A year ago it was just a good idea. Then, in the fall of 2016, CMHA made it happen.
“It” was the inaugural Mental Health for All Conference (MH4A). CMHA had envisioned the first MH4A conference as the “go-to” event in Canada for mental health, mental illness and addiction. It was that, and more, bringing together leaders, researchers, people with lived experience and those working on the frontlines from across the country. A capacity crowd of 470 delegates filled the halls and breakout rooms at the Toronto Hilton, and enjoyed two full conference days (and one pre-conference day) of informative, compelling and challenging presentations that will advance innovations in the field.
Conference partners, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (represented by CEO Rita Notarandrea) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, (represented by Michel Rodgrigue, Vice-President, Organizational Performance and Public Affairs) joined Dr. Patrick Smith, CMHA National CEO, in welcoming the delegates. Keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) challenged her audience to put aside the “language of polarization,” to speak in one, strong voice, on the eve of a new Federal-Provincial Health Accord. Two fascinating keynote panels – featuring researchers, practitioners and advocates with lived experience – along with 68 breakout presentations made for a busy and energizing event.