Mental Health For All Conference a great success
The reviews are in: the Mental Health For All Conference in late September was a great success. A capacity crowd of 470 delegates filled the halls and breakout rooms at the Toronto Hilton, enjoying two full conference days (and one pre-conference day) of informative, compelling and challenging presentations.
When planning first began, CMHA had envisioned the MH4A conference as the “go-to” event in Canada for mental health, mental illness and addiction. The conference fulfilled its promise to be just that, bringing together leaders, researchers, people with lived experience and those working on the frontlines from across the country. These key players exchanged ideas and innovations in the field, advancing the collective goal of “mental health for all.” As one delegate said, “CMHA is really pushing the agenda forward with this conference.”
Conference partners, Rita Notarandrea (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse) and Michel Rodrigue (Mental Health Commission of Canada), joined Dr. Patrick Smith, National CEO, CMHA in welcoming the delegates. Keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) challenged her audience to put aside the “language of polarization,” to speak in one, strong voice, on the eve of a new Federal-Provincial Health Accord. As Dr. Zahn reminded the hall: The time to advocate is now.
Two fascinating keynote panels – featuring researchers, practitioners and advocates with lived experience – along with 68 breakout presentations made for a busy and energizing event. Delegates took home more than a rich experience. They left refreshed, with a toolbox of innovative practices to inform their important work.
Planning for next year is underway. Sign up here for forthcoming updates, including a “save the date” announcement and a call for abstracts for 2017.