Miller to host 10th annual Disability & Mental Health Summit
One-of-a-kind event brings parents, educators, professionals and legislators together
MT. LEBANON, May 2 – Celebrating its 10th year, state Rep. Dan Miller, D-Allegheny, will host his annual Disability & Mental Health Summit on Thursday, May 11, at Beth El Congregation, 1900 Cochran Road in Pittsburgh.
The event is one-of-a-kind, bringing together self-advocates, families, educators, service providers, state officials and legislators to discuss the state of disability and mental health in Pennsylvania. Free and open to the public, the summit also includes a popular Resource Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with more than 50 organizations in attendance.
“In the last decade, we have come a long way in how we talk about disabilities and mental health, with people more willing than ever to acknowledge that they may need help or to be open to discussions about the needs in our communities,” Miller said. “Now that we are talking more and, in some ways, better about disabilities and mental health, we need to have conversations about needs, access and how we direct resources to where they will have the largest impact. The summit on May 11 is about elevating those conversations to a state level and connecting legislators to the professionals, organizations and people working in these critical fields.”
Organized around two legislative panels, the morning session will begin at 9 a.m. and feature keynote speaker Dr. Dale Adair, chief psychiatric officer for the PA Department of Human Services, to discuss the mental health landscape in Pennsylvania. Adair will be followed by a panel on mental health with state Rep. Mike Schlossberg with a focus on the Behavioral Health Commission report on workforce needs and public safety, to be followed by a discussion focused on mental health needs in schools.
The afternoon session will begin at 1 p.m. with keynote speakers Dr. Val Arkoosh, PA Department of Human Services acting secretary; and Kristin Ahrens, deputy secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs to discuss the changing landscape of disability services in Pennsylvania. That discussion will be immediately followed by a disability panel, including representatives of the Employment First Oversight Commission and PA Department of Labor and Industry to discuss the commissions’ recommendations to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities; followed by a discussion on supports for college students with disabilities.
Details on all the events, panels and registration information is available at www.DisabilitySummit.com.