This week, Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) staff are heading to Washington, DC to present at Mental Health America (MHA’s) 2021 Annual Conference: From Resiliency to Recovery. Each year the (MHA) Annual Conference brings together MHA affiliates, community stakeholders, peers, caregivers, providers, government officials, media, and more from across the country to discuss important and emerging mental health topics. Folks from MHC will also be presenting as part of the Affiliate Pre-conference on June 9, covering the following topics:

“Workplace Mental Health: Best Practices in Practices,” presented by MHC’s Chief Strategy Officer, Suzi Craig. Suzi will join MHA’s Director of Workplace Mental Health, Taylor Adams to present. MHC is a recent Platinum Bell Seal-certified organization, Suzi will share MHC’s experiences in putting best practices into practice within our own organization and how this can apply in other workplaces. 

“How Business Intelligence Paves The Way to Success,” presented by MHC’s Organizational Performance Coordinator, Chelsea Thornton. This presentation will share how Business Intelligence (BI) can support and facilitate better business decision and how MHC uses BI to transform raw data into meaningful and useful information, in order to build an effective strategic plan, as well as create tactical and operational insights for decision-making within a given timeframe.

“Turning Ideas Into Action: MHC’s Equity, Social Justice & Antiracism Advisory Committee,” presented by MHC’s DEI & Engagement Coordinator, Jackie Davis. This presentation will provide an overview of how MHC created an internal advisory committee to identify and create solution based recommendations to leadership to improve MHC’s work culture with a focus on social justice, cultural humility, and equity for staff, program participants, and the communities we serve. Jackie Davis to present.

MHC will also be recognized as the 2021 Innovation and Programming Award recipient at the conference. This award recognizes the continuing innovation and creativity of an MHA affiliate in program development and implementation.

Agustin Lopez holds MHA award.

Agustin Lopez, MHC’s Director of Housing

The award is in recognition of the valiant efforts of MHC staff to benefit our community during and after the COVID-19. Agustin Lopez (MHC’s Director of Housing), Gabby Padilla (MHC’s Program Coordinator of Housing Services), and Dainius Vitartus (MHC’s Director of IT) worked with staff from the Department of Housing (DOH), Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), and Connecticut’s 2-1-1 call center/info-line to connect individuals experiencing homelessness directly to MHC staff. We developed a call tree through Microsoft Teams that routes incoming calls directly to our 4 homeless services staff members. This ensured that calls are answered by a live staff person (whomever gets to the call first). To learn more about these efforts, check out our blog post titled, “Connecting our Community, A Story From MHC’s Northwest Sector.”

The following was published by Mental Health America as a part of their awards announcement:

“MHC is part of a statewide network to help eliminate homelessness in Connecticut and participates in the Waterbury/Litchfield Coordinated Access Network (CAN) that serves those who meet the HUD definition of literal homelessness. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, MHC and the Connecticut Department of Housing recognized an urgent community need to connect people experiencing homelessness to housing services. This innovation made the Waterbury/Litchfield Coordinated Access Network the only community program in the state of Connecticut with same-day call-back services in order to address an individual’s housing crisis immediately. Mental Health Connecticut is currently working to assist sister agencies across the state in replicating the program.”

To see a full list of award recipients for MHA 2021 Annual Conference, click here. All awards will be distributed during MHA’s Annual Conference, “Resiliency to Recovery,” taking place June 10-12 in Washington, DC.

Due to the ongoing need for mental health education, resources, and support, the 2021 virtual conference ticket for MHA’s Annual Conference is free! “We know how important mental health information is right now, and we do not want cost to be a barrier to accessing this year’s content,” Whitney Ball, MHA.

MHA is also pleased to offer Continuing Education credit through the Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Registered attendees will have the opportunity to earn up to 26 CE credit hours by attending live online (or in-person) sessions and watching on-demand content post-event.

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