October 27, 2020
BALA CYNWYD, PA – Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy (BI) celebrated their fourth annual Excellence Summit this past Friday, October 23. The event, conducted virtually, included presentations on CBT in various settings from experts around the world, as well as a panel discussion on increasing access to evidence-based mental health treatment. In addition, Beck Institute President Judith S. Beck, PhD, gave former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy the 2020 Beck Institute Excellence Award, which was created to recognize individuals, organizations, and initiatives that improve lives worldwide through the advancement of evidence-based practice in the field of mental health.
The Beck Institute Excellence Summit began in 2017 as an annual event. International leaders in CBT met in Philadelphia for a weekend of learning, exchanging ideas, and networking. This year’s Summit included a panel discussion entitled “Understanding the Growing Mental Health Crisis: A Conversation about Access, Advocacy, and Parity.” Moderated by Beck Institute Director of CBT Programs Allen Miller, PhD, MBA, the panelists included BI Excellence Awardee Patrick J. Kennedy, chief operating officer of the United States Department of Housing and Human Development Estelle B. Richman, Executive Director of the van Ameringen Foundation Hugh Hogan, and Jill Bowen, PhD, Acting Commissioner at the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services.
The panelists each contributed rich and unique perspectives to the discussion and answered a handful of questions from the audience, which consisted of more than 500 registrants from 48 countries. The conversation focused on the special need for mental health services associated with COVID-19, general access to mental health treatment, the importance of combining medical and mental health care, funding and allocation of resources, and new approaches to organizing and advocacy. They also discussed disparities that exist within our health care system and strategies to help shift them in a more equitable direction.
Speaking on the provider’s role in affecting change and helping clients exercise their own agency, Representative Kennedy remarked, “As providers, you can empower your patients to know that part of their recovery is supporting the next person to do so in the context of being an active citizen. It is empowering to stand up to stigma, shame, judgment, and have your voice heard with others as a community. Mental health professionals can instill confidence in people who may not feel like they have the means of changing public policy.”
Voluntary contributions for the event will provide scholarships to clinicians who primarily treat minority clients, active duty and veteran military service members, and individuals diagnosed with a serious mental health condition.
About Beck Institute
Beck Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission of improving lives worldwide through excellence and innovation in Cognitive Behavior Therapy training, treatment, and research. It was established in 1994 by Dr. Aaron T. Beck and Dr. Judith S. Beck. As the leading source for CBT training and resources, Beck Institute has provided more than 20,000 clinicians around the world with state-of-the-art training in CBT, the most highly researched and widely adopted psychotherapy. In 2019, Beck Institute opened the Beck Institute Center for Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) to train professionals, staff, and peers who work with individuals diagnosed with serious mental health conditions. For more information, visit www.beckinstitute.org.