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Mayor Gray to Host Interactive Community Conversation on Mental Health on October 12

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mayor Gray to Host Interactive Community Conversation on Mental Health on October 12

The conversation is part of President Obama’s effort to get Americans to talk about mental health

(Washington, DC) – In answer to President Obama’s call for a national dialogue on mental health, Mayor Vincent C. Gray will host a citywide discussion on mental health on Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Washington Convention Center. “Creating Community Solutions DC” will engage hundreds of District residents in small-group conversations to develop strategies to reduce the stigma associated with, and increase openness to, mental-health care.

“Mental illness touches all of our communities and many of our families,” Mayor Gray said. “Too often, the issue is pushed into a corner and hidden, leaving our fellow citizens to struggle in silence to care for their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and colleagues. It’s time to end that silence.”

This event is part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health, which President Obama called for in January and is taking place in communities across the nation. The goal is to educate District residents about important mental-health issues – especially those affecting youth – and to help foster collaboration and coordination among local service providers, associations, schools, community organizations and government agencies. It also coincides with Mental Illness Awareness Week, which runs from October 6-12, 2013.

The priorities developed in Creating Community Solutions DC will become the central focus of a community-wide action plan that will be developed by more than two dozen community and organizational representatives from across the government, private and non-profit sectors.

“Joining this national conversation and addressing mental-health issues with honest and open conversation is vital to promoting the health of our communities,” Mayor Gray said. “And it’s another step toward creating the kind of city in which we all want to live.”

This effort is led by representatives from the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Department of Mental Health (soon to be the Department of Behavioral Health), Total Family Care, the DC Behavioral Health Association, and the Children’s National Medical Center. Current funders include: Centene Foundation, Providence Healthcare, Foundation for Excellence General Fund, Don and Lisbeth Cooper, Pat Stern & Scott Satterwhite, and Lis and Virgil Stucker.

Residents may register for the conversation by going to www.creatingcommunitysolutions.org and selecting the red Washington DC button on the map. Alternatively, residents may register by mailing a completed registration form to 1050 17th Street NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20036 or fax it to (202) 775-0404.