Plenary Session Speakers

Wednesday evening:

Joseph Rogers (welcoming remarks)

Joseph Rogers is the founder and executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, a national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). He is also chief advocacy officer of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. An internationally known advocate, he has won numerous awards, including the 2005 Heinz Award for the Human Condition and the 2013 Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by SAMHSA.

Ute Gazioch (welcoming remarks)

Ute Gazioch is the director of substance abuse and mental health for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Previously she served as mental health lead and project director for the statewide Children’s Mental Health System of Care Expansion project. Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Gazioch spent 16 years working in the child welfare and behavioral health fields, both in direct care provision as well as program development, management and evaluation. She holds a degree in psychology from Florida State University.

Paolo del Vecchio, MSW (introducing Kana Enomoto)

Paolo del Vecchio, MSW, is the director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA/CMHS). Paolo was the first consumer affairs specialist hired in 1995 by SAMHSA. In this capacity, he promoted consumer participation in all aspects of the Center's policies and operations, ranging from public education to developing evidence-based practices to address the needs of persons with mental illnesses. A self-identified mental health consumer, trauma survivor, and person in recovery from addictions, Paolo has been involved for over 40 years in behavioral health as a consumer, family member, provider, advocate, and policy maker.

Kana Enomoto, MA

Kana Enomoto, MA, principal deputy administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is the principal advisor to the administrator on policies and programmatic activities. She brings 24 years of experience in the behavioral health field, 16 of which have been at SAMHSA. Previously, she served as director of the Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation (OPPI), where she developed, coordinated, and communicated SAMHSA policies and directions across the full spectrum of mental health and substance abuse issues. Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Enomoto was the chief editor of SAMHSA’s Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA’s Roles and Activities 2011-2014. She also led an agency-wide human capital initiative, championing an employee-led People First team to encourage vertical and horizontal communication and collaboration and to create an environment that promotes a multi-generational, diverse and engaged workforce. Among her awards is the American College of Mental Health Administration (ACMHA) King Davis Award for Emerging Leadership in Promoting Diversity and Reducing Disparities.


The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former U.S. Representative from Rhode Island; co-founder of One Mind for Research, dedicated to dramatic enhancements in mental health funding and collaboration in mental health research in the next decade; and founder of the Kennedy Forum on Mental Health. He served 16 years in Congress and is predominantly known as author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008; this dramatic piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment. His numerous awards include the Peter C. Alderman Foundation Humanitarian Award, the Centennial Award from the Clifford Beers Foundation, and the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Award of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Rep. Kennedy has authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of mental health conditions, and he has lived experience of co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions.


Thursday Morning:

"Claiming Power and Working Toward Recovery"

Gina Calhoun

Gina Calhoun was first hospitalized in a psychiatric institution at the age of 14. Between the ages of 19 and 36, she spent most of her time in psychiatric hospitals, unable to stay out of a hospital for more than two months before being re-hospitalized, until finally eloping and living on the streets. She attributes her recovery journey in part to supportive relationships that choose to focus on “what’s strong” instead of “what’s wrong.” The recipient of the Distinguished Advocates Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services and ACMHA’s Timothy J. Coakley Behavioral Health Leadership Award, Gina is national director for wellness and recovery education of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery.


Erme Maula

Erme Maula, RN, MSN, CPS is the program manager of the CRIF Self-Directed Care Program at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The content expert on self-directed care (SDC) in Pennsylvania, Erme has presented on SDC on the local, national, and international levels. She is grounded in social justice, and uses her background as an advance practice community health nurse and a certified rehabilitation registered nurse as well as her experience in advocacy and policy to help people move forward in their lives and explore hope and recovery, regardless of their challenges. Erme has received many awards, including several from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate of Recognition awarded by Philadelphia’s then Mayor Edward G. Rendell for outstanding contributions and leadership in HIV/AIDS advocacy and community service. She was grand marshal of the Philadelphia Gay Pride Parade in 2003.


Sharon Wise

Following more than 30 years in and out of jails, institutions and hospitals, Sharon Wise calls herself a “Surviving Spirit.” She is a trauma expert and consultant whose clients include federal and private organizations in the U.S. and Europe, and she travels nationally and abroad sharing her personal story and lessons learned. Sharon, who holds a master’s in human services, is a certified whole health and peer specialist, a certified WRAP facilitator, and a talented visual and performing artist. Her awards include the 2009 Joy Evans Award from the D.C. Office of Disability Rights, a 2010 VOICE Award from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award, and others. She has written several plays, including the award-winning “Meet Me on the Moon,” and a series of 11 self-published children’s books about a dog who has bipolar disorder and a trauma history.


Friday Morning:

"Meeting the Challenge: Moving Forward"

Khatera Aslami-Tamplen

Khatera Aslami-Tamplen is consumer empowerment manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. Formerly executive director of Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services (PEERS), she is a consumer, trauma survivor, and a representative of an underserved immigrant community (Afghan-American), as well as an advanced level WRAP Facilitator. Khatera specializes in forging community partnerships and alliances in an effort to improve the health and well-being of individuals with complex health challenges, increase the voice and involvement of mental health consumers throughout the health care system, end mental health stigma and discrimination, and promote wellness, recovery, resiliency, and peer-run services. She is currently president of the board of directors of The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, a founding member and treasurer of the California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations, and a commissioner on the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. She is a member of the Pool Of Consumer Champions, an 800+ consumer/survivor membership organization active in Alameda County. 

