Montana Conference on Mental Illness

NAMI Montana’s 2021 Conference on Mental Illness
will be a series of webinars starting Wednesday November 10, 2021 and continue to be the second Wednesdays of the month through April.

Webinar speakers: TBA

Previous Webinars

October 14th – Helen Mayberg M.D. – Begins at 6:00 pm MST –  Dr. Mayberg

is a neurologist renowned for her study of brain circuits in depression and for her pioneering deep brain stimulation research, which has been heralded as one of the first hypothesis-driven treatment strategies for a major mental illness. She is the founding Director of Mount Sinai Health System’s The Nash Family Center for Advanced Circuit Therapeutics. As a behavioral neurologist, Dr. Mayberg has established an international reputation for her pioneering research to map the brain circuits implicated in depression. The online event will be co-hosted by Montana INBRE, Montana State University’s Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery and the Office of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education. The event is free and open to the public and does not require registration – unless you want continuing education credit. Participants can register and connect to the online event from the Montana INBRE webpage at

October 27th – Jordan Brown – noon to 1 pm MST – Jordan utilizes his combined experiences as a caregiver, social worker, and someone who has personally faced mental health challenges to create authentic mental health content that has been read by people around the world. Jordan writes The Mental Health Update newsletter. Over 30,000 people receive his mental health insights on Twitter and he has recently released the book, In Search of Happiness: Healing Through Mental Health Poetry.

November 10th – Miriam Feldman – noon to 1 pm MST – Miriam Feldman is an artist, writer, and mental health activist who splits her time between her Los Angeles workshop and her farm in rural Washington state. She has been married to her husband Craig O’Rourke, also a successful artist, for 34 years and they have four adult children. Their 33-year-old son, Nick, has schizophrenia. Miriam’s novel He Came In With It is the legacy of, and for, her son Nick.

November 24th – Mental Health Apps: The Present and the Future – noon to 1 pm MST
We are really excited about this panel discussion on mental health software applications – the present and future. It will feature 

  • Brett Coleman, Co-Found and President Waypoint Health Innovations. Waypoint offers the Thrive online cognitive behavioral therapy app which has be by people for anxiety and depression care throughout Montana.
  • Stephen Hays, founder of What If Ventures, a venture fund investing primarily in early stage mental health and addiction recovery focused startups.
  • Laura Stanley, PhD-  Montana State University researcher working on augmented reality mental health and addiction care.

December 8th – Montana Mental Healthcare System Sensing Session – 9:30 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. At this Sensing Session, we asked mental health clinics and treatment centers to present for 12 minutes on the status of their operations, how they are getting through COVID-19, concerns/desires for the coming year. It was similar to the Sensing Session NAMI Montana conducted during the budget crisis a few years ago. Check out the Youtube Video of this presentation.

December 22nd –  Dr. J. John Mann MD – noon to 1 pm MST – J. John Mann MD, is The Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience (in Psychiatry and in Radiology) and a former Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is Director of Research and Director of Molecular Imaging and the Neuropathology Division at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

His research employs functional brain imaging, neurochemistry and molecular genetics to probe the causes of depression and suicide. Dr. Mann is the Director of the NIMH Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders, and Past President of the International Academy of Suicide Research. Dr. Mann has published 458 papers and edited 10 books on the subjects of the biology and treatment of mood disorders, suicidal behavior and other psychiatric disorders. In private practice he specializes in the treatment of mood disorders.

January 12th –  Mark Lukach – noon to 1 pm MST
Mark Lukach is a teacher and freelance writer. He is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Lovely Wife in The Psych Ward. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, Wired, and other publications. He is currently the Ninth Grade Dean at The Athenian School, where he also teaches history. He lives with his wife, Giulia, and their son in the San Francisco Bay area.

Mark first wrote about his family’s story in a New York Times “Modern Love” column and again in a piece for Pacific Standard Magazine, which was the magazine’s most-read article in 2015. He has also shared their story at The Moth Main Stage, and at a TEDx conference.

February 9th – Dr. Ruth Weissman PhD

Dr. Weissman’s extensive research portfolio has contributed to an array of elements a part of eating disorders including risks, epidemiology, classification, treatment, cost-effectiveness, and health care policy. She received Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy for Eating Disorders contributions to the field.

Ruth has been one of the lead researchers for the Youth Aware of Mental Health program study in Montana. She has a commitment to improving Montana’s mental illness treatment program through high-quality research.