Friday, October 23, 2020 at 9:45 AM EDT
Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM EDT

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Matthew Shapiro 

The 2020 NAMI-NYS Education Conference-Building Momentum: Coming Together to Create Our Future will instill the importance of resiliency and address many of the critical issues we are currently facing including:

  • How to recover from the trauma and grief generated by COVID-19, the economy and racial injustice
  • Understanding and addressing social-determinants of mental health
  • How to take our education and turn it into action, including how we can make our voices heard in supporting mental health services in the upcoming elections.
  • How to partner in advancing research
  • Addressing suicide
  • How to take the next steps in supporting multicultural communities
  • The importance of early-intervention
  • Issues impacting young adults

While we will not be able to be in the same location, we will not let physical distance cause social distance; the education conference will still allow us to come together to learn from one another, help each other heal and begin creating the future we want to see.

NAMI-NYS's goal is to bring together as many people as possible for this important gathering, which is why we are not charging a registration fee this year, though we are asking if possible, for people to make a $20 donation to support NAMI-NYS.


NAMI-NYS is thrilled to announce our 2020 Leaders of Mental Health Awareness honorees. All three of our honorees are the definition of resiliency, as all have overcome tragedy, hardship and a lifetime of mental health challenges. Each of them are also finding new and innovative ways to tell their stories and spread mental health awareness.

Lily Cornell Silver is the host of the new IGTV series Mind Wide Open. Lily is the only daughter of music industry manager Susan Silver and the first-born daughter of the late Soundgarden / Audioslave singer, Chris Cornell. Like her dad, Lily has struggled with anxiety and depression throughout her life and launched the show as a tribute to him on what would have been his 56th birthday. The show features Lily discussing mental health issues with leading experts, her peers with lived experience and celebrities. The show is quickly garnering a lot of attention including in Rolling Stone magazine.

AJ Mendez is the New York Times Bestselling author of Crazy Is My Superpower, co-founder of Scrappy Heart Productions, mental health advocate and speaker, and former championship wrestler with the WWE. She is an ambassador to The Jed Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. AJ wast the recipient of NAMI’s 2018 Multicultural Outreach Award. She is a writer, making the Black List’s inaugural Latinx TV List in 2020. AJ’s work with NAMI includes her Discovering My Superpower video.

Metta World Peace is a former NBA all-star, 2004 Defensive Player of the Year, author of the book No Malice and subject of the Showtime acclaimed documentary Quiet Storm-The Ron Artest Story. Metta and his family have become vital members of the NAMI-NYS family and have been instrumental in a landmark initative of introducing NAMI Signature programs into the Queensbridge housing project. Metta was also recently a guest on an episode of NAMI-NYS Perspectives.


  • Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., President and CEO, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
  • Barbara A. Cornblatt, PhD, MBA, Director, Recognition and Prevention (RAP) Program Department of Psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital
  • Christine Crawford,MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Associate Director of Psychiatry Medical Student Education Boston University School of Medicine
  • Wilfred Farquharson,Ph.D, Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic & Psychologist, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
  • Donald Goff, MD, Director Nathan Kline Institute
  • Michelle Hammer, Founder, SchizophrenicNYC
  • Luke Kramer, Executive Director, the STARR Coalition
  • Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Director, New York State Psychiatric Institute; and Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Columbia University Medical Center of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Merrill Rotter, M.D., Special Assistant to the Commissioner, New York State Office of Mental Health

More Featured Speakers to be announced shortly.

Agenda Highlights

  • First Steps Towards Healing: Addressing and Overcoming the Grief and Trauma of COVID-19, the Economy and Racial Injustice
  • Our Path Forward: Understanding and Prevailing Over Our Current Social Determinants of Mental Health
  • Education to Action Creating Our Future Breakout Sessions
  • Coming Together to Celebrate the Resiliency of our 2020 Leaders of Mental Health Awareness Honorees and NAMI-NYS Members 
  • 2020 NAMI-NYS Excellence in Research Award Presentation
  • Partnering on Research and Update from Leading Research Facilities
  • Disease Focus Workshops
  • Using Communication to Cut Through Cultural Divides and Mental Health Disparities
  • Zero Suicide Session-Recognizing and Addressing Warning signs of Suicide During COVID and Social Isolation
  • Expanding Mental Wellness in the LGBTQI Community
  • Four Young Adult Sessions on Managing Our New Back to School Stress, How to Curate a Healthy Social Media Feed, Addressing Anxiety (Turning Negative “What Ifs” to Positives) and Act and Vote for Mental Health

Click here to view the full agenda description.

Nominate Someone for a 2020 NAMI-NYS Award

We are currently accepting nominations for the following awards:

  • The Muriel Shepherd Award
  • The Max Gabriel Veterans Mental Health Award
  • Program Leader Award
  • Young  Leader Award
  • Multicultural Award
  • CIT Officer Award

Click here to make a nomination. Nominations due by Monday, October 5th.

Marketing Opportunities

Support the 2020 NAMI-NYS Education Conference

Click here to visit the conference marketing page and learn about advertising and exhibiting at the conference. 

Answering Your Questions About the Virtual Conference

Click here to view frequently answered questions about the virtual conference experience.

Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors Hope Starts With You

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