National Conference to Explore Latest Developments in Wellness, Mental Health America to Feature Leading Experts, Cutting Edge Approaches and Strategies

Mar 05, 2013, 13:37 ET from Mental Health America

"Why Wellness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health" - June 5-8; Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A major national conference featuring leading experts in wellness will examine how it is transforming health care and highlight new approaches and strategies that are working in communities across the country.

Mental Health America's 2013 Annual Conference, Why Wellness Works: Breakthroughs and Pathways to Whole Health—June 5-8, 2013, at the National Harbor in Maryland—will look at cutting edge developments, policy initiatives, new programs and innovations, and why wellness is for everyone. (For more information on the conference, go to

"The fact is our overall well-being is tied to the balance that exists between our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health," said Wayne W. Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America. "Understanding how these components all work together to achieve wellness is key to transforming health care. The conference will educate attendees and equip them with wellness strategies they can advance in their work and communities."

The conference will feature keynote presentations by Geoffrey Canada, President & CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, who is nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in New York City, Dr. James Prochaska, developer of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, and David Granirer, stand-up comedian and founder of Stand Up For Mental Health.

Other national experts will address the latest developments in the wellness field and their relationship to: the management of mental health conditions and accompanying chronic conditions; strategies for recovery from those conditions; our schools and workplaces; and the Affordable Care Act.

The conference offers a wide variety of educational and networking opportunities for a diverse group of individuals and organizations working to develop and promote behavioral health integration and inclusion of wellness strategies in community public education efforts, including: representatives of Mental Health America's 240 affiliates; mental health professionals; employee assistance and human resource professionals; workplace wellness professionals; holistic practitioners; substance use counselors; peer support and prevention specialists; case managers; community advocates; health care consumers and their families; and professionals engaged in social services, health care and public policy.

The conference will also feature:

  • A Health & Wellness Expo featuring health screenings, healthy living demonstrations, and community resources;
  • Facilitator-led health and wellness activities offered throughout the conference;
  • The Clifford Beers Awards Dinner recognizing leaders who have developed successful and promising health and wellness programs and services.

About the Conference

Early Bird Registration and Agenda

To register now for Mental Health America's 2013 Annual Conference and benefit from discounted rates through April 15, 2013, go to To view the agenda, go to

Keynote Speakers and Presentations

Geoffrey Canada, President & CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone, "Saving the World – One Child at a Time": In his more than 20 years with Harlem Children's Zone, Inc., Geoffrey Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in New York City and as a passionate advocate for disadvantaged families, struggling communities, and education reform. Canada will share models for reform that combine educational, social, and medical services that begin at birth and follow children to college. He will also discuss the trend toward service integration, and the impact his suggested models for reform have on child welfare. In addition, he will review efforts to replicate aspects of Harlem Children's Zone, specifically through the Promise Neighborhoods initiative.

Dr. James Prochaska, Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center and developer of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, "Enhancing the Health and Well-being of Populations at Each Stage of Change":  Major breakthroughs are being made in producing changes to enhance whole health in entire populations, including individuals who are ready to make changes, getting ready and not ready.  Dr. Prochaska will discuss significant breakthroughs that are being achieved in producing changes to enhance whole health within specific populations.

David Granirer, Counselor, Stand-up Comic and Author, Clifford Beers Award Dinner Speaker: David Granirer is the founder of Stand Up For Mental Health, a program teaching stand-up comedy to people with mental illnesses as a way of building confidence and fighting public stigma. He is also the author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead to Happiness and Success. His work has been featured in Voice Award-winning documentary Cracking Up, and he has received the Life Unlimited Award from the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance and the Champion of Mental Health Award, a national award recognizing individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the mental health agenda in Canada.

Sponsor and Exhibitor Information

The conference provides a unique opportunity to target audiences interested in health, wellness, mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders. For additional information about sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, including the application, go to

For more information on the conference, please contact America Paredes at

Mental Health America (, founded in 1909, is the nation's leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 240 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.

SOURCE Mental Health America