Two of the Network’s Plenary sessions at the Inaugural Conference, which took place April 29th-May 1st in Chicago, featured presentations addressing mental health. On Sunday, April 29th, conference attendees watched a theatrical performance by Erasing the Distance, a non profit arts organization that uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate, and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health.
On Tuesday, May 1st, Liza Long, writer, educator and children’s mental health advocate spoke about one of the most underserved populations – teenagers with mental health issues. Her teenage son, who has bipolar disorder prompted her to began her blog, The Anarchist Soccer Mom, in 2007, when her family’s personal tragedy intersected with the public tragedy of the shootings in Newtown, Massachusetts. In 2015, Liza published, The Price of Silence: A Mom’s Perspective on Mental Illness, which has been described as “a searing indictment of the lack of affordable care available for the treatment of mentally ill adolescents.”