Top 10 takeaways from MHA’s Annual Conference

MHA Admin

Wed, 06/15/2022 – 09:55

By Jennifer Bright

Last week’s 2022 MHA Annual Conference, Forward Together: Recovery, Healing, Hope, convened, both in person and virtually, thousands of mental health advocates, clinicians, and crusaders with a unified goal of sharing ideas to improve mental health for all. Personally, it was a special event that marked the beginning of my tenure as MHA Board Chair, an honor and responsibility I am energized to embrace.

With so many incredible sessions led by inspirational and knowledgeable speakers, every attendee could give you a list of their most memorable moments. For me, these were my top 10 favorite takeaways from yet another amazing MHA conference.

Connecting people’s brains and hearts is the key to good legislation and policy. Thank you to Utah State Sen. Steve Eliason for his perspective on this as an elected leader.

New York Times bestselling author Bassey Ikpi reminded us that recognizing the good in oneself equals spirituality. MHA President and CEO Schroeder Stribling announced an MHA endeavor over the next few years to study the spirit-mind link and how it can improve mental well-being.

From pain comes greatness. Our speakers offered living proof of this in art and music (multi-platinum pop artist Andy Grammar), poetry and writing (Bassey Ikpi), and athleticism (10-time world champion swimmer Allison Schmitt).

Just keep movingMHA’s 2022 mPower award recipient Sam Gerry’s story echoed this sentiment from Martin Luther King Jr. Gerry, a 20-year-old college student, co-founded Kick It for a Cause, Inc., a charity kickball tournament-turned-nonprofit organization supporting suicide prevention.

Think out of the box. Look for uncommon and unexpected solutions. Shoutout to The Confess Project for linking mental health and barbers to reach Black men.

We are all in this together — mental health affects everyone and is our call for allyship, coalition, and radical collaboration.

Change happens in communities — first and always.

The struggle is real and there is hope. Youth are this movement’s future. It’s proof that MHA’s strategic focus on NextGen Prevention strategic plan is both visionary and impact focused.

Be authentic. Love yourself as you are. Andy Grammar beautifully put this in song, and so many presenters at this conference brilliantly put this into words.

Your voice is your superpower: USE IT.Tell your story, share your learning from the conference, ask questions, and demand change.

If you missed this year’s conference, I encourage you to attend next year and make your own list of takeaways to share with your community.


The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Code Red
Gunshot Victim
Life Threatening Wounds
Physical Assault Victim
Severely Injured Auto Accident Victim
Burn Victim
Choking & Breathing Obstructions
and more…


Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: