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Annual community mental health conference announces discussion group, speaker lineup for June conference

(CHICAGO) (May 23, 2016) Members of the public and mental health professionals wanting to learn more about mental health issues will have an opportunity to attend a conference covering such pressing issues as reducing stigma, LGBTQ mental health, identifying mental health issues in adolescents, and addiction and recovery.

The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s 15th Annual Community Mental Health Conference will also feature such dynamic speakers as:

  • Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who will speak about how the mentally ill are treated in the justice system and what needs to be done to affect change.
  • Temple University’s Dr. Mark Salzer, director of the Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Persons with Psychiatric Disabilities, who will speak about inclusion of mentally ill individuals.
  • Jesse Teverbaugh, director of Student and Alumni Affairs at The Cara Program, who will speak about breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

Titled “Mental Health: Why does it Matter? A Compassionate Community Responds” the conference opens on June 5 at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue at 1224 W. Dempster, Evanston, IL, and will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“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.”

“The mentally ill have been systematically neglected and demonized and ultimately criminalized in this country. Let us finally prioritize mental health and see justice for the mentally ill out of respect for their humanity, not of our fear,” said Sheriff Dart.

The conference is underwritten by the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education 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.

“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.”

Registration to the conference is open. The cost of the conference is $50 plus an additional $20 for professionals interested in acquiring the five CEUs available for attending. No one who wants to attend is turned away. Please call 312-467-2552 or email [email protected] for more information.

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

About The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Founded in 1979, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is a nonprofit, private university devoted exclusively to psychology, and related behavioral and health sciences, and is an affiliate of TCS ED System. The university serves nearly 4,500 students across campuses in Chicago; Southern California (Los Angeles and Irvine); and Washington, D.C., as well as through online programs. The Chicago School is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, (WSCUC), and its Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program in Chicago is accredited by the American Psychological Association. With more than 20 graduate degree programs, thousands of hours of real-world training, and a wealth of international opportunities, TCSPP is the leader in professional psychology education. To learn more, visit

Contact: Lisa Riley


[email protected]