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The National Council Team

NatCon19: Tuesday

March 26, 2019 | Education and Events | Comments
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Welcome to NatCon19.

Whether you’re here with us in Nashville or following the conference at home or from work, we’re glad you’re here.

During NatCon, join us here at BH365 for the highlights. We’ll be adding new information all day, so keep visiting us. You’ll always find something new.

Rethinking Leadership: Unleash Your People and Get Big Things Done

Becky Margiotta

Don’t be a control freak, check your assumptions, challenge the status quo and don’t be above cleaning the bathroom. An admitted self-recovering control freak, these are just a few of the lessons Becky Margiotta has learned about true leadership.

To tell you about Becky Margiotta is meaningless. You must experience her. She is a force of nature who captivated her NatCon19 audience and set Twitter on fire with her self-depreciating humor, razor-sharp wit, heart-felt anecdotes and uncompromising truth.

And so, instead of telling you about Becky Margiotta, here are just a few of her most memorable observations about leadership and life. We hope you are as inspired as we were.

  • “When you commit, you’re creating reality.”
  • “If something is worth doing, you can’t do it alone.”
  • “Question assumptions and challenge the status quo.”
  • “Transformational leadership is leadership that’s worthy of being followed … something to truly aspire to.”
  • “To offer transformational leadership, we have to let people make mistakes and fail so they can learn. Take people under your wings and then let them fly! Leaders refuse to micromanage.”
  • “Find something to say no to! Every time you say yes to something you don’t want to do … it’s a recipe for burnout.”

Winners Take All: Myths and Realities of How to Change the World

Anand Giridharadas

Winners Take All: Myths and Realities of How to Change the World

“Plutocrats use their power through non-profits so they can put their thumb on social change. They want the world to change but they don’t want THEIR world to change,” said Anand Giridharadas.

In his bestselling book, “Winners Take All,” he asked why the philanthropic efforts of the ultra-wealthy create so few tangible results.

Giridharadas offers a response that is deceptive in its simplicity. “The answer to a ‘winner’s take all world’ should be that the winner’s take less.”

An Urgent Matter of Access: Pursuing Parity Amid the Greatest Public Health Crisis of Our Time

Patrick Kennedy

Former U.S. Representative

An Urgent Matter of Access: Pursing Parity Amid the Greatest Public Health Crisis of Our Time

“The mentally ill and the mentally retarded need no longer be alien to our affections or beyond the help of our communities.” – President Kennedy, when he signed the landmark Community Mental Health Act of 1963.

But 10 years later, has it worked out that way? Patrick Kennedy says no. He maintains the lack of true parity and behavioral health care access is a form of discrimination and there is no humanistic or economic rationale to justify this systemic failure.

But there is recourse – a step-by-step process to file appeal for people who aren’t receiving treatment for mental health and addiction. is a consumer and provider action campaign that empowers American families to fight back and is backed by 23 national partner organizations.

The Future of Mental Health Care Is Sitting in Your Pocket

Dror Ben-Zeev, PhD

Could technology be the way of the future? Maybe. Dr. Dror Ben-Zeev’s standing room only TED-style presentation described innovative uses of technology to improve mental health care.

In a recent study, 90 percent of the people who were assigned to a mobile treatment plan downloaded and used the app, while only 58 percent of those assigned to clinical treatment actually came into the clinic. Using smartphones for mental health care can get to people in a way that we’ve never been able to reach them before.

Journalism, Language and Mental Health: Why What You Say Matters

Mark Joyella

“Words matter. They define, they discriminate,” said journalist, Mark Joyella. “Journalists should shatter stigma, not promote it.”

Journalists can improve their reporting to avoid reinforcing stereotypes about mental illness that may make it less likely for people to seek help. They should be deliberate about the vocabulary they use.  “Terms like ‘lunatic,’ ‘demons’ and “madman” do no service to anyone, in headlines or otherwise,” he said.

Forgotten Sundays: How Legacy Can Heal What Alzheimer’s Steals

Gerry Sandusky

Legendary speaker Gerry Sandusky shared the lessons he learned from his father, who had Alzheimer’s, in a talk that was both funny and heart wrenching. He described what his father taught him about the power of legacies. “Success isn’t just about the wins and awards,” he said. “Success is what you do with what you have while you have it.”

His father’s last words were a powerful lesson: “Don’t wait to live your life. Live now.”

A Fireside Chat with the Assistant Secretary for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Services Administration

Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD

During her Fireside Chat, Dr. Elinore Mc­Cance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, said, “We’re looking for not only the same old approaches, we need to think outside the box.” Then, together with National Council CEO and president, Linda Rosenberg, she explored what “outside the box” can look like.

“It has to be easy for people to walk into a place and get care. There are still many barriers for people to get the access and care they need,” she said. “CCBHCs make it easy for a person to get all the care they need in one place … emergency rooms will never be the place for emergency crisis services.”

She spoke about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as a solution for addiction – but not the only solution. “Treatments need to be matched to the individual,” she said. “Our role as clinicians is to make people aware of what their choices are and why we believe they need both medication and other support.”

And she addressed the role of housing in recovery, “Opioid response money can be used to renovate foreclosed homes by groups seeking to turn them into recovery houses for people in the early stages of addiction,” she suggested.

She reminded the audience that suicide is among the top 10 causes of death in U.S., and roughly $200 million is spent annually on research and preventions. Yet, the number of deaths to suicide are roughly the same number as opioid-related deaths, on which we are spending billions. We need to make similar investment in suicide.

In our rapidly changing health care environment, we look forward to more the out-of-the-box thinking of leaders like Dr. McCance-Katz.