ARLINGTON, Va., July 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- NAMICon 2020, one of the nation's largest gathering of mental health advocates, will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, NAMICon will be free this year to increase access for people affected by mental health concerns, especially during these unprecedented times. We hope this format will provide an opportunity for those who have not attended previous NAMI conventions to access helpful programs, resources and information to navigate these difficult times.
The theme is "Together Toward Tomorrow," and includes sessions focused on mental health research, criminal justice reform, early intervention and youth mental health. On Monday, July 13, there's a special research plenary with Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. He will give an overview of the challenges and opportunities in mental health research and present emerging approaches that highlight the importance of cross-disciplinary, integrative methods to address the vast complexities associated with mental illness. Over the two-day meeting, there will be more than 20 workshop sessions, live Q&As with presenters, and virtual networking opportunities with peers.
NAMICon's second plenary session on Tuesday, July 14, will feature the launch of WELL BEINGS, a new national campaign by public media and a broad coalition of partners, including NAMI. It will include a compelling town hall and panel discussion, "Youth Mental Health & Society," with powerful stories from young people, plus a great line-up of celebrities that support mental health and wellness. The panel discussion will include youth, parents, experts (including NAMI Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ken Duckworth) and student journalists from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. Celebrity presenters include Matthew McConaughey, Kid Cudi, Demi Moore, Billy Porter, Alanis Morisette, Ariel Winter, Levar Burton, Bill Pullman, Ian Alexander, Sean Astin, Drew Carey, Finn Woldhard and more. There will also be a special performance by Akeemjamal Rollins and music from the Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen." Finally, the plenary will feature exclusive interview excerpts from the upcoming Ken Burns documentary on the youth mental health crisis in America.
WHAT: NAMICon 2020, one of the nation's largest gathering of mental health advocates.
WHY: Approximately 47 million adults experience a mental illness in any given year including 11 million who live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to a person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected. We know early engagement, access to treatment and community-level support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.
WHEN: Monday, July 13 and Tuesday, July 14
WHERE: Online virtual event with no cost registration and for those able to contribute donations are appreciated to support NAMI's work and programs. More information at nami.org/convention.
WHO: Attendees include individuals with mental health conditions, family members, caregivers, advocates, policymakers, educators, researchers, clinicians and media. A partial list of celebrity involvement in the WELL BEINGS event includes Matthew McConaughey, Kid Cudi, Demi Moore, Billy Porter, Alanis Morisette, Ariel Winter, Levar Burton, Bill Pullman, Ian Alexander, Sean Astin, Drew Carey and Finn Woldhard.
Please see the session descriptions for detailed information about major sessions and workshops that will present the latest scientific research, treatment innovations, education programs, public policy issues and many other topics. Don't delay -- Registration closes this Thursday, July 9.