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Mental Health America Conference Examines Health Reform and Parity with Health Policy Expert Susan Dentzer, Leaders in Field and Mental Health Advocate Demi Lovato

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ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health policy expert Susan Dentzer, national thought leaders and mental health advocates, including recording artist, author and actress Demi Lovato, headline Mental Health America's 2014 Annual Conference—Parity and the Affordable Care Act: Bridging Gaps to Advance Mental Health—at the Sheraton Atlanta, Georgia, September 10-12, 2014.

The Conference will examine the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Act, watershed legislation that expands access to mental health care for millions of Americans.

"We know parity and health reform are critical to expanding care," said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America. "The conference will provide a unique opportunity to measure progress in the implementation of these laws, identify gaps in behavioral health coverage, and explore policies and programs needed to fill them."

The Conference will feature talks by national experts and thought leaders, present cutting-edge research and community success stories, and provide opportunities for attendees to network, brainstorm and share.

Dentzer, Senior Policy Advisor at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former Editor-in-Chief of the journal Health Affairs, will present a keynote address on the multiple goals and challenges of health care reform in the United States and the impact of the Affordable Care Act with special attention to behavioral health.

Dr. Philip S. Wang, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will identify some of the promising areas of research that may fundamentally alter the way we think about treating and preventing mental illnesses with special emphasis on the role of advocacy in taking research findings to scale.

Lovato will be attending the Clifford W. Beers Awards Dinner on September 11th.  She will kick-off the evening by sharing her story of resilience and learning to live well with mental illness. Her inspiring words will set the stage for the presentation of Mental Health America's highest honor, the Clifford W. Beers Award, which recognizes an individual for a lifetime of achievement in mental health advocacy. Lovato's participation on the evening of September 11th is part of The Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour, supported by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. 

For additional information on the Conference, hotel reservations and to register, go to www.mentalhealthamerica.net/annualconference.

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Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net), founded in 1909, is the nation's leading community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 228 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.

SOURCE Mental Health America

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