National and Local Organizations Unite for Mental Health and Addiction Event in Los Angeles Ahead of 2020 Presidential Election

NBC News' Kate Snow to headline event at the University of Southern California's Bovard Auditorium

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mental Health for US and the Institute for Addiction Science at the University of Southern California (IAS at USC) are partnering with 18 California-based groups to host the Unite for Change Forum: California, on January 13, 2020. The event, part of a grassroots effort of the largest-ever collaboration of mental health groups around a national election, will address the intersection of national mental health and addiction policy priorities and the 2020 presidential campaign.

(PRNewsfoto/Mental Health for US)

Millions of adolescents and adults are affected by mental illness and addiction every year. Recent Morning Consult data found that a majority of voters – regardless of party affiliation – say they are more likely to support a candidate in 2020 who promises to address mental health and addiction. To help spur conversation around these topics, presidential candidates are invited to attend and engage the audience of California families, students, and advocates around their plans for improving mental health and addiction care in the United States. Kate Snow, Emmy-winning anchor of "NBC Nightly News" Sunday edition and NBC Senior National Correspondent, will moderate discussions with experts and advocates on our nation's mental health and addiction crises.

Given that 75% of Americans believe the country and the federal government are not doing enough to address mental health and addiction, former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy will deliver remarks highlighting how policymakers can make reform a national priority. Additionally, with suicide rates in young adults at a 20-year high, communities, schools, and universities throughout the country are impacted by what is now the current leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mental health and addiction professionals and community leaders, including student advocates from the University of Southern California, will highlight policies, programs, and reforms to improve outcomes and save lives.

The forum will be open to the media and livestreamed on the Mental Health for US Facebook page.

What: Mental Health for US Unite for Change Forum: California

Where: Bovard Auditorium at the University of Southern California
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

When: Monday, January 13, 2020
5:30-7:30 pm PST

Who: 2020 presidential candidates
Kate Snow, Anchor, "NBC Nightly News" Sunday edition and NBC Senior National `
Former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy
National and local policymakers and advocates


About the Event Partners:

Mental Health for US is a nonpartisan, educational initiative focused on elevating mental health and addiction to national policy conversations by empowering grassroots advocates and improving candidate and policymaker health literacy. The Mental Health for US coalition is comprised of more than 85 stakeholder groups from around the country dedicated to uniting the American people to make systemic, long-term change with civic engagement tools and resources.

The Institute for Addiction Science at the University of Southern California (IAS) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC cultivates new addiction science collaborations that cross disciplines and produce innovative, high-impact, and adaptable scientific evidence to disseminate to practitioners, policymakers, and the general public. IAS is comprised of 55 faculty members across seven schools and 16 departments at USC, creating a unique environment to unify and transform the field of addiction science to ultimately improve the lives of those touched by addiction. If you would like to learn more, please contact the IAS Director of Operations, Kristin Dahlquist at

The Mental Health for US Unite for Change Forum: California Host Committee Members

  • Angels at Risk
  • American Federation for Suicide Prevention – Los Angeles
  • California Alliance of Child & Family Services
  • County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals
  • Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
  • Directing Change
  • Institute for Addiction Science at USC
  • Mental Health America: Los Angeles
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), California
  • National Association of Social Workers – USC Chapter
  • Network for Social Work Management
  • Psych Armor
  • Recovery Advocacy Project
  • Steinberg Institute
  • The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health
  • The Los Angeles County Suicide Prevention Network
  • U.S. VETS

Contact: Sarah Sonies,
Phone: 703-439-0397

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SOURCE Mental Health for US

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