Keynote Spotlight: Dan Gillison, Jr. and David Albert, Ph.D.
NAMI Illinois is honored to have two esteemed keynote speakers at this year’s Virtual State Conference.
NAMI CEO Dan Gillison, Jr. and David Albert, Ph.D., Director of the Division of Mental Health at the Illinois Department of Human Services, will both address the impact of what is happening in 2020 on the current mental health landscape within NAMI and for residents across the state of Illinois, and how we can move forward from here.
With no easy resolution in view for either COVID or systemic racism and its traumatic impact, continuing to build and expand new frameworks for mental health support is paramount. During the October 16th keynote session, Mr. Gillison will brief attendees with a “state of the union” for NAMI at a national level, filtering down through state chapters and local affiliates. After staff and volunteers rapidly pivoted in-person service offerings to virtual settings in the spring, the focus now turns to expanding accessibility while continuing to engage with community members to understand their needs in the times ahead.
On October 17th, Mr. Albert will turn our focus statewide. He will address how the Division of Mental Health is working to support communities and individuals in Illinois who may not have a mental illness diagnosis, but who are struggling emotionally as a result of the pandemic, community violence, and systemic racism and poverty. With state budgetary resources strained amidst pandemic relief efforts, Mr. Albert will present a vision for how the Division of Mental Health is evolving to address current and future needs to equitably address the mental healthcare needs of every resident in Illinois.
We recognize these are difficult times for many Illinoisans. We hope you will join us to discuss these critical topics.
Looking for support and educational resources for people of color? NAMI has compiled a list of resources and organizations that can help. You are not alone.