The Atlantic Announces Inaugural "Summit on Mental Health and Addiction"

Speakers to include U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on fighting heroin abuse in rural America; Senators Chris Murphy and Bill Cassidy, co-authors of Mental Health Reform Act

Washington, D.C. (March 24, 2016)-- High-profile mass shootings, spikes in opioid abuse, and an uptick in suicide rates among veterans have brought conversations about mental illness into the mainstream. But for all the recent strides in visibility, research, and advocacy, there is still much to be accomplished when it comes to treatment and deconstruction of stigma. Next month, The Atlantic’s inaugural “Summit on Mental Health and Addiction” will explore the latest in our scientific understanding of mental illness, along with the systemic challenges and fresh opportunities facing the national mental health care system.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who has been tasked by President Obama with fighting heroin and opioid abuse in rural America, will join the program for a headline interview. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), co-authors of the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, which was recently advanced to the full Senate, will also join the program to discuss the status of their work and the larger role for Congress when it comes to confronting mental health issues.

The event will take place on Tuesday, April 12 from 9am-noon at 1777 F Street NW in Washington. Other topics to be covered include (note that this list is subject to change):

  • Guns, Mental Illness, and Navigating the Political Gridlock
  • Race, Criminal Justice, and the Deinstitutionalization of Mental Health
  • Pulling Back the Curtain on Addiction and Opioid Abuse
  • Role of Congress and the Federal Government in Confronting Addiction
  • Trauma and PTSD, From Vets to Victims of Sexual Violence
  • Technology and Telemedicine: New Tools For Treatment and Prevention
  • First-Aid for Mental Health: How Hospitals Can Better Treat Patients

Media interested in attending should be in touch with The Atlantic’s Sydney Simon ( Further details will be available closer to the event date.

The National Council for Behavioral Health is a Founding Level underwriter of The Atlantic’s Summit on Mental Health and Addiction.