Another Triumph
The May 31, 2009 Eighth Annual Community Mental Health Conference on Shattering Myths: Men, Boys and Mental Health was another highly successful program. There were more than 300 participants and in excess of 120 sponsoring organizations. Over 90% of the responding participants rated the Conference as “excellent,” “very good” or “good”, over 98% similarly rated the Conference logistics and over 95% of the responding participants gave the same high marks to their breakout discussion sessions. All of the panelists – Dr. Melvin McInnis, the Woodworth Professor of Bipolar Disorder and Depression at the University of Michigan, Dr. Ronald Levant, Dean and Professor of Psychology at the University of Akron, and Joseph Rogers, a leading consumer advocate and President of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania – were highly praised.
Here are some typical comments from participating mental health professionals: “Having all the education and life experiences on one panel was wonderful… excellent speakers”; the Conference “will enhance my knowledge of the mental health of males and make me a more effective therapist”; “great speakers and a very diverse crowd… also good price”; “highly professional, knowledgeable, warm and compassionate dedicated speakers”; “I always learn new techniques and new perspectives”; “new ideas about old problems”; and a “great learning experience.”
Non-professional Conference attendees were similarly enthusiastic. A great-grandmother raising a teen-age great-grandson stated “I learned male emotions and the ability to express them are so different from females.” Another layperson stated the program was “wonderful… [the breakout] with both a rabbi and priest were beyond outstanding.” A consumer-teacher commented that she “made many contacts for future research and help/information was obtained.” A consumer remarked that the Conference was “very useful for self-reflection.” And many participants described the panelists and discussion leaders as “outstanding” and “exceptional.”
Thanks again to everyone who helped make the 2009 Conference such a marvelous event. The 2010 Conference will address addictions and will take place on May 23, 2010. Save the date. More information will appear later on this website.

“As a mental health organization, the Mental Health Association of the North Shore (MHANS) is grateful to the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for continuing to open opportunities to dispel the stigma of mental illness and distress by its offer and willingness to underwrite a conference on depression and mental distress in the African-American community. The conference steering committee, Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute and MHANS are working together to unite all segments of the African-American community to participate in the creation of this event. MHANS is also looking forward to working with the Cohen Institute as they move forward on their plans to reach out to other communities in an effort to dispel the stigma of mental illness.”
-Elizabeth M. Brasher

Speakers at the conference included:

Psychiatrist, Dr. Melvin Mc Innis, Woodworth Professor in Bipolar Disorder and Depression and Director at the Depression Center at the University of Michigan. Dr. McInnis was previously on the faculty of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has published more than 80 peer- reviewed articles. He is known internationally as an expert in the diagnosis , genetics and clinical management of bipolar and depressive disorders in adolescents and adults.
Psychologist, Dr. Ronald Levant, Dean and Professor of Psychology at the University of Akron. Dr. Levant, an expert on the psychology of men, has authored, co-authored, edited and co-edited over 300 publications including 14 books on family and gender psychology. In 2005 he was President of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Levant has appeared on 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey show and CBS News Nightline.
Consumer, Joseph Rogers, the President and CEO of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Executive Director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. Mr. Rogers was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at age 19 and is currently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 2005 he won the $250,000 Heinz Institute Award for his advocacy of user-designed mental health programs. He has testified before the Congressional committees and consulted in more than 30 states.