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Virtual Annual Conference 2020

The NAMI Maryland Annual Conference is about hope, ideas, and gaining new skills.  Here's your chance to learn about the latest research, discover resources that you may not have known were there, develop a talent for advocacy, and foster a better understanding of issues relating to mental illness.


We invite individuals with mental illness, families, faith leaders, community members, students, health care providers and criminal justice professionals to register for the conference.

Scholarship opportunities are available.  Contact NAMI Maryland at 410-884-8691 for more information.



Sponsored by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration’s Office of

Workforce Development and Technology Transfer


The Speakers


Below are some of the confirmed speakers scheduled for the 2020 NAMI Maryland Annual Conference.  Sign up for our email list and check back regularly for updates!



Dan Gillison, Jr.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Dan Gillison brings expertise in non-profit leadership and a passion for advocating for people with mental illness to NAMI. Before coming to NAMI, Dan led the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF), where he was responsible for strategic planning, personnel management, board communications, oversight of APAF's public education programs and outreach, and formulating strategic alliances and partnerships to further APAF's mission. Prior to APAF, Gillison led County Solutions and Innovation for the National Association of Counties (NACo) where he was instrumental in repositioning the organization's programs to provide expertise in health and human services, justice and public safety. 

Dan has over 30 years of experience and has previously held leadership positions at Xerox, Nextel, and Sprint. Dan holds a B.A. from Southern University and A&M College.


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Janel Cubbage, L.G.P.C.

Governor's Commission on Suicide Prevention

Janel Cubbage is the Director of Suicide Prevention at the Behavioral Health Administration where she works with stakeholders to increase awareness of suicide.  She works to improve preparedness identifying individuals at-risk, and providing support to promote healing and improved quality of life.  Ms. Cubbage is currently appointed as the Chair for the Governor's Commission on Suicide Prevention.  In addition to her work in public health, she is also a Licensed Graduate Professional Counselor and continues to work with a diverse group of clients, previously providing therapy services to individuals incarcerated at Carroll County Detention Center, now seeing clients at a private practice in Columbia.  Through her clinical work, Ms. Cubbage specializes in depression, trauma, and suicidal ideation in undeserved populations, including the African American and military community.




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Marian Bland, LCSW-C



Behavioral Health Administration

Marian Bland, LCSW-C was appointed Director of the Division of Clinical Services, Adults and Older Adults at the Behavioral Health Administration on January 7, 2015. Marian provides Senior Management leadership and oversight to a team of professional program managers who oversee publicly funded mental health, substance related, and co-occurring mental health and substance-related treatment, evidence-based practices, and recovery services for adults and older adults. In her role as Deputy Director, she has the responsibility of the work of 35 staff managing state grants and over $140 million in federal grants. Prior to this appointment, Marian was Director of the Office of Adult and Specialized Behavioral Health Services leading four units: Adult Services, Treatment and Recovery, Specialized Behavioral Health Services, and Women’s Services.


Under the former Mental Hygiene Administration, Marian also served as the Director of the Office of Special Needs Populations from March 2006 – June 30, 2014. As Director of the Office of Special Needs Populations, Marian was responsible for overseeing statewide programs and services for individuals who are homeless, deaf and hard of hearing, those diagnosed with mental illness and have a co-occurring substance use disorder, individuals in jails, persons with histories of trauma, and behavioral health emergency preparedness services.


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Neill Franklin

Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

Neill Franklin is a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department. After 23 years of dedicated service to the Maryland State Police, he was recruited in 2000 by the Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department to reconstruct and command Baltimore’s Education and Training Section. During his time on the force, he held the position of commander for the Education and Training Division and the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement. He also instituted and oversaw the very first Domestic Violence Investigative Units for the Maryland State Police.

While serving as a Narcotics Agent with the Maryland State Police, Maj. Franklin was persuaded by then-mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, who declared that the War on Drugs was counterproductive and created excessive violence. This, followed by the tragic murder of his close friend, Corporal Ed Toatley, while making a drug buy as an undercover agent, cemented his resolve to reform failed drug war policies. He retired from policing in 2010 to lead the Law Enforcement Action Partnership as executive director.




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Branville Bard

Cambridge Police Department, N.O.B.L.E.

Branville Bard began his law enforcement career as an officer in the Philadelphia Police Department. Over the course of 25 years, Bard served as the Commanding Officer of the Education and Training Division, Captain of the 22nd District, and Police Inspector.


In 2015, Bard became Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety with the Philadelphia Housing Authority. His accomplishments included outfitting all officers with body cameras, tightening patrols, and introducing  a program which encouraged Philadelphia residents to become police officers. His commitment to community-driven policing would later be credited with a 41% drop in Philadelphia property crime during 2016.

In 2017, Bard was appointed Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department, where he currently serves. He holds a B.S. and M.A. in criminal justice, an M.S. in public safety management, and a PhD in public administration. He teaches criminal justice at Eastern University, public administration at Post University, and is a member of the political science graduate faculty at Valdosta University.  He authored the book Racial Profiling: Towards Simplicity and Eradication and numerous academic publications.  


