GROUNDBREAKING SUMMIT TO “CHANGE DIRECTION” ON MENTAL HEALTH; FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO ATTEND AND SPEAK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CHANGING THE STORY ON MENTAL HEALTH

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GROUNDBREAKING SUMMIT TO CHANGE DIRECTION ON MENTAL HEALTH

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA TO ATTEND AND SPEAK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CHANGING THE STORY ON MENTAL HEALTH

 

Join us as Give an Hour, in partnership with leading public, private and non-profit partners, launches the Campaign to Change Direction at a groundbreaking summit on mental health.

 

The Campaign to Change Direction is a new national movement designed to change the story of mental health in America.  We know that one in five of our citizens has a diagnosable mental health condition and that more Americans are expected to die this year by suicide than in car accidents. While many of us are comfortable acknowledging publicly our physical suffering, for which we almost always seek help, many more of us privately experience mental suffering, for which we almost never reach out. The Campaign urges all Americans to learn 5 signs that indicate that someone you know may be suffering.

 

WHAT:  The Campaign to Change Direction is a coalition of government, business, and nonprofit leaders who have come together to address the urgent need for open discussions about mental health, mental illness and well-being. This campaign was inspired by the discussion at the White House National Conference on Mental Health in 2013, which followed the tragic events in Newtown, Conn.

 

WHO: First Lady Michelle Obama to provide remarks about the importance — for our military and veteran families as well as for all Americans — of Americans’ efforts to change the story about mental health by telling their own stories and inspiring others to seek the help they deserve.

Featured speakers include Jean Case, CEO, Case Foundation; Bruce Cohen, Academy Award-winning producer of “Silver Linings Playbook”; and Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., founder and president, Give an Hour.

 

Additional speakers include:

  • Joe Klein, Editor at Large and political columnist, TIME Magazine
  • Arthur Evans Jr., Ph.D., Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual Disability Service
  • Mary Deacon, Chair, Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative
  • Louise Murphy, M.A., CEAP, President, Aetna Behavioral Health
  • Joe Sifer, Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Don Weber, Founder & CEO, Logistics Health Incorporated
  • The Honorable Mary Borgeson, Commissioner, Douglas County, Nebraska
  • Jon Sherin, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Military Communities and Chief Medical Officer, Volunteers of America, Incorporated
  • Randy Rutta, President and CEO, Easter Seals
  • Robert Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Todd Mahr, M.D., Director of Pediatric Allergy/Immunology, Gundersen Health Systems
  • Randy Phelps, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, American Psychological Association
  • Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., CEO/MDO American Psychiatric Association, Chair, American Psychiatric Foundation
  • Norman Anderson, Ph.D., CEO/Executive Vice President, American Psychological Association
  • Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LICSW, CEO, National Association for Social Workers
  • Jennifer Madden, Licensed Practical Nurse and combat veteran of the United States Army

 

Musical performance by: G.R.L., a popular girl group personally touched by the issue when former group member, Simone Battle, passed away from suicide in September of 2014.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, March 4, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  First Lady Michelle Obama to speak at: 11:45 a.m.

 

WHERE: The Newseum – Annenberg Theater, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

 

EVENT LIVESTREAM: http://www.changedirection.org/

 

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About Give an Hour™

Give an Hour is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist in the Washington, D.C., area. Give an Hour has been instrumental in the development of the community-based approach to address the challenges that face our military community, having created a successful model for harnessing skill-based volunteers eager to offer their services. Thus far, the network of nearly 7,000 licensed mental health professionals has provided more than 145,000 hours of care and support to those in need. Give an Hour is now working to change the story about mental health and wellness in America. By leading a collective impact effort to support the coordination and collaboration among those working to optimize mental health care, Give an Hour and its partners will address common barriers to understanding mental health and raise awareness about the signs of emotional suffering. To learn more, visit www.giveanhour.org or connected.giveanhour.org.

To learn more about the Campaign to Change Direction, after March 4, visit: www.changedirection.org

 

Media Contacts:

Craig Brownstein: (202) 326-1799; [email protected]

Kassandra Meholick: (202) 772-4295; [email protected]

 

 

March 4, 2015 Washington, DC * 11:45 AM ET – As part of her Joining Forces initiative, the First Lady will deliver remarks at the launch event for the Campaign to Change Direction, a movement started by Give an Hour, a national non-profit organization that has developed a network of 7000 mental health providers who offer pro-bono services to veterans, service members, their families, and friends.  The campaign, designed to change the story of mental health across the nation, urges all Americans to learn the signs that someone might be in emotional distress. The First Lady will speak on the importance of this effort for our military and veteran families.

 

This event will take place in the Annenburg Theater of the Newseum.

 

The First Lady’s remarks are open press, but space is limited. Members of the media who wish to cover this event must RSVP to Craig Brownstein at [email protected] or (202) 326-1799 by 5:00pm ET on Tuesday, March 3rd.

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