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Conference presented by the AMWA with assistance from Temple University


November 21 – 22, 2019
Radisson Hotel Harrisburg, Camp Hill PA

PreConference Mental Health First Aid
Wednesday, November 20, 2019


15.5 Continuing Education hours have been APPROVED in
Social Work/Counseling*, Nursing, Pa Certification Board, and ACT 48

*available for SWCE may vary

Regular Registration Extended through November!

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Recently Updated!

Sponsorship, Vendor, and Book Signing Table Opportunities

Several levels of sponsorship are available, including commercial and nonprofit vendor tables. Please download the below Sponsorship Packet PDF to review the levels and associated perks, and then click the Book Signing or Sponsorship links to submit an electronic registration.

Online Sponsor/Vendor Registration

Sponsorship Packet PDF Download

Book Signing Table Registration


This conference is for professionals and paraprofessionals working in the following fields: medical; healthcare; mental health; military/veterans; business/industry; justice; child welfare; education (K-12, College); faith based organizations; philanthropy; as well as lay people invested in the health, safety, and humanity of their communities.

15.5 Continuing Education hours have been APPROVED in
Social Work/Counseling*, Nursing, Pa Certification Board, and ACT 48

*available for SWCE may vary


Regular Registration
Sept 1 Through Nov 20


At Door Registration


Hotel Information

Radisson Hotel Harrisburg
1150 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill, PA 17011

A block of discounted rooms is available for booking now!
Reservations can be made by phone by calling
717-763-7117 or 800-333-3333
and indicate Block Booking under the
American Mental Wellness Association
Click here for online reservations!

Rates are $109 per night for nights 11/19 through 11/22
Discount rate cut off is 10/21!



Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour certification course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health problems and substance use disorders for adults. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Mental Health First Aid Matters. Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack or if we were concerned that a friend, co-worker, or stranger might be showing signs of alcoholism.

Mental Health First Aid helps you start conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental health problem or substance use disorder.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Continental breakfast and a light lunch will be provided
Cost is $100.00 per person
You can register for the MHFA training as an add on to the conference or entirely separately at the registration page.

Mental Health First Aid USA is managed by the National Council for Behavioral Health and is valued at $170 per participant. Discounted rate is available to you through the work of the Mental Wellness Awareness Association.



Karen Lankford, Ph.D.
Neuroscientist, Yale University

Karen Lankford has a PhD in Neurobiology and Physiology and over thirty years of experience with cell culture and quantitative morphometric analysis techniques using a wide variety of light and electron microscopic procedures. She is philosophically committed to following the data wherever it may lead, even when it involves shifting the direction and learning new techniques.
In addition to her research activities, she is the co-founder of a nonprofit website called Simply Gray Matters which provides basic brain science information to patients and families dealing with serious neurological or neuropsychiatric disorders. The site provides this information in a layman friendly conversational tone with the goal of helping patients and family members understand what their doctor is trying to explain to them and participate in a more meaningful way in treatment decision.

Manya Chylinski, M.S.
Victim Advocate, Alley 424 Communications

Manya Chylinski is a writer, marketing consultant, and speaker. She is also a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. She advocates for those who are psychologically impacted by crime and addresses such topics as communicating in a crisis, overcoming obstacles, and the importance of recognizing the psychological impacts of tragedy.
Manya’s life was violently altered, along with the lives of hundreds of others, while a spectator at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on the afternoon of April 15, 2013. However, her injuries could not be treated by first responders. As she returned to her daily life, she struggled with symptoms she didn’t understand, like fear, anxiety, and visions of explosive events in her mind. It took recognizing that she was not merely a witness but also a victim for her to get the help she needed.
How do you help the invisible victims of crime and mass violence like the Boston Marathon bombing? As a speaker and a writer, Manya’s mission is to spread the word about how some survivors appear unharmed but actually experience very real mental health injuries. She has spoken to public health officials, emergency preparedness personnel, first responders, and communicators. She uses her experience to help people understand the importance of recognizing mental health injuries, how we communicate about difficult subjects, and how to move past adversity to build a new life.

Brian Sims, M.D.
Senior Medical Advisor, NASMHPD

Dr. Sims is the Senior Medical Adviser for the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors and Senior Consultant, for the NASMHPD Center for Innovation in Behavioral Health Policy and Practice. The NASMHPD works with states, federal partners, and stakeholders to promote wellness, recovery, and resiliency for individuals with mental health conditions or co-occurring mental health and substance related disorders across all ages and cultural groups, including: youth, older persons, veterans and their families, and people under the jurisdiction of the court. NASMHPD’s vision is that mental health is universally perceived as essential to overall health and well-being with services that are available, accessible, and of high quality. Wellness, resiliency and recovery are the overall goals and certain fundamental values guide NASMHPD in its mission. Prior to serving at NASMHPD Dr. Sims was a Senior Psychiatrist and Senior Director of Behavior and Mental Health at Conmed Healthcare Management Inc. a Physician Supervisor at Spring Grove Hospital Center, Unit Head Psychiatrist at Crownsville Hospital Center and Psychiatric Resident for the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Randal Fox, M.Ed.
Director, PA Center for Safe Schools

Randall Fox is the Director of the Center for Safe Schools located in Camp Hill, PA. The CSS collects data, assists schools in meeting the requirements of PA Act 1995-26 and provides resources to educators on a variety of programs and issues.  The CSS in partnership with the PA Department of Education supports schools, local agencies and parents in developing and practicing emergency management and crisis response plans; creating positive school environments; implementing evidence-based programs; and institutionalizing proactive safety measures in partnership with law enforcement and other community entities to address local needs.  Through expert staff, as well as access to a network of state and national researchers and practitioners, the CSS provides state-of-the-art professional development, technical assistance and resources to schools throughout Pennsylvania.

Nick Jaworski, B.S.
CEO, Circle Social, Inc.

It’s estimated that over 20% of the US population is struggling with addiction and up to 25% of women are on some kind of mood balancing medication. People need help, but they can’t find it. When they go online, there are literally thousands of options and, to make it worse, the ones that appear highest in search rankings are just the ones with the most money, not necessarily the best fit. Nick launched Circle Social to help bridge that gap between recovery centers, behavioral health clinics, and the communities that need them. Nick is an internationally recognized executive in the field of behavioral health marketing and operational consulting with experience building organizations across four continents. As the owner of Circle Social Inc., he has helped healthcare organizations ranging in revenue from $10 million to $300 million a year perform turn arounds and accelerate growth. He is a recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Award for his work in mental health, is an adviser to the board for The Behavioral Health Association of Providers and is also on the board for one of the most innovative treatment programs in the country – Above and Beyond Recovery in Chicago.
Recently Updated!
Recently Updated!


15.5 Continuing Education hours have been APPROVED in Social Work/Counseling*, Nursing, Pa Certification Board, and ACT 48.

*available for SWCE may vary

Take a sneak peek at our workshop selection:

Victims of Mass Violence: Why Psychological Trauma is a Public Health Issue
Manya Chylinski, M.S., Victim Advocate, Alley 424


Youth Mental Health is Everyone’s Responsibility
Kara Vojcsik, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. & Gina Daniel, Ph.D., M.S.W.


My So-called Manic Life
Amy Cummings-Barnabi, M.S., Wife, Mother, Teacher, Coach, Former D-1 Athlete at the University of Akron,
Mental Health Advocate


Human Maintenance
Mark A. Everest, President and CEO,
Occupational Athletics, Inc.


