Final Report of the SSC National Conference 2013
The Conference Title was Being, Belonging, and Becoming: Social Inclusion in an Age of Diversity. The Manitoba Schizophrenia Society and the Schizophrenia society of Canada demonstrated a partnership that truly reflected the spirit of the title and the associated themes. Chris Summerville, CEO for both organizations was able to raise funds that were specifically dedicated to bursaries for persons with a lived experience of mental illness. The Conference therefore included a good mix of family members, persons who have a mental illness and professionals or people who work in support systems.
The conference featured five plenary speakers, 23 concurrent sessions and two plays; all in two days. There was also an Opening Reception that featured ARTBEAT STUDIO, an organization about which Winnipeg can be very proud. The paintings were very good and there were sales!
We the Planning Committee want to thank the generous spirits of all the speakers for the breakout sessions. There was an incredible variety of presentations and all were valuable and valued. We are also grateful to our plenary speakers, each of whom brought a special message to us:
- Laura Burke's joy of self- discovery in the first plenary
- Mike Slade's commitment to human rights
- Cam Keller's passion for the human spirit
- Jane, Beverley, Tara and Matthew for their courage and open hearts
- Warren and Amy's warm and inclusive welcome
- Bill Mussell's lesson about our need to help people learn how to learn and to KNOW that mental ill health is not a single story
- Steve Lurie's data that shows that $1157.00 per Canadian is spent on health care and only $4.22 of that is spent on mental health
- Laura Burke's gift of creativity and sharing of self in the last plenary
We thank each and every person who attended the conference and we are very grateful to all our sponsors. Let us hope that we can always meet in circles and always be free from the single story. Each of us has our own story. And, as Steve Lurie said: Recovery, not rhetoric! Eliminate the deficit in Mental Health care!