FEBRUARY 4th, 2023


This year’s event will be on Saturday, February 04, 2023, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. This year, the breakfast will focus on challenging transitions that require coordinated legislative and policy efforts to address. The breakfast will be broken into two pillars: (1) Early Intervention & Prevention and (2) Transitions & Continuity of Care. Each pillar will include panelist discussions to offer inside insight and solutions to address the changing needs of individuals with mental health issues living in our communities.
This year’s theme focuses on the following:

Addressing Challenging Transitions: Why We Need Legislation and Policy that Effectively Supports Comprehensive, Community-Based Care

Emcee: Senator Mike Woodard (D-District 22) Durham

Orange Juice Reception
Kelly Crosbie, MSW, LCSW

Luanne Welch, President and CEO of Easterseals UCP NC & VA

Pillar I: Early Intervention and Prevention

Nora M. Dennis, MD Adjunct Professor, Duke University Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Lead Medical Director, Behavioral Health, and Health Equity BCBS

J. Nathan Copeland, MD, MPH
Duke University Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

(D-District 17) Wake

(D- District t 23) Orange, Caswell, Person

Cindy Ehlers, MS, LCMHC
Lived Experience Panelist

Pillar II: Transitions and Continuity of Care

Samantha Meltzer-Brody, MD, MPH
Assad Meymandi Distinguished Professor and Chair,

UNC Department of Psychiatry, UNC School of Medicine

Austin Hall, MD
UNC Psychiatry and Psychology
Assertive Community Treatment Team, Step Clinic

Lived Experience -Jonah Sharkey, CPSS, M.Ed

(R-District 12) Harnett, Lee, Sampson

(D-District 106) Mecklenburg

(R-District 67) Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly

Jonah Sharkey M.Ed. CPSS
Lived Experience Panelist

Our Mission

The mission of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health is to educate our communities including elected officials about mental health issues that impact North Carolina.

The 45th Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health Addresses Challenging Transitions: Why We Need Legislation and Policy that Effectively Supports Comprehensive, Community-Based Care with Their Upcoming Event on February 4, 2023 

Join our experts in the field of mental health and lived experience panelists for a deliberate conversation about the state of mental health. Our experts include Dr. Nora Dennis from BCBS, Dr. Austin Hall from UNC, Dr. Brody from UNC, and Dr. Copeland from Duke and they all want to have an informed conversation on mental health initiatives and the need for changes in policy across our state. 

For Questions About the Event, email:  info@legislativebreakfastmh.org

*A Brief History of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health

The Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health began around 1978 in Orange County, organized first by the Mental Health Association of Orange County, later joined by NAMI Orange. The purpose of the event was to bring community conversation to statewide issues concerning treatment services, service gaps, and overall needs to improve outcomes of people living with mental illness, and their loved ones. In an effort to broaden the reach of the event, NAMI Durham joined to reach Durham County legislators and community.

The early years of the Legislative Breakfast focused on legislators attending from Orange, Person, Chatham and Durham counties. Ten (10) years ago, event organizers decided to expand participation beyond those counties, and increase attendance from legislators and communities far beyond the original OPC-D region. That is a testament to the dedication of the organizing committee that exists today and continues to grow.

Thanks to Julie Bailey, former Chair, Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health Chair, for providing this information.

If you have additional information, photos, or programs about the early years of the Legislative Breakfast on Mental Health, we’d love for you to share it.