What do you like most about your job?
A big perk to my job as an Education and Outreach Coordinator for the NNLM NER is that there are many opportunities to attend very interesting conferences.
Just last week, I was in Boston at the Countway Library of Medicine attending a 3-day annual conference of the Association of Mental Health Librarians (AMHL) and the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialist (SALIS) organizations. For the third year in a row, these 2 organizations have combined their resources and efforts to put on an exceptional annual conference with engaging speakers and presentations about timely topics in the areas of mental health and substance use disorder.
The conference was small and provided opportunity to get to know a bit about each of the participants. I met mental health professionals from across the US, as well as Canada and the UK. They shared the work they do in following organizations — Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at University of Washington, Hazelden Betty Ford Addiction Research Library, McLean Hospital – Belmont, Massachusetts, St. George’s University of London, Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, Center on Addiction in New York City, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research in New York, International Alliance for Responsible Drinking in London, University of South Florida, and University of Massachusetts Medical School. I felt honored to update the group about the outreach and education work the NNLM has been doing in New England. Over 3 days of presentations I learned about cannabis legalization in Canada, how Art is being used as medicine, approaches to regulating alcohol marketing from a public health perspective, how to engage minority populations in health research, the history of mental health treatment in the US and UK, the work Louie Diaz is doing with the Middlesex Sheriff’s office in Lowell, Massachusetts providing outreach to those with SUD, we watched the documentary made about Louie – “Beyond the Wall,” https://beyondthewallfilm.com/, learned the true story of Phineas Gage (Google it, a fascinating story) and we received a sneak peak of a new mental health literacy project. Mentalhealthbridges, is a new website created through a multi-year NNLM grant. The site is due to go live in the next couple of months. It will be a terrific resource for consumers, as well as those involved with mental health education. This conference was the perfect lead into the month of May which is Mental Health month!
For more information about the Mentalhealthbridges website you can contact Len Levin Leonard_Levin@hms.harvard.edu
If you would like to know more about AMHL or are interested in attending next year’s conference (location TBD) consider joining AMHL https://www.mhlib.org/.