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National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Photos

May 8th, 2007

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(From Left to Right) Mike Fitzpatrick, Robert Bernstein,
Howie Mandel, Sandra Spencer and David Shern.

NAMI's Executive Director, Mike Fitzpatrick, poses with Howie Mandel, the host of NBC's hit show "Deal or No Deal," along with Robert Bernstein, Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Sandra Spencer, Executive Director of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health and David Shern, President and CEO of Mental Health America.

NAMI, a founding partner in a coalition of national mental health, counseling and education organizations, jointly hosted the second annual Capitol Hill briefing in honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day. The program emphasized the critical importance of effective school and community based mental health services for children and youth, and their families.

Dr. Carl C. Bell, President and CEO of the Community Mental Health Council, Inc., moderates the panel of presenters.

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Howie Mandel talks about the challenges he faced growing up with obsessive-compulsive disorder, as the Honorary Consumer Spokesperson.

Deborah Marriott Harrison, Vice President of Government Affairs at Marriott International, Inc. and Honorary Family Spokesperson, presents on the obstacles she encountered while raising twin sons who were both diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 14. Ms. Harrison has now become an advocate for all children and youth living with a mental illness and their families.

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Scott Harrison, son of Deborah Marriott Harrison, shares his personal story of growing up with bipolar disorder, how he manages his illness and the difficulty of navigating through the mental health system. Mr. Harrison is now pursuing his doctorate degree in audiology at the University of Utah.

Marvin Alexander, Honorary Youth Spokesperson, discusses his experience of maneuvering though the juvenile justice system as a child living with bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. Mr. Alexander is now pursuing his master's degree in social work at the Barry University Graduate School.

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Representative Grace Napolitano from the 38th Congressional District of California discusses a school-based Latina adolescent mental health program she spearheaded, which provides treatment and preventive services in schools to address the youth suicide crisis. 

Representative Napolitano also founded and currently co-chairs the Congressional Mental Health Caucus with Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA).

Mark Weist, Ph.D., as the Honorary Education Spokesperson, shares information about effective mental health programs in schools and the critical role schools play in the early identification of students living with a mental illness.

Dr. Weist directs the Center for School Mental Health Analysis and Action, a technical assistance center that aims to promote the expansion and improvement of mental health programs in schools across the country, and the School Mental Health Program, which provides assessment, treatment, and prevention services for youth in 23 elementary, middle and high school in Baltimore.

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Gary Blau. Ph.D., Branch Chief, Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, discusses the programs SAMHSA offers for students with mental health and/or substance abuse problems.

Dr. Gary Blau, Deborah Marriott Harrison, Scott Harrison and Howie Mandel, all emphasize the important role schools play in identifying and supporting students living with a mental illness and the need for a mental health services and stigma reduction programs in schools.

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