2020 Mental Health Summit

Building Community Connections for Mental Health: Faith and Community

September 24, 2020 • 9:00am – 1:00pm

Virtual Event


9:00 AM Welcome and Opening Monica Fuller Johnson
9:05 AM Invocation Rev. Dr. Dwayne Walker
9:09 AM Opening Remarks Hon. Carla D. Cunningham
9:13 AM Perspectives On Why This is Important Anabel Paniagua-Doyle
Minister Maurice Raley
Tonya Rivens
9:34 AM Navigating the Behavioral Health System Revella Nesbit
Rita M. Dominguez, MPH, CHES
Brent W. Jones
Imam John Ederer
Howard S. Olshansky
Rev. Jordan Boyd
10:20 AM BREAK  
10:32 AM Keynote Address Rev. Dr. Sheldon R. Shipman
10:51 AM Breakout Sessions  
11:41 AM BREAK  
11:54 AM Cultural Competence in Mental Health Sonyia Richardson, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Imam Khalil A. Akbar
Victor Armstrong, MSW
Pastor Frank Garcia
Chaplain Harry Burns
Ericka Ellis-Stewart
12:27 PM Audience Q & A Revella Nesbit
12:40 PM Champion For Mental Health Award Melanie Pratt
Rev. Dr. Sheldon R. Shipman
Rev. Dr. Dwayne A. Walker
Pastor Frank Garcia
Imam Khalid A. Akbar
Rev. Sidney E. Phillips
12:51 PM Closing Remarks Joan Been
12:56 PM Closing Prayer Rev. Glencie Rhedrick


Guardianship, Civil Commitment, Advanced Directive

An overview about the decision making and legal considerations for individuals regarding mental health care. It includes state guardianship laws and challenges that families and professionals face with consumers struggling with the lack of resources.

Presenter: Robert Ward, Assistant Public Defender, Office of the Public Defender – Mecklenburg County

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse and Mental Health

A co-facilitated breakout session to provide information about individuals experiencing co-occurring mental health conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities and substance abuse. It includes strategies being used by mental health professionals, the experience of individuals and families, and information about the available services for individuals with both diagnoses.

Presenters: Tina Featherstone, MSW, LCSW, CCM, MHSUD Care Coordination Supervisor at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare and Irvin Jenkins, IDD Care Coordinator at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare

Spirituality and Religion in Mental Health Recovery

Provides information about how spirituality and religion can aide in mental health recovery and opportunities for clinicians and the faith community to support the spiritual aspect of consumer’s recovery.

Presenter: Natasha Pemberton-Todd, LPCS

Family Caregivers and Community Support

An overview of resources for family caregivers of individuals needing mental health care including information about the emotional and mental health impacts of family caregiving support and community support. It will provide Community Care Options along with giving guidance on how to determine what kind of help and support is needed for your family member

Presenter: Candace Wilson, ParentVOICE Program Director Mental Health America of Central Carolinas

Ex-Convicts & Youth Offenders and Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated challenges to North Carolina’s behavioral health system, including justice-involved populations. This discussion will provide an overview of the behavioral health impacts of the pandemic, highlight key priorities for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and focus on efforts to better address the behavioral health needs of justice-involved populations – especially by diverting individuals away from incarceration and investing in youth behavioral health.

Presenter: Kody H. Kinsley, Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health & Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at N.C. Department of Health and Human Services

Creating Caring Congregations

Practical information will be provided about ways congregations can integrate mental health consumers into their communities; strengthen the mental well-being of families, congregations, and communities; and address stigma and discrimination related to mental health. Resources and information to help welcome, support, and advocate for individuals on their journey to healing and recovery, starting a Mental Health ministry and provide mental health support for clergy and staff.

Presenter: Sheila Wright, MSN, RN, Health Ministry Coordinator for the Faith Community Health Ministry department at Atrium Health

Older Adults and Mental Health

Provides information about the different aspects of adult and geriatric mental health care and the training given to direct care staff of adult care/assisted living facilities, family care homes, skilled nursing homes and within the community. The presentation includes information about the training and education that is provided to community agencies such as local NAMI organizations, senior centers, and nutrition sites about the needs of older adults with mental illness.

Presenter: Dawn Lillard, RN BSN, Team Leader on the Therapeutic Alternatives Geriatric/Adult Mental Health Specialty Team (GAST)

Cultural Advocates – Natural Healing Helpers

An overview of the Natural Healing Advocates Program which provides strengths-based, one-on-one mentoring, referral, and needs assessment sessions with a child/adult/family in crisis and/or experiencing heightened emotional/behavioral issues. The presentation includes information about the role of the Natural Healing Advocates and their immediate impact on connecting diverse residents to local community and natural supports.

Presenter: Sonyia Richardson, PhD, MSW, LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte