HOMERUN IN HARTFORD
CIT Celebrated 25 Years in Hartford, CT
Story by: Michele Saunders, LCSW
This year's 2013 CIT International Conference in partnership with CABLE, Inc. was a huge success. With upward of 700 participants, over 85 workshops and National Speakers it was hard not to have a WINNER. The location, amenities and activities added to an overall positive experience for all. The conference started with a networking event where people could enjoy the countryside of the Hartford area, see the stunning colors of the leaves changing, and enjoy a cookout of hamburgers and hotdogs while feeling the chill in the air that was warmed by a huge bonfire. And several folks took advantage of a hayride.
The conference opened to an exciting crowd of law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, advocates, families and those living with mental illness. When asked by our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Hank Steadman, how many are here for the first time over half the audience raised their hands.
We are celebrating 25 years and to know that the movement of CIT continues with new people entering into the field is exciting.
Both Sam Cochran and Dr. Hank Steadman gave a thoughtful and inspiring Keynote address.
After a full day of workshops many of the participants took part in the Monday evening networking event at the Hartford Science Center. What a great place to meet and greet. There was food served and we were able to meet other participants from around the country and also enjoy the interactive exhibits of the Science Center.
Tuesday was another invigorating and inspiring day with Dr. Jeffrey Geller sharing his thoughts about the challenges that we face with the mental health system but promising trends that can positively impact the role of CIT programs.
The Tuesday Awards luncheon was a highlight for the conference. This ceremony brought both tears and cheers. Although several individuals were selected for awards, CIT International wants everyone to know YOU are a Champion and YOU are a CIT Winner. Please see the section of this newsletter that identifies the award winners.
Finally the last day arrived and the closing of the conference was graced with the story of a mother whose son lives with schizophrenia. It was a story from heartache and challenges to inspiration and HOPE. The HOPE came from the role of CIT in this family's life.
As the conference came to a close, CIT International thanked CABLE and all the folks in Hartford who helped to make this conference such a success then they passed the baton to Monterey, CA for the 2014 CIT International Conference.
CIT International wants to say another BIG THANK YOU to CABLE, Inc. and all who volunteered.
Many wished the conference could last for another couple of days as there was too much to learn, too many people to connect with and too little time. AND, that is why we all need to be planning to attend the 2104 CIT Conference in Monterey, CA...to continue our work together.
COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS:
"This was one of the best conferences I ever attended"
"Thank you CIT International for another exciting and meaningful conference"
"I learned so much, it was great. This was my first and it won't be my last"
"The opportunity to network and talk with others helped me a lot"
"There was a lot I learned that I am taking home with me to improve my CIT program"
"Thank you, thank you, and thank you"
"This is clearly a movement and one I want to continue to be a part of"
"This was so great. The conferences just keep getting better"
LET'S KEEP THE MOVEMENT GOING. Come to Monterey in October 2014