The Stewart-Marchman-Act Foundation (the Foundation) is pleased to announce its 2nd Annual Who is Jay? Mental Health Symposium to be held at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The symposium, titled Creativity in Treatment: Creative & Innovative Approaches to Mental Health Recovery, is open to the community, and media is welcome.  Held in May as part of National Mental Health Month activities, the symposium is designed to bring awareness, education, and inspiration.

The keynote speaker is Yashi Brown, presenting “Coming Out: From Powerless to Empowerment”.  Ms. Brown, a writer, poet, spoken word artist and passionate mental health advocate, and daughter of Rebbie Jackson, eldest member of the high profile musical Jackson family, was diagnosed with Bipolar Type I.  She openly shares her resilient story of recovery and wants the world to know recovery is not only real, it should be the expectation.

Presentations throughout the day will include the following:

  • “Who is Jay?” by Hank & Susan Ashby
  • “The Role of Man’s Best Friend in Mental Health Recovery” by Norma Ross, Founder and Head Trainer at Pawsitive Action Foundation
  • “The Unbiased Truth: Impact of Marijuana on Mental Illness” by Kevin P. Hill, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Substance Abuse Consultation at McLean Hospital
  • “Flourishing Through the Art of Caregiving” by The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Community Arts & Wellness Initiative
  • “When Helping Hurts: The Effects of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma” by April Lott, MSW, President & CEO of Directions for Living
  • “Kicking My Blue Genes in the Butt: How Storytelling is Suicide Prevention 2.0” by Joshua Rivedal, author, actor and suicide survivor

“We are excited to bring such high caliber speakers from around the US to our community” said Jennifer Secor, Executive Direction of the Foundation. “The symposium was designed to bring mental health awareness and education in some pretty unique ways, and to touch on current and relevant topics”.

The cost to attend is $45 if registered and paid on or before April 21 ($55 after). The registration fee includes the full day of speakers and presentations, parking at the Ocean Center, lunch and refreshments.  For professionals, they can also earn up to four CEU’s.  NAMI members are offered a $25 discount.

The Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign started in May 2015 with a few billboards and t-shirts directing individuals to a website with mental health resources. To date the site has over 24,000 visits.  In 2016 there was the addition of a half day mental health symposium held in St. Augustine.  2017 brings yet another expansion to include a new and improved website (to be unveiled May 1), Votran advertising, and the full day symposium with national speakers.  “The success and growth of the Who is Jay? mental health awareness campaign has been amazing” said Melissa Murphy, Chairman of the Board for the Foundation “and we are very proud to be a part of it”.