Monday, December 7, 2015

Rosalynn Carter Meet on Mental Health Policy

Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden attended the 31st Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, Nov 12-13, 2015. The Symposium, which was titled Help Wanted: Reshaping the Behavioral Health Workforce, was chaired by former First Lady Rosalynn Carter at the Carter Center and Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

Watch the archived webcast of the 2015 symposium.
“I was amazed by the dedication that the Carters have to improving the lives of people who suffer from mental illness,” said Bowden. “The Carters have had a huge impact on improving mental health care not only in the United States but internationally.
Attendance at the symposium was by personal invitation only. Bowden was among approximately 70 of the nation's leading mental health experts in attendance.

“Rosalynn Carter attended the entire conference and chaired most sessions. Her friendliness, openness and dedication to serving others was evident-- and an inspiration,” said Bowden.

History of the symposium
In 1985, former first lady Rosalynn Carter initiated the annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy to bring together national leaders in mental health to focus and coordinate their efforts on an issue of common concern.

The symposia provide a unique opportunity for the attendees to hear remarks from a variety of individuals with expertise on a selected topic; discuss diverse viewpoints in an open forum; identify areas of consensus and potential collaborations as well as points of divergence; and to recommend action steps for symposium participants to move an agenda forward.

Image of Rosalynn Carter and photo from symposia panel discussion.

Held each November, the symposia have examined such issues as mental illness and the elderly, child and adolescent illness, family coping, financing mental health services and research, treating mental illness in the primary care setting, and stigma and mental illness.

In addition to the symposium, the Mental Health Program hosts another annual meeting to tackle pressing issues in mental health policy, the Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum, held each May since 1995 for state mental health organizations.

For more details about the Carter Center Mental Health Programs, visit this web page

Bowden, PhD, MAC, NCC, LPC, has been serving as President of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals since Oct. 2014. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for NAADAC’s Advances in Addiction & Recovery magazine. While serving in many capacities for NAADAC through the years, Kirk has also served as Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program, Director of the Department of Professional Counseling and Addiction Studies at Grand Canyon University, President of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (IN CASE), and as a steering committee member for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Partners for Recovery, and the Higher Education Accreditation and Competencies expert panel for SAMHSA/CSAT.

Bowden was recognized by the Arizona Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors as Advocate of the Year for 2010, and by the American Counseling Association for the Counselor Educator Advocacy Award in 2013, the Fellow Award in 2014, and most recently for the Outstanding Addiction/Offender Professional Award in 2015.

logo for Ariazona Board of Behavioral Health
The Arizona Board of Behavioral Health recently appointed Bowden to a three year term as one of three members of the Substance Abuse Academic Review Committee (ARC), which elected him to serve as chair. The ARC is a crucial part of the board's licensing process and will be responsible for reviewing applications from individuals applying for licensure in Arizona. The ARC will also review applications from regionally accredited colleges and universities for approval of their addiction counseling degree programs.

image of Rio Salado headquarters.
Rio Salado College is one of Arizona’s top educators of addictions counseling professionals, offering online classes, certificates and an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders. 

Bowden leads a team of faculty who are experts in the field. 

“We are here to provide quality instruction to students and leadership in the industry.” Said Bowden. 

For information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, visit or call on our Academic Advisement team at 480-517-8580.

Photo 1: Bowden with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Executive Director of NAADAC Cynthia Moreno Tuohy.

Photo 2: Bowden and Moreno Tuohy with former United States Surgeon General Dr David Sacher.