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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Highlights from NatCon14

May 9, 2014 | Hill Day | Comments
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This week, over 4,000 mental health and substance use providers, executives, consumers, family members and other stakeholders descended on Washington D.C. for the annual National Council Conference and Hill Day. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did! In case you missed it, here are a few of the week’s highlights:

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shares her leadership lessons. Clinton spoke about women in leadership and the important traits for any leader – male or female – to cultivate: resilience, confidence, agility, preparation, and more. She also spoke about the importance of suicide prevention, sharing her memories of a friend White House staff member who completed suicide in 1993, and discussed her decision-making process in her first run for Senate and her current consideration of whether to run for President. Read more on ABC News and CNN.
  • Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day kicks off. Chiara de Blasio, the 19-year-old daughter of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, served as the 2014 Honorary Chairperson for the national Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day launch event at the National Council Conference, May 6. Ms. de Blasio was joined onstage by her parents Mayor de Blasio and Chirlane McCray. Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius presented Ms. de Blasio with a special recognition award for serving as an example of hope for other young adults by speaking out about her experience with depression and substance use. The session focused on the value of peer support in assisting young adults with behavioral health challenges. It also featured four young adults who shared their experiences of resilience and providing peer support. An archived version of the Awareness Day 2014 Webcast is coming soon.
  • Attendees take to the Hill to advocate for behavioral health. More than 1,200 conference attendees were also part of Hill Day ’14, the nation’s biggest behavioral health advocacy event. Participants attended conference sessions on public policy trends and changes, then traveled to Capitol Hill to talk to their legislators about the Mental Health First Aid Act, the Behavioral Health IT Act, and 2015 appropriations for mental health and substance use programs and research.
  • #NatCon14 trending on Twitter. To really get the scoop on the conference workshops and events, check out our hashtag on Twitter. With 974 tweeters and over 5,000 tweets, you’ll be able to see all of the quotes, pictures, and memorable moments from #NatCon14.

Handouts from the presentations are available online, along with evaluations for those requesting Continuing Education credits.