention across Canada and identifies "Zero Suicide" as an approach to transformation.

Clearing the Smoke: An Evidence-Based, Public Health Approach to Cannabis Policy
with Dr. Amy Porath-Waller and Rebecca Jesseman, (CCSA); Ian Culbert (Canadian Public Health Association)

Mino Bimaadiziwin - A Healthy way of Life
with  Ken Syrette (Indigenous Counsellor), Shivani Gupta and Troy Hayden (Addiction Services for York Region). How to make mental health programs appropriate and relevant for indigenous people.

Change Maker Sponsor
The conference has been made possible with the generous and continued support of our Change Maker Sponsor, Lundbeck Canada.

For program / Follow us on Twitter: @CMHA_NTL  #MH4A16


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