HCN News & Notes

Cooley Dickinson, NAMI to Present Mental Health Policy Breakfast

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Health Care is co-sponsoring a Mental Health Policy Breakfast with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Friday, May 19 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz St.

The breakfast will preface presentations by peer groups including Starlight, the Recovery Learning Center, and the Western Mass. chapter of NAMI; a panel discussion featuring state and federal perspectives on mental healthcare; and a question-and-answer session with panelists and other mental-health advocates.

Panelists will include Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, state Rep. Peter Kocot, state Department of Mental Health Director Julie Schwager, Western Mass. NAMI representative Ella Smolenski, Cooley Dickinson Integrated Behavioral Health Medical Director Dr. Peter Halperin, plus staff from U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office.

Topics of discussion will include why parity is important, breaking down stigma, what’s been accomplished with respect to mental-health parity, what directions the future holds for policy, and how changes to the Affordable Care Act might impact behavioral-health services. Mental-health advocates will also explore the best ways to focus advocacy efforts and will work to identify targets for effective advocacy.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.