State Conference

To ensure the health and safety of our guests, NAMI Indiana has made the decision to make the 2021 State Conference a completely virtual event.

Join us from wherever you are on Friday, October 15!

The annual NAMI Indiana State Conference brings together the latest in research, training, recovery models, mental health experts, and information on the new policies that will affect the lives of children and adults living with serious mental illnesses.

Speakers include leading mental health physicians, researchers, and advocates who are empowering people living with mental illnesses to find recovery.


Building a Person-Centered Crisis Care System:
The Vision of 9-8-8 in Indiana

In the fall of 2020, Congress approved a national mental health crisis alternative to 911 through the Suicide Designation Act: 9-8-8. NAMI is leading efforts to urge our local policymakers to invest in a crisis system that provides people with someone to talk to, someone to respond and somewhere to go. It will take federal, state and local action to implement the crisis standard of care in every community to ensure everyone in crisis gets the help they need, when they need it.

This presentation will share the big picture vision of Indiana's 9-8-8 implementation, with up-to-date details about how the implementation planning process is progressing and why a person-centered approach must be the primary focus of this new system.

Christopher W. Drapeau, PhD, HSPP,
State Suicide Prevention Director

Lived Experience Panel

The Lived Experience Panel will create an opportunity for open and honest conversation regarding mental health conditions, treatment, and recovery. Each of the speakers on the panel are individuals living in recovery with a mental illness. They are now using their time to share their personal stories as a means to reduce stigma, improve quality of care, and offer hope for others.

Ashtyn Robertson, BSW, Mental Health Advocate

Dawn Davis, NAMI In Our Own Voice Presenter

Debi Hayworth, Certified Recovery Specialist


Crisis Intervention Teams: It's More Than Training
Marianne Halbert, JD, NAMI Indiana Criminal Justice Director

Many people think of training when they hear of CIT, but it is so much more. Crisis Intervention Team programs implemented with fidelity transform local crisis response systems. This is done through collaboration, identifying and creating resources, improving policies, data collection, training, and more. Learn more about CIT and how to start a CIT program in your community.

Improving Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Mental Health Conditions
Theresa Koleszar, MS, CRC, Director Bureau of Rehabilitation Services

Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) identified a gap in employment services and outcomes for participants with mental health conditions, as part of a 2018 comprehensive statewide needs assessment. VR subsequently implemented several strategies to address this, including targeted training to VR staff and providers to reduce stigma and improve skills in supporting individuals with mental health conditions in achieving employment, conducting a mental health and employment summit, and increased collaboration with the Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA). VR and DMHA jointly developed a taskforce, applied for and received two rounds of technical assistance through the U.S. Department of Labor to advance employment for individuals with mental health conditions, and developed an online resource hub to promote employment and share resources. Most recently, DMHA and VR selected two Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) to serve as early adopters of Individual Placement and Support (IPS), an evidence based employment model for individuals with mental health diagnosis.

Mental Health, School Discipline and School PolicingEnvisioning a Different Way Forward
JauNae Hanger, JD, President, Children's Policy and Law Initiative Indiana

This workshop will explore how school discipline and policing impact marginalized groups of students, increase the risk of juvenile justice involvement, and contribute to the school to prison pipeline. A recent briefing paper by the School Policing Research to Policy Collaborative will be shared with attendees, and potential legislative changes to address issues will be explored. Shifting investments from harsh discipline and policing to culturally-responsive, trauma informed-approaches are necessary to meet the mental health needs of students.

Thank you to our Sponsors and Supporters!

Past Conference Programs