November 19, 2018


More than 8 million Americans care for adults with mental illness. Families struggle to help relatives while navigating health care systems, providers and community supports. Our presenters will discuss the barriers families encounter, review a guidebook for mental health caregivers and recommend public policy.



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Our Experts

C. Grace Whiting

C. Grace Whiting, J.D., is President and Chief Executive Officer at The Alliance, where she continues her tenure from previous roles including Chief Operating Officer and Director of Strategic Partnerships. Whiting led the launch of the “Caregiving in the U.S.” 2015 report with AARP and directed the first national study of rare disease caregiving with Global Genes. She has contributed to several national reports on caregiving, including “Cancer Caregiving in the U.S.” with the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Support Community and “Dementia Caregiving in the U.S.” with the Alzheimer’s Association.

She has spoken on caregiving at national and international conferences, including the 7th International Carers Conference in Adelaide, Australia and at three national summits at the National Institutes of Health. Whiting has also served as a resource to major media on the topic of caregiving and aging, including C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.

She is currently a licensed attorney with the District of Columbia Bar and a member of the American Society on Aging, the American Society of Association Executives and the Gerontological Society of America. Named an “Outstanding Law Student” by the National Association of Women Lawyers, Whiting earned her law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law.


Sita Diehl

Sita Diehl retired in 2017 from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as Director of Policy and State Outreach. She is a longtime NAMI member and has been nationally recognized as an advocate for peers and families.

Diehl has co-authored reports on mental health caregiving, mental health parity, mental health legislation, supported employment, the state mental health budget crisis, military mental health and Medicaid expansion. She has developed mental health curricula for peers, families, providers and criminal justice personnel. Her research experience includes a two-state comparison of women and children in public-managed behavioral health care, a multi-site study of consumer-operated services and a longitudinal study of mental health services in Tennessee county jails.

Prior to her tenure on the national staff, she served as Executive Director of NAMI Tennessee. She is a Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker with an MSSW from the University of Tennessee and an M.A. in Community Psychology from Antioch University.

NAMI HelpLine is available M-F, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET. Call 800-950-6264,
text “helpline” to 62640, or chat online. In a crisis, call or text 988 (24/7).