Looking back on my second trip to the National Council Conference & Expo, I found it to be a great source of information from very dedicated and caring individuals who make up the fields of mental health and addiction treatment.
I will say that the days were long, packed with plenaries, workshops, and thought leader presentations. In the brief periods in between I was able to spend some time going through the exhibit hall—and, of course, writing about what I’d learned so that our readers could share in the experience online. By the way, if you missed any of our coverage be sure to check out www.behavioral.net/natcon.
Still, you can't help but come away thinking about some of the more “unique” attractions the National Council Conference had to offer this year.
For me, the first was an amazing opportunity to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, where the Joint Commission held a reception on Saturday evening. The elaborate affair gave guests a chance to see original paintings from artists like Monet, Manet (until that night, I was convinced they were the same person), Van Gogh, and many others.
The event also featured a fantastic performance from the Joint Commission choir. Click below to see what you may have missed.
On Monday, many people saw an unusual sight that involved a group of people shuffling in and out of the National Council exhibit hall. Celebrating the very first "Every Day Matters" Day, the group was comprised of several Netsmart employees wearing green T-shirts (each with one letter from the phrase “EVERY DAY MATTERS”) that had been sewn together at the arms.
The theatrics were part of an initiative called Every Day Matters, which was developed to build awareness, debunk stigma and encourage open and honest dialogue about mental health issues, as well as promoting the coordination of care between mental and physical health. A very short clip of the group’s activities that day can be found below as well.
Other fun activities included photo ops with President Obama and the First Lady (in the form of cardboard cutouts) to promote the National Council’s Hill Day,” which takes place June 25-26 in Washington, D.C. During Linda Rosenberg’s opening address, there was also a “musical invitation” to Stephen Colbert to get the Comedy Central talk show host to lend his talents to the effort. That video can be seen below.
All in all, the 2012 National Council Conference was definitely “packed” with information, but there were also plenty of things going on to get attendees involved and engaged, and remind them that their work can be fun, as well as rewarding.
Those were some of the more "memorable" aspects for me. What were yours?