9th Annual Mental Health Advocacy Day

Welcoming and Caring Communities
Belonging for All

Monday, January 29, 2024
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Virtual via Zoom Webinar

Every year, advocates join together to raise their voices in support of mental health. This year was no exception. We met virtually on Monday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to call on Vermont leaders and legislators. Our key theme focused on “Welcoming and Caring Communities – Belonging for All.” Co-sponsors and advocates were at the Statehouse Card Room on January 31, 2024 from 8 a.m.-4 pm to meet and greet legislators!

Mental Health Advocacy Day 2024
Agenda – January 29, 2024
  • 10:00 am — Welcome and Introductions
  • 10:15–11:00 am — Legislative Panel: Advocacy to Strengthen our Sense Belonging and Mental Wellness
    • Panel 1: Advocacy to Strengthen our Sense of Belonging and Mental Wellness
      Moderator: Emily Hawes, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health
      Legislative Panelists: Rep. Daisy Berbeco, Rep. Melanie Carpenter, Rep. Jonathan Williams, Rep. Mary-Katherine Stone
  • 11:00–11:45 am — Community Leader Panel: How does a sense of belonging support mental health, and how can we strengthen it?
    • Panel 2: How does a sense of belonging support mental health, and how can we strengthen it?
      Moderator: Robin Shabazz, Principal, Eastledge Group
      Panelists: Max Barrows, Outreach Director, Green Mountain Self Advocates
      Matt Wolf, Senior Associate for Youth Empowerment, Vermont Afterschool
      Kheya Ganguly, Director of Trauma Prevention and Resilience Development, Department of Mental Health
  • 11:45–12:00 pm — Mental Health Advocacy Day Unsung Hero Awards
    • Congratulations to: Kara Greenblott, Howard Center’s Art Collective; Tania Hayes, Co-Director of Student Services for the Missisquoi Valley School District; Mike Reilly, CCS Development Coordinator at Champlain Community Services; and Sam Weber, Crisis Worker, St. Albans Police Department
    • Lifetime Achievement Award: Julie Tessler, Executive Director Vermont Care Partners: VT Council
  • 12:00–12:30 pm — Lunch Break
  • 12:30–2:00 pm — Sharing Stories
  • Jan. 31 — Testimony at Key Legislative Committees

Agenda for Testimony on Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Mental Health Advocacy Day Co-Sponsors:

NAMI Vermont ~ Vermont Association for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery (VAMHAR) ~ Vermont Care Partners (Vermont Council of Developmental and Mental Health Services) ~ ACLU of Vermont ~ Alyssum ~ BAART Programs ~ Building Bright Futures ~ Burlington Police Department ~ Cathedral Square ~ Center for Health and Learning ~ Champlain Community Services ~ Clara Martin Center (CMC) ~ Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC) ~ Disability Rights Vermont ~ Families First Inc. ~ Green Mountain Support Services ~ Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS) ~ Howard Center ~ Lamoille County Mental Health Services (LCMHS) ~ Life Intervention Team ~ Lincoln Street ~ Me2/Orchestra ~ Mental Health Initiative – United Way ~ National Association of Social Workers-VT ~ NFI Vermont, Inc. ~ Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS) ~ Northwestern Counseling and Support Services (NCSS) ~ Recovery Partners of Vermont ~ Rutland Mental Health Services ~ Spring Lake Ranch Therapeutic Community ~ Support and Services at Home (SASH) ~ Team Two Vermont ~ The Family Place Parent Child Center ~ The University of Vermont Health Network ~ United Counseling Service of Bennington County, Inc. (UCS) ~ Upper Valley Services ~ Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) ~ Vermont Center for Independent Living ~ Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation ~ Vermont Family Network ~ Vermont Housing and Homelessness Alliance ~ Vermont Medical Society ~ Vermont Mental Health Counselors Association ~ Vermont Principals Association ~ Vermont Psychiatric Association  ~ Vermont Psychiatric Survivors ~ Vermont Psychological Association ~ Vermont State University Graduate Programs in Counseling ~ Voices for Vermont Children ~ Voices of Hope ~ Washington County Mental Health Services, Inc. (WCMHS) ~ We R Hope

Hosted by:
vermont care partners

If you missed Mental Health Advocacy Day last year, you can view the recording on YouTube.

Take a moment to immerse yourself in our community’s vibrant artwork and relive the memories from 2023 with this captivating slideshow.