More than 3,000 people attended the 42nd National Council Mental Health and Addictions Conference in Chicago on April 15-17, 2012. Executive Director Mary Roehl, Associate Director Duane Reynolds, and I represented Vinland National Center by hosting an exhibition booth at the event. We connected with many different experts from within the field of addiction and recovery. These individuals were happy to discover Vinland Center and to learn that we work with individuals living with cognitive disabilities (such as brain injuries and learning disabilities) needing integrated substance abuse treatment and mental health services.
One of the hottest topics at the conference was developing strategies for… the integration of mental health, substance abuse and primary care.
The event was a great source of information for very caring and dedicated individuals representing the fields of mental health and addiction treatment. The days were packed with workshops, plenaries and leader presentations that provoked thoughtful conversations and ideas. One of the hottest topics at the conference was developing strategies for the implementation of healthcare reform regarding the coordination of care as it applies to behavioral health and the integration of mental health, substance abuse and primary care. The goal is to improve communication in order to facilitate earlier identification of treatment for mental and physical health issues.
You can view photos from the conference on the National Council’s Facebook page by clicking here.
There was a plethora of industries that came together to focus on mental health and addiction recovery. The exhibition booths were filled with representatives from electronic health record companies, insurance carriers, representatives from Medicare and Medicaid, universities, staffing companies, interventionists, and treatment centers. However, not one other treatment center offers the services we do – integrated chemical health and mental health services for individuals with cognitive disabilities.
Overall, this conference was informative and fun. Chicago is a beautiful city and the Hilton was, of course, fabulous; they couldn’t have picked a better location! Beyond that, I am hopeful that some of the relationships we developed will last a lifetime!