This is My Brave Mini Documentary & Panel Discussion – Shining a Light on Mental Illness Through Storytelling
Jennifer Marshall, B.B.A., Exec. Dir. This Is My Brave, Inc.
& Hayley Sherwood Ph.D. Psychologist


A Neuroscientist’s Perspective on Mental Health & Mental Illness
Karen Lankford, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, Associate Research Scientist at Yale University


Resilience Building in Children – Align to Your VISION, Act on your PLAN, MEASURE your success – An Evidenced Based Approach Via
a Hands-on Engagement Intervention Exercise
Skip Brown, B.So.Sc., Owner/Principal consultant ConnectSynergy; James Burgess—M.Ed.-Retired School Administrator; Ellen G. Smith, M.D., FAAFP-Retired Family Physician


Holistic Ways in Working with Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and Stress
Cindy L. Beers, M.S. ERYT500 Integrated Yoga Instructor


Enhancing Outcomes in Systems of Care through Trauma Informed Practices-Providing Hope & Healing
Brian Sims, M.D., Senior Medical Advisor, NASMHPD
Licensed Psychiatrist


The Physiology of Stress and Mild TBI. How to Hack into the System to Control PTSD & TBI Symptoms
Karen Lankford, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, Associate Research Scientist at Yale University


Stand Together: Promoting Early Intervention and Reducing Stigma in School Using a Student Driven Peer-to-Peer Model
Michael Gruber, M.S.W., Systems Transformation Coordinator, Allegheny County Dept. Of Human Services Office of Behavioral Health and
Danyelle P. Hooks, B.A. Recovery Specialist and Project Coordinator for Stand Together, Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Behavioral Health.

Strategic, Early Stage Intervention: Identification and Intervention for Mental Health Crisis in Its Earliest Form
Randall B. Fox, M.Ed., Director of PA Center for Safe Schools & Stephanie Colvin-Roy, B.S., Lead ICPS International Trainer, Training and Organizational Development Associate Center for the Promotion of Social and Emotional Learning (CPSEL), Center for Schools and Communities


How to Get and Keep Insurance Funding for Mental Health Treatment for Children (ages 0-20) Until the Treatment is Completed Successfully
Steve Kossor, M.A., The Institute for Behavior Change
Licensed Psychologist


It’s Never Too Early: How to Prevent, Recognize and Treat Alcohol & Drug Use in the Autism Community
Elizabeth Kunreuther, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., Clinical Instructor at Univ. of NC & Ann Palmer, B.A.


“Beyond Beds”: Using Crisis Services as Primary Diversion from Jails & Emergency Rooms “Crisis Now” – Transforming Crisis Services
Brian Sims, M.D., Sr. Medical Adviser with the National Assoc. of State Mental Health Program Directors
Licensed Psychiatrist


From a Non-Compliant Patient to the Non-Compliant Parent
Catherine Walsh, Edinboro University, Mental Health Advocate


Fairweather Lodge: An Adept Model for the 21st Century
William C. McHenry, III, B.S., and Panel with Coalition for Community Living


Resiliency through Vulnerability: Suicide Prevention Through Role-Modeling
Valerie Hernandez, B.S., Graduate Asst. at Indiana University and Mental Health Advocate


It Takes a Village: A Campus Process of Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention
Todd Hastings, Ph.D. & M.S.R.N. Psychiatric (C.N.S.) Assistant Professor, School of Nursing Cedar Crest College


You’re Thinking About Mental Health, Addiction, and Choices All Wrong
Nick Jaworski, B.S., CEO Circle Social Inc.


Just Talk About It
Andrew F. Onimus, B.A., Minding Your Mind, Director of Corporate Program/Speaker for Minding Your Mind &
Mollye Readinger-Scott, B.A., Clinical Facilitator for Minding Your Mind


Learn more about the American Mental Wellness Association and MyBrain365 Powered by Roberto App
Sharon Engdahl, B.So.Sc. Exec. Dir. AMWA & Mike Hauser, M.Ed. RC21X, VP for School & Youth Programs

Announcing – a special showing of
Boston Film Festival Award Winning Documentary
“American Tragedy”!


The AMWA’s campaign for a healthier happier America will be publicly launched during the Mental Health Is Physical Health 2019 Conference.

The American Mental Wellness Association is the unifying voice for prevention, early intervention, scientific research and cures of mental health problems which includes substance use disorders for the holistic health of the individual and society.

Recently Updated!
Recently Updated!


PerformCare Logo 2019
Logo PA ABLE 2018


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