NAMI Keystone PA’s 2021 Pennsylvania Mental Health and Wellness Conference, Finding Our Path Forward, took place virtually on Thursday, Nov. 18. The annual event is an opportunity for peers, caregivers, advocates, and mental health professionals to experience a one-of-a-kind conference that will provide a platform to learn, share, and network.
This year’s conference explored the ways the pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate ourselves, our routines, and our expectations in order to maintain wellness. The event featured two keynotes, 12 breakout sessions, and a virtual exhibitor expo.
Attendees will have access to recorded sessions and presentations for an additional 30 days (until Dec. 18). Recordings will be accessible from the Agenda Tab on the Event Website.
Continuing Education Credits are being provided by the Education & Consultative Services of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital. Participants requesting CEUs are required to complete a brief evaluation within two weeks of Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021. A link is posted in the FAQ section of the Info Desk on the Event Website.
If you have questions about the conference, email Sara Levine Steinberg at email@example.com or by phone by calling (412) 366-3788.
“Let’s Talk: Normalizing the Conversation About Mental Health”
Host: Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Guest: Shanti Das, Speaker; Author; Founder, Silence the Shame, Inc.
Shanti Das has worked with famous music artists including Prince, Usher, and OutKast. But despite her rise to the top, Shanti’s experience with anxiety and depression caused her to step away from the spotlight and create the foundation, Silence the Shame, Inc. a movement aimed at normalizing the conversation about mental health to empower and educate communities on mental health and wellness.
In this one-on-one interview, NAMI CEO Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., talked with Shanti Das about how her platform is amplifying the voices of people living with mental illness and educating people of all ages about mental health, which has become even more crucial during the pandemic. She also talked about her personal and family experience with mental illness, suicide, and suicidal ideation; the impact the pandemic has had on her; and the intersection of race/racism and mental health.
“Live Through This: A Lifetime With Suicidal Thoughts, & Art as Social Justice”
Dese’Rae L. Stage, Creator, Live Through This
Dese’Rae L. Stage knows firsthand what it’s like to have your life turned upside down during the pandemic. In her presentation, Live Through This: A Lifetime With Suicidal Thoughts, & Art as Social Justice, she talked about grief and loss in a pandemic, as well as her experiences with suicidal thoughts over the course of her lifetime. The award-winning artist, mom, and activist also explained what drove her to create Live Through This, an online collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors and why those voices are critical to the conversation on suicide prevention.