Dr. Michelle R. Munson Guest Speaker at Thresholds' Behavioral Health Policy Forum

Associate Professor Dr. Michelle R. Munson will be the guest speaker at the 2018 Behavioral Health Policy Forum to be held in Chicago on February 5, 2018 by Thresholds, one of the oldest and largest providers of recovery services for persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois. The annual event brings together health and substance use treatment communities including advocates, providers, lawmakers, policy experts, and people with lived experience for a discussion on opportunities for advancing meaningful reform.

An internationally recognized expert in youth and young adult mental health and the Director of NYU Silver’s Youth & Young Adult Mental Health Group, Dr. Munson will address the uniqueness of the transition to adulthood developmentally; the multidisciplinary aspect of transition-aged youth approaches; and the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to keep transition-aged youth engaged in their care.

Dr. Munson will also discuss the need for a social movement to transform perceptions of mental health. As she noted in a Youth Today op-ed, “Unfortunately, people who live with mental health conditions are one of the last groups today that it is socially acceptable to stereotype.” She has found in her research that one of the reasons young adults with serious mental illness often discontinue their treatment is fear that engaging in mental health care will make them targets of discrimination. As a result, she said, it is critical to decrease mental health stigma and help young adults develop a positive mental health narrative.

Other scheduled speakers at Thresholds’ policy forum include Dr. Richard Frank, a Professor in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School and Illinois State Senator Melinda Bush, State Representative Tom Demmer, and State Representative Litesa Wallace. More information and a link to register for the event can be found on the Thresholds website.