This week, The Atlantic hosted its seventh annual Health Forum, bringing together physicians, researchers, advocates, legislators, practitioners and health policy thought leaders to examine a wide range of health issues. This two-day event, sponsored in part by the National Council, featured many topics surrounding behavioral health, including: a keynote interview with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) discussing her Excellence in Mental Health Act, health reform architect Ezekiel Emmanuel and overall trends in behavioral health, and Mental Health First Aid.
Among the many fascinating topics discussed, here are some that interested us the most:
- Senator Stabenow was featured in an interview where she shared her experiences with mental illness in her family and the importance of her and Senator Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) Excellence in Mental Health Act. “There is so much we can & should be doing together that will actually save lives,” she said.
- Health reform architect Ezekiel Emanuel talked about the centrality of behavioral health in health care. He noted that behavioral health and mental health problems are guiding the health system issues of the next decade – and that we are moving toward a transformed healthcare system with true parity between physical and behavioral health. Dr. Emanuel will be headlining the National Council Conference next month in Orlando, FL. Register for NATCON15 here.
- Mental Health First Aid was a hot topic of discussion throughout the day. During a session on veterans in transition, behavioral health was central to the panelists’ conversation, including praise for Mental Health First Aid. “Mental health is a huge problem that most do not want to confront,” said Steve Clemons of The Atlantic. “That’s why I support Mental Health First Aid.”