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06-05-13 Talking Points: National Conference on Mental Health
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On Monday, June 3rd, President Obama and Vice President Biden hosted a White House Mental Health Conference as part of the Administration’s effort to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness about mental health. President Obama delivered opening remarks and Vice President Biden delivered closing remarks to conference participants.

While millions of Americans struggle with mental health problems, those who need help are too often afraid to seek it because of the shame and secrecy associated with mental illness. The conference brought together people from across the country, including representatives from state and local governments, mental health advocates, educators, health care providers, faith leaders, and individuals who have struggled with mental health problems, to discuss how we can all work together to reduce stigma and help the millions of Americans struggling with mental health problems recognize the importance of reaching out for assistance.

The Seventh-day Adventist church is answering the President’s call to launch a national conversation to increase the understanding and awareness about mental health by [insert your organization’s efforts].

Katia Reinert, North American Division Health Ministries director attended the White House National Conference on Mental Health on Monday, June 3. See the photos on the NAD Adventist Health Ministries Facebook page. As director of the NAD Health Ministries Department, Reinert shared the following commitments with White House staff:

With nearly 1.2 million members in North America, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to promoting mental health awareness.  The Adventist Health Ministries in North America has put together a mental health task force with members of Adventist hospital systems, mental health professionals, supporting ministries, publishing house, pastors and researchers in our educational institutions to develop a strategy for success.

As part of this effort the church in North America is devoting the month of February 2014 to highlighting mental health. The month-long emphasis will include a number of events and activities such as a special mental health awareness day on Health Sabbath, February 15, during which the more than 5,400 churches will be encouraged to present programs focused on the topic. Resources for pastors and churches will be available and Vibrant Life--which is widely circulated among church members, communities, and Adventist hospitals--will also release a special issue of the magazine devoted entirely to resources, tips, and stories about mental health on that month.

Other events include a national health summit in Orlando (Jan 24-Feb, 2014 –www.nadhealthsummit.com) that will offer training for addressing mental health needs, especially through Adventist Recovery Ministries, which utilizes a 12-step program to help overcome addictions and unhealthy habits, as well as other trainings like mental health first aid, depression recovery and optimizing the brain potential.

In addition, a national mental health conference is being planned for 2015 in collaboration with Adventist HealthCare, and a youth devotional focusing on mental and emotional health is being developed by the NAD Health Ministries department and the Review and Herald to be launched in 2015.

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