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Cassandra Vieten

John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation

Cassandra Vieten is a licensed clinical psychologist, Executive Director of the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation, Visiting Scholar at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, where she served as President from 2013-2019.


Her research has focused on spirituality and health, transformative experiences and practices, the development of mindfulness-based interventions for emotional well-being, and development of media technologies to inspire awe. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and completed her research training in behavioral genetics at UC San Francisco. She has authored three books, published numerous articles in scientific journals, and is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and workshop leader. www.cassandravieten.com




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Ken Duckworth, M.D.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Ken Duckworth’s journey into psychiatry started when he was a boy growing up with a dad who experienced severe bipolar disorder. His father was loving, kind and periodically quite ill, hospitalized for months at a time. Ken became a psychiatrist in part to help his father. He is very fortunate to serve as the medical director for NAMI and to be part of this remarkable community.

Along with his work at NAMI, Ken also works to improve care at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, volunteers and consults at an early psychosis clinic at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and teaches as an assistant clinical professor at Harvard University Medical School.

Ken is double-board certified in adult and child/adolescent psychiatry and has completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship. 

Gail Daumit, M.D., M.H.S.

Johns Hopkins ALACRITY Center for Health and Longevity in Mental Illness

Dr. Gail Daumit is a Samsung Professor of Medicine with a primary appointment in the Division of General Internal Medicine and joint appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and in the Departments of Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, and Mental Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is a practicing general internist, epidemiologist and health services and implementation researcher, who has dedicated her research career to developing and testing interventions to improve physical health and decrease premature mortality in persons with serious mental illness.


She currently directs the NIMH P50 Johns Hopkins ALACRITY Center for Health and Longevity in Mental Illness focusing on improving cardiovascular health in persons with serious mental illness by developing and testing innovative implementation strategies for scaling up effective interventions to address cardiovascular risk factors in this high-risk population.




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Gloria Seo, LCSW-C

Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress

at the Kennedy Krieger Institute

Gloria Seo is a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW-C) and Maryland Board Approved Supervisor, practicing at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress (CCFTS) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore.


Gloria is nationally certified in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, teaching a course on evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents. Gloria’s clinical interests include the treatment of children/families that have experienced trauma and those that are exhibiting suicidal/parasuicidal problem behaviors.


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Wendell "Pete" France, Sr.

France-Booker Consulting Group, LLC

Wendell France’s career in law enforcement began in 1970 as an officer with the Baltimore Police Department. He served for 27 years and retired as a Commanding Officer of the Eastern District, where his leadership resulted in an overall 42% reduction in crime. He accomplished this through the introduction of community policing programs designed to address violence and its effects on at-risk youth.


France later became a Public Safety Consultant and a Police Practices Expert, where he performed on-site management studies for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division in their review of municipal police departments in accordance with the Crime Control Act of 1994. He provided recommendations on operational and administrative policies, most notably for  use of force for police departments throughout the country.


In 1997, France began work with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services as an Assistant Warden at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. He later served as the Commissioner of the Pretrial Detention and Services Division before he rose to the position of Deputy Secretary. He oversaw the three principal agencies in D.P.S.C.S., with a combined staff of 11,000 employees and an annual budget of $1.2 billion.




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Dr. Holly Wilcox

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry &
the Bloomberg School of Public Health

Holly C. Wilcox, Ph.D is an Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and the Bloomberg School of Public Health Department of Mental Health.  Dr. Wilcox has spent the past 25 years actively engaged in suicide prevention research in schools, universities, emergency departments, and with the United States Marine Corps. 


Dr. Wilcox’s most significant contributions have been in three areas: 1) studies of youth suicidal behaviors; 2) the evaluation of community-based suicide prevention programs; 3) the identification of biomarkers to inform suicide prevention.    Dr. Wilcox recently led a national project to serve as the foundation for a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Prevention workshop on youth suicide prevention. She is the co-chair of the Suicide Prevention Task Group of the National Network of Depression Centers, a non-profit 501(c)(3) network of 23 leading academic medical centers.  She has offered since 2005 a course at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health entitled Suicide as a Public Health Problem.


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Chelsea Hayman

Maryland Department of Disabilities

Chelsea Hayman serves as the Director of Housing Policy and Programs for the Maryland Department of Disabilities and has over 7 years of experience working in human services administration, with a background in housing for individuals with disabilities and older adults. She spent several years of her career working specifically with individuals with mental illnesses, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, homeless youth in Baltimore City and County, and older adults in Baltimore City. Her primary areas of expertise include housing rehabilitation and reasonable modification programs, weatherization and lead abatement programs for single family properties, affordable rental housing for special populations, permanent supportive housing, and voucher programs. Prior to her current role, she served as the Outreach and Communications Manager for the Maryland ABLE program and worked at Civic Works, where she started the Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors (HUBS) program, which earned the HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.  She received her BA from UMBC and her MS from the London School of Economics.  




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Other confirmed speakers include: Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Secretary Robert Green, Secretary Carol Beatty, Shawn Jones from the Baltimore Lived Experience Advisory Committee, and many more.  Register now and don't miss out on this incredible event!



