Convention Speakers

Join us in New Orleans with our great lineup of presenters, speakers and researchers.

Clark Gregg


Actor, NAMI Ambassador 

Clark Gregg has screen credits for his work in "Iron Man," "Thor," "The Avengers" and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." We're happy to have him speak at the Convention Plenary on Thursday, June 28th, where he'll draw a comparison between his personal and family experiences with mental illness and his onscreen super-hero experiences as an actor and director in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Adam Grabowski



Adam Grabowski, national campus entertainment hit and "America's Got Talent" finalist, brings his humor and heart to the NAMI National Convention. Adam uses his personal experience with depression and anxiety to open a dialogue about mental health and fight stigma with his #SAYITANYWAY campaign. He joins us at the NAMI Awards Banquet on Saturday, June 30th.

Brooke Johnson


NAMI Talks Speaker

Brooke Johnson is the reigning Miss Alaska USA and national ambassador for NAMI. Passionate and motivated by her personal experience with self-harm, anxiety and depression, Brooke is working with young women to raise awareness about mental health and reject bullying with her Crowning Confidence campaign. Check out Brooke's blog: Being the Person My 13-Year-Old Self Needed.


Thursday, June 28

CBT Informed Care for Schizophrenia

Dr. Douglas Turkington, Professor of Psychosocial Psychiatry, Newcastle University, UK and Dr. David Kingdon, Professor of Mental Health Care Delivery at the University of Southampton, UK

Dr. Turkington and Dr. Kingdon deliver cutting edge, evidence-based techniques for family caregivers by sharing: 

  • How to use CBT to change unhelpful thinking styles so families can communicate differently and reduce distress.
  • How to work with your family member when insight is lacking.
  • How to develop a “making sense of psychosis” diagram will help navigate paths towards recovery.
  • Techniques for working through tough issues will be demonstrated along with approaches to improve self-care and low motivation.

Friday, June 29

Genetics and Mental Illness

Dr. Jordan Wassertheil Smoller, Associate Chief for Research, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Dept. of Psychiatry and Director, Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, MGH Center of Genomic Medicine

Over the past decade, advances in genetic research have given us a better picture of how genes, environment, and their interplay contribute to mental health and illness. This update will try to answer frequently asked questions including:

  • What is the role of genetics in mental illness?
  • Are there genetic tests and how useful are they?
  • How can I contribute to research that may advance our understanding of the causes and treatment of mental health conditions?

Technology, Google and Screening

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI Medical Director

Technology is rapidly changing the world. People use the Internet at home and on their phones to do everything from gather information to perform everyday tasks. Google has positioned itself as a leader in providing trustworthy information and simple self-screening tools. This update will try to answer:

  • How has the internet affected our access to information about mental illness and treatment?
  • Can Google help steer us to trustworthy information?
  • How reliable are online screening tools?
  • Can we have a common language for depression (PHQ-9 score)?