Chamique Holdsclaw, LI Health Town Hall to highlight 20th Clubhouse of Suffolk's MIA Day

Former Basketball Star/Author/Advocate Chamique Holdsclaw, Long Island Health Town Meeting Highlight

20th LI Mental Illness Awareness Day Conference


An unparalleled Queens, NY high school legacy, an Olympic Gold medal, three NCAA Championships, and a highly successful professional basketball career could not mask the private demons, bouts of depression, and Chamique Holdsclaw’s eventual suicide attempt. Fortunately, it was that terrible low point in her life that empowered her to help others find the strength and courage to face the stigma of mental illness. Ms. Holdsclaw will discuss her experiences which she shared in her recent book, “Breaking Through: Beating the Odds Shot After Shot”, when she serves as Keynote Speaker at the 20th Annual Mental Illness Awareness Day on Thursday, October 4th at the Huntington Hilton in Melville, NY.


This year’s event is hosted by three collaborating agencies Clubhouse of Suffolk, Suffolk County United Veterans, and the Mental Health Association in Suffolk.


In addition to Ms. Holdsclaw’s appearance, the Day will be a venue for a Long Island Health/Mental Health Town Meeting where leaders of several of the Island’s leading health service entities -– North Shore/LIJ Health Systems, FEGS Health & Human Services systems, and Hudson River HealthCare -- will address the challenge of “Building Healthy Long Island Communities” through the new structures of New York State and National health reforms. The Town Meeting will be facilitated by Gwen O’Shea, CEO of the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, will include NYAPRS Associate Executive Director Chacku Mathai and will be led off by remarks from Dennis Romero, Regional Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


The Day will also include workshops on cutting edge topics including:


  • “Brain Imaging as a Tool for Assessment, Treatment, and Easing Stigma” with Dr. Ramin Parsey, new Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at SUNY-Stony Brook University Hospital;
  • “Post Combat Stress:  Perspectives From a War Veteran and a Clinician,” by Andrew Roberts and Elysa LeBron of the North Shore/LIJ’s Rosen Family Wellness Center for Military and law Enforcement Personnel.
  • “Mental Health First Aid,” with Helena Davis and Melissa Ramirez from Mental Health Association of New York State;
  • “Achieving Happy Relationships While in Recovery” with Steve Harrington, Director of the National Association of Peer Specialists 


In addition, the Day includes a Behavioral Health Trade Show and an art exhibit featuring the works of local artists in recovery.


Sponsors of the Day thus far include Phoenix House, Adelphi University, CONCERN for Independent Living, South Oaks Hospital, Profile Insurance, OuterCounty Construction, TechLeaders Consulting, and Janssen.  Admission to the event is $60 and includes breakfast and lunch. Afternoon admittance to the Town Meeting only (starting @ 1:15pm) will be free of charge. For more information, contact Mayra Spruill at (631) 471-7242 x1305 or