Linda Rosenberg Speaks at National Addictions Rally in Philadelphia
On Tuesday, National Council President and CEO Linda Rosenberg participated in a series of events on mental health and addictions in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention. A similar event had taken place in Cleveland the week before. In Philadelphia, Ms. Rosenberg participated in rallies and moderated expert panels discussing the present and future policies of mental health and addiction advocates. From expanding the ACA to enforcing parity to funding CARA, the daylong event in Philadelphia highlighted the achievements of the last decade and laid the foundation for continued progress in the future.
The day started with an addictions summit where Rosenberg moderated a panel of experts and change makers in the field, leading a discussion on the future of addictions treatment policy. The discussion was wide-ranging but centered on the key issues of popularizing a true understanding of addictions as a disease and attaining the equitable treatment of the disease by strengthening and enforcing parity. The panel Rosenberg moderated included: Tim Clement, Policy Director of the ParityTrack project; Dr. Stephen Freidhoff, Chief Medical Officer of the Anthem Government Business Division; and Dr. Arthur Evans, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability.
At the “Like-Minded” Mental Health Rally on Independence Mall later that day, Rosenberg harkened back to her own childhood, describing a time when people did not talk about mental illness or addiction. Now, she says, these topics get attention but that attention is not enough. “Yes, today we talk about it. But now, we have to do something about it. We can make care easy to get, easy to pay for and effective if we elect the right leaders. That’s what we can call reform.”
“The flyer for this forum said, ‘Let’s go make some history,’” she said. “Well, everyone who has spoken today and all those who told their story – long before it was safe – have made history.”