Why this theme?
Forward Together: Recovery, Healing, Hope
This conference responds to issues that have emerged over the past two years that have largely affected mental health and well-being. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, MHA witnessed increasing numbers of people experiencing anxiety, depression, psychosis, loneliness, and other mental health concerns. Our nation has also seen the largest number of opioid deaths in our history this year. These times demonstrate that health equity is still not a reality for all. These events have unequally affected many Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), putting certain groups more at risk of ill health or mortality, and placing an undue burden on the frontline and care economies. At the same time, we are experiencing health crises, we have witnessed the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police officers, including the murder of George Floyd, COVID-related violence against Asian Americans, and continued gun violence.
For many, these events functioned as a catalyst to expose a history of inequity in our nation resulting in widespread hopelessness, despair, and racial trauma.
Throughout the conference we will focus on:
- Equity: Identifying and responding to equity in mental health
- COVID-19: Coping with pandemic trauma and recovery
- Storytelling and Community Voices: Sharing our mental health journeys
- Rest and Self Care: Interactive session to encourage self care and relaxation
- Crisis Response: Harm reduction, addiction crises, peer support, etc.
- A Way Forward: Alignment for future actions in mental health