2020 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference

///2020 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference
2020 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference 2020-02-20T18:45:38+00:00

The 2020 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference will take place on May 18-19 at The Penn Stater Hotel & Conference Center in State College.  The conference, Beyond Barriers: Breakthroughs in Suicide Prevention, is being presented by NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania and PA Parent and Family Alliance. The two-day event is an opportunity for peers, family members and caregivers, advocates, and mental health professionals to experience this one-of-a-kind conference that will provide a platform to learn, share, and network.

2020 Conference Presenters

Monday Morning Panel

Across the Commonwealth: Suicide Prevention Plans at Work

  • Introduction & Moderator:  Valerie Vicari, Acting Deputy Secretary, Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services.
  • Special Presentation of the Pennsylvania Suicide Prevention Task Force Report:  Caitlin Palmer, MSPH, CPS, Special Advisor to the Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Serivces
  • Panel Discussion:  What unique methods are Pennsylvania counties using to combat suicide?  What tips can they share with others?  And how will the work at the state level impact local communities?
    Panelists will include representatives from various Pennsylvania counties who wil highlight the best practices in suicide prevention across the state.

Monday Afternoon Keynote

The Bridge Between Suicide and Life: Understanding the RELEASE Model
Sgt. Kevin Briggs (Ret.)

Sgt. Kevin Briggs (Ret.) is a former California Highway Patrol Officer who spent most of his 23-year-career making rounds on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA. While on the job, Briggs encountered numerous individuals who had lost hope and believed there was no way out of their current situation. But on more than 200 occasions, he convinced people otherwise, encouraging them to live another day. In his presentation, Briggs will talk about his “RELEASE Model” and explain how it helped him – and how it can help you – better communicate with people in crisis.

Tuesday Morning Keynote

Live Through This: A Lifetime with Suicidal Thoughts and Art as Social Justice
Ms. Dese’Rae L. Stage

In a series of “snapshots,” Dese’Rae L. Stage shares her experiences with suicidal thoughts (and sometimes more) over the course of her lifetime. She covers family dynamics, questioning her sexuality, an abusive relationship and how suicidal thoughts cropped up in each. She shows the audience a living portrait reflecting recent CDC findings indicating that suicide is a response to adversity, rather than mental illness as a singular cause. She walks us down the path that led her to Live Through This and brings the voices of attempt survivors with her through portraits, quotations, and video. Audiences can expect a talk that will be revealing, often touching, always honest and, ultimately, hopeful.

Coming Soon: Registration rates, conference agenda, and information on Continuing Education Credits

WORKSHOP SUBMISSIONS: Due to the overwhelming response of workshop proposals, applicants will not be notified until Wednesday, January 29 of their acceptance. Applicants will be notified by email.

Hotel Information

The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center

215 Innovation Blvd.
State College, PA  16803

Rooms on Sunday May 17 – 160
Rooms on Monday May 16 – 190

Rate $119

Group Code :MHWC20A

Book Here

Marketing Opportunities

There are a number of marketing opportunities available for companies and organizations to showcase their mission and resources at the 2020 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference

Sponsors can choose among several categories including DINNER, LUNCH, NAME BADGE, LANYARD, and more. Each option gives companies and organizations acknowledgments, an exhibitor’s table, and ad space in the conference booklet.


Secure your resource table today at this statewide event specializing in mental health and wellness. Exhibit tables are located in a prime location to ensure visibility and high traffic volume.


The conference program booklet features a complete schedule of events, bios on the main presenters, and workshop descriptions. Placing an ad is an opportunity to highlight your company name, promote your book or research study, or spread the word about an important initiative.


If you have questions about sponsoring, exhibiting, or placing an ad, contact Sara Levine Steinberg by email at slsteinberg@namikeystonepa.org or by phone at 412-366-3788.

Conference Sponsor

William Goldman Foundation

Prior Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conferences:

2019 Brochure