We are in the process of finalizing our agenda.  Sign up for our email list and check back regularly for updates!

9:00 am - 5:00 pm


Continuing Education Units

NAMI Maryland's Annual Conference regularly has CEUs for Peer Specialists, Corrections and Law Enforcement, Licensed Social Workers, Psychologists, Counselors, and Therapists.  Sign up for our email list and check back to this page regularly for more information!

Sponsored by the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration’s Office of

Workforce Development and Technology Transfer

The Office of Workforce Development and Technology Transfer is authorized by the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists to sponsor continuing education programs for Category A CEUs, the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to sponsor social work continuing education programs for Category I CEUs, the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists and the Maryland Association of Prevention Professionals & Advocates to sponsor continuing education programs for CEUs.  Participants must attend all hours of the training and submit an evaluation to receive a certificate.  The Office of Workforce Development and Technology Transfer maintains full responsibility for this program.

The NAMI Maryland 2020 Annual Conference has been approved for 7 Continuing Education Unit hours for Police (Course ID P43836) and Corrections (Course ID C17116) from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.  Individuals pursuing the criminal justice track must attend all hours of the training and submit a completed evaluation to receive a certificate



Housing and Homelessness

Marian Bland, Behavioral Health Administration

Chelsea Hayman, Behavioral Health Administration

Attendees will learn more about housing programs available for people with disabilities in Maryland. We will provide a brief description of financing structures that support affordable rental housing, discuss special voucher and subsidy programs, group homes, and provide an overview of single family homeownership and housing resources.

Mental Health, Physical Health and Longevity: Approaches to Addressing Disparities

Dr. Gail Daumit, Johns Hopkins ALACRITY Center

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI

Cassandra Vieten, John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation

Attendees will learn about evidence-based interventions designed to improve physical health for persons with serious mental illness, and the importance of scaling-up these interventions to translate into real-world settings.  This presentation will also discuss the link between mental health, exercise, nutrition, and mind-body wellness practices, and how a more holistic approach to mental health can address some of the health disparities that people with mental illness face.

Youth: Trauma and Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19

Dr. Stuart Varon, American Psychiatric Association

Gloria Seo, Kennedy Krieger Institute

This presentation will provide education on symptoms and behaviors in children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. There will be a brief review on appropriate evidence-based, trauma-informed interventions, to reduce symptoms and behaviors related to trauma. The impacts of COVID-19 and current events on trauma treatment will also be discussed.

Law Enforcement, Mental Illness, and These Difficult Times

Neill Franklin, Law Enforcement Action Partnership

Wendell "Pete" France, Sr., France-Booker Consulting Group, LLC

Branville Bard, Cambridge Police Department

Major Neill Franklin (Ret) of the Baltimore and Maryland State Police, Deputy Secretary Pete France (Ret.) of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, and Commissioner Branville Bard of the Cambridge Police Department will present on how law enforcement has adapted to COVID-19 with calls involving mental illness, specifically in communities of color.

Navigating the Waters: Suicide Prevention in the Time of Racial Discourse and COVID-19

Janel Cubbage, Governor's Commission on Suicide Prevention

Dr. Holly Wilcox, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

We are amid an unprecedented public health crisis, which has disproportionately impacted people of color.  Factors associated with COVID-19 such as anxiety, social isolation, fears related to the virus, economic stress, and disruption in routines can deeply impact an individual's mental health and can be a contributing factor in suicide risk.  Compounded with a nationwide struggle for equality and racial trauma, 2020 has been an incredibly stressful and terrifying year.  Join our panel of experts as they navigate the waters and discuss interventions to reduce suicide risk in BIPOC communities and develop an understanding of what our communities of color are truly going through so we can provide effective, ongoing care.


Our Sponsors

There are many sponsorship opportunities available for this year's virtual conference.  We welcome the support of agencies, organizations, businesses and individual donors in sponsoring this important event.


Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Titanium Sponsor


Otsuka Pharmaceutical 

Titanium Sponsor

Neurocrine Biosciences

Silver Sponsor



Silver Sponsor

Sheppard Pratt

Platinum Sponsor

Sheppard Pratt has been improving quality of life for communities across Maryland for nearly two centuries. Thanks to the vision of our founder, Moses Sheppard, the patient-centered approach and compassionate care we provide today has been in place since we first opened our doors in the 1800s. We take pride in the contributions we have made to the world of psychiatry, and we continue to be leaders in the field.  


Behavioral Health System Baltimore

Titanium Sponsor

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RALI Maryland 

Titanium Sponsor

Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem

The Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling

Silver Sponsor



Silver Sponsor

Maryland Health Connection

Silver Sponsor

Dr. Stuart & Mrs. Debra Varon

Bronze Sponsor

NCADD Maryland

Powell Recovery Center

Bronze Sponsor

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Maryland Coalition of Families

Bronze Sponsor

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Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc.

Bronze Sponsor


Virtual Annual Conference 2020

Contact Us

10632 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 454
Columbia, MD 21044

Tel: 410-884-8691
Fax: 410-884-8695

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