The 31st Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium
Help Wanted: Reshaping the Behavioral Health Workforce
Nov. 12-13, 2015
The Affordable Care Act (2010) resulted in millions more people trying to access mental health and substance use services as one of the 10 essential health benefits included in all covered plans. This year's Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy discusses several potential solutions to address the gaps in the behavioral health workforce that have resulted from this surge in demand, along with the field's shift toward integrated care and population health. Key topics also include innovations in medical school education and the rise of "whole health" and the "culture of health" movements in workforce development.
This invitation-only event includes formal remarks by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and other health leaders including former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher.
The subject of this year's symposium is of interest to a wide variety of mental health and addiction advocates, as well as to non-traditional partners. The symposium attracts a diverse audience, including members of the behavioral health advocacy community, health care professionals, insurance providers, pharmaceutical companies, caregivers, consumers, and policymakers from federal and state agencies.
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History of the symposium
In 1985, former first lady Rosalynn Carter initiated the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to bring together national leaders in mental health to focus and coordinate their efforts on an issue of common concern.
The symposia have been a unique opportunity each year for this leadership to hear remarks from a variety of individuals with expertise on a selected topic; discuss diverse viewpoints in an open forum; identify areas of consensus and potential collaborations as well as points of divergence; and to recommend action steps for symposium participants to move an agenda forward.
Held each November, the symposia have examined such issues as mental illness and the elderly, child and adolescent illness, family coping, financing mental health services and research, treating mental illness in the primary care setting, and stigma and mental illness.
In addition to the symposium, the Mental Health Program hosts another annual meeting to tackle pressing issues in mental health policy, the Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, held each May since 1995 for state mental health organizations.
Celebrating the Past & Shaping the Future