On November 3, 2015, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the STEMconnector, the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the University of Phoenix College of Social Sciences partnered to offer a national mental health symposium at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. The event included professionals from counseling, nursing, criminal justice, social work and psychology. Dr. Kylie Dotson-Blake, an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Counselor Education program in the Department of Interdisciplinary Professions, and Chair of the National Board for Certified Counselors, served as a distinguished panelist for the suicide prevention panel, offering information about community-based suicide prevention programming.
The presentations and keynotes raised awareness and fostered lively discussion regarding important topics impacting mental health in the US. Topics of focus included: the impact of legislation and federal policy on mental health services and access, sex trafficking in the United States and services for survivors, suicide awareness and prevention, mental health issues in the criminal justice system, and implementing mind-body medicine and integrative care. Presenters included directors of national organizations leading efforts to address these issues, a Pulitzer-winning author, contributors to Huffington Post and CNN, and professionals engaged in legislative action to advance policy on these topics.