One in five people in the U.S. struggle with their mental health each year, and breaking the stigma surrounding mental illness is a critical public health issue.

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In recognition of May as National Mental Health Awareness Month, regional and national mental health experts will gather at the Oracle Cerner Innovations Campus in Kansas City May 11th and 12th for the annual Mental Health KC Conference. The conference focuses on bringing mental health awareness and education to anyone in the Kansas City area interested in breaking the stigma of mental health and working toward real change. In addition to community health, mental health and social service workers, the conference provides vital information to business and human resources leaders and the general public.

The Metropolitan Council of Community Behavioral Health Centers (“Metro Council”) organizes this annual event in concert with Oracle Cerner Staff. It highlights well-known keynote speakers and local and regional subject-matter experts who offer engaging presentations on various topics of behavioral health and well-being.

On Thursday, May 11th, the morning keynote speaker is Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, whose Ted Talk has been viewed more than 28 million times. She will speak in an interactive virtual format to the entire conference about the significance of brain health on our overall wellness in a talk entitled “The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters that Drive our Life.”

On May 12th, the keynote speaker in the morning will be Dr. Richard Gaskill, a childhood therapy expert, speaking about the evolution of our understanding of childhood brain development and new therapies available. The closing keynote speaker at the end of the conference on May 12th is well known to Kansas Citians: civil rights leader and public servant Alvin Brooks speaking about what “binds us together.”

The one-and-a-half day conference also includes:

  • Breakout presentations on various mental health topics including: suicide prevention, anxiety, depression, workplace mental health issues, diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI), stigma, stress management, resilience and much more

  • Networking with peers interested in shattering the stigma surrounding mental illness

  • Information regarding community resources and educational programs

In order to keep this conference accessible to all, the cost is still only $50. Please register before May 11. (Walk-ins will not be accepted.)

For more information on speakers, the schedule or to register, please visit


About Metro Council

The Mental Health KC Conference is operated by the Metropolitan Council of Community Behavioral Health Centers (“Metro Council”), which represents nine public mental health organizations in the Greater Kansas City area. The Metro Council is a collaborative nonprofit organization serving the Greater Metropolitan Kansas City area. It provides ongoing educational programs, information and resources to both mental health professionals and the general public. It is the mission of Metro Council to build a stronger safety net of local community behavioral health centers to provide Kansas Citians with behavioral health services, regardless of who they are, where they live or their ability to pay.