Tom Laue:
It’s so easy, even knowing mental health woes aren’t really ‘in my head’ to ignore clear signs when I need more help and thus forgo the meds and counseling that have helped me all my life. There’s always that little lingering twinge of shame about needing treatment. Can’t I conquer this myself? But when I see the hundreds of people in the same shape as I am show up every year, willing to publicly tell their stories so others may be helped, I’m ashamed to think I was ever ashamed in the first place. What courage! What inspiration! What wonderful help! And it’s all there, for everybody, from lay members of the public to the top professionals in their fields. We are truly blessed to have the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute Mental Health Conference, and all those who make them possible.

Conference Attendee:
When I see hundreds of people in the same shape as I am, willing to tell their stories, I say….. What courage, what inspiration! What wonderful help! And it’s all there, for everybody, from lay members of the public to the top professionals in their fields.

Brandy Baker, Former Post-doctoral fellow:
So many people donate their time to help educate the community about mental health issues. These selfless contributions continue to be a source of inspiration!

Father Robert Oldershaw, St. Nicholas’ Pastor Emeritus:
It is precisely when we are ill that we need the support of family, friends, and community. I know. I’ve been there. I had to make a “leap of faith” to reach out for help for my depression. And what a blessing it was to receive the support and love that I so needed.

Elizabeth M. Brasher:
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.

Anonymous 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”
  • “great learning experience.”

Consumers and community members agreed the conference was quite beneficial:

  • A great-grandmother raising a teenage 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.”