Leah Harris, MA

Leah Harris, MA, has been a nationally recognized leader in the mental health recovery movement for over 13 years. She is a mother, advocate, storyteller, trauma survivor, and the daughter of parents, both diagnosed with schizophrenia, who died very young as a result of disability and substandard mental health treatment. Leah has dedicated her life to fighting for a meaningful life in the community, civil/human rights, and healing for all people with mental health conditions, addictions, and trauma histories. She is a trainer and consultant with the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC), and teaches Emotional CPR (eCPR), Trauma-Informed Peer Support, and other trauma-sensitive approaches to supporting individuals through distress and crisis and into recovery. Leah is a suicide attempt survivor who consults nationally on new innovations in suicide prevention. She is communications and development coordinator at the National Empowerment Center, and newly appointed director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery.


Harvey Rosenthal

Harvey Rosenthal has over 38 years of experience working to promote public mental health services and policies that advance the recovery, rehabilitation, rights and community inclusion of individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Under his leadership, the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (NYAPRS) has supported a strong grassroots advocacy community, developed recovery training programs for community providers, and created nationally replicated peer service and economic development innovations. Harvey has also worked to fight stigma, discrimination and coercion and to expand informed choice protections. Harvey currently serves on the board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and is a member of New York’s Medicaid Redesign Team and its Most Integrated Settings Coordinating Council. Harvey's interest in promoting mental health recovery is also personal, dating back to his own hospitalization at age 19.


Saturday Morning:  

"Youth Are the Future and the Future Is Now:             Making Change Happen"

Lacy Kendrick Burk, MS, MBA

 Lacy Kendrick Burk is executive director of Youth MOVE (Motivating Others through Voices of Experience) National, which includes 77 chapters of nearly 9,000 young people across 39 states. Lacy overcame abuse, multiple mental health diagnoses, suicidal ideation, and trauma responses before finding her way to recovery. At age 15, Lacy and her five younger siblings were placed in foster care. After learning her voice could make a difference for herself and her siblings, she began using her voice to help other foster youth. She was adopted at age 28 by her long-time foster parents, who received the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Award in 2013. At 30, Lacy has started her own consulting business and has established herself as an international speaker, consultant, author, a director on the boards of national and international organizations, and a coach and mentor to other youth. She was appointed to the CMHS National Advisory Council in 2012 by Secretary Sibelius, interned for Senator John Kerry, has testified in state and federal Congressional hearings, and received a 2014 SAMHSA Voice Award. 

Sean Campbell

Sean Campbell, 25,
is a filmmaker, international public speaker, and founder and director of the consulting firm and speakers’ bureau Campbell Outreach Group. At dozens of high schools, universities, treatment programs, and community venues, Sean has drawn upon his experience of finding help for his own behavioral health challenges to reach tens of thousands of people with messages of wellness and hope. Sean is a peer mentor to young adults at the Mental Health Association of Rockland County in New York State. Previously, he helped launch a recovery center while serving as a peer specialist at Rockland Independent Living Center in New York, where he co-produced and wrote the SAMHSA-funded documentary Heart and Soul: A Film Promoting Whole Body Wellness in Behavioral Health (2013). Sean also co-wrote How to Touch a Hot Stove: Thought and Behavioral Differences in a Society of Norms (2014). Sean earned the Young Adult Leadership Award at the 2014 SAMHSA Voice Awards, and was selected by SAMHSA as a Young Adult Leader for the 2014 National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day kickoff event.

Letty Elenes

Letty Elenes,
 a pioneer in the Alameda County, Calif., consumer movement, received its prestigious 2010 Consumer of the Year Award for her dedication to advancing the voice of youth, as well as the inaugural 2012 Jay Mahler Leadership Award. The community trainings and groups manager at PEERS, she is responsible for maintaining PEERS’ WRAP Center of Excellence Legacy by overseeing WRAP groups, trainings, and quality assurance. She is a founding member of the Pool of Consumer Champions Transition Age Youth Committee and the Transition Age Youth Advisory Board, and she is the first WRAP facilitator in the nation to run youth-to-youth groups. Letty is a member of the 10x10 Campaign Steering Committee and serves on the SAMHSA ADS Center Steering Committee. An inspiring public speaker who has delivered keynote addresses at international conferences, she also facilitates local and international workshops and trainings. Letty has been involved with efforts for social change since she was 14, volunteering with Nel Centro De Juventud, Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation, and the Pool of Consumer Champions.


Greg Dicharry, the national youth empowerment director at Magellan Health, developed MY LIFE (Magellan Youth Leaders Inspiring Future Empowerment), one of the nation’s leading empowerment programs for youth who experience mental health, substance use and/or foster care-related challenges. Greg, who has lived experience of mental health and substance use disorders, oversees 12 MY LIFE groups nationally with more than 500 youth involved. MY LIFE events have attracted nearly 50,000 attendees and reached thousands more via the videos Greg has created, through social media, and through news coverage from Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, COX and Comcast TV affiliates and numerous major radio networks. Greg received a 2014 SAMHSA Voice Award for consumer/peer leadership.