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Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute Community Mental Health Conference

June 5, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 3:30 pm CDT

The 15th annual Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Community Mental Health Conference’s (NRCI) theme is Mental Health: Why does it matter? A Compassionate Community Responds,” and will feature mental health experts speaking about helping the most vulnerable in our society. The conference will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, 1224 Dempster Street, Evanston.

The conference is open to both lay people and professionals, and is underwritten by the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute (NRCI) at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, the nation’s leading nonprofit graduate university devoted exclusively to the study of psychology and related behavioral health sciences, and is sponsored in part by the Jewish Federation and its affiliates: CJE Senior Life, Jewish Child and Family Services, Jewish Vocational Services, and The Ark.

“The NRCI conference is essential to continue the dialogue about reducing stigma related to mental illness and annually shines a light on the issue of mental health for many in the Chicagoland area,” said Tiffany Masson, Psy.D., interim campus dean, Chicago Campus, The Chicago School and moderator of this year’s conference. “The Chicago School community looks forward to the conference every year because we know that every workshop and speaker will broaden our view of mental health and how all of us as a community can make a difference.”

“How our community responds to compelling mental health needs in these challenging economic and social times is a critical issue. The 2016 Community Mental Health Conference will address this question,” said Lawrence Cohen, NRCI founder. “This conference is designed not only to inform and teach, but also to enable us all to learn more about the most vulnerable in our society, and how each of us can help.”


2016 Opening Panel Speakers

Reverend Mark A. Dennis, Jr. Reverend Dennis is the president and chief executive officer of McGaw YMCA. He will open the conference with words of hope. The McGaw YMCA for 130 years has strengthened the Evanston and North Shore communities by focusing on youth development and social responsibility.

Dr. Mark Salzer. Dr. Salzer is the professor and chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Temple University and director of Community Inclusion of Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities will also speak. He has published over 90 articles and has given over 200 presentations around the world promoting community inclusion.

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart. Sheriff Dart will speak about how the mentally ill are treated in the justice system and what needs to be done to help. On any given day there are over 2500 people with diagnosed mental illness housed in the jail under the sheriff’s responsibility, making it the largest mental health facility in the country. He has brought an aggressive, yet innovative approach to law enforcement.

Jesse Teverbaugh. Jesse Teverbaugh, the director of Student and Alumni Affairs at The Cara Program will tell his story. Cara prepares and inspires motivated individuals to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Jesse was once a Cara Program client. “I know what it’s like to be in pain and not have any hope.”

Twenty-one workshops will take place following the panel discussion and include such workshops as Workforce Development Alternatives for Highly at Risk Youth, Addiction: Building Support and Embracing Life Long Recovery, Loss Through Violent Death, Our Elderly — Not to be Forgotten, Restorative Justice, Crisis Intervention Training: What Families Need to Know, Veterans and Law Enforcement Response to Mental Health Crisis.

The cost of the conference is $50. After May 20, the cost is $55. Full scholarships are available. Please call 312-467-2552 or email [email protected] for more information or with any questions.


About NRCI: The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education’s goal is to overcome the stigma of mental illness. Institute income is used to promote educational programs and to support organizations engaged in mental illness research, education, self-help, anti-discrimination and advocacy. The institute annually plans, promotes and underwrites a Community Mental Health Conference. The Conference — attended by more than 300 professionals, consumers, family members and concerned public — addresses critical mental health issues such as bipolar disorder and depression. To learn more, visit naomicoheninstitue.org




Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute


Beth Emet The Free Synagogue
1224 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL 60202 United States
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